The 9 Best Backpacks for College in 2020

Carry your gear around in style

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Our Top Picks

Fjallraven Kanken Backpack at Urban Outfitters

"These Swedish backpacks come in a range of trendy colors and have a boxy silhouette."

Mancro School Backpack at Amazon

"A highly durable and functional bag that has more than 10 pockets to keep you organized."

Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack at Everlane

"Perfect for students on large campuses that require tons of walking."

Carhartt Legacy Standard Work Backpack at Amazon

"If you tend to be rough on your belongings, this backpack can stand up to some serious wear and tear."

Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack at Amazon

"It marries style and function with its old-fashioned appearance and modern features."

The North Face Borealis Backpack at Amazon

"Reviewers call it sturdy and spacious, and many appreciate that it has padded compartments."

SwissGear Laptop Backpack at Target

"Whether your priority is comfort, durability, or versatility, this ticks all of the boxes."

JanSport Cool Student Backpack at Amazon

"This classic backpack is made from thick polyester and has two large main compartments."

Vera Bradley Signature Cotton XL Campus Backpack at Amazon

"If you want to stand out from the crowd, this backpack comes in a variety of unique colorful prints."

As you head off to college, you’re going to need a spacious and durable backpack to tote your belongings around campus. The best backpacks for college are not only roomy, but comfortable to wear, even when loaded up with textbooks, notebooks, electronics, and more.

  • 01 of 09

    Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

    Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

    Courtesy of Moosejaw

    If you want to keep up with the latest campus styles, you should definitely invest in one of the popular Fjallraven Kanken Backpacks. These Swedish backpacks come in a range of trendy colors—from plain black to olive green and ochre yellow—and they’re recognizable by their boxy silhouette and signature double handles. 

    The Kanken backpack is made from durable polyvinyl, and it has a spacious main compartment, as well as a zippered front pocket. There are side pockets for storing water bottles and other items you want to keep close at hand, and the bag is supported by adjustable shoulder straps, as well as top handles that let you carry it like a tote. These trendy bags are not only stylish to wear around campus, but they’re also comfortable and durable, making them a worthwhile investment.

  • 02 of 09

    Mancro School Backpack

    Want a bag that’s both durable and highly functional? Then you’ll love the Mancro School Backpack, which has more than 10 pockets to keep your belongings organized and an external USB port for charging electronics. This bag has three spacious main compartments for large items like books, as well as nine smaller inner pockets for your cell phone, wallet, and more. 

    Despite its many compartments, the Mancro bag still has a slim profile so it’s not too bulky to carry around between classes, and it features a reinforced top handle and adjustable straps for versatility. One of the most appealing features of this backpack is its USB charging port, which allows you to power up your phone or other electronics when you set up a charging block (sold separately) inside the bag. Reviewers love that this bag is spacious but not bulky, and many note that it’s truly waterproof—key for protecting your belongings if you’re ever caught in the rain.

  • 03 of 09

    Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

    Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

    Courtesy of Everlane

    You’re sure to get plenty of compliments when you’re carrying the trendy, modern ReNew Transit Backpack from Everlane. This top-rated bag is made from 100 percent recycled polyester and comes in four neutral colors, and it has a water-resistant finish to protect its contents from inclement weather. 

    This bag is designed for commuting, and it has a spacious main compartment and a discreet side-zip padded laptop sleeve that can fit models up to 15 inches. The bag features both internal and external water bottle compartments, and its outer flap has a handy magnetic closure for quick access. Reviewers love that the ReNew Transit Backpack is super spacious, and many also comment on the sleek, mature design.

  • 04 of 09

    Carhartt Legacy Standard Work Backpack

    KOPACK Slim Laptop Backpack

     Courtesy of Amazon

    If you tend to be rough on your belongings, the Carhartt Legacy Standard Work Backpack can stand up to some serious wear and tear. This versatile backpack is made from durable polyester treated with water-repellent, and it also features an abrasion-resistant base. 

