grey mancro backpack on a white background

The 10 Best Backpacks For College Students – a SPY Guide

Picking the right bag for college is an important choice. Of course you want to look trendy, but you’re also going to be using the bag for a year and possibly beyond, depending on how well you get on with it. Therefore, it’s important the backpack you choose checks all the right boxes. You need the bag to carry your laptop, books and other daily essentials. You also need it to stay comfortable on your back throughout the day. 

If you’re not quite sure what you want or need in your bag, it’s definitely worth checking out this guide ensuring sure you pick the right backpack. Deciding between looks and function as well as comfort and capacity are all important aspects that need to be considered before you commit your cash. 

Here is our list of the ten best backpacks for college students. The reason we don’t refer to this list as “the best backpacks for college” is because different students require different things. While none of the bags on our list are as technologically advanced as to have a fingerprint scanner locking system, they are tried and tested and loved by people who have used them.

Check out all ten and decide which option is best for your upcoming college experience.

1. Mancro Laptop Backpack


Surely 4000+ people can’t be wrong? The Mancro Laptop Backpack has an impressive number of five-star reviews and sports a simple yet stylish design, which provides a versatility few other bags can achieve. There’s a wealth of pockets for comfortable storage of everything from your smartphone and laptop (up to 15.6 inches) to a bottle, an umbrella and your lunch. The smart bag also sports an easy-to-carry handle on top and a padlock for security plus a built-in USB port for easy charging on the go.

Image courtesy of Amazon


2. Modoker Canvas Leather Laptop Backpack


With its combination of style and convenience, the Modoker Canvas Leather Laptop Backpack is a solid option for college students. It’s available in either brown or grey. Both color options boast premium durable canvas and leather trim, creating a bag capable of dealing with the rigors of daily use. You’ll also find the backpack features a built-in USB port for easy external charging of your devices. The central pocket has enough space for your books and laptop, and there’s a side pocket with an elastic lining for keeping a water bottle. As an added bonus, the shoulder straps are made from breathable materials to ensure a comfortable ride throughout the day. The straps also sport a glasses hook and a card holder.

brown modoker backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Amazon


3. Nike SB Courthouse Backpack


If your an athlete or athletic type of guy, it’s good to have a backpack that matches your outlook. The Nike SB Courthouse Backpack delivers a sporty style and is constructed from a tough, water-resistant fabric. The bag boasts adjustable, hook-and-loop skateboard straps on the rear as well as a top handle for a choice of carrying methods. Inside, there’s a laptop sleeve as well as an interior mesh pocket for your valuable items.

black nike backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Nordstrom


4. JanSport Right Pack


The JanSport Right Pack is the right choice for you if you are after a classic college backpack. It’s available in a range of colors and features one main compartment as well as a front accessory pocket. The bottom of the backpack is reinforced with suede leather for durability and style. Furthermore, the bag’s straps are padded for comfort, and there’s a top-mounted carry handle for alternative carrying options.

blue jansport backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Zappos


5. The Friendly Swede Waterproof Backpack


If your college is located somewhere more prone to rain than shine, it’s worth investing in the Friendly Swede Waterproof Backpack. It might not be the most stylish backpack on the list, but its minimalist look is still pretty cool. Plus, it will always keep your belongings dry. This backpack is available in either black or white and features a roll-up, buckle top main compartment to ensure no rain drops find their way inside. The backpack also features three outer zip pockets, which are waterproof and ideal for smartphones or other small essentials.

white waterproof backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Amazon


6. Fjallraven Recycled Kranken Backpack


For students most concerned about saving the planet, the Fjallraven Recycled Kranken Backpack is made entirely from recycled water bottles. It’s also colored using a far less intensive dying process to further aid the environment. The bag itself sports a range of carrying options, including tote handles and straps, as well as two open side pockets and a rain flap for protection from the elements. Inside, there’s a large central storage space along with an info tag so your bag can be identified if you lose it.

red fjallraven backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Amazon


7. Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack


With over 20 color combinations to choose from, the Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack allows the wearer to express his or her personality through their backpack. The backpack also sports buckled top and front facing pockets to add to the bag’s impressive style. On the front pocket, there’s a Herschel brand patch for a classy finish. The bag’s straps are padded for comfort, and the top pocket features a drawstring to ensure your belongings are always secure inside.

grey herschel backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Amazon


8. Bellroy Slim Backpack


If you love style but prefer a less mainstream approach than the Herschel offers, you may find the Bellroy Slim Backpack to your liking. The design is similar but the buckles are gone. Instead, the pack sports a cleaner look with a central compartment and a magnetic foldover closure. The streamlined appearance also conceals a side pocket, which is the ideal size for storing your smartphone. Inside, you’ll find a padded laptop pocket. In addition, the bag’s straps are flexible and padded for comfort. It’s available in four classy color options, including red, blue and black.

black bellroy fold-over backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Amazon


9. Michael Kors Men’s Kent Palm Nylon Backpack


Looking to attract attention? This Michael Kors Men’s Kent Palm Nylon Backpack features an eye-catching design. The black background is littered with bright red leaves for an electric look that perfectly balances style and intrigue. The bag itself has padded shoulder straps and a top handle. On the inside, the backpack includes everything you need, from a laptop and tablet compartment with snap closure to a smartphone pocket and additional zip pockets.

red and black michael kors backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Amazon


10. Tumi Alpha 3 Brief Pack


The Tumi Alpha 3 Brief Pack was made for people who like to pack everything. It features a laptop pocket, which can accommodate screens up to 15 inches in size, as well as several other large pockets for all your essentials and non-essentials, like files, cards, books, snacks, pens and more. The straps are heavily padded and adjustable, plus there’s a top-mounted handle for another carrying choice. Finally, the bag sports a band for attachment to rolling luggage for extra ease when you’re on the move.

black tumi computer backpack on a white backgroundImage courtesy of Nordstrom


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Sarah Morlock

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