Best Backpacks For High School & College | November 2018
If you’re a high school or college student, having a backpack that would cater to all your educational needs is of utmost importance. Generally, a good backpack should be tough enough to carry heavy books, and also be easy and comfortable to carry about, to, from and between classes. Whichever way you like your backpack, there’s a perfect fit out there for you. The Inquirer team has taken a closer look at these backpacks and chosen the best out of the wide variations that are available. We have selected backpacks that are tailored to meet certain needs, such as carrying a laptop about, or avoiding theft. The buying guide that follows would help you make an informed decision on which backpack to go with. In this buying guide, you would get an in-depth analysis of every backpack, and this would ease your decision-making process.
A key point to consider while deciding on which backpack suits your needs is the size. Obviously, the bigger the backpack, the more it will contain, so the size of the backpack is solely dependent on your intended purpose. You need to answer a few questions; how many books do you need to carry every day? Would you like to carry your laptop or other forms of electronic devices in this same backpack? Several backpacks have devoted spaces to keep the bag’s fitting even after it carries so much. Also, this helps in keeping things organized in the bag. An exterior pocket is a plus, and it also very important for keeping very little items without losing them.
The straps of a backpack should provide some level of comfort. These straps should be able to do the jobs of providing easy carriage by uniformly distributing the weight of the bag on the body. When selecting a backpack, be sure to check for padded and broad straps to lower the number of pressure points. Also, make sure the length of the straps can be easily modified, to make the backpack well-fitted.
If you would need to buy another backpack next semester after buying what you are currently looking at, then it’s not good enough. In normal conditions, a good backpack should be able to serve you for some years. When making your selection, pay attention to the materials that are used in the production of the bag, and look out for the ones that are made out of tough materials, they usually last longer. Several backpacks are produced with a form of protection beneath the bag, to keep the area that is exposed to the environment in one piece. Also, ensure that the straps are firmly attached to the bag. Another key point is the zippers, make sure the zippers are durable. Usually, metal zippers are more durable as compared to plastic ones. Lastly, go over the wash instructions and confirm the washing methods that are allowed, because there is a need to wash your bag every once in a while.
Generally, a normal backpack can be sold for at least $15. Backpacks that are produced for low-budget sales are usually not as durable as their expensive counterparts, but also don’t have enough space as others. Also, the bag may be produced without a lining. Although they may be a partitioned space for a laptop, but it would lack enough cushion. Backpacks with higher durability and better features including well-cushioned laptop sections and charging ports, would cost at least $50 or more.
FULL PRODUCT REVIEWS
We carried out a detailed study on countless products before arriving at the final, and impartial list of the very best. We considered the aspects of quality, value and how reputable the brand is.
- 2K PRODUCTS CONSIDERED
- 97K RATINGS ANALYZED
- 31 RESEARCH HOURS
BEST OVERALL: TOP PICK
Herschel Supply Co Pop Quiz Backpack
This backpack is a perfect mix of a brilliant design and high-quality materials, and for that reason, the Herschel Supply Co Pop Quiz Backpack is number one on our list. The 22L backpack has enough space to accommodate books and has a devoted and well-cushioned section for a laptop. It also contains several other pockets for other items. With the aid of the striped lining, it becomes incredibly easy to find what you put in the bag.
Why We Recommend It
- Its ability to contain many items. The 22L bag has room for a lot of items and also has a space for laptops.
- It contains a devoted and well-cushioned section for laptops which can hold laptops of up to 15 inches.
- High-end quality. The Herschel brand is significant for its production of quality and durable bags, and this one is not left out. It is made out of tough, but great looking polyester fabric and strong metal zips.
- Covered with a lifetime warranty.
- A devoted section for sunglasses. An extra and well-cushioned space provides room for users to keep fragile items.
- Striped lining. Users appreciate the ease of access the light colored lining offers in finding items that were put in the bag.
- Comfortable to wear. The straps uniformly distribute the weight of the bag and because of the design, the shoulders do not take all the pressure.
- No room for water bottle.
