One of the reasons college is excellent is because, unlike high school, you don’t have to carry all of your books about every day, which eliminates the need for a tremendously enormous backpack around campus. You can select a college backpack that best suits your needs and has a smaller design that isn’t quite as bulky as the one you might have had in high school when you go backpack shopping.
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT
When choosing a backpack for college, you should consider a few key factors, including how you’ll use it, what you’ll carry, and whether you want one you can use both for school and for work.
How You Plan to Utilize It
Is this going to be your backpack, work bag, or bag for your soccer boots? You should make a larger investment if you need it to serve numerous purposes in your life at once. Your best bet is a highly organized backpack with various compartments and pockets within those compartments if you’re a fan of organization or if you’re taking courses with multiple disciplines within the study.
What Will You Bring with You?
Do you only lug your suitcase to one or two classes each day? If so, you might choose one of our list’s more compact bags (unless you’re pre-med; those books are big). You will need something larger, like the North Face’s Borealis backpack, but you might not need something with a lot of pockets if you intend to carry many books, your college laptop, your tablet, and a ton of stationary.
You want a bag with a compartment particularly for that, like the Excel 6 by adidas, if you’re into sports, theater, dancing, or really anything where you might need changes of clothing and shoes, so that the rest of your luggage doesn’t smell like sweat and feet. (I was in the theater and played soccer; I can assure you that those horrible odor memories never leave you.)
Where Do You Stand Academically?
Many students complete internships in professional settings during their senior year. While you could get away with a more casual bag at this point in your life, you might want to think about acquiring one that says more “I’m going to have your job in a few years” than “outdoor trip to a frat party.”
I had conversations with instructors, college students, and freshmen who were preparing to begin their first year. I viewed every TikTok video on what is trending, what is being criticized, and what is enduring. I have tried a few of these bags and put together a list that, in my opinion, has a bag for every type of student. See our selection of the best college backpacks below, which works well for all types of students.
1 Dakota neoprene bag
sturdy and large in size
Elegant style Expensive
Your 16-inch laptop will fit perfectly in the Dakota’s padded tech sleeve, along with your books, pens, and notecards. You can also fit an additional pair of shoes in the provided shoe bag.
Neoprene and other vegan materials are used to make it, and it has a somewhat wetsuit-like feel. It doesn’t show dirt easily to begin with, is quite easy to clean, and holy moly, is it durable.
I hardly rarely come across a bag that is cool, trendy, tough, and practical. You’re usually lucky to get two names on that list. Dakota by Dagne Dover is the lone exception.
2 Borealis Backpack for Men
Lots of Room
The bungee cord may snag on objects.
This backpack excels because it is made by The North Face, which is renowned for its strength and practicality. It is large, features numerous pockets and compartments, a tech sleeve, an exterior made of rip-stop fabric, a bungee portion for shoes or sporting goods, and a designated area for a water bottle.
The most popular backpack among entering freshmen and rising sophomores is without a doubt this one. You couldn’t turn around on the Brooklyn College campus without running into one. College students adore it not just because it’s fashionable and well-liked, but also because it’s difficult to destroy and keeps their books and electronics tucked away discreetly.
3 Bag for a laptop
There are numerous pockets, including one for a laptop.
Several hues are offered.
fairly simple design
The fact that this college backpack is made to protect electronics will appeal to tech-savvy students. It contains a place for your phone, your books, and your pens and pencils in addition to a protected laptop sleeve, a secret zipped compartment ideal for your iPad, and a spot for your iPad.
The entire backpack is padded, offering impact protection where it is most needed. There are other options if you don’t like bright yellow because it comes in a variety of colors.
Surprisingly deep, the exterior zipped pocket offers extra room for a notepad, t-shirt, or additional necessities.
4 Black Main Campus
excellent value for the money
Backpacks made by Jansport are the norm. Despite not being the most attractive bloom in the garden, they are a reliable perennial.
It includes numerous pockets and compartments, including a mesh water bottle carrier and a 15-inch laptop sleeve. Even if you often overfill your backpack to the point where the seams burst, it is composed of a densely woven nylon blend that is incredibly difficult to rip.
