25/09/2022

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The 22 Best Backpacks for College Students in 2022

The 22 Best Backpacks for College Students in 2022

The 22 Best Backpacks for College Students in 2022

Picking the best backpack for college students can get pretty tricky. Of course, you want to look stylish, but you’ll also be using the bag for at least a year and possibly beyond, depending on how well you get on with it.

Therefore, choosing college backpacks that check all the right boxes is important. The best backpacks for college students are large enough to carry your new laptop, books, your best water bottle and other daily essentials. It should also rest comfortably on your shoulders throughout the day and be durable enough to last several semesters — not just this one.

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If you’re unsure what you want or need in your bag, it’s worth checking out SPY’s guide to ensure you pick the right backpack. Deciding between looks, function, comfort, and capacity are all important factors that need to be considered before you commit your cash.

To help you decide, SPY put together a list of the best backpacks for college students. We have options from top brands like Day Owl and Fjallraven alongside budget buys and lesser-known commuter options. Check out all 19 and decide which option is best for your college experience.

  

1. Day Owl Backpack

BEST OVERALL

By keeping it casual in 2022, you’re keeping it trendy. Fashion trends nowadays are all about ease and comfort, and with this effortlessly cool Day Owl backpack, you’ll be hitting the nail on the head. It has a pretty mundane exterior that helps you merge into the crowd of people on campus, all while containing multiple secret pockets and a recycled canvas. It even comes with a lifetime of free repairs, so no matter how many times you rip it, Day Owl will fix it for you.

We love Day Owl so much that we named it one of the best products in the 2021 Man, SPY’s end-of-year product awards.

best backpack for college students, Day Owl Backpack

best backpack for college students, Day Owl Backpack


Buy: Day Owl Backpack $109.00 (orig. $149.00) 27% OFF

  

2. Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz Laptop Backpack

RUNNER UP

If you head to any college campus in the United States today, you’ll find a sea of Herschel Supply Co. backpacks. You’ll also find several options from these companies on this list for the simple reason that these companies make great backpacks for college students. This option from Herschel is well-reviewed, large enough to hold a 15-inch laptop, durable and on-trend. However, it’s also an unpretentious backpack, perfect as an everyday carryall for class. 

best backpack for college students, college backpack herschel

best backpack for college students, college backpack herschel


Buy: Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz $66.00 (orig. $79.99) 17% OFF

  

3. Mancro Laptop Backpack

BEST BUDGET BUY

Surely over 15,000 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 that 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″) to a bottle, an umbrella and even your lunch. The smart bag also sports an easy-to-carry handle on top, a padlock for security and a built-in USB port for easy charging.

best backpack for college students, Mancro Laptop Backpack

best backpack for college students, Mancro Laptop Backpack

  

4. JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack

BEST CLASSIC STYLE

The JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack is the right choice if you are after a classic college backpack. It’s available in a range of colors and features one main compartment and a front accessory pocket. Furthermore, the bag’s straps are padded for comfort, and there’s a top-mounted carry handle for alternative carrying options. Plus, it’s a No. 1 best seller on Amazon with almost 25,000 five-star reviews.

best backpack for college students, JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack

best backpack for college students, JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack


Buy: JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack $27.99 (orig. $36.00) 22% OFF

  

5. The North Face Borealis Backpack

RELIABLE OPTION

Hauling around a heavy bag usually takes a nasty toll on your back, especially if you do it daily. That’s why we love this spacious option from North Face. This nylon and polyester backpack features adjustable shoulder straps that boast an extra foam layer. The bag also has a padded back panel with a spine channel that’s even been endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association. If you pick this one up, your back will thank us later. Plus, it’s dang cool.

best backpack for college students, The North Face Borealis Backpack

best backpack for college students, The North Face Borealis Backpack


Buy: The North Face Borealis Backpack $98.95

  

6. Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

BEST FJALLRAVEN

You can never go wrong with the Classic Fjallraven backpack, today, tomorrow or ever. The Kanken is a must-have backpack for college students. Look around your campus right now — you’ll spot at least three of these passing by. They’re as popular as it gets. The bag sports various carrying options, including tote handles and straps, two open side pockets and a rain flap for protection from the elements. Inside, there’s ample central storage space, a place to store a 15-inch laptop and an info tag, so your bag is easy to identify if you lose it. And if you’re more of the eco-leaning type, we highly recommend checking out Fjallraven’s Tree Kanken backpack as well!

