After 17 hours of research evaluating 250 products, we picked TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack as our top choice.
At this point everyone is surely aware that backpacks can lead to back pain in children (and adults), if not made of quality material or worn properly. So, with National School Backpack Awareness Day in September, we at Faveable compiled a list of the best quality backpacks on the market. These backpacks keep comfort and convenience in mind when it comes to lugging heavy, yet necessary items around.
Check out our list for to find the best backpack for you. And, to give you a better idea of the correct way to wear a backpack, we've included some tips from Karen Jacobs, an expert on ergonomics, to ensure you're not causing yourself unnecessary back pain or discomfort.
1. Make sure your shoulder straps are padded.
2. Balance your supplies (laptop, books, etc.) – place heavier items closer to your back.
3. If you already have problems with your back, then opt to get a backpack on wheels. (Hint, hint: We have just the thing for you!)
4. Do not carry a backpack with items that weigh more than 10% of your body weight.
5. If it comes with a hip belt, go ahead and strap it around your waist. Even if it isn't the most stylish accessory, it will be worth it in the long run.
Although these tips seem quite logical and obvious, many people don’t necessarily abide by them. So today say good-bye to horribly troublesome backpacks and say hello to the best backpacks around!
Get on board with Backpack Awareness Day by checking out our list of the best backpacks below!
This affordable daypack is ultra-lightweight, ultra-durable, and ultra-awesome. It's made for daily use or overseas travel.
The side pockets are wide and loose so they aren't good for storing water bottles.
Although the pack may look small, it actually holds much more than you would think. It's a true space saver, and its compact size makes it perfect for travel as well. It folds into a zippered inner pocket so that you can tuck it inside your luggage or keep it in your car.
This daypack can handle up to 33 liters, weighs half a pound, and is built to last. With multiple compartments and pockets for an umbrella, water bottle, and valuables, it's an awesome choice for those going on short outings.
The pack is made from highly rip and water resistant nylon fabric. And, if anything should happen to your backpack, Outlander promises a lifetime warranty and will send you a new one.
The Outlander bag is about as simple as it gets. There are three compartments and a few smaller pockets. However, it doesn't come with any fancy features. It's available in nine awesome colors including green, blue, orange, red, pink, and purple.
You really can't beat the price of this backpack. At less than $20 for either size, it's the cheapest on our list.
Water-resistant, USB charging port, easy-lock zipper, fits up to 17-inch notebook, stylish, comfortable, durable, lots of pockets, eco-friendly fabric, lightweight, and theft-resistant.
Quality control issues, and the USB charger is incompatible with Apple products.
This is the backpack to take EVERYWHERE: to class, back home, on the train, even while cycling around campus. It's sleek and stylish, made of eco-friendly nylon that is very durable and looks very elegant. The dedicated laptop pocket comes with cushioning to protect his computer, and it can fit up to a 17-inch notebook. Or, you can use it to haul around textbooks and all your other school supplies.
The backpack is made with a highly durable nylon that is also eco-friendly, and you know it will last for years to come! The beauty of this backpack is that the zipper is designed to be theft-resistant, and it comes with a lock that will help you keep your valuables safe as you move around campus.
Not only are there three main pockets, but the backpack offers 9 smaller inner pockets and 2 sealed side pockets. Best of all, there's a USB charger cable that allows you to charge your (Android-only) devices from the backpack. Talk about handy for school!
$28 is a pretty great price to pay for this nifty backpack. It's practical, comfortable, and durable—everything you need in a secure travel pack.
35-liter size, great for day trips, padded shoulder straps, durable materials, weighs just 0.7 pounds, compact, folds up into its own pocket, lifetime warranty, chest strap included, and designed using water-resistant fabric.
Zippers get caught in the fabric/break quickly.
The pack is designed to fold into its own zippered pocket, making it compact enough to fit in any carry-on suitcase. The breathable mesh shoulder straps offer enough padding for the bag to be comfortable when full. With its 35-liter size, you'll find you have more than sufficient space to pack for a day trip or even a weekend getaway.
