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The 6 Best School Backpacks of 2024

We purchased school backpacks from Osprey, Patagonia, Under Armour, JanSport, and more to find the very best
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Best School Backpack Review (We purchased thirteen of the best-selling bags on the market today to determine which is the best school backpack for...)
We purchased thirteen of the best-selling bags on the market today to determine which is the best school backpack for every type of high school or college student.
Credit: Myrha Colt
By Myrha Colt ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Monday April 15, 2024

In search of the perfect bag to get you through another busy year of classes and long school days with heavy gear? Allow us to point you in the right direction. Our team selected 13 top-selling school backpacks from among the countless promising options on the market today and subjected each to weeks of intensive hands-on testing and side-by-side comparisons to determine which struggle and which truly excel. We considered their comfort when fully loaded, their ease of access while slung over one shoulder, and their organizational features for all the things you might want to have with you in class. Whether you're looking for a school backpack large enough to haul your laptop and textbooks, an elaborate bag with organizational flexibility to keep art, sports, or tech tools in check throughout the day, or even a comfort-minded option that's bike, board, and weekend-ready, we've got you covered.

In addition to considering the best backpacks for high school or college students, our team has also reviewed a broad variety of packs to serve your full range of needs, including the best dedicated laptop backpacks, top travel-focused backpacks, and the best sling bags and fanny packs. If you need an even greater diversity of packing options, we've also tested the best backpacks of all kinds and the top travel bags, suitcases, and duffels.

Editor's Note: We updated this review on April 15, 2024, to include details about our testing protocols and provide comprehensive buying advice.

Top 13 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 13
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award 
Price $137.20 at Amazon$109.00 at REI$54.35 at Amazon$40 List
$39.99 at Amazon
$55 List
$43.22 at Amazon
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Pros Dedicated 17" laptop compartment with clamshell opening, sternum strap and removable waist belt, impressive back and shoulder harness system, option to add hydration bladder, bike light clip loopRemovable padded Tech Caddy, a comfortable & stable fit, option to add a hydration bladderExtra supportive back and shoulder padding, stabilizing suspension, exterior bungee storageLarge capacity and feature heavy, well-padded inside and out, inexpensiveSeparate storage compartment for shoes, laundry, etc., fleece-lined top pocket and laptop sleeve, low price point
Cons Expensive, modern outdoorsy aestheticLimited capacity & organizational features, expensive, active outdoor aestheticMinimal storage compartments, sporty outdoor style, tips forward when standing with a heavy loadHeavy, no suspension or fit adjustments, questionable durabilitySporty style, no fit or compression options, questionable strength in construction
Bottom Line The perfect balance of comfort, organizational efficiency, and useful features to meet the needs of students, commuters, urban adventurers, travelers, and outdoor enthusiasts alikeA super comfy get-up-and-go bag that is as versatile as you are, whether you're biking to class or flying off to trails in far-off localesA highly functional yet sporty commute-friendly backpack offering a good balance of organizational and comfort-forward design featuresThe go-to option when price, carrying capacity, and performance features are top prioritiesA comfortable pack with smart organizational and storage features perfect for student-athletes and gym-bound commuters
Rating Categories Osprey Nebula 32 Patagonia Refugio 26L The North Face Jester Volher Travel Under Armour Hustle...
Comfort and Fit (30%)
9.6
9.0
8.6
7.4
7.6
Storage and Protection (30%)
9.0
8.6
7.2
7.2
6.6
Ease of Use (30%)
8.4
6.6
6.6
7.0
6.7
Versatility (10%)
7.2
8.0
6.8
7.0
7.7
Specs Osprey Nebula 32 Patagonia Refugio 26L The North Face Jester Volher Travel Under Armour Hustle...
Volume Tested 32 L 26 L 27.5 L 30 L 29 L
Laptop Protection Sleeve & compartment Sleeve & compartment Sleeve Sleeve Sleeve
Maximum Laptop Size 17" 15" 15" 15" 15"
Compartments with Exterior Access 5 3 2 5 4
Waterbottle Pockets 2 2 2 2 2
Features TSA-compatible laptop compartment, sternum strap, removable hip belt, bike light loop, daisy chain Sternum strap, removable tech caddy, bike light loop, hydration bladder latch and port, daisy chain Sternum strap, bungee strap, key clip USB port, audio port, roller bag strap, daisy chain Daisychain
Exterior Construction Material Bluesign® Approved 420D recycled nylon with PFC-free DWR coating 100% recycled polyester with PFC-free DWR coating 600D recycled polyester with PFC-free DWR coating High-density water repellent polyester 100% polyester
Dimensions (H x W x D) 20.0" x 12.2" x 8.0" 18.0" x 12.0" x 7.0" 18.25" x 11.0'' x 8.25'' 19.5" x 13.0" x 7.5" 20.0" x 12.6" x 8.8"
Weight 28.8 oz 17.6 oz 19.2 oz 25.6 oz 17.6 oz
Colorway Options 6 9 6+ 8 16+


Best Overall School Backpack


Osprey Nebula 32


88
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Fit 9.6
  • Storage and Protection 9.0
  • Ease of Use 8.4
  • Versatility 7.2
REASONS TO BUY
Dedicated 17" laptop compartment with clamshell opening
Sternum strap and removable waist belt
Impressive back and shoulder harness system
Option to add hydration bladder
Bike light clip loop
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Active, outdoor aesthetic
SPECIFICATIONS
Laptop Protection Sleeve & compartment
Volume Tested 32 L
Maximum Laptop Size 17"
Compartments with Exterior Access 5
Waterbottle Pockets 2
Osprey is not generally the first name that jumps to mind at the start of a busy school year. Well-known for innovative, high-quality outdoor packs that can withstand the rigors of backcountry adventures, it seems a different beast. But why shouldn't we expect the same top-of-the-line construction, fit, and function from our everyday packs as we demand from our weekend gear? You can with the hyper-versatile Osprey Nebula 32. Scoring highly across every test we threw its way, this is a daily pack that will keep you moving fluidly from class to trail to airport and then back again. Five spacious, easily accessible compartments, including a designated TSA-approved laptop section, provide all the storage and organizational flexibility you'll need to manage a busy course load. Once on the move, its carefully crafted shoulder harness and densely cushioned, breathable back panel ensure long-distance comfort. And with a full set of fit adjustment features (this is the only pack in the test group with a waist belt), you can count on it to remain sleek and stable even when fully packed.

