6 Best Backpacks for College

6 Best Backpacks for College

6
Hours
Researched
42
Products
Evaluated

After 6 hours of research evaluating 42 products, we picked Jansport Cool Student Backpack as our top choice.

College is a busy time. The last thing you want is a backpack that's going to be uncomfortable or unable to keep up with your busy day to day activities. 

How Do You Know What's Right For You?

Studies have shown that finding a backpack that fits correctly matters. If you're in pain because you're not wearing the proper bag for your back, you're not going to be able to focus on your studies as well. You need to make sure the straps have good padding and support, and that the backpack isn't going to fall apart halfway through the school year. 

Where Should You Look?

Luckily, we've spent hours researching and testing out backpacks to compile a list of the best backpacks to get you through the school year. 

If you're looking for even more options - be sure to check out our other list of Best Backpacks here! 

6 Best Backpacks for College

  • 6. BOLANG College Backpack
  • 5. AmazonBasics Backpack
  • 4. Wowbox Laptop Canvas Backpack
  • 3. The North Face Unisex Borealis
  • 2. Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack
  • 1. Jansport Cool Student Backpack

Most Pockets

#6

BOLANG College Backpack

Most Pockets: BOLANG College Backpack
Get from Amazon
44 Bought
Durability
8.5
Storage
8.8
Value
8.7
Overall
87%
87 % Editor Score
80 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Water Resistant
  • Padded Shoulder Straps
  • Not Too Big/Bulky in Size

This BOLANG College backpack doesn't appear bulky yet will hold everything you'll need when heading to school. It is stylish and modern, yet has multiple compartments and is made with durable nylon material. 

This backpack is not entirely waterproof due to the zipper and stitching. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

8.5 / 10

This bag is made from durable nylon material that is water resistant. Please note that the entire backpack is not waterproof because of the zipper stitching - water will get through there if the bag is soaked. While it won't protect your items in a downpour, it will help protect them from light rain or if you happen to spill something on the bag (which we all know will likely happen at some point).

The bag is very durable and all of the zippers have nice rope knots attached to them to help with easy access. The nylon material makes the bag comfortable and breathable. 

Storage

8.8 / 10

This pack is lightweight yet has six different compartments to fit everything you need. The main compartment can fit a laptop up to 16", and the smaller main compartment has five additional pouches inside for your phone, wallet, etc. There are mesh pockets on both sides of the bag for your water bottle/drink of choice. 

Value

8.7 / 10

This bag comes in a vast array of colors, and at $49.68, we'd say it's an affordable price for a quality bag. 

Overall Editor Score

8.7 / 10

Most Affordable College Backpack

#5

AmazonBasics Backpack

Most Affordable College Backpack: AmazonBasics Backpack
Get from Amazon
37 Bought
Durability
8.5
Storage
8.6
Value
9.0
Overall
87%
87 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Has a lot of space

This AmazonBasics backpack is extremely lightweight and perfect for carrying all of your textbooks and gear around campus. It's the most affordable pack on our list and has multiple pockets to store all of your possessions while on the go! 

If you're looking to carry a laptop that is 17" this bag may be a tight squeeze. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

8.5 / 10

The AmazonBasic Backpack is super padded and supportive for all of your heavy textbooks or laptop. It has thick adjustable padded straps to provide extra comfort and keep the backpack in place. 

Storage

8.6 / 10

There are four major pockets in this backpack making organizing your books, papers, pens, laptops, and binders easy! There are mesh pockets on both sides of the pack for your water bottle or extra storage. The external measurements of this backpack are 15" x 7" x 19" while the internal measurements are 12" x 4.5" x 17.5" (LxWxH). 

Value

9.0 / 10

This pack is very inexpensive - the cheapest on our list. It comes with a one year warranty, which gives it extra value in our books. 

Overall Editor Score

8.7 / 10

Most Stylish College Backpack

#4

Wowbox Laptop Canvas Backpack

Most Stylish College Backpack: Wowbox Laptop Canvas Backpack
Get from Amazon
40 Bought
Durability
9.0
Storage
8.8
Value
9.0
Overall
89%
89 % Editor Score
86 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Very stylish
  • Padded laptop pouch
  • Features a lot of space

The Wowbox Laptop Canvas Backpack is a spacious, extra secure backpack that will make all the other students jealous! It comes in a few different styles and has a very rugged, fashionable look to it. 

Some users noticed minor tears in the interior stitching after several months of heavy use. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

9.0 / 10

This pack has genuine leather pull straps and zippers along with a canvas fabric for the body. The shoulder straps are extra wide to provide support and prevent fatigue when carrying a heavy pack - which we all know students often have to do! The bag is built to last and - thanks to the leather pull straps, ties, and magnetic clasps - keep your items secure. 

Storage

8.8 / 10

This bag can hold up a laptop that measures up to 15.6" - the dimensions are 9" x 15" x 16.9". It's a multi-purpose bag, so not only is it great for school but it's also fit to hold up during a hike or excursion. The interior space is massive and will hold everything you need. 

Value

9.0 / 10

At only $31.99, this is one of the cheapest bags on our list, and we think it's a steal. 