This backpack is made out of durable, water-resistant material. Though it weighs less than your average backpack (just 0.7 pounds), it's built to last while traveling, hiking, or camping. You'll find the material can keep your clothes dry in light rain showers, and the fabric will last for years of regular use.
In addition to the two beautifully padded shoulder straps, the backpack comes with a chest strap that will help take the weight off your shoulders. It's comfortable enough to use for a hike or cycling trip, though it can sag a bit when full.
The main compartment, two side pockets, and two zippered front pockets give you all the space you need to store clothing, toiletries, electronics, and documents easily. The whistle buckle makes it easy to securely lock the pack.
This is one of the cheapest backpacks on our list, but it doesn't sacrifice quality for low cost. It's a great little lightweight pack to take when you want to travel light for a day trip or a week away.
This top loading backpack is packed with features and the smartest organization of any backpack we’ve found, making this ideal for short backpacking trips or other outdoor adventures.
Some reviewers report the straps will not support to the full 50mL if filled to capacity, so keep in mind that this pack is better for day trips or short overnights.
This 50mL pack is large enough for short backpacking trips, but also the perfect size to carry on if needed. It features adjustable straps for variations in torso length and the waist expands to fit 50 inches and up.
The main compartment expands an extra 8” and while the bottom compartment isn’t huge, it can fit a decent amount of supplies—including a compressed sleeping bag. This pack is structured without being too bulky, and, weighing in at just 3.5 pounds, it feels relatively light for the size.
Constructed with quality materials, this bag is durable and long lasting without being too heavy. The main compartment is lined with waterproof material to fend off light rain or dew, but the pack also comes with a rain cover, included in its own hidden storage pocket, for heavier rain or storms.
This pack features a host of extra features including Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment, zippered hipbelt pockets—perfect for small items like cell phones, keys, or cards, internal hydration reservoir sleeve, removable top-lid with zippered slash pocket, ventilated mesh back panel for added comfort, and side water bottle pockets on the side that comfortably fit a bottle up to 33.8 ounces. The extra pockets and features are great for organization, easy access, and storage.
At just under $190, the Osprey Stratos 50 seems pricey to compared to the other packs on our list, but actually a great value for a backpacking pack with so many extra features and excellent durability. The pack also comes with the Osprey warranty, which provides a lifetime damage or defect guarantee—definitely worth the value.
Sized just right for carry-on luggage, lots of pockets, good quality, feels solid, great organizational options, limited lifetime warranty, expansion zipper, and great for carrying laptops and other electronics.
Not the most comfortable for carrying and heavy even when empty.
Get one thing straight: this is a heavy backpack! It weighs 4 pounds empty, and it just gets heavier as you pack it. It also doesn't have good weight distribution, and it's one of the least comfortable options on our list.
That being said, it's the best backpack to take as a carry-on. Its dimensions (22" by 14" by 9") is the maximum legal size for carry-on in the United States. Simply put, it's as large as it gets while still legally being allowed to carry it onto the plane.
You get a lot of storage space from this backpack, and you'll find it's very handy for carrying not just clothes, but also electronics, gadgets, and any knickknacks or souvenirs you pick up on your travel. The expansion zipper gives you 10% more storage space!
Many reviews have mentioned how this bag holds up very well to all the travel punishment.
The backpack has a few internal dividers and compartments to make it easy to organize your stuff, with one extra pocket on the outside top of the pack. It's definitely an organizer's best friend, and it will make it easy for you to carry everything you want/need in one bag.
eBags come with a special "Laptop Sling" designed to securely cradle laptops and keep them safe while traveling.
This is a pricey backpack, but built to last! It feels solid and durable to the touch, and you'll never have to worry about forgetting it anywhere. As long as you don't plan to do a lot of hiking or walking, this is your best choice for carry-on luggage.
Fits a week's worth of clothing, great product at an amazing price, suspension system included, comfortable to wear, well-padded shoulder straps, full-sized hip belt, adjustment straps allow for better weight distribution, front-loading design, and features handles for easy carrying.
