12 Best Backpacks for College in 2017

Books? Check! Notebooks? Check! Laptop? Check! Backpack?

It looks like you need to do some shopping! But how do you know which are the best backpacks for college?

Before you can decide which is best for you, you need to consider what would make a backpack ideal for you, personally. What’s your preference on size? Think about what you’ll need to carry in it. What’s your preference on color? Some backpacks only come in a few select shades. What’s your preference on the number of pockets it should have?

Don’t let all of the questions bog you down; just read our guide and you’ll find all of the answers here!

We will highlight the top 12 college backpacks in our guide for you below to make comparing and contrasting the top contenders an easy process for you, so head on down and check them out!

Top 12 Backpacks for College Table

Design Name External Dimensions Wheels? Rating (1-5)
   1. Bolang Water Resistant Nylon School Bag College Laptop Backpack 8459  18.5” x 12” x 6”  No  4.7
   2. Uoobag KT-01 Business Laptop Backpack Water resistant Anti-theft Computer Bag  13” x 6.7” x 19.3”  No  4.7
   3. Kopack Lightweight Laptop Backpack Water Resistant College School Large Travel Bag  11.8” x 7.1” x 17.7”  No  4.6
    4. High Sierra Loop Backpack  8.5” x 19” x 13.5”  No  4.5
   5. Canvas Backpack, P.KU.VDSL-AUGUR SERIES Vintage Canvas Leather Backpack  13” x 15.7” x 7.8”  No  4.5
   6. SwissGear SA1908 Black TSA Friendly ScanSmart Laptop Computer Backpack  18” x 13” x 9”  No  4.5
   7. Laptop Backpack,Winblo 15 15.6 Inch College Backpacks Lightweight Travel Daypack  17.71” x 11.81” x 3.93”  No  4.5
   8. Laptop Outdoor Backpack, Travel Hiking& Camping Rucksack Pack  18” x 6.3” x 11.8”  No  4.4
   9. AmazonBasics Backpack for Laptops Up To 17-Inch  15” x 17” x 19”  No  4.4
   10. Jansport Superbreak Wheeled Backpack  19″ x 13″ x 8″  Yes  4.4
   11. High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Backpack  13.4” x 20.4” x 8”  Yes  4.3
   12. Kenox Mens Large Vintage Canvas Backpack School Laptop Bag Hiking Travel Rucksack  16” x 10” x 1.8”  No  4.2

Important Details

As you browse through the backpacks, here are a couple details you should keep in mind as you search for the right backpack for your needs.

  • Size – Some backpacks are designed to be as small and lightweight as possible, while others are made much more heavy duty with large pockets for bigger loads, so think about the courses you’ll be taking and the number of books that you’ll probably be carrying in order to choose the proper size.
  • Pockets – If all you want to carry are large items, smaller compartments aren’t necessary; however, if you also want to carry smaller necessities, you’ll want to be certain the backpack has compartments that will keep those things easy to access.
  • Wheels – Wheels are noisy, we understand that, but they can save your back and shoulders from quite a few aches and pains!

Consider getting wheeled backpack if you have quite a few books and/or a laptop to take with you around campus all day. If you have a lighter load, then a standard backpack that you wear on your shoulders should be fine.

Understanding Pockets

How complicated can pockets really be? More complicated than you probably realize! The best college backpacks include several different kinds. Here are some variances you’ll come across.

  • Laptop Pockets – If you want to carry a laptop with you to college, these are definitely something to prioritize in your backpack browsing. Laptop pockets are often lined with soft material to keep the laptop from getting scratched.
  • Water Bottle Pocket – You may want to look for backpacks that have sections to store your water bottle on the outside of the pack. No matter how “leak proof” the bottle is, there’s always a chance it could spill. No one wants soggy notes (or laptops)!
  • Zippered Pockets – If you’re planning on carrying money or other small items, you probably should invest in a pack that has a closed pocket for those things.

We’ve looked at some excellent backpack choices! Here are four of my favorites that would serve you well throughout your college years.

Top 4 Best Backpacks for College Reviews

1. Bolang Water Resistant Nylon Laptop Backpack

This backpack has a lot going for it! It has a very wide variety of colors to choose from and is made with high quality water resistant nylon that is quite durable while still being lightweight.

For all you laptop carriers, this pack will carry your laptop with plenty of room for up to a 16” computer. The laptop pocket is padded to offer extra protection.

It has both a large compartment for books and other similar items, as well as smaller pockets (including ones that zip).

This pack is definitely one of the best backpacks for college! The roomy size provides ample space for books and your laptop, as well as great protection for everything it’s holding. A water bottle pocket is conveniently located on the side of the pack. And, the smaller pockets inside mean you won’t have go to searching through the entire pack trying to find your keys!

Whether you’re headed to class or off on spring break, this backpack will provide you with excellent quality to fill all your carrying needs throughout your college life.

2. Uoobag Water Resistant Anti-theft Backpack

This awesome pack is another water resistant one. It has a wide variety of pockets including a laptop and a bonus iPad pocket. The laptop compartment fits most 15.6 inch laptops.

If you’re hoping for a bright, colorful pack this may not be the best for you as it only has grey, black, and coffee to choose from.

It does have two outside water bottle pockets. It offers several small pockets as well for your loose change or other similarly sized items. This backpack also has anti-theft dual zippers to make it more difficult for people to steal from you.

Overall, it’s definitely one of the best choices! The anti-theft aspects of it make it a bit more on the unique side as well as the amount of pockets it has. If you don’t mind sacrificing having lots of color choices, this may be the one for you!

3. Kopack Laptop Water Resistant Lightweight Backpack

This awesome pack is another one equipped with dual access zippers with an anti-theft design. Similarly to the last one, this one also unfortunately does offer much in the color department. They do offer black and light grey though so if you want a practical color that won’t show dirt well this is still a wonderful choice. It has lots of pockets (over ten)!

It will hold a 15.6” laptop as well as a couple books. Keys and similarly sized items can be stored in its smaller pockets. A little problem with the laptop compartment is the lack of very much padding. It has a bit, but your laptop may swim around some in there depending how big the computer is. It does have an outside water bottle holder.

Overall, another excellent quality bag. This is a great one for the amount of pockets it offers as well as the anti-theft design. Just keep in mind a smaller laptop may slide around a lot in its compartment.

4. High Sierra Loop Backpack

This pack offers lots of choices in color! It has a media pocket, as well as a combination of other different sized pockets to fit books as well as key sized items. However, this pack does not have a specific laptop compartment.

There is an outside water bottle pocket so no worries about getting dehydrated when you’re carrying this pack! You do have to be careful to watch your surroundings when you’re carrying it though. The very accessible zippers make it easy for people to steal from you if you’re not on alert.

This is another awesome option and still one of the best backpacks for college. If you choose this one, you just need to consider the fact that your laptop will be swimming around a bit inside, and you need to be careful carrying it in crowded areas.