Overall Editor Score

8.9 / 10

Best Multi-Purpose Backpack

#3

The North Face Unisex Borealis

Best Multi-Purpose Backpack: The North Face Unisex Borealis
Get from Amazon
39 Bought
Durability
9.1
Storage
9.2
Value
9.1
Overall
91%
91 % Editor Score
89 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Comfortable to carry
  • Lots of space
  • Multi-purpose backpack

This North Face Pack is an excellent multi-use backpack that can carry heavy loads and has plenty of space. The straps are wide and ultra-cushioned to provide ultimate comfort. 

This bag is big and therefore a little bulky and on the heavier side when it comes to backpacks. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

9.1 / 10

What's great about North Face is that they brand themselves on their durability. Their items are meant to last for a long time and through all different kinds of wear and weather. Made from Nylon, Ballistic Nylon, and Polyester; this bag helps make carrying heavy items more comfortable. You can purchase a 3 or 4-year protection plan for this bag, so you know you're in good hands. 

If that isn't enough, the American Chiropractic Association endorses this bag - so your back will thank you, too!

Storage

9.2 / 10

This pack is pretty big with dimensions at 19.7 x 8.7 x 13.6 inches and at a weight of 2.2lbs. It's incredibly spacious and comes with a large main compartment, a laptop sleeve (15"), a front stash pocket with bungee cord for extra storage, and two mesh-side water bottle pockets. 

Value

9.1 / 10

This bag is $88.95, which may seem on the pricier side when looking for a school backpack. The great thing about this backpack is that it's multi-purpose - perfect for hikes, traveling, camping trips, etc. - and it is built to last for a long time. 

Overall Editor Score

9.1 / 10

Best Weather Resistant Backpack

#2

Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack

Best Weather Resistant Backpack: Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack
Get from Amazon
40 Bought
Durability
9.5
Storage
9.3
Value
9.4
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
93 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Water-resistant
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Good back support 

This Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack is tough and won't wear easily. If you're looking for an extremely durable backpack to last you through those college years - look no further. 

There is no small pocket inside this bag to hold valuables like your phone or wallet. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

9.5 / 10

This bag is made from 100% polyester and comes with adjustable, padded, HeatGear shoulder straps to provide ultra support and comfort. The Under Armour storm technology gives this bag an element-battling, highly water-resistant finish. 

The Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack is made, literally, to get you through the toughest days. 

Storage

9.3 / 10

This pack measures 19" x 13" x 10" and has a padded laptop sleeve (15" or smaller), water-resistant front pocket, and two mesh side pockets. The space inside this bag is quite generous and is perfect for textbooks, clothes, shoes, laptops, pens, and notebooks. 

Value

9.4 / 10

If you are someone who is tired of wearing through their backpacks then this is for you. This bag is also on sale right now for $58.21 - a great deal for a quality pack. 

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10

Best Overall College Backpack

#1

Jansport Cool Student Backpack

Best Overall College Backpack: Jansport Cool Student Backpack
Get from Amazon
51 Bought
Durability
9.8
Storage
9.7
Value
9.8
Overall
98%
98 % Editor Score
96 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Classic style
  • Comfortable
  • Space for everything you need

Started in 1967, JanSport is one of the original classic backpack brands. This backpack is durable and stylish - it's perfect for everyday school use. It has a sleeve for your laptop, and multiple compartments to fit all of your books and gear!

A few users expressed issues with the zipper design. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

9.8 / 10

With a synthetic leather base and trim, along with 600 Denier Polyester material, this bag is going to get you through the school years. These bags last for years (as long as you take care of them!) and are the classic go-to backpack. JanSport is incredibly durable and comes with a lifetime guarantee. 

Storage

9.7 / 10

This bag is compact yet holds a lot with dimensions of 17.5" x 13" x 10". This Jansport is just like the original model, except with more space. Weighing in at only 1.5lbs, it has three front zipper pockets, a 15" laptop sleeve, two large main compartments, and a water bottle pouch - what more do you need? This backpack is specifically made for students, it has a large capacity yet doesn't take up too much space - and it really does look cool! 

Value

9.8 / 10

The Jansport Brand is known for its reliability and comes with a lifetime guarantee. This bag is available in a multitude of colors and designs and is priced at $53.68. You're paying for a quality backpack that is going to last you or your child for a long time. 

Overall Editor Score

9.8 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 6 Best Backpacks for College

6 Best Backpacks for CollegeDurabilityStorageValueOverall
Jansport Cool Student Backpack Thumbnail
Best Overall College Backpack
#1Jansport Cool Student Backpack
9.8
9.7
9.8
98
Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack Thumbnail
Best Weather Resistant Backpack
#2Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack
9.5
9.3
9.4
94
The North Face Unisex Borealis Thumbnail
Best Multi-Purpose Backpack
#3The North Face Unisex Borealis
9.1
9.2
9.1
91
Wowbox Laptop Canvas Backpack Thumbnail
Most Stylish College Backpack
#4Wowbox Laptop Canvas Backpack
9.0
8.8
9.0
89
AmazonBasics Backpack Thumbnail
Most Affordable College Backpack
#5AmazonBasics Backpack
8.5
8.6
9.0
87
BOLANG College Backpack Thumbnail
Most Pockets
#6BOLANG College Backpack
8.5
8.8
8.7
87

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6 Best Backpacks for College
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Article Staff

Erika has a passion for writing. She is an avid traveler who loves a good road trip. Iced coffee is what keeps her going throughout the busy days in New York, New York. Currently, Erika writes for several blogs and companies specializing in travel, mental health, nature, and current news/politics.  

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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6 Best Backpacks for College

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— Erika Erika Wester

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