15 Best Backpacks For College You Need Before A New Semester

Written by Priyam Gupta
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Our college years make for the most memorable time in our lives but it’s also to forget to take a breather once in a while when you’re running around all day between classes. While having a close-knit friend group is important at this stage, nothing beats the support a good backpack can give you. A strong carry-on with padded straps, lower weight, and resistance to wear-and-tear will play a role in making you an A+ student.

To accommodate your laptop, notebooks, and stationery, a roomy bag is something you can’t overlook. As a high-quality backpack for college can be your ticket to an overall hassle-free experience, we have a list of the same for you. Peruse through it for multiple style, color, and design picks, so you can start the new semester in an organized fashion.

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Matein Water Resistant College Backpack
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Tzowla Laptop Backpack
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Mancro Laptop Backpack
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Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack
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Volher Laptop Backpack
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Himawari Backpack
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VSNOON Laptop Backpack
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Vera Bradley Campus Backpack
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Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Chelsea Backpack
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Amazon Basics Campus Laptop Backpack
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15 Best Backpacks For College That You Need For Better Organization

1. Matein Water Resistant College Backpack

Matein’s stylish backpack for college has a laptop compartment and 2 more on the front for all your stationery. Thick padding with multi-panel ventilation gives you back support along with wide adjustable shoulder straps to reduce pressure. On the backside, you will find an anti-theft hidden pocket to store valuables. Made with water-resistant polyester, this is one of the popular college backpacks that’s also convenient for travel. You can fixate the bag on your luggage with the suitcase sleeve and the foam-padded top handle makes for easy carrying.

Pros

  •  Water-resistant
  •  Separate 15-inch laptop compartment
  •  Thick adjustable shoulder straps
  •  Anti-theft hidden pocket
  •  Suitcase sleeve
  •  External USB charging port

Cons

  •  The laptop compartment might not have padding on the bottom

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2. Tzowla Laptop Backpack

Tzowla brings to you what is perhaps the most comfortable backpack for college with a password lock and durable zippers made of high-quality materials, so all your valuables stay safe. A pocket just for your laptop is present, along with one on the front for your tablet and other essentials. Not only is the polyester bag water-resistant, it also has a protective ridge around the exterior to remain damage-free after bumps or falls. A side pocket with a magnetic buckle can be used for a water bottle and rest assured that it remains secure. One of the most sturdy backpacks for college, this one by Tzowla is also resistant to tearing and scratching.

Pros

  •  360° protection
  •  Padded interior
  •  Water-resistant
  •  Password lock with metal zippers
  •  Available in 6 colors
  •  Tear-resistant

Cons

  •  Some may find it to be fairly small

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3. Mancro Laptop Backpack

Mancro’s college girl backpack fits your laptop in a single compartment with other essentials in the front slanted and side zippered pockets. As it comes with a lock, you can rest assured that all your documents and devices are safeguarded against theft or damage. The metal zippers are sturdy and work smoothly while the padded and comfortable straps reduce stress on your back. A built-in charging cable on the inside and a USB charger outside allow you to pump up your battery in emergencies. With a sleek design, we think this is the best waterproof backpack for college students to use.

Pros

  •  Lock feature
  •  Smooth metal zippers
  •  Padded shoulder straps
  •  USB charging port
  •  Waterproof
  •  Laptop compartment, side pockets, and front pocket

Cons

  •  No bottom padding for laptop compartment

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4. Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack

One of the most trendy college backpacks for women, this one by Modoker is made of 600D nylon and features a polyester lining. The vegan leather trimming detail adds flair to the overall look. With a total of 6 pockets, you can easily stash your laptop, books, stationery, bottles, and other valuables in this durable backpack. To reduce undue pressure on the back and shoulders, the adjustable well-padded shoulder straps are crafted with honeycomb cushioning. Easy to clean, this is one of the most durable college backpacks you can choose.

Pros

  •  USB charging port
  •  Cushioned and adjustable shoulder straps
  •  Leather trimming
  •  6 pockets
  •  Easy to clean
  •  Soft inner lining

Cons

  •  Some may find it slightly bulky

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5. Volher Laptop Backpack

Volher’s product features ample storage space to keep all your college essentials neatly organized. If you’ve been looking for great backpacks for college, this one can fit your laptop and other necessary items in a segregated manner. 2 mesh pockets on the sides can be used for water bottles or umbrellas with a front organizer compartment for other belongings.. Adjustable shoulder straps with an airflow design at the back helps reduce the tension on your shoulders. A hidden pocket at the back, durable metal zippers, water-resistant fabric, and a USB port all chip in to make this one the best college backpacks for women as you can even listen to your favorite playlist hands-free.

