Where there is a student, there is sure to be a backpack strapped to their back. Whether they’re on the way to the gym to sweat out some curls (or whatever gym people do) or going to the library to research their college major (much more my speed), they’ll be packing their stuff into a backpack. You do have to think about a couple of things as a student looking to get a backpack, however. Will it fit all your stuff? Is there a protective laptop sleeve, so your laptop is safe? Is there room in there for a bottle of vod… water? We’ve gathered together all the best backpacks out there and popped them in here for you to choose your favorite.
The best backpacks for students
Mancro Laptop Backpack for Travel
Best anti-theft pack
The outside of the Mancro backpack is a durable, water-resistant polyester, so books and gear never suffer when it’s raining or snowing. The padded over-the-shoulder straps are comfortable and adjustable, and this pack comes with a bit of extra security to boot. You’ll get a USB charging port to keep your phone topped off, and a hidden anti-theft pocket for money and devices sits just behind your lower back. This rucksack is large enough to hold a 15.6-inch laptop, a tablet, plus lots of books.
High Sierra Loop Backpack
So many colors
This nice-sized backpack will hold all of the books, papers, and tech you need for class. The compression straps and suspension system make carrying a heavy load more comfortable. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have a padded laptop section, so you’ll probably want a good MacBook sleeve to carry your precious computer around.
AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack
Best for big laptops
If you carry a larger laptop, such as the 16-inch MacBook Pro, you’re going to love the roomy rucksack from Amazon Basics. This large, multi-compartment pack has a padded sleeve for your laptop, mesh water bottle side pockets, plus organization compartments for pens, keys, and phones. This is a big pack that evenly distributes the weight of heavy books and electronics, and doesn’t cause shoulder or back pain. The shoulder harnesses are padded, and it comes with a cushioned carry handle at the top.
JanSport Big Student Backpack
Best classic pack
JanSport has been making packs in the U.S. since the 1960s, and its outdoor gear is well-known and loved for its durability and longevity. The Big Student pack from JanSport features a dedicated 15-inch padded laptop compartment, a front utility pocket, an organizer, a pleated front stash pocket, and a fully padded back panel. Grab this iconic pack in one of many colors and patterns, and it’ll hold up to years of school and personal use.
Under Armour Adult Hustle 5.0
From class to the gym
The Adult Hustle Backpack 5.0 from Under Armour is sport and school-ready, flashy yet functional. With a tagless design and UA Storm technology, the Hustle 5.0 rests happily on your back and battles the elements with a water-resistant finish. Two large main compartments give you space for essentials like books, gym clothes, laptops, tablets, and phones. Grab this backpack from Under Armour in one of 36 colors and head back to class in style.
YOREPEK Slim Anti Theft Laptop Backpack
A slim option
The YOREPEK Slim Anti Theft Laptop Backpack makes an excellent book bag that never weighs you down. Slender in style, the YOREPEK is plenty big enough to hold a 15.6-inch laptop, plus books, tablets, phones, and other items. Dual metal zippers are reinforced with Flexible Lock to keep wallets and other valuables safe. This pack also features USB and headphone ports to store your tech safely in your bag while listening to music or charging up devices.
High Sierra Swerve Laptop Backpack
Adjustable compression straps
Stuff this High Sierra Swerve Laptop Backpack as full as you need to and use the side compression straps to cinch the pack, shrinking your overall load. The large, multi-compartment design provides an abundance of space for pens, tablets, keys, and phones. There’s also a dedicated computer sleeve tucked inside to keep your tech wrapped in an armor of protection. The High Sierra is made of ballistic nylon fabric that will outlive your college or high school career.
If you fly the friendly skies between home and college, don’t pass up the SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart backpack. Made of weather-resistant 1200D ballistic polyester, this bag can withstand heavy use and harsh weather. It also makes travel a breeze. The lay-flat technology lets you fly through airport TSA scans. The inside is organized and spacious, and this big bag has no trouble fitting a 17-inch laptop, plus notebooks and other essentials.
The rugged backpack
The North Face Jester is about as sturdy as they come. Built for the wild, the Jester has enough space for all your school essentials, all bundled up in a waterproof material. The inner 15.4-inch laptop sleeve is padded, and there’s even an extra tablet sleeve for additional tech storage. If you want a bag that’ll outlast your college career, this is it.
Champion Manuscript Backpack
Solid and simple
A plain and simple backpack that’ll hold everything you could need to take with you. The straps are adjustable, and there’s an extra pocket on the front for smaller items. It’s nothing fancy, but it will get the job done.
For the outdoors
While it may be designed for hiking, it’ll be perfect for lugging your laptop and books to school too. It’s got a breathable mesh back to make it more comfortable to wear, and it’s water resistant to keep all your stuff dry should the heavens open.
Dickies Signature Backpack
It’s a timeless classic schoolbag: the brown diamond, the leather-like bottom panel. Everyone has, at some point, seen some version of this bag, but this is the original. There’s space for a 15.6-inch notebook too, so you’ll be able to carry all your stuff.
Our top three picks for this year
Our favorite backpack is the Mancro Laptop Backpack for Travel. It’s got a slot for just about everything, like a built-in laptop sleeve, a phone pocket, and even an anti-theft pocket for your valuables. There’s even a bigger option for bigger laptops, and its relatively low price makes it a very solid option for anyone.
If you want something slimmer, the YOREPEK slim computer backpack is a compact option that also has enough space for all your gear. There’s even a little USB port on the side that you can hook your portable battery up to, and then use to charge your phone or headphones.
And if you’re a frequent flier, you’re going to love the SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart. It’s big enough to hold a 17-inch laptop, clothing, and all your gear, plus it’s TSA-friendly.