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The college student in your life is going back to campus! They're bound to need a place to keep all their notebooks and textbooks organized, and a new backpack is the perfect way to get them excited about the new school year and keep all of their supplies in one place.
Whether you're looking for a durable bag that will last them the entire four years or a cool tote to take on easier class days, ahead is a variety of quality college backpacks with options that are trendy, sporty and strategically designed for organization.
Best large, durable college backpacks
With options to either don a 26- or 30-liter backpack, you know you are going to be able to fit everything you need for long days (or nights) on campus in this Patagonia backpack. "Material is great for weather and durability," one reviewer said of the waterproof design.
A staple across college campuses for many years, this large campus backpack comes in 11 solid colors, has three differently-sized pockets perfect for pencil pouches, electronics, a lunch box and everything else you may need throughout the day. Made out of recycled cotton, you can have faith in this bag always having your back, as it's endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association.
For the fashionista college student, consider this Cluci backpack that will elevate any outfit you wear. It comes in over 35 different colors, has over 11,500 verified Amazon reviews and is now on sale for less than $40. What's not to love?
If they want a simple and durable design, they'll love Hershel's Miller Backpack. It has an extra-large interior to hold a laptop, books, clothes and more. It also includes a front zip compartment to hold all of those everyday essentials.
This one is for the student who can't seem to keep their phone charged. Not only is this versatile backpack cute and colorful, but it includes a USB port to charge a phone while out and about. It can fit a 15-inch laptop and still has plenty of room for books, clothes and other daily school essentials.
For the person who likes to live life as orderly as possible, consider getting the Feeke Pans Backpack. It includes four main loading areas to hold up to three days' worth of clothing (and plenty of room for all his books!).
Wearing a backpack has never been this comfortable. The straps and back panel of this High Sierra pick is made with air mesh and foam, which will give you all the support you need throughout the day. Other cool features to anticipate include a Laptop Hammock™ for bottom drop protection, a fleece-lined pocket for your phone or sunglasses and dual water bottle pockets on each side.
It's always a drag when you have to run back to the dorms because you forgot to pack something. With this Swissgear backpack, that issue will be a thing of the past. This option not only has separate compartments for your 16-inch laptop and a tablet, but it also has separate areas for all of your other essentials and two side water bottle pockets.
The Yorepek Extra-Large Travel Laptop Backpack has 32,000+ verified Amazon ratings and an impressive average to boot. Many reviewers love this bag for its size, durability and convenient USB charging port.
This Under Armour backpack, with over 14,000 verified Amazon ratings, comes in over 40 different colors and patterns, but we think this neutral navy design would be great for any student on campus.
If they don't need a ton of space but want a bag that efficiently holds their school necessities, this design from The North Face may be a good option. The main compartment features a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve and still comfortably fits your books and binders.
For those who don't want to spend a ton of money, consider the Everest Suede Bottom Backpack. It's by far the most inexpensive backpack on our list, but it will get the job done. The suede bottom provides extra durability, the exterior zipper pocket is great to hold small items and the main compartment is able to fit any and all school supplies.
The Adidas Prime IV Backpack features multiple pockets for easy organization and a padded sleeve to protect electronics. The durable shoulder straps offer added comfort, while reflective details enhance visibility in low-light conditions.
You can't go wrong with a sleek design like The North Face's Borealis Backpack. It's available in over 10 different colors, including neutral shades like gray, black, maroon and white.
The Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack has become quite the popular bag over the years — and for good reason. It's made of 100 percent premium neoprene that’s water-resistant and hand-washable. It has enough room for most 13-inch laptops, a change of clothes, a packed lunch and more. It even has a dedicated spot for items like lip balm, keys and a phone.
Best medium-sized college backpacks
On days when you just need the essentials or need to appear at a meeting on campus, this daypack has got you covered thanks to its roomy interior and waterproof exterior. Reviewers rave about how "versatile," "durable" and "heavy-duty" this pack is despite its size.
While this pack is originally marketed towards kids, it's a budget-friendly pick that can hold your laptop and includes room for folders, notebooks and pencils galore. Outfitted with a nylon that provides protection from the weather, rock this option on days when you need a little pop of color.
For the student who commutes from class to the gym or vice versa, this Lululemon backpack has a special section for post-workout gear, as well as enough room for your laptop, phone and water bottle.
Your daily commute to and from campus just got a lot more stylish thanks to this commuter backpack from Target. It has all kinds of appealing features from a durable, water-repellent nylon exterior to roomy compartments to fit your favorite water bottle and laptops up to 15 inches. Best of all, this versatile pick can double as a chic tote!
When in doubt, go with a classic JanSport backpack. They're durable, budget-friendly and sure to last all year while they lug heavy textbooks to and from the library.
If you loves spending time outdoors, then you'll love the Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack. It has a large panel-loading main compartment and attaches to a variety of compatible Osprey packs if you ever want to upgrade and buy a weekender.
Whether you're trekking to class or traveling home for the weekend, this is as classic of an everyday bag as you can get. Available in over 55 colors, this Fjällräven backpack is equally sturdy (it's made of heavy-duty Vinylon fabric) and versatile (it can be easily converted into a daypack).
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