The Best Book Bags for Students This Year

Comprehensive Coverage: The Best Book Bags for Students This Year

Contents

 

Getting Started

 

The new school year is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to shop for school supplies. Arguably the most important accessory you can pick out is going to be your book bag—an uncomfortable backpack can put a damper on the entire school year. Today we’re going to be going over what you should look for in a great backpack and then we’ll make a few recommendations of packs for a variety of purposes and usage scenarios. Let’s get started and find you the perfect pack for this school year—and beyond.

 

What Features do the Best Book Bags Have in Common?

 

The best book bags are going to be the ones that won’t wear out easily, offer enough room for your things, and can be worn comfortably. It’s important to consider not only your budget but also how you’re going to be using your backpack. If you have to walk long distances from one class to another, having a pack with good padding on both the back as well as the straps is going to make your life a lot easier. If you need to carry a laptop or other devices, you’ll want a pack with a pocket specifically designed to hold your delicate electronics. And while we believe that function is more important than form, you want a backpack that looks good too.

To summarize, select your book bag based on the following features:

  • Durability and quality of build material
  • Size is appropriate to carry all of your necessary things
  • Good padding and other comfort features
  • Enough pockets for your smaller items
  • A laptop insert if you need it
  • Looks great

Here’s a helpful video from YouTuber Mariana which can help you learn more about smart ways to choose a bag for school as well as how to organize the items you put in it:

 

 

What’s the Best School Backpack Brand?

 

We would advise that it’s less important to worry about the particular brand of your backpack and focus more on the features and how they play a part in solving your unique needs. Having said that, popular backpack brands include Jansport, the North Face (yes, they make school book bags too), Everlane, Topo Designs, Mission Workshop, and others.

 

What Should I Look For in College Backpacks for Women?

 

College backpacks for women should share most of the same features that we’ve already discussed. If fashion is important, the pack should be both elegant and feminine, but we’d really like to stress the idea that the most important feature of a backpack is how it helps you in your daily life you’re going to be carrying it with you nearly everywhere you go, so comfort and function are the two most important features to look out for. A close second will be durability—there’s not much point to having a backpack that’s only going to last you a semester or two. Ideally, you’ll choose a pack that’s going to provide you with at least two or three years of performance before wearing out.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three bestselling backpacks and discuss why we’ve picked them as some of the best book bags for students in the coming year.

 

Best Book Bags Comparison Table

 

Our Best Picks “Sandy” Handmade Backpack from The Barrel Shack P.KU.VDSL 20L Lightweight Packable Backpack Jansport Right Pack Backpack
Product “Sandy” Handmade Backpack from The Barrel Shack P.KU.VDSL 20L Lightweight Packable Backpack Jansport Right Pack Backpack
Amazon Rating 5 rating 5 rating 4.4 rating
Dimensions (inches) 16 x 12 x 7.5 19.7 x 11.8 x 5.1 20 x 16 x 1
Pockets 6 4 3
Weight (pounds, when empty) 1.6 0.44 1.2
Material Leather Water resistant polyester Polyester, Leather
Multiple colors No No Yes
Laptop sleeve No No Yes
Pros / Cons Read Below Read Below Read Below
Price
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price

 

Recommendation: “Sandy” Handmade Backpack from The Barrel Shack

 

Price:

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“Sandy” Handmade Backpack from The Barrel Shack

What’s so good about it?

 

This five-star backpack is not only durable, but spacious, comfortable, and looks great. While this pack is appropriate for both men and women, female students looking for college backpacks for women will find that it’s an excellent option for anyone who wants a backpack that’s less “girly” and more functional.

The Barrel Shack isn’t a huge name brand as a backpack manufacturer, but we’d like to think that they should be—their backpacks are handmade, high quality, and will last longer than a semester or two. This pack could get you through your entire college or university career and then some, and that’s likely thanks to its durable leather build material.

You’ll also likely avoid issues with straps breaking or wearing down over time since the accents are genuine leather as well. With more than enough room for books and paperwork, owners of this backpack will also have enough room for refreshments on account of the two side pockets intended for water bottles. Overall, this pack is a great value for anyone who wants a long lasting solution to transporting all of their important things.

 

What features does it have?

 

The Sandy Handmade Backpack is 16 inches long, 12 inches wide, and about seven and a half inches deep. The size of the pack alone provides more than enough room for even the heaviest, thickest textbooks, and the padded back panel makes sure that you won’t get jabbed in the ribs while you’re walking from one class to the next. The padded back panel feature makes this pack a great choice for anyone who has to transport oddly shaped items as well.

Inside the pack, you’ll find two “convenience pockets,” which provide you with the perfect storage solution for frequently accessed items that need a little extra protection, such as calculators, flash drives, cell phones, and other electronics or delicate items.

The two exterior pockets provide easy access to other frequently used items like pens, pencils, small notebooks, and just about anything else you can think of. The pockets aren’t likely to come loose since the genuine leather lock straps are going to keep them shut until you decide to open them—and the straps aren’t likely to break, even with repeated, harsh usage. The main feature of this backpack? It’s durable. And for any student of higher education constantly on the go, that’s an important feature to have.

 

Who should use it?

