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Best laptop backpacks for students in 2020

best laptop backpacks
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The best laptop backpacks for students have awesome adjustable straps, plenty of compartments and water-resistant fabric. Why water resistant fabric? Because during rainy days, even if your backpack gets soaked, it won't become threadbare. The best laptop backpacks also provide optimal comfort as you shuffle from class to class on a college campus or through high school hallways.

The best laptop backpack should also be able to properly protect and shield a student's laptop from other objects that may damage its chassis. On top of that, having space for peripherals, such as chargers, external webcams and power adapters is an absolute must. And let's not forget that your school backpack should be fashionable as well. The best laptop backpacks will make you look stylish.

We've scoured the internet and compiled a list of the best laptop backpacks for students. We're expert reviewers who spend our days experimenting with everything from the Apple AirPods Pro to the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (a gaming laptop with a shockingly long battery life). So we know a thing or too on what's hot and what's not. Whether you're a student with a new college laptop or hauling around a company-issued business laptop, these are the bags you'll want protecting your tech. And if you're looking beyond a backpack to carry around your PC, then check out our best laptop bag page

Black Friday falls on November 27 and we expect to see a plethora of deals on the industry's best tech gear. Be sure to bookmark our Black Friday 2020 page for this year’s best Black Friday deals.  

What is the best laptop backpack for students?

The best laptop backpack is  North Face Recon Backpack is perfect for college students and has a well-earned five-star rating on Amazon. The North Face Recon Backpack features a dedicated, highly protective laptop compartment that can snugly store any laptop that is 15 inches or smaller. There's also a large main compartment for books and binders. Athletic types would love to know that there's also a 360-degree reflective bike-light loop as well as water bottle tabs.

Another attractive feature of the North Face Recon Backpack is the quick-access pocket created to easily grab your phone when you need it.

North Face is a popular brand for backpacks, but this isn't the only brand that makes fantastic laptop backpacks that you'll love. JanSport, Nike, Under Armour and more have created some of our favorite laptop backpacks. Check out our list below to see other top-notch laptop backpack choices for students.

The best laptop backpacks for students you can buy today

1. JanSport Right Pack Backpack
2. Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack
3. Nike Heritage Backpack
4. Fjallravel Kanken
5. Under Armour Hustle 4.0 Backpack
6. North Face Recon
7. Everki Titan Backpack

Best laptop backpacks: JanSport Right Pack Backpack

1. JanSport Right Pack Backpack

The classic backpack for students

This iconic JanSport backpack comes in more colors than Skittles, plus it holds almost anything. There is a front stash pocket for school supplies, tech accessories and important documents along with a utility pocket for keeping organized. The suede leather bottom adds some visual flair while padded shoulder straps will make sure your arms don't fall off carrying heavy books. This icon is unquestionably one of the best laptop backpacks for students. 

Best laptop backpacks: Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack

2. Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack

Hip and practical backpack for students

Another classic, the Herschel Supply Co. Heritage backpack has a timeless, refined design. It's also practical, featuring a slot big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop and another front pocket for smaller items, like keys, supplies or electronics. If you're not a fan the traditional black-and-brown color scheme, there are dozens of other options that are sure to fit your personality.

Best laptop backpacks: Nike Heritage Backpack

3. Nike Heritage Backpack

A great backpack for student athletes in college or high school

Elegant, classy, iconic: The Nike Heritage Backpack is the best laptop backpack for Nike fans. But don't mistake the Heritage for an easy way to spread the Nike brand --- this is one well-equipped backpack. An internal laptop sleeve holds up to a 15-inch laptop and front zippered pockets are great for storing pens, pencils and electronics. The bag's shoulder straps and back panel are padded, so your body won't feel sore on your way back home from a long day of school. The Heritage also makes for a great sports bag because of its heavy-duty polyester material.

If you're looking for a durable bag, the Nike Heritage backpack is ideal for students seeking sturdiness.