Pros

  •  Water-resistant material
  •  Available in 3 colors
  •  Separate laptop compartment
  •  2 side mesh water bottle pockets
  •  Hidden anti-theft pocket
  •  USB charging port

Cons

  •  Might be noisy owing to the plastic lining

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6. Himawari Backpack

Himawari carries some cute backpacks for college students that are made of water-resistant and scratch-resistant nylon. On the inside, you can stow away your laptop in the padded compartment and use the main pocket along with the 4 small and 2 side ones for other necessities. The double-stitched shoulder straps of this commuter backpack are well-made and reinforced with dual padding and are soft against your skin. Smooth and strong metal zippers, heavy-duty metal buckles, a sturdy top handle, and leather decorations make this the perfect college backpack.

Pros

  •  Available in 37 color combinations
  •  Water-resistant
  •  Scratch-resistant
  •  Shoulder straps with dual padding
  •  Smooth metal zippers
  •  Leather decorations

Cons

  •  Outer pocket is not functional

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7. VSNOON Laptop Backpack

VSNOON offers cool college backpacks that are printed and made of water-resistant polyester. The bag retains its shape with reinforced edges and a steel frame. Once you open the bag up, it is roomy enough with separate sections for your laptop and tablet with mini pockets for your chargers and wallets. The front pocket stores easy-to-access documents with RFID protection. While the tote design gives you top handles, you could also attach the backpack on your luggage. If you’ve been thinking ‘what backpack should I get for college?’, choose one from among VSNOON’s 4 color options.

Pros

  •  Water-resistant
  •  Holds shape with steel frame
  •  Multi-section design
  •  Easy-to-access front pocket
  •  Available in 4 colors
  •  Padded laptop compartment

Cons

  •  Some may find the shoulder straps to be uncomfortable

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8. Vera Bradley Campus Backpack

The best backpack for college girls comes from Vera Bradley and it is made with lightweight quilted cotton, which is also durable. You can keep your electronics neatly stored in the mesh slip pockets. With 2 zippered pockets and 2 side slip ones, you can also utilize a hidden back zipper pocket for your valuables. An easy-access front pocket, adjustable straps and a trolley sleeve make for a hassle-free experience. We think this is one of the best backpacks for college students with laptops.

Pros

  •  Lightweight
  •  4 exterior pockets and 9 interior ones
  •  Adjustable straps
  •  Trolley sleeve
  •  Available in 37 colors and prints

Cons

  •  The shoulder pads might not be sufficiently padded

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9. Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Chelsea Backpack

On your lookout for good backpacks for college, this bag’s exterior is made of a quilted polyester and twill blend. Not only is the surface water-resistant, the gold-plated sturdy zippers add a classy detail. The inner lining of a tear-resistant stripe polyester gives you comfort in this classy backpack for college. At the rear, you can find adjustable shoulder straps that take the pressure off your back and a trolley sleeve for hands-free carrying. Beverage pockets on the sides coupled with a top handle make Kenneth Cole’s product one of the best backpacks for college girls.

Pros

  •  Water-resistant
  •  Tear-resistant inner lining
  •  Gold-plated zippers
  •  Adjustable shoulder straps
  •  Trolley sleeve
  •  Padded pockets for devices

Cons

  •  Might not hold shape when filled

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10. Amazon Basics Campus Laptop Backpack

Amazon Basics offers some heavy duty backpacks for college and this 600D polyester, making it sturdy and durable. You can enjoy a large compartment, a fleece-lined eyewear pocket, and an insulated cooler pocket among others. A padded laptop pouch helps you store your tech while the 2 mesh side pockets house your beverages. For comfortable carrying, there are adjustable chest straps and padded shoulder straps, making these convenient backpacks for college girls.

Pros

  •  Fleece-lined sunglasses pocket
  •  Water-resistant
  •  2 mesh side pockets
  •  Padded shoulder straps
  •  Adjustable chest strap
  •  Insulated cooler pocket

Cons

  •  Might lack sufficient padding at the bottom

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11. Bluboon Laptop Backpack

Bluboon’s backpacks for college women are lightweight, water-resistant, and durable. Protected compartments house your electronics while a large main pocket is roomy for all your documents. The side pockets have elastic openings to hold beverages and a backside pocket can be used to store valuables. Bluboon’s trendy backpacks for college also include a USB charging port and a headphone jack, so you can listen to music and charge your batteries.

Pros

  •  Water-resistant
  •  Lightweight
  •  Available in 5 colors
  •  2 elastic beverage pockets
  •  Laptop compartment with velcro strap
  •  USB port and headphone jack

Cons

  •  Might have a strong odor

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12. BROMEN Leather Backpack

BROMEN’s fashionable backpacks for college are made of high-quality vegan leather with coffee lining. A padded laptop pocket and an internal one with 2 slip pockets gives you ample storage space. Streamlined stitching keeps all the seams in place throughout usage and the accessories are made of gold alloy with an anti-corrosive finish. Available in 4 solid colors, BROMEN’s girls backpacks for college will earn you lots of compliments.