BEST OVERALL: RUNNER UP
JanSport Right Pack Backpack
The JanSport Right Pack Backpack places second on our list. This bag is quite similar to our number one pick. It is highly durable, has enough room, an amazing look, and the straps are just as comfortable as the first. At times, the zippers get stuck, and for this reason, it is not number one. But other than that, it is a great option for students.
Why We Recommend It
- Very durable. Regardless of how great it looks, the bag is built to last. In addition to its amazingly tough leather bottom, and solid zippers that would last for several years, the bag is covered with a lifetime warranty.
- Lightweight. According to users, without any content, the bag’s weight is insubstantial more or less.
- Very spacious. The interior part of the bag can house a lot of books. The bag also provides a compartment that can carry a 15-inch laptop.
- Great look. This backpack is produced in a wide range of colors to meet the requirements of different categories of people, and all come with a fine leather detailing.
- Comfortable straps. The JanSport backpack features well-cushioned adjustable straps.
- No pocket for water bottle. This is similar to our number one pick, this bag lacks a pocket for water bottle.
- Zippers get stuck on the inner lining at times. Reviewers also mentioned that from time to time, the zippers snag.
BEST VALUE: TOP PICK
AmazonBasics Classic Backpack
The AmazonBasics Classic Backpack is truly classic as the name suggests, and is a great option for any student, whether high school or college. The design of this backpack is pretty straightforward and classy without any unnecessary extras, and for this reason, the backpack is highly spacious and highly durable for the price which it sells for. The concept provides two external pockets on the sides to store snacks or other beverages. The water-proof fabric prevents the content of the bag to be affected by external liquids.
Why We Recommend It
- Cost-effective. Reviewers think that the bag is impressive, keeping the quality features that are available for a low price.
- Highly spacious. The backpack provides vast interior space that can comfortably accommodate several books and a laptop.
- Firm straps. Reviewers praised the Amazon Basics Classic Backpack for firmly attached straps that don’t budge even if the bag is filled up.
- Super lightweight. While empty, the bag’s weight is very light, reviewers said.
- Side pockets for water bottle. The backpack features two small external pockets that provide enough room for water bottles.
- Water-proof. Reviewers are thankful for the water-proof nature of the fabric that is used. For this reason, the content of the bag remains dry in an event of an accidental spill or rain.
- Straps are too tight and not-so-comfortable. According to reviewers, the backpack records a flaw in the aspect of uniformly distributing weight owed to the slightly thin nature of the straps.
BEST VALUE: RUNNER UP
Our runner-up for an exquisite but low-priced backpack is the Mancro Backpack. This bag has a lot of amazing features but is still affordable for people on a budget. This backpack offers a lot of space for several items and also provides a devoted section for laptop. Also, it contains many pockets that can hold other items. The Mancro bag is designed for efficiency, and with the water-proof covering, items in the bag are not affected in an event of rain or an accidental spill. In addition to all this beauty, is the stylish design of the straps. This backpack is definitely one to consider if you’re looking to get a good deal for a low budget.
Why We Recommend It
- Featherweight. According to reviewers, the bag is very light.
- Ability to carry a lot. This backpack features three main pockets and also contains a lot of room inside, and small sections to store small items. In addition, the bag contains external pockets on both sides. The laptop compartment can hold a 17-inch laptop.
- Water proof. According to reviewers, the bag is able to resist little rain and spills and doesn’t allow an easy passage of water.
- According to reviewers, the bag remains comfortable even after it is loaded with several items, and owed to the curved design of the shoulder straps, weight is uniformly distributed across both shoulders.
- USB port on the go. The backpack provides a USB port which can be used in connection with a battery to charge mobile devices and other accessories while you move. The bag does not come with a battery, so this must be gotten separately.
- Nice design. The design offer a variety of colors. With a covering made out of high quality nylon, and sturdy zippers made out of metals.
- Affordable price. With all these outstanding features that the bag offers, it is very affordable and low-priced.
- Bottom protection is absent. The absence of an extra cushion or lining makes the bag exposed to easy wear and tear from under. It is advised that users drop their bags with care particularly when they have a laptop in it.
- No special battery compartment. Given, the USB and charging ability are exceptional, but the bag does not provide a devoted section where the battery can be placed.
