How to Find the Right College Backpack

A backpack for college has to be functional and durable. Ideally, it will carry you through your four years of higher education and into your graduate program. For the same reason, it has to be comfortable. You and your backpack will cover a lot of ground throughout your college years, whether across the quad or across the ocean for your semester abroad. Perhaps most importantly, it has to meet high standards for backpack styles because you will likely wear it every day. The following backpack styles measure up nicely and more.

Popular Backpacks for Undergraduates and Graduates

JanSport Right Pack Digital Edition Backpack

Jansport Right Pack Digital Edition Backpack

Jansport, a pioneering Seattle-based backpack manufacturer since 1967, has updated its iconic Right Pack to keep pace with the best backpack brands. The Jansport Right Pack Digital Edition features the large main compartment and zippered exterior pouch that generations of college students have loved, but also sports an internal padded laptop sleeve, a soft pocket for your tablet and an electronic organizer.

Say you got stuck in rush hour traffic and are a bit late to class. You won’t have to riffle through your pack, causing more disruption, to locate your supplies because you know exactly where to find your calculator, tablet or laptop. With the Right Pack Digital Edition, it’s like having a personal assistant who keeps you on track.

When you add in the tons of updated colors, including a jaunty lumberjack plaid, the thick, padded breathable straps and the web haul handle, it adds up to one of the best backpacks for college. The lifetime warranty attests to the rugged durability of this iconic carryall, and with its classically handsome profile, it earns an A+ for style.


Large College Backpack with Dual Compartments

Fjallraven Raven 28L

Dual compartments for ultimate organization, zippered mesh organizer pockets up front and G-1000 heavy-duty fabric for longevity combine in one of the most well-built college backpacks you can find. The physics major and art major alike will find lots to love about the Fjallraven Raven 28L backpack because it not only keeps all the tools of various trades organized but also comes in no-nonsense colors that can be as expressive or innocuous as you choose.

A dedicated zippered pocket holds your laptop securely inside while a hidden security pocket is an ideal place to stash your ID, payment cards and other sensitive belongings out of sight. So, if you are waiting in the queue to pay your tuition or standing in line at the bank, you won’t have to worry about security.

Side pockets hold your water bottles for a day on campus while padded straps and back panel let you ride, walk or pedal in comfort with all the stuff you need for a day on campus safely stowed organized. Because the Fjallraven Raven has more stealth than flash, it comes across as effortlessly stylish.

Fjallraven Raven 28L Backpack - Navy

College Backpack for Athletes

Dakine Campus 33L Backpack

For college students who need a little more space, the Dakine Campus 30L Backpack offers all that and more. The eye-catching two-toned exterior comes in a kicky Party Palm print or solid tones, so you can match it up to your personal style. Contrasting lining makes it a treat to unzip. It not only offers cavernous cargo space but also an insulated compartment for your lunch and snacks, a cushioned laptop sleeve, and a triple arc of zippers in front for easy access to everything.

Side mesh pockets, padded shoulder and sternum straps plus a fleece-lined pocket for your sunglasses mean that the Dakine Campus pack is destined to be your designated bag where ever you are, from summer classes to winter courses, study abroad or online courses. With its extra volume, it is just the right size for a quick trip home too. Because there is ample space for your soccer gear, swim goggles or basketball shoes. This is also one of the best backpacks for college athletes as well.


College Backpack for Students on the Go

The North Face Borealis Backpack

This backpack makes the transition from Denali to desk top seamlessly. Made with 210D Cordura rip-stop fabric, it is an apt match for heavy books and pointy spiral bindings. Great-looking bungie lacing on the exterior earns its keep by securing extra cargo while a flat, exterior zippered pocket keeps your small school supplies safely stowed.

A standout among durable backpacks served up by one of the top backpack brands, the North Face Borealis features a rugged suspension system built for comfort during long days of study or on the trail. Whether you’re standing in line at the cafe or seated on the crosstown bus, the custom-molded shoulder straps with a sternum whistle clasp and optional waist belt hold your backpack ergonomically so it doesn’t weigh you down.

The North Face Borealis Backpack - TNF Black

Small Women’s College Backpack

The North Face Womens Borealis Backpack - Greystone Blue Ripstop/Mint Blue

The North Face Women’s Borealis Backpack

The slightly smaller women’s Borealis college backpacks have the same great features, but they are expressly styled to fit a woman’s torso comfortably. Pretty pastels and print details jazz them up. If you are looking for great gifts for college students, the North Face Borealis for women is that perfect combination of utility, durability and bling that the women on your list will appreciate.

North Face’s proprietary Flex-Vent suspension system includes specially injection-molded straps for durable comfort as well as a padded, breathable panel along the back with a center channel so it won’t chafe against your spine. With fleece-lined pockets and interior padding that protects your sensitive electronics, the Borealis backpack for women is your go-to go bag for all of your scholarship and extra-curricular adventures.


Where to Find the Best Backpacks for College

You can find all of the top college backpack brands and backpack styles at We meticulously research the most up-to-the-minute trends in backpacks for college to ensure that our college backpacks meet the exacting standards of undergrads and graduate students alike. With our big selection of backpack styles from top manufacturers, you are sure to find the packs that suit your classes and your busy schedule while keeping you comfortable during your daily commute.


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