When choosing backpacks for college, you need to determine what kind of backpack will meet your or your student’s needs.  Depending on your needs, the features of each pack can help you decide which is the best backpack for you.  There are several factors to consider when choosing a backpack for college:  storage, function, and style.


Probably the most important factor in choosing a backpack is the amount of storage you need.  What will you be carrying?  How much storage space do you need?  For most college students, you will be carrying things such as books, a laptop (or tablet), notebooks, files or project folders, snacks, drinks, pens, pencils, and other school supplies (depending on your classes and major).

Your choice of backpack should be able to hold all of your books and supplies but still be comfortable to wear or easy to roll.  If you are one of those who like to carry everything, you might consider a backpack with rollers.  Putting too much weight in a backpack could affect your wallet in the form of chiropractor visits!

Laptop or No Laptop?

backpacks-for-collegeIf you need to carry a laptop with you, make sure your backpack has a padded compartment to store and protect your most expensive and useful college resource (besides your brain, that is).   Sure, you could buy a protective sleeve and put your computer in just any old backpack, but there are so many options when it comes to laptop bags, why risk damaging your computer (which probably has all of your homework on it).

There are different sized laptops and backpacks that are built to hold 13- to 15-inch laptops or others that can hold the larger 17-inch laptops.  Before you buy your bag, check and see if your laptop will fit in the padded compartment.  You might like the style and functions of the bag, but if it doesn’t hold your laptop, you will have a daily point of frustration as you try to stuff your large laptop into a too-small space.

Functions of Backpacks for College

The second consideration when choosing a college backpack should be the functions you need from your backpack.  Each backpack is designed to meet certain needs of the customer.  Decide what functions you need before you go shopping so that you will know what to look for when choosing your backpack for college.

Wheeled Backpacks

backpacks-for-college2 More and more studies are showing that wearing a backpack for an extended period of time can be hard on your back.  Have you seen the size of some college textbooks?  Even though many students are turning to online textbooks and eTextbooks, there are still some college books that are only available in print.  Textbooks can be heavy, and if you have a heavy class load, then you want to make sure you don’t add to your burden by having to carry everything on your shoulders.  Choose a wheeled backpack and take a load off your back.  For more tips on avoiding a heavy backpack, click here.


Most backpacks have plenty of pockets and compartments to organize everything you need for school.  Pens, pencils, keys, and more can be just a short reach away with the right choice.  Most backpacks store these behind a front zippered compartment.  Before you buy, make sure that your backpack of choice has everything you need to organize all your essentials.


As long as a backpack has the storage and functions you need, it will be useful for most students who live on campus.  But what about commuter students or those who live off campus?  What about the students who might have a long commute by train or carpool with other students?  What other functions would make the commute easier? Cell phone holders and MP3 player pockets can make a student’s commute easier.  Listening to music or podcasts can make a train ride or carpool seem to go by much more quickly.  What about my battery, you ask?  Won’t that run down my battery?  Believe it or not, there are even backpacks that recharge your phone while you’re sitting in class.


Let’s face it, when you’re in college, style is important.  You want your backpack to be functional and have all the storage you need, but you also want it to look good and to match your style and personality.  There are a lot of different styles to choose from when picking out a pack for college. There are canvas bags, leather bags, messenger bags, and more.  Choose a style that fits your personality and needs.  If a bag has all the storage and functions you need, but it’s not the right style, then think twice before purchasing it.  You’ll carry it with you every day, so you want to make sure you like the looks of it.

If you want to impress your classmates, you might want to go for a more formal look and choose a leather bag.  Of course, you’ll pay more for leather, but who doesn’t like leather, right? If you like the more urban look, you might choose a messenger-style bag.  This bag looks like a soft-side briefcase and only has one shoulder strap.  If you ride a bicycle to class, you probably want to make sure it comes with a strap to secure it so it doesn’t bounce around when you’re riding your bike.

When it comes to backpacks, you have a lot to choose from, so whatever choice you make you want a backpack that meets all of your needs when it comes to style, function, and storage.  But you also want to have peace of mind that the company stands behind their workmanship.  The best quality bags come with warranties.

Know what kind of warranty is covering your bag.  If you get one with all the features you need and is a quality bag, you and your bag might make it all the way to graduation.  Whatever you choose, good luck in school, and good luck on finding and choosing the best backpacks for college!