Best Backpacks for College to Keep Your School Stuff Intact in the Go

The world owes Dick Keltey credit for inventing the first modern backpack in the mid-1900’s to carry his camping gear. Although backpacks have witnessed tremendous evolution since then, they still remain important organizational tools.  This is especially true for college students who have to carry learning and recreational items almost on a daily basis. As such, the importance of a college backpack in accommodating a student’s daily needs cannot be emphasized enough. Some of the daily items a student requires to carry around from class to class may include; notepads, pens, textbooks, gym gear, laptop, snacks, tablets, lunch, among others.

A student’s needs may change over the course of college life and, therefore, an all-round bag that is versatile is worth considering. A backpack used for a specific purpose only may run its course sooner than expected rendering it irrelevant, and a waste of resources.

Although the requirements of students may vary, the market is saturated with all types of college backpacks to cater for every need. Based on this, it can get confusing considering the countless options available.

To narrow down the options, here are some of the best college backpacks that can become your dependable companion through your educational exploits.

Top 10 Backpacks for College of 2020 Reviewed


1. Matein Mlassic Laptop Backpack with USB Port

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2. SWISSGEAR Travel Gear 1900

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3. Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack

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4. High Sierra Loop Backpack

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5. Yorepek Large Travel Backpack for Men

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6. Matein Slim Anti-theft Backpack

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7. Yorepek Extra-Large Backpack

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8. Timbuk2 Parkside Laptop Bag

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9. Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack

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10. KOPACK Slim Laptop Backpack

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How to Choose the Best Backpack for College – Buying Guide

Buying a backpack is not just about going online and clicking on whatever comes your way. You ought to understand what will work best for your situation. Comfort, size, price, durability, weight, design and availability of space are some of the most important issues to consider when shopping for a college backpack. Like with any other product on the market, a quality and stylish backpack does not necessarily have to be expensive. You can still get good, but affordable deals that match your budget. To get here, you may need to ask a few questions?

How reliable is your backpack?

A backpack’s reliability is another important issue worth your attention when shopping. This is a bag that will see you through all the years of college, and still be usable after graduation. A quality backpack should have the capacity to evenly spread out the weight of your load across your back and shoulders. There can be serious health implications if this is not achieved such as severe back, neck and shoulder pains; in addition to headaches caused by straining at the end of the day. To further guard against such a scenario, a backpack with additional hip straps will ease your burden considerably.

To identify the right backpack for your needs, the first step is to establish the items you need to carry around each day. Only then, can you correctly determine the size of the backpack you will require.  A lightweight backpack is crucial to avoid a situation where the load will weigh you down. The distance you will cover either in between classes, or to and from college is also worth considering; the lighter the load, the less strenuous it will be for you.

Does your height matter?

An individual’s height is also matters when shopping for a backpack. Tall people require backpacks that are designed with some extra length, while the opposite works for shorter individuals. The bag should not just fit the items you plan on carrying, but it should fit you comfortably as well. It is also worth noting, that there are bags designed for both men and women. Men’s backpacks tend to be slightly larger compared to women’s. This is to accommodate the petite body frames of the ladies.

Some bags come packed with extra features, which can be an added bonus. For example, you can get a bag with wheels if you need to haul heavy items every day. Or you can get a bag fitted with a solar panel which charges your electronic devices while on the move. The possibilities are endless.

With that in mind, here are the main features that you should look out for;

Backpack Features to Consider

1. Consider Durability

The durability of a backpack depends on a few things. The most important is the material used to construct the bag. Secondly, the way the stitching is done and how firmly embedded it is to the main bag. Look out for bags that have heavier cloths attached to the straps and at the bottom of the backpack. These are the areas that bear the brunt of the backpack’s load. This also means they usually wear out first due to friction, abrasion and the weight of the load. That is the reason they should be reinforced using a tough and heavier material.

Choose a bag that will protect your college items from the harsh elements of weather, like waterproof backpacks that are designed with a flap that covers the zippers. In case you are caught out by a downpour, rainwater will not leak into the backpack and cause damage to your items.

2. Material used matters

The secret of identifying the sturdiness of a backpack’s fabric by sight is to observe the density of how the material has been woven together. If the weave forms a thick layer, then the bag is most probably made using durable material. On the other hand, if the fabric forms a thin layer, then the bag will wear out within no time.

