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The Best School Backpacks

🕚 Updated July 2022

A backpack is the easiest way to transport all your supplies and lunch to and from school. From traditional styles to modern features, there are many choices for school backpacks out there. Here are some we recommend.

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  Top Choice Traditional Design Best Vintage Style Most Colorful Best Value
Travel Laptop Backpack
SuperBreak One Backpack
Vintage Laptop Backpack
High Sierra
Loop Backpack
Multicolor Backpack
Our SummaryThis casual backpack has a large capacity, laptop sleeve, and convenient ability to charge your technology.A simple and convenient backpack with spacious storage in the main compartment and front utility pocket with a built-in organizer.This chic backpack will remind you of the simpler times.This backpack is great for heavier loads, with its compression straps and suspension system.This simple and roomy backpack has plenty of pockets.
ProsLarge capacity, has laptop compartment, has many pockets, is waterproof, has external USB for charging, has headphone jack, secured by password.Spacious, has a front utility pocket, has a built-in organizer, offered in many color choices.Vintage-inspired, lightweight, scratch- and water-resistant, has adjustable shoulder straps, has multiple compartments and pockets, includes a laptop sleeve and USB charging cord port.Funky pattern, has large main compartment and multiple pockets, has tablet sleeve and compression straps, great for heavier loads.Colorful, nylon-lined, roomy, has double metal zippers, has inner and outer pockets.
ConsMust purchase a power bank to use charging feature.Zipper may get caught on outer flap.Only charges if you purchase a power bank.May have zipper issues.May be low quality.
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How Did We Research?

21 Models Evaluated

6 Hours Researched

51 Reviews Analyzed

The Best School Backpacks

Little girl walking with a dark-blue school backpack.

Buying Guide for School Backpacks

Rear view of a bunch of high school students walking down the hallway with backpacks.

Why buy a backpack?

Backpacks carry all your daily items and help distribute the weight to make it easier on your back. It’s the most convenient and easy way to bring your supplies with you on the go. Backpacks for school typically have lots of neat built-in features and pockets to store all your essentials.

What should you look for in a backpack?

  • Size: Consider what you plan to transport and if the backpack is large enough for everything, especially if you plan to use the backpack for travel too. Some backpacks have additional storage and pockets for accessories like your pens and pencils, water bottle, USB charging ports, and even laptop sleeves.
  • Adjustability: Determine if your backpack has the ability to make the straps tighter or looser to make it fit comfortably on your or your child’s shoulders.
  • Material: Think about what the backpack is made from and whether it satisfies your needs. If you have young children, you might want one that is easier to clean (some are machine washable). If you live in a rainy climate, you might want a waterproof backpack.

What other factors should you consider in a school backpack?

In these modern days, many backpacks come with built-in sleeves to keep laptops or tablets safe. Some even include cords to charge your gear, which is also handy if you decide to travel with your backpack. Certain bags have ergonomic features built-in to make traveling a breeze. If you plan to walk or ride a bike with your backpack on, consider one with reflective stripes for safety purposes.

Our Picks for the Best School Backpacks

Top Choice

Tzowla Travel Laptop Backpack

This casual backpack has a large capacity, laptop sleeve, and a convenient ability to charge your technology.

Pros: This large backpack has many convenient features, including a separate laptop compartment that holds laptops up to 15.6 inches. It has spacious compartments with many pockets that make your items easy to find. This backpack has an external USB port with a built-in charging cable that conveniently charges your cellphone when you connect to a power bank. The headphone port outside gives easy access to earphone usage as well. Additionally, the backpack has a fixed password lock to secure your items.

Cons: The power bank for charging must be purchased separately.

Bottom Line: This high-quality polyester and water-resistant backpack is a great choice if you need to charge your technology while on the go.


Traditional Design

JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack

A simple and convenient backpack with spacious storage in the main compartment and a front utility pocket.

Pros: Keep your stuff super organized with this popular brand backpack. It has a lot of spacious storage in the main compartment, with an additional option to store items in the front utility pocket. It is made of 100% polyester, is super lightweight, and has a 15-inch shoulder drop that can be adjusted. It’s available in various colors and patterns, so you can choose the one that fits your personality best.

Cons: The zipper may get caught on the outer flap.

Bottom Line: The JanSport brand is a classic and with good reason. It’s a durable, reliable backpack choice that most families go to when they want the best to start their children’s school year on a good note.


Best Vintage Style

Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack

This chic backpack will remind you of the simpler times.

Pros: This vintage-inspired backpack is lightweight, scratch-resistant, anti-tear, and water-resistant, and it’s built to last for a long time. It’s on the larger side with adjustable shoulder straps. It contains multiple compartments, including the main pocket, laptop sleeve, two hidden pockets for a power bank, and a USB charging cord. Plus, the outside has two side pockets and two front zipper pockets.

Cons: The USB port is a bit difficult and awkward to reach.

Bottom Line: This fashionable and functional backpack is a solid option for middle and high schoolers who have a lot to pack in and need the extra features.


Most Colorful

High Sierra Loop Backpack

This backpack is great for heavier loads with its compression straps and suspension system.

Pros: This funky patterned backpack has a generous main compartment, multiple pockets, and a dedicated sleeve for your tablet. One of its best features is the compression straps, which are designed to cinch down and secure gear while carrying. These straps also provide extra storage for items like jackets and sleeping bags. You can easily attach gear like a water bottle with the monster hook clip. It also has a suspension system that provides relief when carrying heavier loads.

Cons: The zipper may split, and there is no padding for your laptop.

Bottom Line: This backpack is versatile for use at home, at school, or on and off the trail. Whether you’re hiking a new trail or heading to class, this pack is the perfect travel companion.


Best Value

Trailmaker Multicolor Backpack

This simple and roomy backpack has plenty of pockets.

Pros: This nylon-lined backpack is colorful, roomy, and great for your essentials. It has double metal zippers to make it easy to open and close your bag and hang keychains to show off your style. The main compartment is roomy, and there are even both inner and outer zippered pockets for your smaller items.

Cons: The quality is not the best; the material may shred over time, and the zippers may get stuck.

Bottom Line: This standard backpack is reasonably priced and will get the job done carrying your things, whether it’s to your next class or on a field trip.

Final Thoughts

A staple in school supplies, backpacks are the easiest way to lug around your textbooks, laptops, notebooks, pencils, lunch, and assignments. These options will make your school year go much smoother.

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »
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