Chock-full of thoughtful features, we found very little to dislike about the Osprey Nebula 32. For some, its mildly outdoorsy style may be a deal breaker. But for most, the biggest hang-up will be its price. Far and away the most expensive bag in the lineup, it won't be the right option for every student. But, if you are working with an enhanced budget or have good luck finding it on sale, there is no question it will make for a trusty classroom companion. If you seek a similar set of comfort and stabilizing features but aim for a reduced price, the highly adaptable Patagonia Refugio 26L and efficient The North Face Jester are both worth a considered look.

One of the best everyday packs we have ever used: The Nebula 32.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Best School Backpack for Affordable Performance


Volher Travel


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Fit 7.4
  • Storage and Protection 7.2
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Versatility 7.0
REASONS TO BUY
Large, multi-pocket capacity
USB and headphone ports
Well-padded inside and out
Inexpensive
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
No suspension or fit adjustments
Questionable durability
SPECIFICATIONS
Laptop Protection Sleeve
Volume Tested 30 L
Maximum Laptop Size 15"
Compartments with Exterior Access 5
Waterbottle Pockets 2
Not every school day requires a top-of-the-line gear hauler. Sometimes you just need a solid bag at a great price. If cost is a high priority and design features come in a close second, then the Volher Travel should definitely be on your list for consideration. Large in storage and conveniences, this is a modern, professionally styled backpack built to tackle the demands of a daily commute just as effectively as it can help you stay organized in a busy classroom. From its sturdy, water-resistant exterior to the handy roller luggage attachment strap across the back, the Velcro-latched laptop sleeve inside, and all the deep cushiony pads in between, this thoughtfully designed all-purpose pack aims to protect. When it comes to storage, a bevy of highly accessible compartments, including two side mesh water bottle pockets and a multitude of well-placed inner options, make it easy to stow your belongings. At the same time, exterior USB and headphone ports keep you fully charged up and connected on the go.

You would be hard-pressed to find a better-priced yet equally well-rounded school backpack out there. But, we think it's important to note that with so much space to fill, the Volher Travel can quickly become a heavy, bulky load. The bag's contents tend to settle in toward the middle bottom, pulling hard on the back and shoulders even with the substantial padding provided. And without additional suspension features, you can do little to redistribute the weight. We also note various product reviews call out durability issues over time. And in our case, the pack's USB port was broken on arrival. So, this may not be a backpack that carries you through four years of college. But given its admirable performance in our testing and stellar price point, the Volher Travel stood out as an excellent value in the here and now. Two other backpacks that present very similar designs, feature sets, and price tags are the Matein Travel Laptop and Tzowla Travel Laptop.

school backpack - you won&#039;t be disappointed by the immense amount of cargo space...
You won't be disappointed by the immense amount of cargo space inside the Volher Travel Laptop backpack or the wide variety of pockets and travel accessories it offers to stay organized on your way to class. You certainly won't be disappointed with the price!
Credit: Myrha Colt

Best Multipurpose School Backpack


Patagonia Refugio 26L


81
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Fit 9.0
  • Storage and Protection 8.6
  • Ease of Use 6.6
  • Versatility 8.0
REASONS TO BUY
Removable padded Tech Caddy
Comfortable and stable fit
Option to add a hydration bladder
Bike light clip loop included
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited capacity & organizational features
Expensive
Active outdoor aesthetic
SPECIFICATIONS
Laptop Protection Sleeve & compartment
Volume Tested 26 L
Maximum Laptop Size 15"
Compartments with Exterior Access 3
Waterbottle Pockets 2
Updates to the Patagonia Refugio
While previous versions of the Refugio had an integrated padded laptop sleeve, the latest version has changed. It now has a fully removable Tech Caddy that has a 15" laptop compartment and an additional zippered mesh pocket. We tested this latest version.

Do you struggle to find a single bag that's as versatile as you are? Look no further. The Patagonia Refugio 26L is up to the challenge, whether you're wandering libraries and lecture halls or roaming local markets, trails, or airports. This mid-sized all-arounder offers a simplified, highly durable, three-compartment design with enough cargo space for your standard school essentials. The designated compartment to the rear holds a fully padded, removable Tech Caddy that can safely hold up to a 15-inch laptop as well as your charger and other mobile workstation basics. Additional textbooks or gear can then be stashed away between the spacious core pocket and a single vertically zipped front pocket layered above. Once on the move, a set of dense foam shoulder and back pads cushion against heavy loads. If that's not enough, a mix of compression and sternum straps is available to redistribute weight on the fly. Together, this creates a compact, streamlined structure that's easily carried from bike to board, on foot, in flight, or while using public transit. And, when your workday is done, you can quickly leave the tech behind. Just swap out the Caddy to latch in a hydration bladder, and you'll instantly be ready to roll.

Other than personal preferences tied to the no-nonsense organizational design and somewhat sporty style, we found very little that might detract from the appeal of the Patagonia Refugio 26L. Our entire test kit of school supplies packed well into the 26L model without great effort, and we found just enough bells and whistles to keep us on track and comfortable throughout the day. Admittedly, with a full load, things do become a bit squashed, making it more challenging to track down specific items inside without any supplemental organizational tools. For students who regularly handle larger loads, it may be worth considering the larger 30L option and picking up a few packing pouches to track small items inside. For even more bells and whistles, consider the Osprey Nebula 32. Or, for less expensive school backpack options that transition well between work and play, have a look at two other top performers from our testing: The North Face Jester and the Volher Travel.

school backpack - the handy, removable tech caddy inside the patagonia refugio 26l is...
The handy, removable Tech Caddy inside the Patagonia Refugio 26L is a top selling point for students who want the flexibility to use their backpacks for more than just school days.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Best School Backpack for an Active Commute


