10 Best Back-to-School Laptop Backpacks
Students carry a heavy burden. They need to move their books, their tech and their food from class to class. In many ways, it's their most important organizational tool. However, not all backpacks are equal. The best bags have water-resistant builds, adjustable straps, a ventilated back and plenty of compartments.
But it can't be ignored that your backpack is as much a fashion statement as it is practical. It should reflect the tastes and interests of the student. Whether they are athletic, fashionable or intellectual, there is a bag that matches their personality and their needs. If you’re looking for the best options on the market, we’ve got your back.
JanSport Right Pack Backpack
This JanSport bag comes in more colors than Skittles, plus it holds almost anything. The dedicated laptop compartment of the Case Logic Prevalier holds a machine with up to a 17-inch display, plus there's a 10-inch tablet pocket. There's also space for water bottles, gym clothes, headphones, books and whatever else you need on campus.
Hex Brigade Origin Backpack
The fatigue woven cotton exterior of the Hex Brigade Origin Backpack is treated to be weather resistant. Dedicated pockets for a 10-inch tablet and a 15-inch laptop will protect against scratches and bumps. Plus, the large main compartment will hold all of your files and books, while the front zipper pocket is perfect for smaller gear and cables.
Kaukko 22.4L Rucksack
This Kaukko rucksack is a classy party up front and a sturdy carrying-aid around the back. Its top-down leather straps, which loop into silver buckles, gives it a deft sense of style that’s similar to the more expensive (and popular) Herschel bags. But the Kaukko focuses on comfort: a big, soft pad and comfortable shoulder straps reside on the back. The Kaukko rucksack’s available in 20 different color and material combinations, some of which include a free pencil case that matches the shade and cloth of the bag.
Luckysmile Nylon Girls Daypack
A great bag for the student who's classy but not too classy, the Luckysmile Nylon Girls Daypack mini-bag is a little smaller than most backpacks. Somehow, it still fits a 14-inch laptop with plenty of room to spare. Rose gold-colored, metal zippers stitch together the weather-proof black nylon exterior. Inside is a deceptively spacious main space with two slip-in pouches for laptops, tablets or pen-and-paper notebooks. Outside, button-clasp pockets that are great for water bottles hug the bag on both sides.
Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack
For fashionistas of academia, we chose the Modoker Vintage backpack. The bag's fabric is a smart look of denim and brown leather accents, and it mixes practical features (roomy interior pockets, dedicated laptop pouch, exterior slots for beverages and umbrellas) with comfortable add-ons like honey-comb cushions on the straps and an out-facing USB port to charge a smartphone as you walk. No power device included, but you can find excellent portable chargers at our partner site, Tom's Guide.
Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack
If you just need a supersimple bag design, Chrome's Cardiel O.R.P. (Operation Readiness Pack) Rolltop is what you want. All you get is one big water-resistant main compartment with a roll-top opening and a separate divider for your 13-inch laptop. But because it's made out of durable and lightweight ripstop nylon, the O.R.P. won't weigh you down like some of its competitors.
North Face Surge Transit Backpack
This stylish, contemporary backpack is a traveler's best friend. It comes with a TSA-approved fleece-lined laptop compartment, which means you don't have to take your 15-inch laptop out when you go through security. The North Face Surge Transit features molded shoulder straps to help distribute heavy loads evenly, and sternum and waist straps so that the bag doesn't shift around when you're walking around. The Surge is also available in men's (38-liter capacity) and women's (35-liter capacity) sizes.
HP Powerup Backpack
HP's Powerup Backpack lets you charge your gear while you carry it. The laptop has a built-in 22400 mAh battery for charging up to three devices. Two of those can be USB-powered, like phones and and tablets, but the third uses a barrel-shaped connector for laptops. HP's website suggests it works with most HP notebooks, so it may not be compatible with other laptops.
Alienware 17-inch Vindicator Backpack
Getting a 17-inch gaming laptop, along with a pair of headphones and a full keyboard, into one bag is a pretty tall order. However, the 17-inch Alienware Vindicator 2.0 Backpack is one of the few backpacks that's up to the challenge. In addition to an armored back panel that helps protect your gear, the Vindicator comes with a weather-resistant reinforced base, multiple padded sections and even a separate bag for holding all your power adapters. Oh, and if you prefer a backpack that's not quite as big, the vindicator is available in 13 and 15-inch sizes too.
Kensington SecureTrek 15-inch
The Kensington SecureTrek not only has dedicated pockets for a 15.6-inch laptop and a 10-inch tablet, but it also features a lock loop to make it easy to stop thieves from walking off with your stuff. It also includes anti-puncture zippers with locks that keep sticky fingers out.
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