    Carhartt is known for its high-quality work gear, and this backpack is no exception. It has one main compartment with a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve and a slot for tablets, and there are also two zippered pockets on the front, one of which has an organization panel. There are mesh side pockets for water bottles, and the padded shoulder straps are contoured for added comfort. According to reviewers, this Carhartt backpack is extremely durable and versatile, especially for its reasonable price.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack

    The Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack marries style and function with its old-fashioned appearance and modern features. This backpack, which comes in three colors, is eye-catching thanks to its boxy form and leather buckle straps, and it offers a variety of compartments to keep all your belongings in place. In addition to its roomy main compartment, there’s a secondary zippered pocket and a laptop compartment that can fit models up to 15 inches. You can also store items in the front zippered pocket or side pockets. 

    This backpack is made from anti-tear nylon fabric, and it even has an external USB charging port and built-in charging cable, allowing you to power up devices while you walk. The bag has well-padded shoulder straps for comfort, and reviewers say it’s an ideal option for college—one notes that she could fit several notebooks, a textbook, and her tablet into the bag comfortably.

  • 06 of 09

    The North Face Borealis Backpack

    North Face is another popular backpack brand that you’re sure to find on any college campus, and the Borealis Backpack is a classic model that’s perfect for school. The slim bag features a durable nylon shedd with a fleece-lined 15-inch laptop sleeve in its main compartment, and there’s also a fleece-lined tablet pocket in the front zippered pocket. 

    The North Face Borealis Backpack has two side water bottle pockets and an external fleece-lined pocket for small items like sunglasses. Both the shoulder straps and back are padded for extra comfort, and the bag also comes with a removable waist belt and side compression straps. Reviewers call it sturdy and spacious, and many appreciate that it has padded compartments for valuable electronics.

  • 07 of 09

    SwissGear Laptop Backpack

    SwissGear Laptop Backpack

     Courtesy of Target

    Whether your priority is comfort, durability, or versatility, the SwissGear Laptop Backpack ticks all the boxes. This bag is described as a “streamlined upgrade of SwissGear’s signature travel bags,” thanks to its lightweight design, yet it still features the quality construction and roomy interior that the brand is known for. 

    This laptop backpack has three compartments and two side mesh pockets, and there are dedicated sleeves for both your laptop and tablet. The front zippered compartment has a built-in organizer for your pens, phone, wallet, and more, and the bag features padded, ergonomic shoulder straps to boot. Plus, it gets top marks from reviewers who say it’s extremely comfortable and spacious.

  • 08 of 09

    JanSport Cool Student Backpack

    The name of the JanSport Cool Student Backpack says it all. This classic backpack comes in more than 20 colors, and its simple design will give you an effortlessly cool vibe as you hang out around campus. Don’t be fooled by its stylish appearance, though—this backpack is decked out with all the features college students want and need. It’s made from thick polyester with a synthetic leather bottom and trim, and it has two large main compartments to carry your laptop, books, and more. 

    The JanSport Cool Student Backpack has a side water pocket, pleated front pocket, and an internal laptop sleeve that can fit up to 15-inch computers. The fully-padded back panel and S-curve shoulder straps are designed for ultimate comfort, and all the brand’s bags come with a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Vera Bradley Signature Cotton XL Campus Backpack

    If you want to stand out from the crowd, the Vera Bradley Signature Cotton XL Campus Backpack comes in a variety of unique colorful prints. These beautiful bags are made from machine-washable quilted cotton, and they’re spacious enough to accommodate your laptop, notebooks, and more. 

    This backpack has a variety of pockets, including a padded laptop compartment, hidden back zip pocket, and a front zippered pocket with a built-in organizer. It can fit laptops up to 15 inches, and the padded shoulder straps and back panel ensure you’ll always be comfortable. The Vera Bradley Signature Cotton XL Campus Backpack gets top marks from reviewers who love its multitude of pockets, and who can resist the signature Vera Bradley patterns?