The North Face Jester


74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Fit 8.6
  • Storage and Protection 7.2
  • Ease of Use 6.6
  • Versatility 6.8
REASONS TO BUY
Extra supportive back and shoulder padding
Stabilizing suspension
Exterior bungee storage
REASONS TO AVOID
Minimal storage compartments
Casual outdoorsy style
Tips forward when standing with a heavy load
SPECIFICATIONS
Laptop Protection Sleeve
Volume Tested 27.5 L
Maximum Laptop Size 15"
Compartments with Exterior Access 2
Waterbottle Pockets 2
The North Face Jester is a highly functional mid-sized and mid-priced everyday backpack with a casual style and a deeply cushioned, narrow fit that makes it a particularly appealing option for active students who rely on bikes, skateboards, or scooters for their daily commutes. Streamlined in design, mighty durable, and effectively water-repellent, the Jester is just big enough to hold your academic necessities in two efficient storage compartments. In the largest, a padded laptop sleeve sits in a raised position against the sturdy pack frame, well protected from any knocks to the base and taking full advantage of the bag's thick back padding to provide extra stability. This then leaves plenty of additional room for books, notepads, and bulkier items to be stored alongside. To the front, a second smaller compartment offers a handful of organizational pockets while an exterior bungee system makes it easy to keep daily necessities, like a jacket or snacks, close at hand. Yet what really sets the Jester apart is not its storage but rather its unique suspension system, featuring a flexible yoke built of molded shoulder straps combined with a sturdy sternum strap and densely padded back and lumbar panels that result in one of the most stable and comfortable fits we tested in the lot.

The few minor complaints that arose around The North Face Jester in testing — such as limited organizational options, a tenancy toward tipping, and an on-brand outdoorsy style — are all easily overlooked in favor of the pack's superb comfort and fit. If you can learn to live with a simplified set of storage options, we are confident the Jester will make an exceptional all-around backpack for school, work, travel, or even errands around town. And, given its reasonable price, the Jester is an excellent value, too. For other school backpacks with legitimate suspension and thoughtfully designed fits, consider the Osprey Nebula 32 or the Patagonia Refugio.

Smaller Size Available
Like the Jester's style but need a smaller fit? The North Face also makes a 22L women-specific version of this bag, featuring all the same design elements but with a shorter, smaller overall footprint.

We tested the Jester with multiple people and loaded and unloaded it repeatedly with common items people travel and work with.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Best Backpack for Transitioning from Classroom to Gym


Under Armour Hustle 5.0


70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Fit 7.6
  • Storage and Protection 6.6
  • Ease of Use 6.7
  • Versatility 7.7
REASONS TO BUY
Separate storage compartment for shoes, laundry, etc
Fleece-lined top pocket and laptop sleeve
Moderate price
REASONS TO AVOID
Sporty style
No fit or cinch options
Questionable strength in construction
SPECIFICATIONS
Laptop Protection Sleeve
Volume Tested 29 L
Maximum Laptop Size 15"
Compartments with Exterior Access 4
Waterbottle Pockets 2
While the brand may be synonymous with purpose-built athletic equipment, we found the Under Armour Hustle 5.0 is a school backpack with universal appeal. Not only is it large, with plenty of organizational features to safely accommodate a full kit of classroom essentials, including a fleece-lined laptop sleeve and accessory pocket for delicate items, but we also found it well-balanced and softly padded even under relatively heavy loads. The bag's body is built long and deep, with the bulk of its carrying capacity housed in two large main compartments. A bonus pocket zips into the base, featuring a soft panel top that expands into the body of the bag. This is the perfect place to stash dirty shoes, sweaty gym clothes, a wet rain jacket, or anything else best kept separated from the rest of your supplies. It also creates a “lift” effect on any items packed directly above. The resulting pack weight then shifts higher, rather than settling in at the base, creating a surprisingly supportive structure not found in any other school backpack tested.

We found little to critique in the cleverly organized Under Armour Hustle 5.0. Of course, the backpack's casual, sporty style may not be the right aesthetic for everyone, and the zippers along each side do run deep, making them harder to reach when the water bottle pockets are put to use (as the zipper pulls end up underneath). We also noted some concern about durability by purchase reviewers who have experienced occasional weakness in construction. But, since we saw no evidence of these issues ourselves in testing, really only time will tell if any manifest with long-term use. Overall, we found the Hustle 5.0 to be a great school backpack at an affordable price that will have particular appeal to students participating in after-school sports or gym classes. For upgraded options with a similar carrying capacity and proven durability in construction, consider The North Face Jester or the extra-large JanSport Big Student.

school backpack - there&#039;s no shortage of room for your class supplies inside the under...
There's no shortage of room for your class supplies inside the Under Armour Hustle 5.0. Even better, there's a special pocket to stash your gym clothes or dirty shoes in the base of the bag, safely away from everything else.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Favorite Classic School Backpack


JanSport Big Student


66
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Fit 6.0
  • Storage and Protection 7.4
  • Ease of Use 6.7
  • Versatility 5.2
REASONS TO BUY
Extra-large capacity
Numerous easy-access pockets
Well-padded contoured straps
Reasonable price
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited back padding
Capacity can grow too large for carrying comfort
SPECIFICATIONS
Laptop Protection Compartment
Volume Tested 34 L
Maximum Laptop Size 15"
Compartments with Exterior Access 7
Waterbottle Pockets 1
JanSport has long been known for its quintessential All-American school backpacks with simple minimalist designs and durable, colorful construction. In the impressively strong and lightweight JanSport Big Student, we find an affordable update on this original classic style, well-suited to the monster-sized loads of today's modern students. Laptop? Textbooks? Calculators? Gym clothes? Lunch? You name it; there's room for whatever you'll need to carry between the separate laptop compartment, two huge core sections, several midsized organizational pockets, and a single mesh water bottle holder down the side. Eight exterior access points with lengthy zipper pulls provide easy entry across the layers, while the heavyweight, 600-denier water-resistant polyester exterior instills confidence your belongings will make it to their final destinations safe and dry.