Best laptop backpacks: Fjallraven Kanken

4. Fjallraven Kanken

Simple and stylish backpack for students

If you're into the latest fashion trends, then you need Fjallraven's Kanken backpack. Sporting the same iconic design since 1978, this simple, elegant bag is as practical as it is pretty. A large main compartment, front zippered space and two open side pockets give you plenty of room to store textbooks and personal items, and the backpack's Vinylon F material is dirt-resistant, water-resistant and easy to clean. It's an eye-catching choice if you're looking for the best backpacks for students.

Best laptop backpacks: Under Armour Hustle 4.0 backpack

(Image credit: Dick's Sporting Goods)

Adidas and Nike might get a lot of love, but don't sleep on Under Armour. The Hustle 4.0 is one of the best backpacks, with an average of 4.7 stars after 280 user reviews. Why do people love it so much? Partly because of its unique water-resistant finish and also because of its excellent range of compartments. So if you're caught in a downpour on your college campus, you'll have the best backpack that can handle the elements.

Best laptop backpacks: North Face Recon

It's weird to call a backpack legendary, but if there's one that fits that description it would be the North Face Recon. Before you scoff at the brand for being the status symbol that it is, it's important to give credit where it's due. North Face makes excellent products --- and the Recon is a relatively affordable, high-quality bag that comes with tons of convenient features. Those include a large compartment with a padded laptop sleeve, some breathable shoulder straps and a front mesh pocket for storing smaller items.

So if you're looking for the best North Face student backpack, look no further than the Recon.

Best laptop backpacks: Everki Titan Backpack

If money isn't an issue and you want the biggest, baddest backpack for your massive gaming laptop, then there's only one bag in town that will fit your needs: the Everki Titan. This backpack's exhaustive list of features starts with a checkpoint-friendly design, which makes getting through TSA as stress-free as possible. Other additions include a detached accessories pouch, high-contrast orange trim, large zipper and a media player outlet. Oh, and the Titan lives up to its name with a padded sleeve that can hold an 18.4-inch laptop.

If you're student packing a huge laptop that needs protected support as you hop from class to class, the Everki Titan is the perfect backpack pick.

 How to choose the best laptop backpack for students

There are so many types of student laptop backpacks out there, so to make your shopping a little it easier, it's a good idea to narrow down your options to backpacks that fit your needs. There are several super-important aspects of a laptop backpack you must take into consideration before buying, including size, compartments and innovative designs somehow manage to maximize space while maintaining student-friendly dimensions.

Size:  If you're going to purchase a laptop backpack, you're going to have to make sure that your laptop can fit into your chosen backpack of course.  You should measure your laptop's width (from left to right) and depth (from the hinge to the lip). When sifting through the internet for a laptop backpack, you'll have to make sure that the backpack is at least an inch longer than your laptop's width, since laptops tend to sit vertically in laptop backpacks. You should also make sure the backpack is wide enough to fit your laptop's depth.

Compartments: Compartments are were laptop backpack makers get creative and design bags that fit certain consumers. If you tend to have a lot of small knickknacks for school, then it's best that you opt for a laptop backpack with a lot of fun hidden pockets and pouches.

You'll also want to keep an eye out for a backpack that has a compartment that can keep your papers and folders safely tucked away.

Useful features: The number one thing I look for in a laptop backpack is a USB charging port in case my phone decides to run out of juice, and I don't want to have to deal with outlet hoggers at school. Premium laptops backpacks tend to offer useful features that will make your commute to and from school a lot easier.

Durability: You should also keep in mind the fabric and material of your backpack. If you live a rainy, foggy climate, for example, you may want to purchase a water-resistant backpack.  

Comfort: If you're looking for a laptop backpack for school, you're going to want to choose something that is comfortable on your shoulders and doesn't put too much unnecessary, additional weight on your back. Look for laptop backpacks with well-padded shoulder straps and pay attention to the weight of the bag when it doesn't have any contents inside of it.