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Heading off to college? Here are the best backpacks you’ll want to take with you

Whether you’re a freshman or a returning senior, a good quality backpack will be your best friend during your college years.

Published Jan 25, 2024
3 min. reading time
Image of three backpacks

College is a time of change and a new sense of independence, so why not flaunt the new you with a fresh new backpack? 

In this handy guide, we delve into the best backpacks for college, highlighting a selection of the best versatile and heavy-duty backpacks that are ideal for students. 

From stylish designs to functional features, these backpacks offer the perfect combination of durability and sophistication for a college student's needs.

Read more: Looking for a budget laptop? Shop 9 of the best here

Black backpack
Everywhere Backpack 22L
$78 at Lululemon
Black and brown backpack
Pop Quiz Backpack
dark blue laptop backpack
Comfort Carry Laptop Pack, 30L
$89 at L.L.Bean
Dark blue backpack
Borealis Backpack
$99 at The North Face

The Everywhere Backpack is one of the best backpacks for college students. 

This heavy-duty backpack is designed with a water-repellent fabric, proving its durability and capability to withstand various weather conditions. As a large backpack, it boasts a spacious front zippered pocket and side pockets for quick access to a water bottle and small items, making it super functional for every student. 

One of its standout features is its interior padded pocket, which can accommodate a 16-inch laptop, making it a perfect student backpack.

Constructed with 100% recycled EcoSystem fabrics, this environmentally friendly backpack is ready for anything that your college days throw at you. The generous size makes it perfect for carrying laptops, tablets and your daily essentials.

This heavy-duty backpack, engineered with EVA-padded shoulder straps, ensures you'll have the comfort and support you need to navigate campus easily. 

Multiple pockets, inside and out, guarantee organization on your journeys to school or work, putting this among the top multi-pocket backpacks for students.

One of the best backpacks for college, the Comfort Carry laptop pack brings a unique blend of versatility and comfort. 

Designed to carry everyday loads comfortably, this is perfect for students who usually carry a bunch of heavy textbooks. 

We love that this was designed with a rigid back panel, embedded with extra foam padding and comfortable, breathable mesh straps, so it’s super comfortable to wear for extended periods. 

It also has a built-in organizer panel with multiple zippered pockets, so if keeping the inside of your backpack organized is a priority, this is the bag for you.

With a high-capacity, multi-pocket design, it’s no wonder the Borealis backpack from The North Face is one of the most popular backpacks for college. Accommodating all your bulky textbooks and binders easily, you’ll never run out of space.

This heavy-duty backpack is equipped with a stand-up design and a multi-pocket backpack feature that aids in organization. 

You can carry this cool backpack with confidence, knowing its certified FlexVent suspension system can keep up with your strenuous campus schedule and won’t strain your back or shoulders.

The Fjällräven 15" Kanken Laptop Backpack is one of the best backpacks for college for numerous reasons. Importantly, its roomy interior is perfect for those in need of a big bag to take to class, fitting a laptop, artbook or even portable gaming system. 

We love that this is made from a heavy-duty fabric — you’re likely to be carrying a heavy load the majority of the time, so this 100% vinyl fabric is sure to last.

This heavy-duty Jansport backpack is made from durable nylon packcloth, ready to withstand the hustle and bustle of daily college life.

One of our favorite things about this backpack is its padded 15-inch laptop sleeve with an additional padded tablet sleeve. All your tech essentials will be secured and protected, making it an ideal student backpack.

To add to its functionality, the backpack has a multi-pocket design, including a pair of dual water bottle pockets.

Our verdict on the best backpacks for college

We’ve got some great backpacks for college in this roundup, and if we had to pick our top three, they’d have to be: 

  • Everywhere Backpack: While it’s an expensive backpack, this is lauded for its water-repellent fabric and spacious design.

  • Pop Quiz Backpack: For eco-conscious students, we recommend this backpack from Herschel, and with thick, padded shoulder straps, it’s sure to be comfortable all day long. 

  • Borealis Backpack: This backpack from The North Face distinguishes itself with its FlexVent suspension system and ample space, which makes it an ideal extra-large backpack.

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Prices updated on 01/25/2024. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

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Phoebe Davenport

A book aficionado, you will always be able to rely on Phoebe Davenport for the best book recommendations. On the weekend, you’ll probably find Phoebe at a bottomless brunch in London, at a museum, or chilling at home with her two cats.