Cavernous capacity and broad organizational flexibility may be the JanSport Big Student's calling card, but they certainly don't come without cost. Pack contents have a way of moving forward-center within the bag, settling low and heavy to create a strain on the back and shoulders. And once that bulge has started, there's little that can be done about its girth. Similarly, while Big Student's shoulder straps are contoured and thickly padded, they are also quite narrow and offer limited relief against the weight over extended use. Scant more cushion is available along the backside of the pack, with little foundational support and no additional suspension tools embedded within. So, if you plan to use this big pack to its full potential, you'll also need to come prepared to do the heavy lifting. Extra care should also be taken when carrying vulnerable items such as your laptop inside, as the soft sides and limited padding offer minimal structural protection. Such muscle-reliant hauls may not be practical for all students. For a large-capacity backpack with more expansive fit controls, consider upgrading to the Osprey Nebula 32. Or, if you can leave your laptop at home, the super affordable High Sierra Loop is a high-quality, large-volume choice.

school backpack - a huge yet lightweight bag with an outrageous amount of storage...
A huge yet lightweight bag with an outrageous amount of storage space, the JanSport Big Student is ready to tackle any challenge the school year may bring.
Credit: Marshall Palmer

Notable for Performance When Not Carrying a Laptop


High Sierra Loop


70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort and Fit 7.0
  • Storage and Protection 7.2
  • Ease of Use 6.5
  • Versatility 8.3
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight, feature-heavy design
Yoke shoulder harness
Very inexpensive
REASONS TO AVOID
No laptop sleeve
Limited padding on back
Water bottle pocket access limited by cinch straps
SPECIFICATIONS
Laptop Protection None
Volume Tested 33 L
Maximum Laptop Size N/A
Compartments with Exterior Access 5
Waterbottle Pockets 2
Looking for something spacious, low-priced, and full of pockets but have no plans to add a laptop to your packing list? The High Sierra Loop may be the bag for you. This is a large-volume, super lightweight, high-performing school backpack made of tough, water-resistant mini-hex ripstop material that comes in a wide assortment of colors and patterns. It offers more than enough cargo space for a huge pile of textbooks, classroom supplies, and gym clothes as well as a nice selection of extra features like an interior key clip, external carabiner clip, and several inside pockets to keep your items organized while on the move. A thoughtfully designed harness and suspension system with densely padded straps and side compression does a decent job of alleviating the burden of your gear, even without the benefit of a sternum strap. There's also a set of straps across the base of the backpack perfect for attaching loose, bulky items to the exterior, like a towel, picnic blanket, or warm coat.

What the High Sierra Loop is missing is a laptop compartment, and what it offers instead really doesn't do the job. The designated, soft-sided Tech Spot, is a mid-sized pocket between the primary and front organizational compartments. It is only meant to be just large enough to store a tablet or other smaller technology items. So even though it can technically hold more (in testing, we managed to slide a 15" MacBook in without issue), that doesn't mean it's meant for the job. Due to its position in the middle of the bag, you lose any foundational stability and shielding that might otherwise be offered by the pack's frame, which, in the Loop's case, is already minimal. And given there's no additional internal pocket structure or padding to lend protection, the result is your electronics are left highly vulnerable to scratches, knocks, and rattling from both inside and outside the pack. Will this be a critical concern for every student? No. Should it be taken into consideration? Absolutely. The only other quibble we had about the Loop's design is the shallow depth of the water bottle pockets and the restrictive nature of the side compression straps above, which limit the bottle sizes that will fit. But these are small complaints for an otherwise highly functional bag. If laptop storage is a top priority for you, have a look at any of our other award winners here, or visit our dedicated review of laptop-focused backpacks review for even more options.

school backpack - the super affordable high sierra loop is well-prepared to carry a...
The super affordable High Sierra Loop is well-prepared to carry a heap of school supplies but works best when you leave your laptop at home.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
88
Osprey Nebula 32
Best Overall School Backpack
$140
Editors' Choice Award
81
Patagonia Refugio 26L
Best Multipurpose School Backpack
$109
Top Pick Award
74
The North Face Jester
Best School Backpack for an Active Commute
$75
Top Pick Award
72
Volher Travel
Best School Backpack for Affordable Performance
$40
Editors' Choice Award
70
Under Armour Hustle 5.0
Best Backpack for Transitioning from Classroom to Gym
$55
Top Pick Award
70
Matein Travel Laptop
$40
70
High Sierra Loop
Notable for Performance When Not Carrying a Laptop
$40
68
SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart
$90
66
JanSport Big Student
Favorite Classic School Backpack
$55
Top Pick Award
58
Tzowla Travel Laptop
$37
46
Herschel Heritage Classic
$80
43
Fjallraven Kånken Laptop 17"
$125
36
JanSport SuperBreak One
$38

school backpack - we collected 13 of the most popular school backpacks out there today...
We collected 13 of the most popular school backpacks out there today and ran them each through the wringer to suss out which is a winner and which may be better left at home.
Credit: Myrha Colt

How We Test School Backpacks


We've been testing and reviewing school backpacks for three years now, in addition to the hundreds of other best-selling backpacks we evaluate across a much broader range of subcategories. We started our hunt for the best school backpacks by researching the most popular brands and models sold today. Thirteen of the most promising options were then selected for independent purchase and side-by-side testing. We explored packs of varying volumes, pocket styles, carry systems, and material construction, pitting each against the others to assess features, compare functions, and break down which among them truly excel where others fail.

Our testing of school backpacks is divided across four rating metrics:
  • Comfort & Fit (30% of overall score weighting)
  • Storage & Protection (30% weighting)
  • Ease of Use (30% weighting)
  • Versatility (10% weighting)

Why You Should Trust Us


Our lead tester on this project Myrha Colt, is someone who rarely leaves home without some sort of backpack. Some days, she's carting her mobile workstation off to a temporary office. On others, she's carrying heavy gear for a high mountain climb or a picnic for a sunny day SUP adventure. With fair regularity, she's also likely to be packed up for a long-distance road trip or a series of international flights and keeping snacks, travel, and work essentials close at hand. From enormous backpacking packs to lightweight daypacks, school backpacks, and everything imaginable in between, Myrha has sampled a wide variety of products for specific needs and more generalized uses. Now, after years of living the life of a student, a daily commuter, an outdoor adventurer, and a serial traveler, she knows a thing or two about what makes a pack worth carrying or leaving behind.

We bent over, took turns, slung packs over one shoulder, and loaded...
We bent over, took turns, slung packs over one shoulder, and loaded them up on our backs before covering some ground on foot, to be sure we got the full experience for how it would feel to move around a busy campus each day.
We tested every bag to see if we could squeeze in an average size...
We tested every bag to see if we could squeeze in an average size load of school supplies and how easy it would be to retrieve those items again once a student arrived in class.
We took advantage of all the features provided, checking each to see...
We took advantage of all the features provided, checking each to see if they performed as expected, and recording the results. Sternum straps proved a real asset in all bags that included them.
We tested these backpacks for high school and college students, considering the wide variety of sizes, needs, and situations that might apply in class and beyond.

