We know—that’s a lot of technology for one bag. Originally a surf brand, these school bags are made to stand up to anything and, as you would expect, come fully loaded with features. Or, if you’re learning remotely, it’ll serve equally well for stashing your books when you’re not using them or for carrying supplies to a picnic. Why it’s great: The original Kånken was designed for Swedish schoolchildren back in 1977 and retains a cult following among adults. It’s an Amazon best-seller with over 15,000 reviews from users who swear it’s both useful and professional. They can feel weighed down by them, and in some cases, these bags can have a long-term effect on posture. Not only is it competitively priced for the organization it offers, but it’s also just plain useful, with lots of pockets and compartments, and it looks better, less garish, than the other tech bags our tester has touched. Photo: Michael Murtaugh, You won’t fit more than just a laptop and a Dostoevsky in this slim bag. Everlane as a company has recently come under fire for the way it treats employees, which has been seen as running contrary to the company’s external claims of a commitment to ethics. There’s a lot to think about during high school and college besides just studying, from potential job offers to bonafide heartbreak, but you still need a way to carry your stuff. The picks ahead are winners from our test along with some new styles with unique features and rave reviews. The front organizational compartment has an arrangement of storage options: a large zipper pouch, two open pockets, and two pen slots. It also has an extra loop so kids can attach a lunch bag and be hands-free. Yet the straps are also extremely comfortable. In continuous production since 1990, the Right Pack is made of tough Cordura nylon (with a suede-leather bottom) and has a lifetime unconditional warranty to back it up—these bags are built to last. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests backpacks for durability features like tear strength, strap strength, and abrasion resistance as well as comfort aspects like the amount of padding in the straps and weight when it's empty. We rounded up 7 of the best backpacks for college students with room for laptops, books, water bottles, and more. If you tend to lose umbrellas and forget to check the weather before stumbling out of your dorm late for class, the waterproofing on the Rains is a gift from the gods. As kids get older, their backpacks need to be a little bit bigger to carry homework and other things to and from school. If your bag has problems after that warranty period, though, Lo & Sons recommends reaching out to the company with the details. The sleek Nike Utility Training Backpack keeps your gear organized and secure in style. Note: We are a readers-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through the links in this post. Instance 1. It comes in three youth sizes to fit children of all ages, plus lots of prints to keep it kid-friendly. Some of these choices are bags we looked at specifically for this guide whereas others are recommendations selected from our other bag guides, but all of them have been thoroughly tested by Wirecutter staff. But it may not be what you’re looking for: It’s pretty expensive, and coming in at around 3 pounds, it’s quite heavy, too. This would be more of an issue if we didn’t like this bag’s shape, which is long and trapezoidal, similar to the bucket bags that bike commuters commonly use. Who it’s for: Someone who wants a bag that can go from class to the gym but wants to spend less than $50. They are the best till now because they are ultralight and super durable. This 22-liter pack with a super-simple design will work in almost any situation. Why the Mayo Clinic Diet Is One of 2021's Best, 7 Major Reasons You Should Try Dry January, Best Backpack for Middle School and High School, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Best Overall: L.L.Bean Original Book Pack at llbean.com "This bag will hold up through the school year and way beyond with their solid durability." Bean Quad Pack Incase ICON Laptop Backpack We discuss several of the bags in this guide in greater length in our guide to laptop backpacks, which also includes other bags that didn’t fit within our price range for this guide. We loved it. This print in particular is Amazon's Choice for backpacks for boys. Thanks to the cushioning on the AmazonBasics Sports Backpack’s straps, we found it comfortable to sling over our shoulders, and we had no issues when we took the bag to the park or out walking around town. Justin doesn’t use it for heavier loads (that’s why he also has the more robust Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack) but thinks the Kånken is a great, simple bag. If you need to carry something particularly big, you can pull out the insert