The majority of students’ time is likely spent commuting to and from classes. It’ll be necessary to keep notebooks, pens, textbooks, and a laptop in a nice backpack. 

Invest in a more durable backpack this back-to-school season because your high school backpack is certainly due for an upgrade.

In this article, ZackDeals offers advice on the best backpacks and bags for back-to-school (including kids’ backpacks) to satisfy all your needs, and maintain their shape over time. 

Abrasion resistance, strap strength, rip resistance, the padding on the straps, as well as weight when empty are all factors we look at when testing kids’ backpacks. 

To ensure that each bag contains all the items each child requires, we offer standard packing loads for different age groups.

With our testing, we have observed what makes a good backpack, and we’re able to provide these recommendations based on what we know, what we’ve tested, what we’ve seen, and what we’re excited about in new styles. 

You should lookout for the following features when choosing a college bag:

  • Laptop sleeves protect your laptop while you’re on the go.
  • An example of an organizational system is a zip-up pouch or pen pocket.
  • Cushioned, curved, and supportive straps
  • Polyester or nylon materials that are high-denier will last a long time.
  • Wide backpacks can cause back pain to tall and slender people.

Here are the best college backpacks to buy in 2021:

1. Travel Laptop Backpack
Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

Why We Love IT

  • USB port built-in
  • Lots of padding
  • Fits laptops up to 15 inches

Take Note

  • Battery not included

Amazon ranks this popular backpack as the top college backpack thanks to its more than 40,000 positive reviews. 

With its cushioning, it won’t dig into your skin all the time. 

You can charge your phone on the go with the USB port built-in – just bring along a portable battery! (Our tech experts highly recommend Anker PowerCore charging stations.)

2. Campus Laptop Backpack
Amazon Basics Campus Laptop Backpack

Why We Love IT

  • There are a lot of pockets and pouches
  • More than 1,100 5-star Amazon reviews
  • Cooler pouch with insulation

Take Note

  • Only available in grey and blue

More than 1,100 Amazon customers have given this college backpack a 5-star rating.

There are more pockets, pouches, and dedicated laptop compartments than many of the other bags on this list. 

Additionally, there is an insulated cooler pocket for your lunch if you don’t want to bring a separate lunchbox.

3. Borealis Backpack
The North Face Borealis Backpack

Why We Love IT

  • The belt is detachable from the sternum strap
  • Available in a variety of colours
  • Fits laptops up to 15 inches

Take Note

  • On all models, bungee cords are external

This backpack from North Face has been a favourite of our Textiles experts for more than a decade. 

We tested it for abrasion, water resistance, and drop resistance, and it passed with flying colours. 

These backpacks come in 32 colours and include a version specifically made for women, so there’s something for everyone.

4. Campus Superior Backpack
Granite Gear Superior Backpack

Why We Love IT

  • Pockets on the sides are zippered
  • The sack is great for carrying heavy items like textbooks
  • Up to 17-inch laptops can be accommodated

Take Note

  • Straps can be frustrating

In addition to backpacks for college students, Granite Gear makes hiking and camping bags. 

With the brand’s distinctive technology, these backpacks are easy to carry: sternum straps, waist belts, and back panels help carry loads comfortably.

5. Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack
Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack

Why We Love IT

  • There are tons of colour and pattern choices
  • With magnet fastened closures, the pockets are easy to access
  • Over 6,000 Amazon reviews are rave reviews

Take Note

  • Some reviewers claim it isn’t great in bad weather

College students who desire something a little different in their backpack will love this Herschel bag. 

Featuring simple colour blocks, it’s ideal for a casual or professional look. It’s perfect for pens or lip balms that need quick access. 

In nearly 50 different colours and patterns, you’ll find everything from stripes to camo to let your personality shine.

6. Signature Cotton Campus Backpack
Vera Bradley Women's Signature Cotton Campus Backpack

Why We Love IT

  • Different statement patterns are available
  • Students’ ID cards have a card window
  • Fits laptops up to 15 inches

Take Note

  • It is made of cotton, which becomes heavy when wet

There are more than 35 patterns to choose from, ranging from paisley to geometric. 

College students will appreciate its mesh laptop compartment, secret rear pocket, three pen holders, and secret rear pocket for valuables. 

Despite being made of 100% cotton, this throw is not waterproof.

7. Crossover 25L Laptop Backpack
Thule Crossover 25L Laptop Backpack

Why We Love IT

  • Durable nylon materials
  • Front pockets are easy to reach
  • Laptop and tablet pouches

Take Note

  • Only available in black

In the Textiles Lab, the nylon fabric of Thlue baggage was tested for rip and abrasion resistance. 

In addition to numerous front zipped pockets on the front of the bag, there are pockets specific to a laptop or tablet. 

With a capacity of 25L, reviews praise its capacity, making it a perfect weekend backpack.

8. ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
SwissGear ScanSmart Laptop Backpack,

Why We Love IT

  • 17,000+ reviews on Amazon
  • Front carabiner
  • Four small front pockets

Take Note

  • Some reviewers say it does not stand alone

Stylish and functional, this unisex black backpack has two large front pockets, a pencil holder, a phone pocket, and a key hook.

This side compartment for water bottles is great. 

According to nearly 17,000 Amazon reviews, the brand’s attention to detail includes handy features, such as a front carabiner and sunglasses loop.

9. School Backpack with USB Charging Port

Why We Love IT

  • Supports laptops up to 15.6 inches
  • Shades and patterns in 17 unique shades
  • Canvas and nylon materials are water-resistant

Take Note

  • The laptop sleeve isn’t padded

Himawari bags are a great way to stand out on campus. 

Stripes and neon yellow are among the 17 colours and patterns available. Made of nylon and water-repellent canvas, the backpack is lightweight and durable. The device has an integrated USB charging port (batteries not included). 

This top-loading backpack has thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, where users praise its amount of room.

10. Reaction Women’s Chelsea Backpack
Kenneth Cole Reaction Women's Chelsea Backpack

Why We Love IT

  • Details: stylish quilting
  • A variety of trendy colours are available
  • Separate laptop pocket with zipper

Take Note

  • Smaller than other picks

A great option for feminine backpacks that still fit everything you need is the Kenneth Cole Reaction bag. 

A zippered pocket and a smaller pocket are located in the interior. In the padded zipped sleeve at the back are laptops up to 15 inches. 

You can store your phone, pencils, and even a tablet in your internal pockets. Thanks to its polyester fabric, Amazon reviewers praised the bag’s durability in everyday use and travel.