There are different types materials used to construct college backpacks. Some of the fabrics include; canvas, cotton, leather, nylon and polyester among others. Leather, cotton and canvas are considered heavy-duty material and bags made from these fabrics can withstand a lot of abuse. These backpacks also cost more compared to those made from synthetic fabric, and also tend to be heavier.

Nylon and polyester backpacks are the most common. They are light in weight, and can be treated to be waterproof. There are tougher and heavier nylon versions such as Ballistic and Cordura that offer the sturdiness similar in non-synthetic materials; but bags made from the above-mentioned fabrics also tend to be pricey.

If you are on a tight budget, then polyester is the best option. Compared to nylon, it is cheaper but slightly less durable.

3. Straps and padding for comfort

A quality college backpack should be designed with extra-wide and padded straps. This feature comes in handy in easing the backpack’s burden. It provides much needed relief to your back, shoulders and neck.  Additionally, it makes heavy loads feel much lighter. This is because wide and well padded straps distribute the weight of the backpack’s load evenly across your back, neck and shoulders ensuring comfort.

For students who carry extraordinary weight, it is advisable to invest in a backpack that is designed with additional sternum or waist straps. The straps improve balance and provide a wider surface area for the equal distribution of the backpack’s heavy load.

Straps should also be adjustable and a perfect fit. A backpack with a grab handle at the top is a plus, as it is a convenient aid when loading and offloading your backpack.

4. Compartments and pockets for easy organization

The number of pockets and compartments, how and where they are strategically placed, can make or break a college backpack.  Pockets and compartments are important as they ensure your college items are well organized, and easy to locate.

According to the various items that you plan to carry to and from class, make sure there is a place for everything. For example if you carry a laptop, you should purchase a backpack that is designed with a padded compartment for that specific purpose. Most college backpacks specify the exact size of the laptop they are designed for, and some may also come with a slot for the charger.

Pens, notepads, textbooks, sunglasses, gym gear, snacks and drinking water should all have their own pockets and compartments as well. Water bottles should preferably have an external compartment so that they do not damage other items in the event of a leak.

Consider backpacks with double zippers. They provide ease of access to your bag, enhanced security and adequate back up in case one of the zippers goes out of commission.

5. Why you need reflective material

In case you cycle to college, it is advisable to purchase a backpack that has reflective material so that you can be visible on the road, especially at night. If your preferred backpack does not come with reflectors, you can always buy a few reflective strips separately, and attach them on the rear side of your backpack.

6. Look out for the Extras

In order to keep up with current fashion trends and technological advances, college backpack manufacturers have become very innovative. The main objective is to ensure the backpacks they churn out attract attention and outdo the competition. This has resulted in college backpacks designed with various extras that range from techno savvy features to extra comfort and convenient additions.

For example, some backpacks are fitted with a raised and extra-padded laptop compartment to cushion the device from shock in case the backpack drops. Others are designed with breathable mesh material for students who reside in hot areas.  Some backpacks can also have a provision for fitting portable solar panels. This ensures that your electronic devices never run out of charge, while others come with portable phone chargers and USB ports.

7. Does the backpack come with warranty?

When shopping for a college backpack, ensure you settle for one that comes with a warranty either on workmanship, shipping, factory and general defects. Some backpacks come with a lifetime warranty. These are the best backpacks to purchase as the buyer is guaranteed of the quality of the product.

Final verdict

We may not promise that you will get a backpack that will last a lifetime. However, to guarantee quality and durability, always go for a backpack brand that is tried and tested. You will also find that the well-known brands offer a wider variety of product choices to suit every style, need, taste and budget bracket.

Make comfort your top priority. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 5,000 students annually seek medical treatment for serious backpack related injuries. Minor injuries account for over 14,000 students. Never compromise on safety and always purchase a backpack with well padded straps to avoid becoming a statistic.

For a college student, a backpack can symbolize and serve as a fashion statement or a reflection of their personality. Do not be afraid to experiment, and have fun while you are at it. With the numerous college backpack options currently on the market, there is a specific one that mirrors who you are.

Written by Adrian Dimakis

Adrian Dimakis loves writing about everything tech, gadgets, travel and leisure as a full time editor at LearningRegistry. Adrian graduated from UCLA with a degree in journalism and marketing, and his work has appeared in publications including USAToday and The Boston Globe. When he's not testing gadgets and accessories, checking different online services, you can find him planning his next trip on a big paper world atlas with lots of pins. Adrian is also an avid consumer with an oddly deep love for finding amazing deals on amazing products.

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