and just use the entire space. JanSport is famous for its backpack collection for middle school students. The Under Armour Storm Hustle II Backpack captures the #1 spot as the best school backpack for its overall quality and performance—not to mention its unbeatable price of $55 for the whole package. If you carry a lot of stuff or value technical features over style, this isn’t the bag for you. Simply put, it’s a functional, affordable, sophisticated, unisex backpack. The one callout  is that there aren't straps at the waist and chest for added support. There is nothing more to return to school than to shop for a new kid’s Backpacks for School students, but it’s hard to check all the boxes for both parents and kids. Thanks to the Timbuk2 Authority’s huge number of pockets and compartments, all of those things our tester was carrying were able to slot into specific places, and they were easy to find. It also has side pockets to hold water bottles and a loop at the top to hang on hooks. And although the thin straps are less comfortable than wider varieties, that has never been a problem. Best Elementary: Pottery Barn Monster Backpack at potterybarnkids.com "We love how there are outside straps … Similar to Lo & Sons’s The Hakuba—and like every gym backpack we tested—the AmazonBasics Sports Backpack has a dedicated shoe compartment located directly underneath the laptop compartment, and it easily fit our tester’s size 11½ shoes. Browse all best school backpacks from Nike, JanSport, Under Armour & more top-rated brands. It can also be monogramed for $10 to make it extra personal. Trendy Backpacks Extra-Large Backpacks Best Laptop Backpacks Best Backpacks for College *Disclaimer: Inventory may fluctuate due to product availability. TRENDY BACKPACKS FOR 2020 Nike Utility Training Backpack. We tested this feature accidentally when walking from a favorite coffee shop through a brief lightning storm, and the Rains, true to its name, kept everything in the bag totally dry. On top of that, the fabric is made of recycled polyester and each bag saves 18 water bottles from going into a landfill. We also look at the overall design and organizational components and make sure that the material is water-resistant. We cannot emphasize this enough: You do not want your sweaty socks touching your computer, or your notebooks! A new backpack can help you get in the right frame of mind for learning, too, whether you’re physically headed back to school or attending class online. From pre-school to high school, and then, the top box backpack is designed to be entertained and fun to the street. Why it’s great: If you want something that’s fashionable but still comfortable, smartly organized, and easy to get around with, the Rains Backpack Mini balances those seemingly opposed qualities in a slim package. Our favorite backpack is the L. L. Bean Quad Pack (available at L.L. Why it’s great: A polished gym bag should be large and well organized enough to hold a change of clothes and shoes, keep what’s dirty separate from the school supplies you’re carrying, and look good enough that you won’t be embarrassed to carry it into class. Mission Workshop Rhake Backpack. Make an impression on Day One. A good school backpack should survive the wear and tear of at least four years of education, as well as well-deserved weekend getaways and trips back home so your parents can do your laundry. It's an Amazon best-seller and one of the most searched for kids backpack brands on the Internet. The updated Kånken Laptop Backpack retains the youthful charm and versatility of its namesake while gaining adult features such as a separate padded laptop compartment and extra padding on the straps to accommodate heavier loads. The back compartment is suitable for a memo pad or a laptop up to 17 inches, as is the main pocket in the bag’s central compartment. Dimensions: 18 by 12 by 5.5 inchesWeight: 1.9 pounds. Even with all of that, this bag maintains its shape. High Sierra is known for producing quality school bags and this product is not an exception. If you don’t need as much space as this bag provides, consider the AmazonBasics Sports Backpack; it holds a lot less, but it’s cheap, more traditionally shaped, and a pound lighter. Whether it’s camera gear, a laptop, or even extra clothes, the Rhake has significant storage room to stuff it full of whatever you need to bring with you — while making sure you’re still comfortable. The best back-to-school backpacks from brands like L.L.Bean, Pottery Barn Kids, Jansport, and more, with picks for kindergarten through high school and beyond. MATEIN High School Backpack, College Middle High School Bookbags for Men Woman Boys Girls, Durable Water Resistant Laptop Backpacks Fits 15.6 Inch Laptops,Black 4.6 … Pockets and organization: The laptop compartment fits computers up to 15 inches and has a