Lime green interior on some models is an eyesore and no side pockets in the main compartment is a bit inconvenient.
This backpack is built for frequent flyers! With its 40-liter capacity, it can hold up to one week's worth of clothing, plus all the travel gadgets you want to carry. Thanks to its built-in suspension, it will be easy to carry on a walk, hike, or trek without feeling the weight in your back.
The unisex design is great for men and women, and the bag comes in two versatile sizes—sized according to torso length (taller and shorter users). It's sized just right to fit in any overhead storage bin or even under your airplane or bus seat.
This backpack is a traveler's best friend—built with durable nylon in a rugged design, and super comfortable thanks to the padded chest, shoulder, and hip straps. The straps and the six adjustors make it easy to shift the weight according to the backpack's contents. You'll never have to worry about lower back pain again with this bad boy.
The interior of the main compartment doesn't have any pockets for smaller items, but it's perfect for fitting a lot of clothes or your laptop and travel gear. The exterior comes with lots of zippered pockets and nooks and crannies for your various items.
The hip belt and harness system can be detached and stowed for a slimmer, more versatile style of pack. The ID windows make it easy for you to show your IDs without having to dig into your wallet or purse. The carry handles allow you to carry the backpack like a duffel bag, and you'll love how the zippers can be easily locked to increase the security of your backpack.
There's no denying it: this is a pricey backpack, but worth every penny if you're a frequent traveler. It's durable, super comfortable, offers great storage, and yet is slim enough to serve as a carry-on. Definitely the backpack you need!
Made with durable Oxford nylon, waterproof roll top and shell, custom-fit strap, accessible via back zip pocket, ventilated back panel, great interior organization, compatible with U-style bike locks, and never worry about your electronics getting wet.
Designed specifically for Apple; smaller than you would expect.
This backpack has a 32-liter capacity, but once you start filling it up with your important items—electronics, school books, pens, supplies, etc.—you may find it has less storage space than you might like. This is because it was built specifically for Apple products, so the laptop sleeve will be thinner than average (ideal for Apple laptops rather than regular laptops).
However, you’ll love all the internal pockets, which give you a lot of storage space for your cords, cables, pens, notebooks, and other school or work supplies.
Durability is a definite “hell yeah” with this bad boy! Not only is it built with durable Oxford nylon, but it’s covered with a waterproof coating that will keep the rain out. The shell itself is waterproof, and the roll top tucks the zipper well away so there’s no chance of any water leaking through.
However, if you need to get at your items, the back panel zipper makes it easy for you to get what you need.
The bag comes with a few nifty features: padded compartment for your laptop (Apple, specifically), tablet compartment, waterproof top flap, interior pockets for pens and pencils, front and side pockets, and an attachment for U-style bike locks.
If you cycle or commute to school or work, this is the backpack you can wear with confidence that your electronics will never get wet no matter how heavy the rain.
$100 is a good price to pay for this backpack, especially if you’ve got a lot of Apple products (iPad, Macbook, etc.). Thanks to its waterproof design, you’ll always be able to get around without worrying about your items getting wet.
Good-looking and stylish, excellent storage space, ergonomic comfort, soft back padding, large number of different-sized pockets, intelligent distribution of storage, no dangling straps or drooping pockets, and dedicated laptop and tablet compartments.
Heavier than expected, bulky, and sized for taller people.
This 17-liter backpack is slightly larger than your average laptop backpack, which is what makes it such a great choice for hauling around all the accessories, gadgets, and equipment you need to work on the go.
It’s sized for taller people (anyone above 5’ 8” will love it), so shorter wearers may find it rides a bit high on the neck and low on the back. It’s large enough to fit a 15” laptop and any iPad or tablet you want to store.
Made with durable nylon, the build quality looks as good as it feels. It’s solid, reliable, well-built, with a design that is at once ergonomic (shoulder straps and back padding for comfortable carrying) and spacious. You’ll find that all of the internal compartments are made with fabric that will last for many years of heavy carrying.