BEST LAPTOP BACKPACK
A major perk laptop backpacks are that they provide a well-padded section specially designed for laptops and other electronics. A lot of them have spaces that can hold a standard laptop of 15 inches, and the sleeves that contain the valuable electronic devices usually feature some kind of padding. Many backpacks that are produced with students as their primary target have sections for laptop, but specially designed laptop bags have room for several other components and offers more protection to your personal computer.
OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack
From the look, to the features and comfort, the OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack was inspired by something extraordinary. If you’re looking to get a bag that would avail you of enough room for your laptop, as well as other components that you may need to carry about, then this backpack is the right one for you. In an exquisite design, that offers full protection for its content, it has room for a laptop, tablet, and any other accessory. Also, amongst its numerous exclusive features, is a crushproof section to store fragile materials. This is a great option for students that need laptops for their studies.
Why We Recommend It
- Highly spacious and features special compartments for many accessories. This backpack contains many sections that can hold several laptop accessories. As a plus, there is a well-cushioned pocket specially made for tablets or e-readers.
- Can accommodate bigger laptops. A lot of laptop bags out there can carry no more than a 15-inch laptop, but this backpack can accommodate up to 17-icnhes (casing inclusive)
- Protective design. The bag is designed with a unique reactive suspension system that absorbs shock in an event of falling. The interior sections are also well-cushioned to keep its content protected at all times.
- Comfortable to wear. According to reviewers, the adjustable and well-cushioned straps makes it incredibly easy to move with very heavy items.
- Sturdy construction. The backpack is designed with high-quality materials to last. Ultimately, the exterior is constructed using a rip proof material to ensure durability.
- Features a crush proof pocket. This is possibly the biggest addition to an already amazing design. The crush proof pocket provides storage for fragile items, for instance; sunglasses.
- Heavy. Considering how much load this bag contains, it is heavier than usual. You should have this in mind when making the purchase.
BEST WATERPROOF BACKPACK
This is most useful to students that walk or ride to school. These waterproof bags ensures that your books, electronics and other items in your bag are not destroyed. Another group of students that would find this useful are ones that are interested in weekend outdoor activities such as hiking.
Hikpro Packable Backpack
The Hikpro Packable Backpack is a great option for students that are looking to get a back that can be used as a school bag and also a bag for outdoor adventures. This bag is reasonably priced, and manufactured with highly resistant materials which can be folded easily. The entire bag is
waterproof, and you don’t need to worry about losing any item.
Why We Recommend It
- Affordable. According to reviewers, the bag is reasonably priced.
- Highly durable. Made out of abrasion resistant nylon material, the bag is built to last. The tough nature of the production materials does not allow it tear apart easily as compared to others. Additionally, very firm metal zippers are used for the lock.
- Collapsible. Owed to the design and nature of materials used in the production of this bag, it can be folded into a very small piece when it need to be transported.
- Complete waterproofing. According to reviewers, the waterproofing is impressive for a budget bag, because it covers the entire bag and protects it against water and other liquids.
- Spacious. The Hikpro Packable Backpack has the ability to carry content of 20L. Also, it contains a lot of other sections to ease organization. The backpack features three main sections, two handy pockets for water bottles which are externally placed.
- Comfortable to wear. The production materials promotes high breathability, also, the straps design equals the amount of load that is expected in the bag, so it can be carried easily.
- The waterproofing gives way in an event of heavy rainfall. Several users have complained that water got in during heavy rainfall.
- Straps needs to be readjusted every once in a while. The straps needs readjustment every once in a while to avoid bouncing.
BEST ANTI-THEFT BACKPACK
Anti-theft backpacks are especially useful to students that reside in crowded cities, or use a public means of transport. This backpack makes it difficult for pickpockets to operate without notice, because of the positioning of the pockets and zippers, which are difficult to use without notice.
Oscaurt Anti-Theft Backpack
The Oscaurt Anti-theft Backpack is a great option for students who are tired of losing their items to pickpockets, or just feel the need for that extra security in their bags. Firstly, the zippers are placed out of sight, and also very difficult to unzip because they are situated in between fabrics. In addition to this, the Oscaurt Anti-Theft Backpack features USB charging port which is placed inside the bag and out of the sight of thieves for safety.