Pros

  •  Made with vegan leather
  •  Padded laptop pocket
  •  Streamlined stitching
  •  Available in 4 colors
  •  Waterproof
  •  Anti-corrosive metal details

Cons

  •  Some might find the straps to be thin

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13. Orvilly Backpack Purse

Orvilly’s cute backpacks for college girls are designed in a lightweight manner to take the pressure off your back and shoulders. Made with water-resistant and durable polyester material, it is also resistant to creasing and scratching. You can use both the straps or add a long one to wear as a purse according to your preference. The main compartment contains 2 small slip pockets and a section, so you can store away your precious laptop. With 5 color options available, Orvilly’s girls backpacks for college are a must-have.

Pros

  •  Lightweight
  •  Water-resistant
  •  Multi-use straps
  •  Crease-resistant
  •  Scratch-resistant
  •  Available in 5 colors

Cons

  •  No padded protection for laptops

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14. Vdsrup College Backpack

Vdsrup’s cute backpacks for college girls feature an extra large main compartment with 2 small inner pockets, a front zipper pocket and 2 side pockets. Apart from this, you can also stash your laptop and tablet in a separate compartment. The ergonomic design of this bag gives you adjustable shoulder straps with cushion padding for your back. These lightweight backpacks for college are available in 8 fun prints, these bags can keep your inner child alive.

Pros

  •  Separate compartment for electronics
  •  Adjustable shoulder straps
  •  Cushion padding on the back
  •  Available in 8 colors
  •  Lightweight
  •  Water-resistant

Cons

  •  Might be smaller than average

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15. JanSport Right Pack

One of the best JanSport backpacks for college, the Right Pack is made of cordura and features a suede leather bottom to keep all your belongings well-protected. If you’ve been wondering ‘what is the best backpack?’, rest assured because JanSport is a leading manufacturer. With a large compartment, you also get a padded laptop sleeve and a front utility pocket for everyday essentials. The straight-cut padded straps and web haul handle make carriage super easy wherever you may be headed.

Pros

  •  Secure laptop section
  •  Suede leather bottom
  •  Straight-cut padded straps
  •  Web haul handle
  •  Available in 15 colors

Cons

  •  May not fit large files

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Now that we’ve looked at some of the best backpacks for college, let’s learn how you can pick the best one out for yourself.

How To Choose A Backpack For College

  •  Fabric

Bags made of synthetic fibers like polyester are not only sturdy and durable but also water-resistant. While this means they aren’t entirely waterproof, they will keep your belongings protected if you happen to be caught in a slight drizzle. Cotton is also pretty strong and lightweight but might not repel away moisture. When shopping for backpacks, choose polyester and other synthetic materials as they will withstand the elements.

  •  Compartments

Ensure that the back contains multiple compartments and pockets. You will do well with a separate laptop sleeve that is padded and can be fastened with a Velcro strap. Additional mesh and slip pockets for phones, wallets, and chargers are also ideal. If you like to carry your beverages with you, look for elastic mesh side pockets on the outside that can also be used for umbrellas. Sometimes, a few pockets can look functional but might be decorative. If you need more room, look for options that don’t have this feature.

  •  Zippers

Good quality zippers hold the bag in place and look for sturdy metal ones with an anti-corrosive finish. Double zippers are your best friend because not only do they offer more security, but you always have a backup in case one happens to break.

  •  Straps

No matter how heavy your backpack is, quality straps can help reduce the pressure on your shoulders and back. Look for padded straps that feel soft against your skin. Airflow design on the back of the backpack can also remove tension in your back. Ensure that the straps are also adjustable so you can customize how high or low the bag sits on your back.

One of the best ways to celebrate going back to school is to get yourself a quality backpack. This process might be a tad bit tricky as you might want to be fashionable but you also have to assess its sturdiness. Finding a bag that meets all these requirements might take a while. Our list of the 15 best backpacks for college combines style with practicality to bring to you some top-notch picks. You can choose from a plethora of designs, colors, and sizes to accompany you into the new semester. We recommend you go to college prepared, though, as all your friends might be envious of your new accessory!

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Priyam is a creative writer and storyteller who loves to indulge in prose or poetry collections and dreams of having one of her own someday. She has a master’s degree in English and Communication Studies, and is partially driven by her obsession with timelessness. This reflects in her ideas and recommendations on all things health, fitness, beauty, travel, and lifestyle. The other half of her is childishly curious and lives to experiment — be it with the latest in skincare, trends in fashion and design, or her rottie’s fur-style.