This backpack really shines in terms of storage space and organization. You get 21 different internal compartments, pockets, and spaces, with some fur-lined pockets for your tablet and smartphone and a padded pocket for your laptop.
It’s great for organizing all of your cables, cords, cameras, hard drives, and other gadgets in the many handy little pockets and spaces. Plus, you can carry pens, a water bottle, even extra changes of clothing in the highly spacious backpack.
$100 is an absolutely wonderful price to pay for this backpack! Not only will it give you everything you need for comfortable travel and work, but it’s durable, comfortable, and built for maximum convenience.
Limited lifetime warranty, excellent for organizing your items, crush-proof storage pocket for delicate items, highly innovative design, comfortable to carry, large external pockets, padded laptop compartment, good build quality
Plastic shoulder strap hooks prone to breaking, inflexible sides make the bag too large to fit beneath an airplane seat.
This bag is large enough to fit a 16-inch laptop in the padded sleeve, and you’ll find it has more than enough storage space in its front, side, back, top, bottom, and inner compartments to store your cables, cords, plugs, chargers, pens, glasses, mice and travel keyboard, and so much more.
Not only is it well sized (between 15 and 16 liters), but the internal storage compartments make it super easy to stay organized on the go.
This bag is built to last, using durable nylon that will retain its sleek, stylish appearance even after years of use.
The top handle allows you to carry the backpack like a briefcase when you want to look like a professional, and you’ll love the compartment that allows you to slide your carry-on luggage handle through the backpack flap, ensuring it will never fall off as you roll it through the airport—great for business travelers!
Aside from its excellent storage space, the bag is a business-friendly option thanks to its crush-proof compartment. You’ll be able to carry more delicate items (that fancy mouse, your work glasses, etc.) in the compartment, and they’ll be perfectly safe no matter how much the bag gets manhandled.
For those worried about comfort, this bag is built for a comfy commute. The air mesh panels in the back keep you from getting sweaty when hauling the bag around all day, and the padded ergonomic shoulder straps will bear the load for you. Plus, with one simple lock (provided with the backpack) you can lock all the compartments for maximum security!
$120 may be a bit pricey for a backpack, but when you see how professional it looks and how much space it offers, you’ll know it was worth every penny.
The TETON Sports Scout 3400 is a durable hiking and camping pack with mesh lumbar support, padded waist and shoulder straps, and strategic compartments. This backpack is best for 2-4 day adventures.
The built-in sleeping bag compartment doesn't fit all sleeping bags.
Compact and easy on your back, this internal frame backpack provides 3,400 cubic inches of storage space. It's lightweight and built for day trips, but it's comfortable thanks to the padding on the straps and the lumbar area. The wide straps will help to stabilize the backpack, and you get plenty of additional pocket and compartment space.
The torso length pack fits just about anyone - unless of course you're under 5'3" then it becomes too tall. It features adjustable shoulder and waist straps so that you can really customize the fit. The 55-liter backpack is the perfect size to carry everything that you might need on long distance treks. It sits comfortably on the waist and shoulders, and if packed right, is well balanced. This lightweight backpack weighs in at 4.5 lbs.
Every part of this backpack is extremely durable, including the pockets which are made with ripstop material. We couldn't find one person that complained about the quality. If for some reason you do happen to rip your bag, Teton will send you a new one thanks to their Lifetime Warranty.
Teton has really gone above and beyond when it comes to extra features. The side mesh pockets hold your water bottle snugly and give you easy access to snacks while the front mesh pocket and bungee storage are perfect for stashing your shoes, jacket, sunscreen or map. This backpack features zippered pockets on each side in addition to internal and external hood pockets.
You'll be able to keep a water bladder cool in the padded pocket inside of the main compartment. However, the bladder isn't included. We love that this pack also features a safety yellow rainfly that stays hidden until you need it. If it starts raining during your hike, simply pull it out to protect your pack and gear. This backpack also has gear loops to hang ski poles and a top carry-loop to make it easy for loading into the car.
For such a comfortable and quality-made backpack, you really can't beat the $70 price. Other backpacks this size cost twice as much.