How to Choose The Best School Backpack


Here are four key considerations, including size, features, and budget, to help narrow down your next school backpack.

How Important is Comfort?


Whether you have to take long walks across campus or commute to school regularly, a comfortable backpack is essential for daily life. Look for padding on the back, shoulders, and hips, as well as the pack's suspension design. Some packs can handle larger loads better and provide better support under load. Consider how often you have to walk and the typical contents of your bag and decide if a backpack with superior comfort is worth the extra investment.

school backpack - backpacks with adequate padding make carrying books and supplies...
Backpacks with adequate padding make carrying books and supplies easier and avoid muscle strain and discomfort.
Credit: Myrha Colt

What Features to Look For?


A school backpack will often provide features such as padded laptop compartments, water bottle pockets, and daisy chain loops. While these features mostly come down to personal preference, considerations such as the appropriate size laptop sleeve, the size of the water bottle holder, and the organizational compartments will help you find the right fit.

Should You Prioritize Organization?


Certain backpacks prioritize organizational pockets and compartments, while other packs provide simplicity and weight savings. If you find yourself carrying lots of books and other items such as electronics and art supplies, it's a wise consideration to identify bags with intuitive organization designs. For folks who like to keep things simple, more budget-friendly options exist that are ideal for commuters and gymgoers.

school backpack - organizational features allow for more efficient carrying of your...
Organizational features allow for more efficient carrying of your belongings and help evenly distribute weight loads.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Will Your Pack Be Used Outside of School?


In an ideal world, having a backpack for every different activity would be perfect, but it's more reasonable to expect our backpacks to serve as multi-purpose tools. For folks wanting to expand their school backpack to use on short weekend trips, commuting to work, or needing a trail bag, consider more versatile packs. This could mean selecting a pack with more rigid construction, compatibility with water bladders, water-repellent coating, and a larger volume capacity to hold extra gear and supplies.

school backpack - a backpack such as the osprey nebula offers great versatility for a...
A backpack such as the Osprey Nebula offers great versatility for a wide range of activities.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Analysis and Test Results


Using a standardized testing process, we monitored how each bag performed under the same conditions by using them side by side. We assessed and validated each pack's unique design specs and features to fully understand its range of capabilities. We then packed the same sample loads into each backpack and carried them over similar distances to compare and contrast according to our established metrics series.


Value


Not everyone approaches back-to-school shopping with a high-end budget, and even for those who do, big spending on a school backpack may not necessarily be rewarded. The right pick will always come down to each purchaser's personal priorities. In testing, we found it's possible to land on either end of the spectrum and still find an excellent option. For a first-rate school backpack with long-lasting durability, top-of-the-line carrying comfort, and optimized storage, it may well be worth making a financial investment. On the other hand, we found there are several best-selling low to mid-price backpacks that come with a wide variety of desirable features and only a short list of potential design disadvantages for consideration by shoppers.

school backpack - several bags in the test group proved to have an excellent range of...
Several bags in the test group proved to have an excellent range of features and comforts without breaking the bank. The Volher Travel Laptop ranked top among them, but the Under Armour Hustle 5.0, JanSport Big Student, and High Sierra Loop were not far behind with varied yet similarly effective and affordable designs.
Credit: Myrha Colt

The most expensive school backpack in our lineup, the Osprey Nebula 32, was also our top scorer overall and easily earned its place as top pick. With impressive results across all metrics, it proves in some cases, a high price point does deliver a better all-around bag. If you want to save a few bucks without sacrificing performance, the Patagonia Refugio 26L is also built to last and came in a close second with a similarly well-conceived design. For anyone less focused on a pack's longevity or comfort fit, the Volher Travel scored reasonably well in all areas and sells at just a fraction of the cost, making it a best-in-class option for budget-conscious students. Several of our other top performers, including the The North Face Jester, Under Armour Hustle, JanSport Big Student, and High Sierra Loop, follow a similar pattern, with very reasonable scores and a solid, mid-range price, making them each a great values if the feature sets are right for your needs.

school backpack - built to last, the refugio is a pack you will carry far beyond your...
Built to last, the Refugio is a pack you will carry far beyond your school years, making it well worth the elevated cost if you can afford to make the investment.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Comfort and Fit


No matter how many cool features a pack has, it's not very practical if it isn't comfortable to carry. A high-performing fit is largely derived from the back padding, shoulder padding, shoulder strap width, and suspension system structure in place. In essence, how it sits on your back and what it feels like when carrying it. While all backpacks we tested are top-selling options for high school and college students, we recognize that users in this category come in all shapes and sizes. We also understand there's no universal set of school supplies that every student can expect to carry. Some school packs will be book-heavy and filled with standard classroom fare, while others will house an array of art-making tools, technology equipment, or sports gear. As a result, there's never going to be one single design style or carrying configuration that will work best for everybody.


Taking this diversity of needs into account, we engaged in a comprehensive assessment of all comfort-fit features incorporated into every pack. We measured the padded structural components, appraised the design and position of straps, and considered the range and application of any cinch and suspension options. We then loaded each bag up with a 20.4-pound Student Test Kit, including everything an average school day might require: a 15-inch laptop, textbooks, binders, notepads, pens, a 40oz water bottle, glasses, calculator, and even a warm layer and a raincoat. And then we took them out for a spin. We compared the fit of each pack on our shoulders and the feel of the weight against our backs. We explored how each fit might change depending on the size of one's torso or when hopping on a bicycle or skateboard. We considered the implications of riding a public bus, train, or other transit option with a full pack. And we made sure to cover distance, take sharp turns, and bend over fully to see how things shifted.

No other pack in the lineup had a suspension system to match the...
No other pack in the lineup had a suspension system to match the Nebula 32's outstanding all-day-comfort design. Not only is there thick, dense padding across the board, but you'll also find options for compression, a sternum strap, and a waist belt (this is the only test pack to include one!).
Our Sample Kit fit inside the Osprey with room to spare.
Our Sample Kit fit inside the Osprey with room to spare.
The Osprey&#039;s many adjustment options make it easy to find the...
The Osprey's many adjustment options make it easy to find the perfect fit for all-day comfort and easy travel between classes.
Not all bags are made equally, and what sets a good bag apart from a great backpack is often found in the back padding, shoulder strap design, and suspension options.

