Best Student Backpacks

We all know how important it is to have a good backpack, one that fits the needs of the student. Everyone has different style preferences, needs, and uses. Some need to carry a laptop or tablet, others need comfort for all the weight or one large enough to hold lots of books. For some students, it’s important to have a backpack that’s easy on the back, some want organization, others just need something to get their stuff back and forth to school. There are so many options out there, so I’ve narrowed them down to a few that I think can fit a wide range of students and their needs. 



Ivar Urban 20

I really like the Ivar Urban 20 because of the shelf design on the inside for comfortable weight distribution. The shelf system not only distributes weight, making it easy on the back, but also makes for great organization. There are three different shelves that keep things separate. The top shelf has an organizer panel for pens, pencils, etc. that is easily accessible. Along with the main compartment, there is a medium sized front zipper pocket. Also has large dual side pockets on the outside of the bag. Great for water bottles or umbrellas.


The dimensions of this bag are 17” height, 11” width, 7.5” depth with 2,000 cubic inches of space and 1.5 pound weight. This backpack isn’t huge, but you can fit a good amount of stuff. There is room for a 15” laptop if you ever need to carry it with you. Has padded, ergonomic, adjustable shoulder straps and padded back for maximum fit and comfort. The Ivar is made of polyurethane coated nylons and polyester that offer resistance and protection from the rain.

The Ivar is great for all types of students and it’s ergonomic. It’s very durable and will last a long time. It’s not huge, but if you love the idea of the shelf system, the Ivar Urban 20 has a larger version, the Ivar Urban 32 ($89.95 @ Both bags have the same qualities that I love, the 32 is just bigger and can accommodate a 17” laptop. Love these bags!



Incase Campus

If you don’t carry much of anything with you except for a laptop, the Incase Campus is the perfect bag. It’s the minimalist approach to backpacks. This bag has a faux fur lined laptop sleeve to fit up to a 15” Macbook Pro and a separate slip pocket for an iPad or tablet. There are also interior slip pockets for your laptop charger, a mouse, pens, and other electronic devices. Great for keeping everything organized. No more worrying about things sitting at the bottom of the bag get tangled. There are also two front zippered pockets that are great for your keys, phone, headphones, and things you don’t want to get lost in the main compartment.

The shoulder straps and back panel are padded with breathable mesh for integrated airflow that provides ergonomic support for comfort. There is also carrying handle on the top of the bag for easy pick up. The Incase comes in a few different colors: black, dark grey, fir green, and fuschia. The colors are great and stylish.

The Incase is a small, slim backpack with dimensions of 15.75” width, 11” height, 4.75” depth and a weight of 1 pound. That gives you room for your laptop, iPad, chargers, mouse, one or two textbooks, a few folders, and a notebook, plus whatever small things you can fit in the front pockets. Not much room for more than that, so if you need to carry a lot of things, this isn’t the bag for you. As long as you know that the Incase is not a large bag, you shouldn’t have too many complaints. It does what it’s made to do, carry your laptop, iPad, electronic accessories, and a few other daily essentials.  



Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

If you are looking for a messenger bag, the Timbuk2 Classic is one of the best. Made of durable ballistic nylon fabric, this bag will last you a long time. It also has a waterproof TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) liner that will keep things dry. The strap has a True Fit cam buckle that makes it easy to adjust the strap with just one hand.


The Timbuk2 has a large main compartment and a three-zip front organizer. The main compartment has multiple pockets and sections for organization and there is plenty of room for all that you need. There is also a Napoleon side entry zip pocket that you can get to without opening the flap. Great for items you need to get to quickly like your keys or bus pass.

The bag comes in sizes extra small all the way up to extra large and a variety of colors. I would recommend the medium size, but if you need something larger or smaller, you can pick a different size. The price is dependent on the size and color of bag you choose. There is no dedicated laptop area in this bag, but you could still carry one as long are you had a sleeve for some added protection.



High Sierra Swerve Backpack 

At first look the High Sierra Swerve Backpack looks like a normal bag you see at every school. But, upon closer inspection, the High Sierra has a lot of hidden perks and it’s a great price. It has multiple compartments for all your school supplies, plus a padded computer sleeve, for 15” notebooks, with back access. Has a deluxe back panel with Vapel Mesh Airflow padding to keep you cool. The straps are wide, padded, and adjustable for the perfect fit. Also comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

There are a lot of compartments in this bag. The outermost pocket can hold all your small stuff. It has pen and pencil holders, zippered pockets, slip pockets, and velcro pockets all to keep you organized. The front pocket has a spot for an mp3 player and a place to push through a headphone jack so you can listen to music on the go. There is a small, soft-lined pocket at the top of the bag that is great for a phone or camera, things that you don’t want to get scratched up.

The next 2 pockets are great for books, folders, binders, notebooks, etc. All the things you need to carry back and forth to class. The back pocket is a fully padded laptop compartment. This area can be used for a laptop or additional storage for books or folders. There is also a grab handle on the top for easy pick up and side mesh water bottle pockets that are great for drinks and umbrellas.



JanSport Big Student Classics Series Daypack 

If you need lots of space to carry a load of books, the JanSport Big Student Daypack is the bag you need. It has lots of pockets for organization and room for all those textbooks, folders, and notes. The JanSport also comes in various colors and designs, so you’ll look great carrying this bag.

There is a main outer compartment that has inner pockets for pens, pencils, phone, calculator, etc. and room for a small book or other small items. Great for keeping things organized and easy to get to. There is also a smaller zip pocket on the outside of this one that you could put keys or a phone. Above the main outer compartment is another zippered pocket for additional storage and organization.

There are two main zippered compartments that can hold textbooks, binders, folders, notebooks, etc. There is more than enough room for all the books you’ll need for the day. The back main compartment is larger than the other main compartment, so you could use the smaller of the two for a laptop. I would recommend putting your laptop in a sleeve for protection if you want to use this bag to carry a laptop.

The JanSport has ergonomic S-curve padded shoulder straps for comfort and a grab handle for easy lifting. It also has a side mesh pocket for drinks or an umbrella. Overall, this is a great bag for everyday school use for every student.