Why We Recommend It
- Easy access. According to reviewers, the end to end zippers allow the bags to open very wide, which makes it incredibly easy to get something inside or out of it.
- Convenient charging. With this backpack, electronics and accessories can be charged securely inside the bag.
- Hidden zipper protects valuables. The bag is made to provide that extra security that its users desire, and because of this, the design uses tough zippers for the main compartment and smaller pocket. These zippers are placed in positions that cannot be easily deciphered by thieves.
- Sleek, modern look. Reviewers love the overall design of the bag.
- Top-quality materials. The exterior covering is made of EVA materials, to keep the contents of the bag safe. The bag shape does not get distorted over time. Also, the exterior is graced with reflective strips for visibility.
- Considerably small. The bag’s 12L capacity is considerably small as compared to the other backpacks in this category.
- Not entirely waterproof. Several reviewers have reported that some parts of the bag gives way to water, which is utterly discouraging.
BEST SPORT STYLE BACKPACK
These types of backpacks are made with a much more casual design. This type of bag is especially important to students that hit the gym or perform other sporting activities. Many sports-specific backpacks have a compartment that is devoted for items awaiting laundry, including sweaty and wet clothing.
Under Armour Storm Hustle II Backpack
This backpack is a great option for easy transition from study to sports sessions. The Under Armour Storm Hustle II Backpack can carry a laptop, books and a devoted compartment for sweaty clothing awaiting laundry. The HeatGear straps makes the bag as comfortable as an old shoe, and with the sizeable interior, it is incredibly easy to arrange your school-related items as well as your workout gear.
Why We Recommend It
- Sizeable. The bag has a super spacious interior, which can effortlessly contain books, and also features a soft lined opening to accommodate a 15-inch laptop.
- Lightweight. According to reviewers, the bag can be easily transported due to the nature of the materials that is used in the construction.
- Very durable. The bag is made out of very tough polyester and nylon is used below the bag to make it wear-resistant.
- Lots of pockets. The bag contains eight pockets in total: three on the inside and five outside, including external pockets on both sides to carry water bottles.
- Comfortable to wear. The HeatGear technology that is used in the construction of the straps makes it breathable. This is very useful on humid days or when the bag is stuffed with a lot of items.
- Easy to clean. According to reviewers, the bag permits machine wash, which makes it very easy to clean. In a few minutes, the bag goes back to its original nature.
- Waterproof. A UA Storm Tech exterior makes the bag water resistant.
- Front laundry pocket. The bag features a storage area which keeps sweaty and wet gym clothes away from the other items in the bag.
- Goes out of shape after packing. Several reviewers have reported that the bag shape is too flexible and unable to hold its shape once items are packed in it.
BEST VINTAGE STYLE BACKPACK
This vintage style bags are perfectly styled to impress more than the traditional backpacks. These high-end bags are detailed to have a classy and superior look for both school and recreational activities.
BLUBOON Vintage Backpack
The BLUBOON Vintage Backpack is designed to stand out from traditional bags. These vintage bags pay attention to details and how the bags look. The BLUBOON Vintage Backpack is constructed with attractive yet durable materials. Additionally, the spacious interior provides room for a laptop and books, which are carried with adjustable straps.
Why We Recommend It
- Affordability. The bag is reasonably priced, and is available in multiple color options.
- Eye-catching vintage look. A lot was invested in the leather and canvas construction to give it a great overall look and unique drawstring closure.
- Highly durable. Reviewers find the leather construction very durable. Also, the zippers are sturdy and of high-quality. The straps are very firm, and is very comfortable when the bag is stuffed with items.
- Adjustable straps. The bag features lengthy straps, which makes it easy for students of sizes and shapes to fit in.
- Very spacious. The bag has a capacity of 22.6L, which contains several pockets on the inside as well as front zip pockets. The highly spacious interior drawstring partition contains a laptop sleeve that can hold a laptop of up to 15 inches.
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