Our standout winner in carrying comfort was the Osprey Nebula, with its sturdy Atilon frame supporting thick ridge foam across the upper back and shoulders, its deeply padded lumbar support, and its highly capable suspension system incorporating compression, a sternum strap, and a waist belt. This backpack handled all 20+ pounds in our test kit with ease, leaving our shoulders no worse for the wear. And given its compact shape, even bikes, skateboards, and buses felt reasonably navigable. The Patagonia came in a close second, with plenty of padding and fit adjustment features, and The North Face Jester stood out as a particularly well-suited fit for taller, longer-torsoed students.

The Swiss Gear 1900 SmartScan has thick, cushiony padding across the...
The Swiss Gear 1900 SmartScan has thick, cushiony padding across the back with a channel for ventilation running down the middle for a breathable, stable, and oh, so comfortable fit.
A smart foundational structure works wonders, delivering a...
A smart foundational structure works wonders, delivering a comfortable, stable fit and a balanced load.
Our testers performed a comprehensive review and comparison of back and shoulder strap padding across every backpack in our lineup, taking note of anything special that improved balance or comfort in use.

We must admit we were surprised by how well the Under Armour Hustle also carried weight, even without a notable investment in suspension. We also appreciated the deep padding on Volher Travel's back and shoulders, even if we wish its design team hadn't skimped when it came time to incorporate additional straps and suspension elements. In contrast, the classically styled yet feature-simple designs offered by JanSport Big Student, Fjallraven Kånken Laptop 17", and Herschel Heritage Classic all earned low marks. Each backpack has a small footprint and sat reasonably balanced and centered on our backs once filled (as a compacted block). However, none provided enough padding or adjustability to protect our adult-sized backs and shoulders. While we appreciate the classically attractive design style these options offer, the sets of narrow straps they rely on are just not enough to carry heavy burdens over any distance comfortably.

school backpack - classic styles like the jansport superbreak one, fjallraven kanken...
Classic styles like the JanSport SuperBreak One, Fjallraven Kanken Laptop 17", and Herschel Heritage Classic each come with narrow straight straps for carrying. The JanSport Big Student (far left) offers an upgraded contoured design, but still lacks the full suspension required for heavier loads.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Storage and Protection


To assess this metric, we investigated what each backpack is made of and how well it will stand up to the rigors of use. We considered the amount of functional space available for packing and what, if any, impact the use of each storage feature might have on the protection of our contents within.


Next, we loaded up our Student Test Kit into each pack and then compared and contrasted how easily everything fit and how well-stabilized and secure the final package ended up for transit. Finally, we stuffed all backpacks with newspaper and sprayed them down in a series of two-minute showers, aiming a “heavy rain” at their tops and fronts to simulate a storm. Each bag was then assessed for moisture and any other associated weaknesses.

Our sample Student Test Kit included a collection of all the items...
Our sample Student Test Kit included a collection of all the items you might expect any average high school or college student to have on hand at any time: a laptop and charger, a couple of textbooks, binders, some notepads, pens, a calculator, silencing headphones, glasses, earbuds, a water bottle, and even a rain jacket and a warmer layer for the end of the day.
We loaded every test backpack with the full kit of sample items...
We loaded every test backpack with the full kit of sample items before taking them for a spin to compare fit and comfort.
While most packs were able to handle the full collection of items in...
While most packs were able to handle the full collection of items in our Student Test Kit, several had difficulty storing a water bottle, leaving us to cart them around by hand with the risk of losing them at every turn.
We tested how well each backpack could store the basic supply needs of an average modern student.

Once again, the Osprey Nebula 32 captured the prize for best overall performance. At 32 liters and 1.8 pounds, it is among the largest and heaviest of the options we tested. It also proved much can be gained by adding just a few extra ounces with intention. This standout design boasts best-in-class materials plus a wealth of packing space, useful features, and suspension options to lighten your load. In comparison, the admirably lightweight Patagonia Refugio 26L may only be a mid-sized pack, but it too earned high scores for its heavy-duty construction housing a handful of smart, protective features within a streamlined design.

school backpack - even the mesh on the osprey nebula 32 is heavy and strong. few other...
Even the mesh on the Osprey Nebula 32 is heavy and strong. Few other backpacks in the group are so well equipped to protect your gear as you travel to and from class.
Credit: Myrha Colt

The The North Face Jester, Volher Travel, and High Sierra Loop all landed in the middle, achieving a reasonable balance between structure, capacity, weight, and features. Though the JanSport Big Student was the biggest bag in the bunch, it did not stand out as a top performer. While we were impressed with its strength, organizational flexibility, and generous, lightweight structure, we found that what it saves in overall weight, it directly sacrifices in comfort and protection — a poor trade-off.

The Volher goes big on all fronts: cargo space, padding, and features.
The Volher goes big on all fronts: cargo space, padding, and features.
The addition of compression straps at the base of the High Sierra...
The addition of compression straps at the base of the High Sierra Loop is a creative way to add capacity without building a bigger backpack.
Some school backpacks we tested packed up cleanly and easily, while...
Some school backpacks we tested packed up cleanly and easily, while others were absolutely bursting at the seams.
Some bags lay claim to cavernous cores or bonus features that allow you to easily affix additional items to the outside. Others intentionally aim for a basic, compact look with few extras that detract from the classic appeal.

