So after much thought, you have finally taken the leap and decided to pursue college. Good for you! Now it’s time to shift your focus to your needs such as a backpack suitable for a higher academic setting. As you may know, college can involve heavy coursework.
You might need to lug around several books from the library just to finish that research paper. It is only fitting that you choose the perfect backpack to “carry” you through this rigorous yet exciting academic journey.
To make it easy for you, we have compiled a list of products that would make for great college backpacks. This way, you can finally decide on the perfect one for you based on your unique needs and preferences.
Best Backpacks for College Students
Tiding Leather 15.6 Inch Laptop Backpack
The only leather bag featured in this list, this retro-looking Tiding bag can convert to a backpack, a crossbody handbag or a tote bag. Talk about versatility! It has three front pockets that can accommodate smaller items such as your phone, keys, wallet, and pens.
It also comes with a padded compartment for a laptop up to 15.6″. It has sturdy tuck away handles and straps and a trolley pass-through strap for when you need to travel.
Although on the pricier side mainly due to the premium genuine leather material used, it does come with a one year warranty. It is functional, stylish, and one you can definitely use for both formal and casual days.
Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack
If you want to retain the casual feel of your college Jansport backpack but want to take it a notch classier, Herschel might be a good brand to look at. From a distance, the iconic design and the woven label are easily recognizable.
A timeless silhouette inspired by the classic mountaineering style, the Little America backpack is made of a sturdy polyester and nylon fabric. It comes with Herschel’s signature striped liner and magnet-fastened straps with metal pin buckles. Although it is quite big, the extra space comes in handy for fitting your books and laptop (15”) and the drawcord closure provides plenty of flexibility to accommodate irregularly-shaped items.
Multiple compartments such as an internal media pocket can fit smaller items like your smartphone, and the additional headphone port is perfect for your on-the-go playlist. Lastly, the hidden zippers offer a level of theft protection.
Samsonite Xenon 3.0 Checkpoint Friendly Backpack
Constructed using a rugged 1680 denier ballistic polyester for durability, this no-fuss Samsonite Xenon 3.0 backpack gets straight to the point. It comes with a built-in padded compartment designed to carry your laptop (up to 15.6″) and protects it from shock while you are on the go.
However, note that the padding is only anterior and posterior to the laptop and there is no cushioning at the bottom. Its top carry handle features a microinjected cover with a neoprene padded handle for an easier grip.
A smart sleeve feature allows the case to slide over the upright handle tube of your luggage for easy transport while travelling for that conference. If you want something that doesn’t scream for attention yet packs a punch of features, this bag is for you.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Chelsea Backpack
If you are on the lookout for something more fashion forward, this chic Kenneth Cole Reaction Chelsea backpack might just be the perfect one for you! It is made of a stylish chevron quilted polyester-twill water-resistant exterior with gold-plated zippers and comes in a variety of colors such as black, burgundy, navy, and olive.
The interior features a fully lined tear-resistant stripe polyester lining that will stand up to daily use. Separate padded tech pockets fit most laptops up to 15″. The front exterior features an extensive organizer for all your essentials while the rear exterior features breathable and adjustable shoulder straps for maximum comfort while on the move.
Convenient beverage holster pockets are featured on both sides of the backpack perfect for your tumbler and umbrella.
Anti-theft Travel Laptop Backpack, Fintie 15.6 Inch
Constructed of 800D water-resistant wear-resistant jacquard thick nylon for lasting durability, this bag has a unique shape-retention design which means it doesn’t compress when empty. The main compartment provides padded sleeves (fits up to standard 14″ or 15.6″ slim laptop) and multiple divider pockets to accommodate a lot of things.
The anti-theft back pocket with RFID blocking can protect your personal information from being stolen. External USB ports with detachable fast charging USB 4.0 cable offer convenience to charge your electronic devices everywhere.
As an added feature, it has reflective stripes that make you noticeable when traveling at night. With its sleek look, the design definitely has both active and casual lifestyles in mind.
Clark & Mayfield Corbett 16 Laptop Backpack Eco-Friendly
You can take a piece of nature with you everywhere you go with this laidback Clark & Mayfield Corbett backpack. Made from naturally light, durable, and renewable cork oak tree bark, the material in each Corbett Cork Backpack has its own unique pattern making each bag one of a kind.
It is naturally water resistant, easy to clean, and ages like leather. It can accommodate 15.6″ laptops as well as a Macbook Pro 16. The interior room can hold your accessories and peripherals. The zippered front pockets have spots for your phone, pens, and other small items.
A padded mesh on the back along with padded straps keep you comfortable and cool. With multiple colors including Cocoa, Plum, Slate, and Deep Sea Blue, the design fits a sleek, fashionable, and eco-conscious intellectual like you.
Himawari Travel School Backpack
Who says college style has to be boring? Express yourself with this stylish backpack made of eco-friendly waterproof canvas material. Its bold design is the perfect balance between playful and functional and is sure to make heads turn.