 

This pack is likely most appropriate for students who need to carry a lot of things, but not a ton of things—it’s spacious but it isn’t intended to carry everything and your kitchen sink. What it can carry though will be well protected, and thanks to the design features, you’ll be protected too. Students tired of uncomfortable backpacks will love the padded back panel since this will prevent books and other objects from poking into their backs. While appropriate for all ages, older students in high school or college will likely appreciate the elegant design—this isn’t a backpack for kids.

 

How much is it?

 

If you have a slightly higher than average budget for your backpack, you can’t go wrong with the Sandy Handmade Backpack from The Barrel Shack. Retailing for just over $200 USD at the time of this writing, buyers can rest assured that they’ll be getting their money’s worth with this pack—the material and build quality are durable enough to know that it’s going to last for years. It’s a smart purchase for anyone who wants to buy one backpack to get them through the next four or five years, rather than having to buy a new pack every year. It’s a little more expensive yes, but it’s worth every penny.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable and well made
  • Gender neutral, appropriate for college backpacks for women or men
  • Spacious
  • Padded back panel

Cons:

  • Expensive but will last a long time
  • No other cons—this is really an excellent backpack

 

Recommendation: P.KU.VDSL 20L Lightweight Packable Backpack

 

Price:

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P.KU.VDSL 20L Lightweight Packable Backpack

 

What’s so good about it?

 

So let’s be clear about something—the manufacturer doesn’t specifically advertise this pack as a school book bag. Technically it’s a daypack, made for general, everyday use. And perhaps that’s why so many students have had such a great deal of success with this pack because it’s been designed for a multitude of different usage scenarios. If you’re not sure what kind of pack to get and you’ve got a strict budget, this affordable yet highly functional, durable, and good looking pack will get the job done.

 

What features does it have?

 

For the price point, this backpack is crammed with features, making it appropriate both for school use and just about any other situation where you need to get your items from one location to another safely and reliably in total comfort. The material is a waterproof polyester, which means that even on rainy days the contents inside of the pack will be dry and safe.

The straps on this pack—which as you’ll recall we believe to be a really important feature—are excellent. They’ve been designed to be as lightweight as possible, and they’re also breathable. What does this mean? Well, if you’ve ever been walking along with your backpack, set it down, and realized that your shoulders were sweaty (common with polyester), you’ll be able to avoid that with this backpack. It’s one of those features you didn’t know you needed until you have it.

 

Who should use it?

 

This backpack is appropriate for both men and women who would benefit from a backpack that’s not only great as a book bag for school, but for other applications as well. Say for example that over the weekend you’re going on a day trip with some friends—you can use this pack for that purpose as well since it’s spacious and comfortable enough to be useful in a variety of situations. It’s also great for trips, whether they’re for school, work, or just for fun. Since the pack is easy to store thanks to the lightweight strap design, you can put it in your other luggage as well.

 

How much is it?

 

This backpack is budget priced with high-end features. At the time of this writing, the P.KU.VDSL 20L Lightweight Packable Backpack retails for only about $20 USD. If you’d like to save money while having a versatile backpack appropriate for nearly all occasions, including school, this is a smart purchase.

Pros:

  • Water resistant
  • Breathable straps
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent for travel
  • Multipurpose pack great for school and more

Cons:

  • Might not have enough room if you carry a lot
  • Won’t last more than a couple years, though low price point counters this con

 

Recommendation: Jansport Right Pack Backpack

 

Price:

Check Price on Amazon

 

Jansport Right Pack Backpack

What’s so good about it?

 

Jansport is one of the most well-known name brands for school backpacks—if you’ve ever gone to school, odds are you’ve seen plenty of students wearing these reliable, functional backpacks. While Jansport has hundreds of different models available, the Right Pack Backpack is a particularly good offering thanks to its affordable price point, simple-yet-functional design, time-tested durability, and laptop compartment. Students need to have access to portable computers more and more often these days, and this is a great pack to keep that kind of equipment safe as well as to carry plenty of your other things.

 

What features does it have?

 

At 1900 cubic inches, the Jansport Right Pack Backpack is anything but cramped—there’s going to be more than enough room for all of your textbooks, notebooks, and other accessories. And yes, there’s a dedicated laptop pocket as well, which will keep what’s probably the most expensive item in your backpack safe as you walk from one class to the next throughout the day. The straps feature extra padding to maximize comfort, and the material build for this pack is also typical of excellent Jansport quality—the leather and Cordura elements will last for a long time to come.

 

Who should use it?

 

This backpack is a near-perfect solution for students who need to carry not only a laptop but other school accessories as well, such as textbooks or notepads. The backpack comes in a variety of different color options, so it’s great for both men and women. While the pack is best suited for school, other applications may be appropriate for this high-end book bag as well. Traveling, day trips, and taking it to work are all going to provide you with a similar level of quality and reliability. Bottom line? This pack offers a great solution to students with laptops.

 

How much is it?

 

At the time of this writing, Jansport’s Right Pack Backpack retails for just over $50 USD. This middling price point makes it an attractive option for students on a budget—it’s important not to skimp on a laptop backpack, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stretch your wallet thin just to keep it safe either. Jansport is a well-known name brand and lives up to its reputation as the “classic school backpack” manufacturer—they’ve been around for a long time for a good reason: their backpacks are reliable.

Pros:

  • Perfect for students with laptops with the dedicated laptop pocket.
  • Trusted brand
  • Spacious

Cons:

  • None (if you need to carry a laptop—otherwise pick another from our list)

 


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