On the bottom end of the spectrum, the JanSport SuperBreak One appears to experience “small bag problems.” With 25 liters of space and only 0.7 pounds to carry, it seems like it should be an obvious contender. But, while we liked the tough polyester canvas exterior and found the basic two-compartment design delivered just enough space to fit most of our Student Test Kit, our final assessment was that the pack is far too small and featureless to serve most older students. At capacity, everything became so squashed there was no way to access specific items without dumping or digging through the entire pack's contents. And without a water bottle pocket, we had to carry our beverage in hand — a surefire way to lose it. Similar problems occurred among all of the small capacity packs we tested, including the Herschel Heritage and the Fjallraven Kånken Laptop 17". So, unsurprisingly, all received low scores in this metric.

school backpack - although we were able to fit most of our student test kit into the...
Although we were able to fit most of our Student Test Kit into the SuperBreak One, it was stuffed to capacity with no room to spare and left us with no place to stash a water bottle.
Credit: Myrha Colt

We should note that none of the backpacks in the current lineup claim to be waterproof, even if all indicate some level of water resistance. And all are built out of some variation of a durable, polyester material that's treated for this exact purpose. So, the scores for the water testing submetric were reasonably similar across the board. As expected, zippers tend to be the most vulnerable components of any bag. And, notably, those on the SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart seemed to fall victim to this problem more so than others, with a small amount of moisture creeping into several of its compartments, resulting in minor pooling within the largest. But for the most part, all of these backpacks performed well during water testing, and all seem equipped to protect their contents in the face of a sudden storm. That is, assuming you take only a few minutes to run for cover, as none are designed for a soaking. If you are planning to commute to school by bike, board, public transit, or on foot with regular exposure to the elements, we suggest grabbing a waterproof rain cover for a bump in overall backpack protection.

We exposed our entire test suite to a couple of 2-minute showers to...
We exposed our entire test suite to a couple of 2-minute showers to simulate a sudden storm and then inspected each backpack for how well protected the contents inside (newspaper) were in between.
Several bags displayed impressive water resistance in the face of...
Several bags displayed impressive water resistance in the face of simulated showers, beading heavily on the outside while allowing very little, if any, moisture to penetrate within.
The soft exterior of the Matein absorbed some moisture in testing...
The soft exterior of the Matein absorbed some moisture in testing but then dried so quickly that it seemed to have little lasting impact. Traces of water were also found inside the zipper lines of the main compartment, but not enough to pool.
Each school backpack in our lineup went through rigorous water testing to help us better understand what brands really mean when they say “water-resistant.”


Ease of Use


Ease of use is our measure of how straightforward and painless it is to pack, unpack, adjust, and manipulate each bag. This applies to the features we rely on for storage and organization, as well as to those we utilize to maintain fit. For this metric, we carefully evaluated how well each of the pockets and compartments on every backpack serves its intended purpose and how much flexibility the bag's design offered us overall. We also assessed how easily we can readjust our fit on the fly, checking to see if buckles, clips, and braces release easily when resizing straps and repositioning loads.


Once again, a top scorer, every compartment, strap, and pocket on the Osprey Nebula 32 stands out for its top-tier design and intentionality. The TSA-approved laptop compartment with its clamshell opening is a particularly brilliant use of space, ensuring it's just as quick to pull out your computer in class as it is to run through airport security. The many pockets across the rest of the pack are accessible through a splayed opening, meaning you should have everything right at your fingertips at all times. The one minor complaint we did note across some purchase reviews is that the top-side cinch buckles sometimes impede quick access to the main compartment if you don't intentionally tuck them away to avoid getting caught up. This didn't bother us in testing, but it's worth noting and an easy fix.

school backpack - the well-padded laptop sleeve tucked into a designated compartment...
The well-padded laptop sleeve tucked into a designated compartment at the back of the Osprey Nebula 32 is easily accessed with a clamshell zipped opening, making busy school days and airport security a breeze.
Credit: Myrha Colt

On the flip side, backpacks with simplified or classic designs tend to have one consistent problem: too few entry points and too few cargo spaces to make your contents easily accessible once packed. From the Fjallraven and the JanSport SuperBreak One to The North Face Jester and the Patagonia Refugio, we saw this issue over and over again — compartments become stuffed so full there's no way to find anything without pulling out half the items first. One solution is to get creative with your own set of colorful packing pouches. The other is to select a backpack that has already solved this problem by incorporating a broader range of organizational tools. We suggest you consider your own day-to-day organizational requirements carefully when assessing the options.

Our Student Test Kit mostly fit inside the Fjallraven, only with...
Our Student Test Kit mostly fit inside the Fjallraven, only with little space left over for accessing items on the go.
Since everything is stored so tightly, it can be difficult to reach...
Since everything is stored so tightly, it can be difficult to reach stowed items in either pocket without emptying some contents first.
Although the Fjallraven Kanken Laptop 17&quot; comes with water bottle...
Although the Fjallraven Kanken Laptop 17" comes with water bottle pockets, they are unusable once you fill the main compartment.
Small bags can be compact, youthful, and fun additions to your school wardrobe, but they don't necessarily deliver the tools needed for productive days.

Many of the other packs in the lineup fell somewhere in the middle, neither exceptional nor particularly poor performers. Among them, the Volher Travel and Matein Travel Laptop demonstrated a welcomed assortment of external pockets and extra organizational features, including easy-access laptop storage, large main cargo compartments, and built-in USB ports paired with slot pockets for battery packs. In turn, Patagonia Refugio went in the opposite direction, opting for very few access points and a small selection of smart features that increase its overall versatility (i.e., a removable Tech Caddy, useful suspension features, and a pass-through port for hydration bladder).

The external USB port on the Volher makes easy work out of staying...
The external USB port on the Volher makes easy work out of staying charged on the go.
Grab a small power bank and attach it to the inside USB cable. Then...
Grab a small power bank and attach it to the inside USB cable. Then just plug your manual device into the exterior side port and you're ready to roll. A headphone port is also built into the top pocket for anyone who hasn't yet made the switch to earbuds.
Mobile tech is a big part of every student's life these days, and having the option to charge up on the go can be a huge asset for students facing long days in between classes and commutes.

The JanSport Big Student, High Sierra Loop, Under Armour Hustle 5.0, and SwissGear ScanSmart all took an especially thoughtful approach to pocket configuration, creating packs of particular appeal to specific subsets of students. Under Armour's soft storage pocket is ideal for student-athletes. Anyone faced with a mountain of textbooks and class-specific tool sets will love the Big Student. The clamshell laptop compartment and varied zip-pockets on the SwissGear will serve anyone with a tech-heavy course load well. And the Loop is sure to be a favorite among those choosing to leave their laptops at home.

We loved the soft-topped bottom compartment on the Under Armour...
We loved the soft-topped bottom compartment on the Under Armour Hustle 5.0. It's the perfect addition for anyone who is heading to the gym between classes or plays an after-school sport.
The Swiss Gear&#039;s heavily padded 17&quot; laptop compartment with Velcro...
The Swiss Gear's heavily padded 17" laptop compartment with Velcro strap and TSA-approved clamshell design is a dream come true for students and travelers alike.
The Big Student is a lightweight beast of a bag with the potential...
The Big Student is a lightweight beast of a bag with the potential to grow quite bulky and deep once you start filling all of the many pockets.
Several bags stood out for delivering a strong balance of capacity, useful pockets, and extra organizational features.