The padded S-curve straps make carrying the bag easier because nothing protrudes too far into your body.
5 Classic Kanken Backpacks for Everyday
Stain-resistant and simple to clean
has convenient top handles that allow it to double as a tote.
The straps lack padding.
You might feel like hiking some Nordic fjords between classes or, perhaps more appropriately, going to the lake next to campus. This bag is made to be exceptional at both.
Fjallraven is a workhorse of a bag with Swedish style. It is lightweight, tough, and has plenty of luggage capacity. The substance, known as Vinyon F, is exceptional in that it resists stains and is simple to clean. It contains two large compartments with a combined capacity of 16 liters, as well as a convenient top handle for rapid on-the-go carrying.
6 Excel Bag
is excellent for athletics because it doesn’t easily absorb stink.
Cleaning exterior loops might be challenging.
Given its extreme toughness, the adidas Excel 6 even comes with a lifetime warranty. Two main compartments, each with many pockets, make up its roomy design. Two mesh water bottle pockets on the sides, a 15-inch tech pocket, and load spring shoulder straps help spread the weight of the backpack out more evenly.
adidas is a popular brand on TikTok as well because of its sporty appearance and all-around utility. It has enough space for both your boots and your books. The fabric’s ability to wipe clean and resist odor retention is a huge plus.
7 23L Everyday Backpack Version
large with numerous storage compartments
It’s ideal for travel thanks to the trolley sleeve.
I get that nylon feels thin; Lululemon? the shop for leggings? How could they produce a quality backpack? They have, I can assure you, and it is even larger inside than it appears.
The design is rather straightforward, but what makes it special is that it not only has plenty of storage for a 16-inch laptop, but it also has a trolley-compatible sleeve for convenient transport when you’re traveling. That indicates that the bag has a strap that wraps around the handle of your luggage.
To prevent your chargers, pens, and other items from being disorganized, it contains two main sections and numerous internal pockets.
Users adore this bag for its stylish design as well as its enormous storage capacity of 23 liters. This rucksack, according to one kid, “holds my tap shoes, three leotards, my comp lit textbook, computer, iPad, and the weight of my parent’s expectations,” among other items.
We can all agree that’s a lot of things, so if you need a lot of room for your college backpack, this one is for you.
8 Backpack for Survey II
plenty enough room for your laptop
no outside pockets
Since there were so many Herschel bags to choose from between Brooklyn College and Columbia University, I had to put in a lot of effort. I decided on the Survey II since it has a more polished appearance and all the benefits of a conventional backpack.
It boasts a big storage area with a tech sleeve that can fit up to a 16-inch laptop and is weather-resistant. On the interior, there are mesh storage spaces as well for organization. This backpack comes with two separate water bottle holders if you enjoy a variety of beverages.
The entire exterior shell of the Herschel Survey backpack is composed of post-consumer recycled materials, making it environmentally friendly as well.
9 24-Liter Backpack for Batac
enduring but lightweight material
no outside pocket
Are you feeling a little wild, courageous, and audacious? Let me expose you to the Cotopaxi backpack’s total mayhem.
It has a tech sleeve that can accommodate most 15-inch computers and 24 liters of storage (my own MacBook Pro from 2017 fits easily inside). It has an internal and exterior hydration sleeve and is composed of ripstop nylon. The straps are well-padded and flexible.
The last thing you usually picture when you think of a college backpack is something vibrant and joyful, but this bag does both while still feeling rather mature. One amusing feature is that you may either select your colors or press “find random,” in which case a special color combination will be generated.
10 Large TSA Backpack with USB Port
ample tech storage
lots of storage spaces
shallow exterior pocket.
The ideal tech-friendly bag is this one. It features a USB charging outlet, a 17-inch laptop pocket, numerous water-resistant, padded sections, and a baggage strap to hang onto your carry-on or suitcase as you move through the airport.
It’s incredible how many students are studying programming that own this bag. And from what I’ve gathered, that has just as much to do with the cost as it does with the aesthetic. It’s going to be a winner every time when utility, style, and pricing are combined.