best backpack for college students, Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

best backpack for college students, Fjallraven Kanken Backpack


Buy: Fjallraven Kanken Backpack $109.95 (orig. $120.00) 8% OFF

    

7. Carhartt Legacy Standard Work Backpack

MOST RUGGED

It’s safe to say we’re obsessed with Carhartt. How could you not be? The brand is just too damn cool. That said, we love this water-repellent backpack made for any college student. It has an enormous main compartment with room for a 15-inch laptop and two front pockets. Colors are limited to neutrals, but that’s all you need regarding Carhartt. Trust us, anything too eclectic is a no-no with this brand.

best backpack for college students, Carhartt Legacy Standard Work Backpack

best backpack for college students, Carhartt Legacy Standard Work Backpack


Buy: Carhartt Legacy Standard Work Backpack $39.99 (orig. $69.98) 43% OFF

  

8. Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack

BEST FOR ATHLETIC TYPES

Suppose you’re just as concerned with setting a personal record on your bench press as you are setting a personal record in class. In that case, this City Adventurer backpack from Lululemon will be a great companion. Designed to be both an athletic bag and a stellar backpack for college students, you’re getting the best of both worlds without sacrificing either. An exterior padded pocket allows room for a 15″ laptop, while an expandable pocket has enough room for all your sweaty gear. And with its minimalist design and range of colorways, it’ll look as good in the gym room as it does in the classroom. Just because it isn’t your standard gym bag doesn’t mean it won’t work for workouts.

best backpack for college students, lululemon City Adventurer Backpack

best backpack for college students, lululemon City Adventurer Backpack


Buy: Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack $128.00

    

9. Fjallraven Raven 28 Backpack

BEST UPDATED FJALLRAVEN

The Fjallraven Raven 28 model is ideal for kids in college. Designed specifically for students, this backpack comes with a pocket for 15″ laptops and extra compartments for textbooks, snacks and anything else you need during a long day on campus. This model doesn’t come in as many fun colors as other bags from Fjallraven, but it’s a durable and stylish laptop backpack. And at $110, it’s an affordable bag for most college students and is undoubtedly one of the best Fjallraven backpacks.

best backpack for college students, Fjallraven Raven 28 Backpack

best backpack for college students, Fjallraven Raven 28 Backpack


Buy: Fjallraven Raven 28 Backpack $110.00

  

10. Vessel Skyline Backpack

SLEEKEST

Minimalists will geek over this gorgeously sleek faux-leather backpack designed with water-resistant technology. The lustrous black exterior is so eye-popping that you forget it’s just a backpack. This baby has one large opening and an outside front bottom zip for extra stuff you’re bringing to class. When it rains or snows, you won’t even have to worry about the interior contents getting wet due to the water-resistant construction.

best backpack for college students, Vessel Skyline Backpack

best backpack for college students, Vessel Skyline Backpack


Buy: Vessel Skyline Backpack $175.00

  

11. The Friendly Swede Waterproof Backpack

BEST FOR WET CONDITIONS

If your college is located somewhere more prone to rain than shine, it’s worth investing in this waterproof backpack. It might not be the most stylish backpack for college students 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-top main compartment to ensure no raindrops find their way inside. The backpack also features three outer zip pockets that are waterproof and ideal for smartphones or other small essentials.

best backpack for college students, white waterproof backpack on a white background, best backpacks for college students

best backpack for college students, white waterproof backpack on a white background, best backpacks for college students

  

12. Monos Metro Backpack

MOST DAPPER

We’re swooning at this handsome all-black backpack from Monos. From on-campus dwellers to on-time commuters, a smaller bag is ideal for the kind of guy who doesn’t need to bring it all. Fit your keys and wallet in the front pouch while sliding your 15-inch laptop and a few notebooks in the larger zipped interiors. You’ll look great, and your back will thank you for carrying less. It’s also available in several colors, including black, green, blue and gray nylon finishes, and brown, tan and ivory vegan leather exteriors. Right now, you can only pre-order this bad boy, but we suggest you do it quickly before the limited quantity available begins to diminish.

