Best Backpacks for High School for 2020

Whether it’s back to school shopping or middle of the school year shopping, a good backpack is probably at the top of your list.

What types of features should the backpack have and what are some trendy colors that will get a high schooler through the school year? We’ll take a look at the ten best backpacks for high school below in order to answer these questions and help you compare and contrast brands.

Students, parents, friends and relatives. If you’re looking for a backpack for yourself or to give as a gift, read on!

View the 3 Best Backpacks for High School Below

1. JanSport Big Student Backpack – Check Price on Amazon >>>

JanSport has been a student favorite for decades, and without a doubt, it’s still going strong today.

It’s made of tough Denier polyester fabric, making it durable while providing years of use. The straps feature extra padding and an S-curve shape offering a more ergonomic fit for students, and it has a padded back panel for additional comfort.

This bag is BIG! It has plenty of storage space, pockets and two main compartments to help keep books and papers well organized.

In addition to all of the storage space and ergonomic fit, JanSport also offers you a wide variety of colors and patterns. You’ll have no problem finding the right one to reflect your personal style or that of the student your purchasing it for!

Finding the right pattern and color combination is easy, which is just another reason why students love this bag!

2. High Sierra Loop Backpack – Check Price on Amazon >>>

Coming in second on our list of best backpacks for high school is the sporty High Sierra Loop.

It has ample internal storage, two mesh side pockets for beverage bottles and a special tablet computer sleeve on the inside of the bag to keep hardware safe. The internal pockets help you keep your personal items (such as keys, phone, etc.) organized and the external straps allow you to tighten down your load.The bottom straps provide extra storage if you need to carry an extra sweater or jacket when you don’t have room inside your bag.Overall an excellent backpack to get you through the school year in style!

The bottom straps provide extra storage if you need to carry an extra sweater or jacket when you don’t have room inside your bag.

Overall an excellent backpack to get you through the school year in style!

3. Targus Ascend Professional Backpack – Check Price on Amazon >>>

Perfect for students who use a laptop to get them through the school day, the Targus Ascend will fit laptops up to 16”in size.

The design is standard and comes with the mesh side pocket and two main storage compartments. It’s lacking a bit of additional storage space (few pockets) and only comes in black, however it does feature ergonomic straps with extra padding.

If you need room for books and a computer, this is a great option with a friendly price tag.

Considerations for High School Backpacks

Before you select a backpack, consider the following:

  • Colors. The little elementary school tot that once preferred a backpack with their favorite superhero has now matured into a young adolescent with more mature tastes.

If you happen to be gifting the backpack to a student, then find out as much as possible about the style and colors they might like before you select one. Chances are if you get one they dislike, then they will trade it in for something else.

Students shopping for a backpack should remember to avoid white and bright colors that show dirt and to find a color combination that they will enjoy wearing year round and that contains colors similar to their current wardrobe.

  • Back Health. Most teenagers are probably more worried about their hair and their clothes rather than their back health.

Straps that have extra padding and an S-curve shape will help make carrying the backpack more comfortable (number one on our list is great) but really it comes down to how the student wears the backpack.

For extra heavy loads (many books and laptop), it’s best to get a backpack with wheels.


School backpacks will carry some heavy loads and take some tough hits, so you need a strong fabric that can handle the blows.

Some great options include:

  • Duck Fabric
  • Canvas
  • Nylon Pack Cloth
  • Denier Cordura Fabric

Remember that the bottom of the bag will rest upon a variety of surfaces.

Leather is common, but doesn’t always keep the water out if the backpack ends up sitting on a wet floors of the bus or school hallways. Some bags use the same material as the main shell but reinforce it in the bottom so it can hold heavy loads.

Back or Wheels

If the student has a lot of heavy books to carry and has a bit of walking to do between classes, it might be best to get a backpack with wheels. Check out numbers seven and eight on our list if this is the case. A backpack with wheels also prevents the bag from making contact with the ground.

For backpacks that rest on the shoulders, make sure the fit is comfortable with plenty of padding!

Storage Space

Side mesh pocketsare useful for water bottles or other beverage containers, and having some front and side zip pockets are always great for stashing phones, keys, personal items and other small classroom essentials.

The main compartment should be spacious (better if there are two main compartments) so that students can more easily separate and organize their items.

Top 10 Backpacks for High School Chart

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