In general, we love a nice assortment of pockets on any backpack. But, they must add value. If they're too small and/or oddly sized or poorly positioned, a pocket is no longer a productive storage feature. For some reason, water bottle pockets seem to be a particular design challenge. Some are too shallow in size to confidently stabilize large containers, like the Matein Travel and Volher Travel. Others don't work at all due to a lack of stretch in the pocket material, such as the Tzowla Business and Fjallraven 17". Some water bottle pockets even conflict outright with another design element incorporated into the same bag, which is what we found in the SwissGear ScanSmart and High Sierra Loop. And, of course, there are those packs that don't include water bottle pockets at all, such as the JanSport SuperBreak One and Herschel Heritage. If this is a feature that's especially important to you, be sure to take a careful look before you make a selection.

Purchase With Care on Third-Party Websites
Be sure to carefully review each product description before you make a purchase to confirm you are ordering exactly the feature set you require. Several brands from our lineup make variations of the models we tested, including some versions that may only be sold through third-party retailers. Design features like water bottle pockets or internal organizational items may not exist across all iterations of the bag, even if photos appear largely the same. When in doubt, go directly to the manufacturer's website to choose from the brand's most recently updated product line.

school backpack - over and over again we seemed to be left with our water bottles in...
Over and over again we seemed to be left with our water bottles in hand.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Versatility


The versatility of a backpack speaks to how many different types of situations it can be comfortably used in. Can it be taken on a flight? Is it big enough for all school supplies? Is it office-appropriate? Can it double as a hiking daypack or pass as a gym bag? Does it remain secure and comfortable when you hop on a bike? Finding a single option that will transition well between a variety of activities is a genuine value-add, yet not all bags are up to that task. A pack also becomes an accessory that is part of your everyday look, directly reflecting your personal style. So, the range of colors and patterns you have to choose from can be important to your final decision. To get a handle on what each backpack can offer, we went ahead and evaluated them based on the multi-purpose flexibility in each design and the selection of colorways.


Unsurprisingly, when it comes to versatility, many now familiar names rose to the surface, with the Patagonia Refugio and High Sierra Loop topping the list. The Loop really stood out due to the wide variety of colors and fun patterns there are to choose from — we counted more than 24 options, including hot pink, mermaids, camouflage, heather grey, and more. The pack is also notable for its middle-of-the-road style, which makes it a suitable choice for a broad range of activities and environments where laptops are not required. Patagonia's Refugio 26L is intentionally designed to transition easily from office and class to whatever activities are on deck for the weekend, and its unique combination of removable Tech Caddy, pass-through hydration port, and excellent suspension serves that purpose well. It also comes in a nice mix of playful, trendy colors in addition to the more understated, neutral tones the brand is often associated with.

We were impressed by the versatility of many packs in the test...
We were impressed by the versatility of many packs in the test group, but the clever multipurpose designs offered by Patagonia, Osprey, and The North Face really stood out.
A hydration pack hose port at the neck of the Patagonia Refugio 26L...
A hydration pack hose port at the neck of the Patagonia Refugio 26L is a handy tool for any student-turned-weekend-adventurer.
The Osprey&#039;s clamshell laptop compartment, with room for an...
The Osprey's clamshell laptop compartment, with room for an additional tablet and/or cables, is an efficient and functional space for heavy daily use.
Our favorite bags in testing were those that incorporate smart design choices to allow for a broader range of use beyond the activity limits of an average school day.


The Osprey Nebula, Volher Travel, Matein Travel, Under Armour Hustle, and SwissGear ScanSmart all scored reasonably well for versatility given the healthy mix of colors available among them, including at least one or two unexpected, eye-catching choices each. So whether you seek a discrete pack that blends into the background or you prefer something lively, bold, and easy to spot in a room, you ought to find something that works well for you in this group.

school backpack - there was no lack of color in this year&#039;s lineup, from a galaxy of...
There was no lack of color in this year's lineup, from a galaxy of stars to business-neutral gray and a rainbow of bright choices in between.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Functionally, the lineup ranges a wider spectrum. The TSA-approved laptop compartments on the Osprey Nebula and SwissGear ScanSmart make them particularly great choices for frequent flyers. The Under Armour Hustle 5.0 is an excellent size for travel or around town. The Volher Travel, Matein Travel, and Tzowla Business are all remarkably similar, and each makes it easy to stay plugged in, charged up, and organized. They also each have a sleek, modern look that's equally well-outfitted for a student, business, or urban lifestyle. For outdoor adventuring, the Nebula, Refugio, and The North Face Jester offer the most stable fit for bikes or trails.

school backpack - three urban casual bags in the lineup were so similar in features...
Three urban casual bags in the lineup were so similar in features that they were hard to tell apart at times: the Matein Travel Laptop, the Tzowla Travel Laptop, and our favorite among them, the Volher Travel Laptop.
Credit: Myrha Colt

The backpacks with the least versatility are well familiar to elementary schoolyards: the JanSports, Herschel, and Fjallraven. Even though these packs come in a rainbow of colors and fun, youthful patterns, none provides the aesthetic or cargo flexibility required to seamlessly move from classroom to work or after-school adult-sized play. In fact, most don't even live up to the requirements of a modern-day student, providing only the bare minimum in storage and organizational features. Only the JanSport Big Student stands as an outlier, providing a large capacity and numerous pockets for varied use even if it too lacks the basic comforts of construction to make it a great choice for broader activities.

school backpack - what&#039;s right for one student may be nothing close to what the next...
What's right for one student may be nothing close to what the next needs, so it's important to take an assessment of your own priorities before making a final selection.
Credit: Marshall Palmer

Conclusion


After testing the most popular everyday-use school backpacks available today, we sent them through a series of side-by-side field tests to figure out how they stack up against the competition. From classic book bags and sporty carryalls to tech and travel-friendly options that double as mobile workstations or carry ons, we tested each bag for comfort and fit, storage and protection, ease of use, and versatility. We hope our in-depth testing will help you determine which bag is right for you.

Myrha Colt