With a lot of space inside, the main pocket can fit a 15.6’’ laptop. It has one front side pocket and a built-in detachable USB cable design which offers great convenience for charging your electronic devices. Its big side pockets can carry your Nalgene bottles.
Made of water resistant and durable nylon fabric, the padded breathable and adjustable straps help alleviate stress from your shoulders, too.
KROSER Laptop Backpack Large Computer Backpack
This KROSER laptop backpack is made of an environment-friendly polyfabric with a water-resistant function. A larger compartment provides a separate space for a laptop up to 17.3 inches. As you can already tell, this is by no means a small backpack.
It will have no trouble fitting all your college requirements. In fact, it is the largest one in the selection so definitely consider that before purchasing. Its built-in USB port is convenient for charging your devices.
A well-padded foam is tightly close to your back and a well-knit luggage strap is useful for fixing the laptop backpack onto the trolley of your luggage.
Laptop Backpack,Business Travel
Made of a water resistant and durable polyester fabric, this backpack is neither too big nor too small. It can fit a 15.6″ laptop, and a separate compartment is roomy enough for an iPad, mouse, charger and your books.
It has mesh pockets at the side for a water bottle and compact umbrella. Breathable and adjustable shoulder straps relieve the stress off the shoulders. As an added feature, it has a hidden anti-theft pocket on the back that protects your valuable items.
With a built in USB charger outside and built in charging cable inside, this USB backpack offers you a more convenient way to charge your phone while walking. You can also listen to your favorite music hands-free with its headphone jack. All these features on that price tag make this backpack a bang for your buck.
MANCIO Slim Vintage Laptop Backpack
Crafted with premium lightweight tear resistant Nylon Oxford fabric and quilted polyester liner, this bag’s design screams classic and vintage. Say goodbye to disarray with its multi-pocket design, with 5 compartments to organize your belongings.
One main laptop compartment can hold a 15.6” laptop. Two front zip pockets provide a separate space for your iPhone, iPad, pens, keys, wallet, and books. Two pockets in the side can fit your bottle and umbrella.
With a USB charging port outside and built in charging cable and pocket inside, you can conveniently charge your phone while on the go. This backpack comes in a variety of colors. It is durable, stylish, and is a definite steal.
Best Backpack for College Buying Guide
Storage Capacity – College can be hectic with a lot of requirements so you should have a bag that can fit multiple items such as your laptop, powerbank, books, notebooks, and phone.
Even better if it has different compartments to make items easier to find. For the organized person in you, gone are the days when you will need to empty your whole bag just to find a pen!
Price and Warranty – This one is a big consideration. Some brands can go up to 200 bucks while some can be bought under 50. If you look hard enough, there are deals that are a better bang for your buck. The warranty comes as a bonus because it vouches for your backpack’s durability.
Durability -Considering you will be carrying your backpack around with heavy items such as your book and laptop, it should be able to support the weight and last for a long time. It is easy to spot backpacks that lack in the durability department with low quality material used, light stitching and tacky zippers.
Style – There are many materials to choose from including canvas, leather, and plastic, but you should choose a backpack that reflects your style. Do you want one that looks more professional or do you want something more adventurous?
If you want to give off a formal tone, monochromatic colors and muted designs are good choices. If you want to show off your fun personality, go for the colorful ones. Needless to say, the different styles offer you plenty of opportunities to express yourself or upscale your presentation fit for a college setting.
Comfort – Your backpack should be able to support heavy loads with little strain to your shoulders. This is accomplished by padded and adjustable shoulder straps. The size should be apt for your built and frame, too.
Bonus Features – It is always nice to find some well-thought out design items that bring added value. For one, it is nice to have anti-theft features such as meshes or hidden zippers. The ability to charge your phone with extra cables incorporated into the backpack can come in handy as is waterproofing.
Can I machine-wash my backpack?
While pulling that all-nighter, did you unconsciously knock a cup of coffee into your backpack? Should you machine-wash it then? Well it depends on the material. For most backpacks such as those made up of nylon or canvas, the answer is yes. Leather and suede backpacks, however, are not safe to machine-wash.
What is the best maintenance and care for backpacks?
Proper care should be given to your backpack so your investment doesn’t go to waste. Care must be done to avoid liquid spilling onto it. If you have the opportunity to hand wash your backpack vs cleaning it through a washing machine, the former is always the safer option.
To minimize UV exposure which can cause the colors of your bag to fade, always store it in a cool dry place without direct sunlight.
Are backpacks good for my back?
All of the backpacks listed above have adjustable and padded shoulder straps which provide comfort and ease the pressure off your shoulders. Additionally, backpacks are actually the better option compared to messenger and satchel bags which pull the weight of your bag to one side.
As a result, your spine can curve to one side to support the weighed-down shoulder. Backpacks provide a more even distribution of weight between your two shoulders while keeping your spine centered.