Best High School & College Backpacks Reviewed in 2019

Selecting a backpack for school or college can be harder than you think. With all of the options that are available on the market, it is way more complicated than it may sound. So we decided to research and find the best backpacks for school and college found on the internet. We broke it down based on their features, benefits, and the pros and cons of each backpack. We found the best backpacks so you can easily choose the one that is just right for you.

At first, the task of searching for a backpack can seem like a challenge, but after reviewing the best backpacks on our top 10 list and all the details about each one, it will no longer seem overwhelming. This list will allow you to select the backpack that best fits your needs, without it being such a chore. With tons of backpacks all over the web, finding one that fits your needs may be confusing. We have included summaries with details for each backpack which makes it easy to review the backpacks on our list and make a decision on what best suits your needs and lifestyle.

A backpack is a personal item and everyone has their own preferences and requirements. Choosing a backpack depends on your needs are and what features will make your life easier. We researched, reviewed, and read about more backpacks than we realized possible to come up with this compiled list of nothing but the best. The top runners-up are listed and reviewed. Selecting the best backpack for your needs should be easy.

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best High School and College Backpacks 

In higher levels of learning, there is still a need for the standard backpack. However, the older someone becomes, and as their styles of learning change, their needs in a backpack will change as well. When coming up with our choices for the best high school and college backpacks, we took into consideration the following key factors that no doubt most top academic students will look for.


An essential element of any backpack, we want one that is made to last. When its bought for either high school or college, we want to be able to get through the entire four years with this one backpack. So, having one that is built to last not just on the outside but also on the inside is essential. We want one in which the lining won’t start to tear, or the zippers start to break. After all, there will be enough to handle in both high school and college but a backpack falling apart shouldn’t have to be one of them.


An essential element that high school and college students could look for in a backpack is whether it is waterproof or at least water-resistant. Not only would having one that is waterproof protect the items inside in bad weather but there is the added advantage of providing constant protection to devices. After all, each of us at one time or another have accidentally dropped fluid of some kind or even got caught in automatic sprinklers. Imagine the damage that could be done to our high-tech devices if it isn’t waterproof.


Backpacks for higher levels of education need to accommodate the growing technological age. These days students are expected to carry laptops or tablets to class especially in college. So, the backpack needs to have room for these to fit and not be obstructed by any other items. Another great feature of several backpacks on our list is a USB-charging option.


Backpacks aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Some students may require more room than others in their backpacks and may want more compartments to place things for more organization. Whatever the needs may be, the backpack should be convenient for its owner to be able to navigate through school using it.


Backpacks make it possible to keep all of our items close to us. We can keep our smartphones, our tablets or laptops close by at all times. We can also keep whatever money we need in the backpack as well along with any types of identification required. With a backpack, all this stuff is held securely with us, not in a locker where we may wonder if it is still safe and that someone hasn’t managed to break in. So, a backpack will keep everything close at hand and secure at all times.


Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can the same backpack used in high school be used in college?

A: It may seem like an excellent economical thing to do but like a grade school backpack doesn’t really work for high school a backpack designed for high school may not work for college. Sometimes, a more rigorous courseload will require different things for those classes, such as a laptop or tablet computer. Another factor is the older a student becomes, the more personal items he or she might need to carry such as a driver’s license and other forms of ID, or car, dorm room or apartment keys. One way around this would be to buy a backpack in high school that is designed for college-age students. Some may seem a bit roomy at the moment, but no doubt the student will start to utilize it more as time goes on.

Q: When did students start using backpacks more commonly?

A: It was around the early ’80s that backpacks started to be used more in schools as a way for kids to carry necessary materials such as school books. Before this kids would use things such a book bags because lugging around books in their arms along with a notebook and pencil box was quite challenging to do. When kids entered high school and college, they were supplied with lockers to help keep track of these things. But even at this age, students found that they still preferred the convenience of using a backpack instead because it helps them carry all their necessary materials from class to class.

Q: What about clear backpacks and the new mandatory rule by some high schools about these?

A: Some grade schools and high schools have gone to the clear backpack since they feel these are more secure and prevent concealed weapons from being brought to campus. But take a look at our list, no clear backpacks on it for three reasons. First of all, although they are waterproof, they aren’t too durable and are generally one specific style, which means individual needs haven’t been taken into consideration. Second, there is no real proof that this solves the problem of violence in schools as some experts are quick to point out. Third, students feel that these are an invasion of privacy more than something to keep them safe and some have even filed grievances against being made to use clear backpacks. However, if it is the school policy, it is necessary to follow it, since all schools have their rules from dress codes to backpacks.

Q: Do backpacks cause back and other health problems in the body?

A: There have been reports of backpacks causing back pain and back problems. There have also been reports of shoulder problems and neck pain. All of this is understandable because a student is carrying their lives on their shoulders and their backs. However, some backpacks that we featured on this list have considered this issue and have outfitted the backpack with padded shoulder straps and have designed the backpack to better distribute the weight of the contents. In addition, to avoid back issues resulting from heavy backpacks, it is important to wear the backpack properly. Consult the product information on the manufacturer’s website to see how to adjust the straps properly for comfortable wear.

Q: How can the heavy backpack problem be avoided?

A: First thing to remember that a backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 10 percent of the student’s body weight. Second, only have the necessary items needed at any particular time inside the bag. That is where a locker could come in handy–remove the books that aren’t needed and store in the locker while adding the books from the locker that you do need. Third and most important, always clean out the backpack every month of unnecessary stuff that is no longer needed.

Q: Is it true some colleges won’t allow backpacks in classrooms?

A: Unfortunately this is true, some universities do have this rule. They feel that it is fine to bring one to campus but leave it in your locker or your car. For the most part, the rule is as popular with college students as the clear backpack has been with high school students. The concern here for college students is that they would have to lug all necessary materials for each class including their laptops in their arms and if one class is right after the other there may not be enough time to head back to the locker or your car. So, they would have to take materials for more than one class, carrying it all in their arms without the help of a backpack. A good argument but again rules are rules. The best course of action and it’s one to follow with any school is to know the university’s policy before entering as a student.


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