best backpack for college students, Monos Metro Backpack

best backpack for college students, Monos Metro Backpack


Buy: Monos Metro Backpack $195.00

  

13. Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack

MOST FASHIONABLE

With over 20 color combinations to choose from, the Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack allows the wearer to express their personality through their backpack. These college backpacks also sport buckled top straps and front-facing pockets to add to the bags’ impressive rucksack 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.

best backpack for college students, Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack

best backpack for college students, Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack

    

14. Vorspack Clear Backpack

BEST CLEAR BACKPACK

Bare it all in a clear pack that shows you don’t give a crap if people know what you’re lugging around. Popularized in recent years at concerts and music festivals, clear backpacks are now necessary for many big events. Snag one for any music festival you have coming up this year, or unapologetically show off that 14-cent Lisa Frank notebook you bought from Staples.

best backpack for college students, Vorspack Clear Backpack

best backpack for college students, Vorspack Clear Backpack


Buy: Vorspack Clear Backpack $31.99 (orig. $39.99) 20% OFF

  

15. Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

BEST FOR INTERNS

With a unique design and neutral charcoal color, Everlane’s ReNew Transit Backpack is a trendy, compact sack made from 100% recycled polyester with a water-resistant finish. And get this, there’s a discreet internal zipper laptop sleeve to ensure your MacBook stays safe and sound. Whether you’re on the way to a full-time position or you spilled your entire coffee on a woman’s lap on the A train, stay looking cool and confident with a backpack made to tackle whatever kind of day you’re having.

best backpack for college students, Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

best backpack for college students, Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack


Buy: Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack $85.00

  

16. Patagonia Black Hole Backpack

MOST SPACIOUS

Patagonia has long been known for its commitment to durable, high-quality and environmentally-friendly bags, and that tradition is alive and well in the Black Hole Backpack. At 25L, it’s got a massive amount of storage, which means you’ll be able to toss anything and everything you can think of in there without worry. But it’s got to be able to carry the essential supplies for class, which it does with ease. A padded 15″ laptop sleeve allows clear division inside the bag, so things don’t get too messy. Plus, the 100% recycled polyester ripstop has been coated with a TPU laminate that will hold up well in the elements.

best backpack for college students, Patagonia Black Hole Backpack

best backpack for college students, Patagonia Black Hole Backpack


Buy: Patagonia Black Hole Backpack $129.00

      

17. XRAY Expandable Roll Top Backpack

BEST THROWBACK

Drawing from classic military-style bags, this backpack from XRAY is a modern update on a vintage favorite. The rolltop closure evokes that old-school style bag while incorporating modern features like a waterproof outer and space to keep your laptop. Its toned-down, all-green design is excellent for those that aren’t into super bold colors. And, as with all college backpacks, there are plenty of pockets for storing all your various items.

best backpack for college students, XRAY Expandable Roll Top Backpack

best backpack for college students, XRAY Expandable Roll Top Backpack


Buy: XRAY Expandable Roll Top Backpack $37.81 (orig. $39.99) 5% OFF

  

18. Herschel Dawson Backpack

MOST ORGANIZED HERSCHEL

What makes the Dawson backpack different from other Herschel bags is that the front features two separate pockets instead of one large front compartment, so you’ll be able to throw your earbuds and keys in one pocket and your pens in the other. The 20.5L main compartment features a drawstring closure with a foam lining for added protection. The backpack comes in a variety of different color combinations, from classic black and tan to a vibrant Monaco blue and many others.

best backpack for college students, Herschel Dawson Backpack

best backpack for college students, Herschel Dawson Backpack


Buy: Herschel Dawson Backpack $74.99

   

19. MATEIN Rolling Backpack

BEST ROLLING BACKPACK

We know there’s a considerable vendetta against rolling backpacks, but hear us out. Textbooks can get heavy! Might as well roll them and save your back from any pain. MATEIN makes a, dare we say, stylish rolling backpack for college students. It comes in an all-black coloration, has all of the bells and whistles you can ask for in a backpack and can even be worn as a regular backpack in case you don’t want to use its rolling powers in front of others.

best backpack for college students, MATEIN Rolling Backpack

best backpack for college students, MATEIN Rolling Backpack


Buy: MATEIN Rolling Backpack $79.99 (orig. $103.98) 23% OFF

  

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