separate zipper so that you don’t have to dig through a mess of junk to find the compartment. The bag’s outside sports a zippered pocket that could hold a paperback, as well as two non-elasticized side pockets. In what was probably an ill-advised test influenced by the pandemic, our tester ran with this bag on their back for 3½ miles in New York City, from Williamsburg to Downtown Brooklyn. Lastly, we have standard packing loads for different age groups to make sure it’ll hold everything they need. We also love that it has a durable material to protect the base of the bag, a chest clip for added support, and a side bottle holder for convenience. If you prefer a more simple design, L.L.Bean also its popular Original Book Pack in a variety of colors. It also has a zippered pocket against the back for valuables and waterproof materials to help the contents stay safe. Dimensions: 18 by 13 by 8.5 inchesWeight: 1 pound. The bag spread weight evenly across our tester’s back, and its pads were cushioned enough that they never felt as if they were digging into our tester’s shoulders. Photo: Michael Hession, An example testing load we used for the Fjällräven Kånken Laptop Backpack. Why trust us? There’s also a key ring in the frontmost exterior zipper pocket. Who it’s for: Cool kids. Some on our staff went so far as to call it “ugly as sin.” But really, it just puts the “Basics” in “AmazonBasics,” and it does a good job if you’re okay with the looks. The JanSport Black Label Superbreak Backpack is also one of them. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Worry about the 4-mile run you have ahead of you instead. The BLUBOON Canvas Middle School Backpackcomes with a beautiful matching 3 pieces set with a cute stripe design. And you can attach the Hakuba to most suitcase handles via the sleeve on its back. 1. … Limted Time Only - While Supplies Last! The Ultimate Back-to-School Shopping Lists of 2020. Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Kånken Laptop Backpack’s ergonomics are below average at best. Photo: Michael Hession, The Fjällräven Kånken Laptop Backpack’s pockets. The North Face; With rave reviews for durability, The North Face is the most popular brand for college kids, according to the Grown and Flown community. Although you should be fine packing the AmazonBasics Sports Backpack with all of your essentials, you simply can’t fit the same amount of stuff inside it as you can fit inside the Lo & Sons bag. The Fjällräven Kånken Laptop Backpack’s back panel. Laptop Backpack 17 Inch Waterproof Extra Large TSA Travel Backpack Anti Theft College School Business Mens Backpacks with USB Charging Port 17.3 Gaming Computer Backpack for Women Men Black 45L 4.8 out of 5 stars 1,973 Manufactured by Jansport, the Big Student Backpack has an iconic design and is suitable for both men, as well as women, and has everything that a student needs from a school bag. The main pocket is cavernous, and the zippered exterior pouch on the front is perfect for things you need easy access to, such as phone chargers. Because of this bag’s snug and robust padded straps and back panel, our tester’s walks were always pleasant. It has a tough, 1,200-denier polyester exterior that guards it against bumps and bruises as you lug it to and from school, and it’s backed by a lifetime warranty for defects. The Herschel Heritage Backpack is a sleek backpack with a classic and simple design. Why it’s great: The AmazonBasics Sports Backpack is a laptop backpack that you can use as a gym bag, too, as long as you’re willing to make some compromises in organization and style. Here are the best kids backpacks for the 2020 school year: With high scores across the board, L.L.Bean's rugged backpack is durable, functional, and kid-friendly thanks to the variety of fun prints. Along with shoes and a laptop, we were able to pack shorts, a T-shirt, and socks in the other primary compartment, which also has pockets for pens, sunglasses, and a laptop charger. If you’re a high school or college student, you need a bag that can carry your books, electronics, and school supplies alongside whatever you might need for the gym, rehearsal, or a late night stuck inside the basement of the library. Made by the same company curated for best performance. The Original Book Pack has compartments for all their school gear, including a lunchbox. Plus, it has lots of compartments to keep students organized, including a padded sleeve for laptops. This simple, 31-liter American-made bag looks great and has a lifetime warranty, but it lacks organization. So here is the best backpack for high school that prevents back pain and shoulder pain. The non-elasticized twin bottle pockets (one on either side of the bag) are a bit narrow—a 27-fluid-ounce Klean Kanteen fits, but a 1-liter one doesn’t. 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