10 Best Backpacks for School 2017

One of the most important pieces of school gear that you’ll buy is a backpack.

You will be relying on it daily, so he last thing you want to do is purchase a cheap, flimsy one that will fall apart at the seams just a few weeks into the school year.

We know that price is a big factor in your decision-making process, but if you want to invest in the best backpack for school use, there are some important features you need to consider when shopping for one.

We’ll highlight those features here in this handy guide and show you our shortlist of the top 10 backpacks that are worth your hard-earned money.

Top 10 Backpacks for School Table

PictureNameLaptop Sleeve?PriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameLaptop Sleeve?PriceRating (1-5)
1. Under Armour Storm Hustle II BackpackYes$$4.6
2. High Sierra Loop Backpack No$$4.5
3. JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack - 15" Yes$$4.5
4. The North Face Womens Women's Jester Yes$$$4.5
5. eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack Yes$$$$4.5
6. Herschel Supply Co. Little America Backpack Yes$$$4.5
7. Targus 16-Inch Ascend Laptop Backpack Yes$$4.4
8. adidas Prime BackpackYes$$4.4
9. High Sierra Swerve- Jersey Knit/Slate Yes$4.3
10. High Sierra Powerglide Wheeled Backpack Yes$$$4.2

Backpack Selection Made Easy

There is so much more to backpack shopping than most people think, so here are a few of our top pointers to help you choose the best backpack for school use.

We’re assuming that most of you are shopping for something to use in high school and college, which is why we didn’t feature any backpacks for grade school children.

  • Consider the Material. The most durable backpacks are made from polyester that has a high Denier number. 600D polyester and up can handle the daily wear and tear of school use.

If you live in a particularly wet region, nylon backpacks are a good choice as long as they are rated to withstand moderate rain and snow. Keep in mind that while nylon is strong (nylon with a lower Denier number is actually stronger than polyester with a higher Denier number) and light, it is also easy to rip.

Canvas bags are usually the most stylish, but since they are made of cotton, they’re not the most durable backpacks out there and soak up water like a sponge.

  • The Compartments. When it comes to the compartments, you need to consider how many there are and whether or not there is one dedicated to laptops.

The more compartments there are, the more ways you have to organize your belongings, and those who need to take a laptop from class to class should make sure there is a properly padded laptop sleeve in the bag. Regular compartments won’t provide enough cushion and protection for them, and you should also check to see what is the maximum size laptop that it can accommodate.

Important Details

When it comes to the construction of the bag, comfort and quality are key.

The straps should be generously padded and the seams should be strong. You don’t want a weak backpack that will tear once it carries its first heavy load. Backpacks worth the purchase should have at least six stitches per inch.

Do you need a water bottle pouch or a media port for headphone cords? Are the zippers sturdy or small and weak? YKK zippers are top-of-the-line when it comes to luggage and backpacks, so if you see this brand on the label, it’s a good sign.

Top 3 Best Backpacks for School Reviews

What is the best backpack for school? That depends on you! Here we highlight the top three, but if they don’t meet your needs, check out the other seven we’ve included in our table.

1. Under Armour Storm Hustle II Backpack

Student athletes love this backpack from Under Armour.

We were particularly impressed by the mixture of polyester and nylon they used on the shell because it give you the best of both fabrics: the polyester is durable and tear-resistant while the nylon offers better water resistance than polyester alone. They’ve also coated it with a water-resistant finish to ensure that your belongings won’t get soaked.

It can accommodate laptops up to 15 inches in the padded sleeve, and you have plenty of storage thanks to the two main compartments and front zippered pocket for smaller items.

While the straps were just average to us, we do like how Under Armour stands behind their product in the event of a bad bag.

The budget-conscious student looking for a decent bag can’t go wrong with the Hustle II.

2. High Sierra Loop Backpack

The most impressive thing about this bag is the super strong 1680D Ballistic Nylon they used on the shell. It is incredibly strong yet light and is very abrasion-resistant. We prefer it over polyester, actually.

It may be deprived of a laptop sleeve, but they did include a tablet sleeve in its place. Pair that with the ample storage (two main compartments and two smaller compartments), key hook, water bottle pouches, media pocket, and super comfy straps, and this backpack will get you easily last you a year or two.

If you want a backpack that can double as a carry-on for travel, then the different sized compartments are very handy for storing all of your travel documents and clothing.

The Loop is probably the best school backpack for the majority of students out there.

3. JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack

When most of us think “school backpack,” JanSport comes to mind.

We really like their Right Pack Backpack and think it would suit the needs of students with light to medium book loads. You could probably get this for a middle schooler or a high school student who relies mostly on a laptop.

The bag is well-constructed, featuring a suede bottom for durability (although suede isn’t very water resistant) and 915D Cordura fabric for the shell – a nylon-based material.

It is a very basic backpack with one main compartment, one utility pocket in the front and one stash pocket.

If you don’t have a ton of books, binders or notebooks to carry around, you’ll find that this meets both your sizing and quality expectations in this price range.

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