9 Best Backpacks For College | April 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Laptops, smartphones, MP3 players, tablets and beer. College students have a ton of heavy gear to cart around campus. These backpacks will haul it all. And they also work well for books. Skip to the best backpack for college on Amazon.
9 Best Backpacks For College | April 2017
Overall Rank: 6
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 9
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
The Le Donne Backpack is constructed out of distressed Colombian leather for a vintage look that's never out of style, yet it has the comfortably modern, ergonomic fit you want. The pack has a large, top access main compartment.
  • business card holder
  • padded computer sleeve
  • very expensive compared to most options
Brand Le Donne Leather
Model DS-4020
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The EcoCity Classic has a sturdy washed denim and polyester exterior, adjustable shoulder straps, and a holder for water bottles or umbrellas. It holds its shape even when not fully loaded, making for easy item packing and retrieval.
  • inexpensive but handsome
  • durable polyurethane bottom
  • does not hold much weight
Brand EcoCity
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Case Logic BPED-115 Evolution Deluxe bag has a quick access pocket for frequently used items, and a key fob loop for easy access to your keys or swipe card. There's a headphone slot for cords connected to a phone or music player.
  • multiple sturdy zippers
  • large side pockets
  • easily secures to wheeled luggage handle
Brand Case Logic
Model BPED-115
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
The Targus Drifter II features a bottom that resists water as well as a strong molded plastic handle that can carry as much weight as you can load up. Use this pack for carrying books all day or for gear needed on an overnight hike.
  • various sizes of compartments
  • grommets for adding webbing
  • limited lifetime warranty
Brand Targus
Model TSB239US
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The SwissGear SA3183 bag has an audio and media port for MP3 players or phone cables and an Airflow Back System with padding and ventilation that will keep you cool even as you hoof it across campus or across town.
  • sunglasses/eyeglasses holder pocket
  • cellphone pocket on shoulder
  • zippered organizer pocket
Brand Swiss Gear
Model 3183201410
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
This Under Armour hustle backpack is constructed out of a UA Storm gear DWR finish that repels water and won't retain excessive body heat. This is a sleek, compact pack for the person who needs to move around town efficiently.
  • large front laundry pocket
  • two side water bottle pockets
  • four exterior pockets
Brand Under Armour
Model 1247302OSFA
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The Winkine Canvas Laptop Backpack is made out of high quality canvas, comes with a soft cotton lining, and is lightweight. It is available in a variety of playful patterns and colors that help express your personal style.
  • fits laptops under fifteen inches
  • soft padded fabric straps
  • bohemian embroidery
Brand Winkine
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
This Victoriatourist V6002 bag comes with an integrated laptop compartment and is constructed out of durable ballistic nylon. It has a "check fast" sleeve that folds down for quick, easy passage through airport security checkpoints.
  • long lasting and durable
  • excellent padding and back support
  • great for a student or business person
Brand Victoriatourist
Model V6002
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
This classic JanSport Big Student Series Daypack comes with ergonomic S-curve shoulder straps and a front utility pocket with an audio electronics organizer. Choose from a range of colors; you can't go wrong with this top-rated bag.
  • zippered front stash pockets
  • 2100 cubic inches carrying capacity
  • extra strong webbing hauling loop
Brand JanSport
Model TDN7
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How To Choose The Best College Backpack For YOU

If you're a college student, you may use a backpack to carry clothes, makeup, beer, video games, mobile devices, athletic gear, and maybe even the occasional textbook. The point being that a college backpack represents a significant investment. Consequently, you want to choose a bag that's right for you.

The overriding idea of a college backpack is to function as a utility, which is why most top bags are made out of durable materials including reinforced nylon, polyester, and leather. Materials like these won't easily wear or fray as a result of bearing considerable weight, especially if a backpack features any type of interior padding along the frame. Padded backpacks can ease the burden on a student's shoulders, just as padded straps can enable a backpack to rest more comfortably along the back rail of a chair.

Compartments are an essential component of any backpack. Yes, you need at least one minor compartment in the front of the pack for storing pens and other stationery. But you may also want a few minor compartments for storing cosmetics, medication, snacks, or any personal items, as well.

Any college backpack's central compartment should be deep enough to accommodate large textbooks, binders, and notebooks. If you carry a laptop or a tablet to class, you either want to keep that device in a separate bag, or you want to ensure that it's consolidated by way of an isolated, cushioned compartment where there isn't any chance of it getting damaged or crushed.

Several Keys To Organizing Your College Backpack

It sounds simple, right? You toss some books into a backpack, and you're on your way to class. And yet the reality is that this is a shortsighted approach. Ideally, you want to keep your backpack light, and orderly. You want to feel assured you've packed the books - and only the books - that you'll need for every class. One method of doing this is to separate your textbooks based on which classes are being held on different days of the week. This way you can fill your bag with one small stack at the beginning of every morning, and then replace that stack with another the following day.

Minimizing the amount of weight that you keep in a backpack will allow for lighter travel, and it will also reduce the level of stress on a backpack's lining, long-term. More often than not, when a hole begins to form along a backpack's lower corners, that hole is the result of too many textbooks rubbing hard against the fabric over the course of several months.

If you carry pens, pencils, a compass, or any other pointed instruments, it's beneficial to store those items in a plastic case. The case will provide a buffer for the backpack's stationery compartment, and it will also keep those items from sticking out and pricking your skin.

If you own a five-subject notebook there probably isn't any need to remove that notebook from a backpack at all. If, on the other hand, specific classes require you to keep separate notebooks, be sure that each of those notebooks features a different-colored cover. Color-coding is an efficient way to avoid packing the wrong notebook, and it may also wind up saving you a considerable amount of time.

Buying a Backpack For College: A Parent's Guide

Let's say you're buying a college backpack for your son or daughter, and you want it to be a surprise. You know that this backpack needs to look cool for the simple reason that college kids can be the world's worst cynics. But more importantly, you want to choose a backpack that has value, and will last.

So where do you start? Oddly enough, you may be able to get some good ideas from social media. Take a look at some of your son or daughter's recent Facebook photos (assuming that you have access to them, of course). What type of backpacks are the other kids in those photos wearing? More often than not, you'll begin to see a lot of the same colors, styles, and brands.

If your child spends a lot of time on a laptop (or any other digital device), then you'll probably want to pursue a cushioned bag that features at least one specially-padded compartment. If your child's major requires him or her to work with art supplies or drafting tools, then you'll probably want to pursue a bag that features several stationery compartments, as well.

If you want to learn more about a specific backpack, read some of its customer reviews. Be sure to give specific weight to any of these reviews that were obviously written by a college student, as these could provide the most reliable gauge of how effective a backpack will be on a day-to-day basis.

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Last updated on April 24 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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