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The Best Backpacks for School

It’s back to school shopping season and finding a cool backpack is one of the most important purchases you’ll make. Shopping for a backpack for your child’s school year can be a daunting task. You’re... Show More not sure what features are important or who makes the best quality. It needs to be stylish but also functional. It’s easy to make a mistake and buy a backpack that is wrong for your kids and will leave them sulking all year. Don’t forget, they’ll be carrying it everywhere! But you’ve come to the right place. Compbrella experts reviewed and ranked the best and newest backpacks – check out our monthly updated list for the best backpacks to buy online. Show Less
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Product Highlights
  • HERSCHEL COLLECTION: Click on our brand logo at the top of the page to explore the full collection from Herschel Supply.
  • DURABLE DESIGN: A timeless silhouette inspired by the classic mountaineering style. Sturdy polyester and nylon fabric, made for all adventures. Signature striped liner, drawcord closure and magnet-fastened straps with metal pin buckles. Finished with Herschel’s classic woven label. Spacious, versatile and tech-friendly, the Herschel Little America is suited for both your everyday commutes and your airplane carry-ons.
  • MEN/WOMEN/UNISEX: The Herschel Little America Backpack was made for everyone. Use it for your commute, the school week, a business trip, or a weekend adventure.
  • 17L CAPACITY: 16” high and 10.75” wide. From your passport to your heavy textbooks, there’s plenty of space to fit everything you need for school, work or travel.
  • COMFORTABLE CARRYING: Padded, contoured shoulder straps and breathable air mesh back padding, designed for a more supportive and comfortable commute to work or school. The Herschel Little America also makes for the perfect airplane carry-on.
  • EASY TO ORGANIZE: Multiple compartments for keeping your essentials in place. Front pocket with key clip and hidden zipper, offering anti-theft protection. Tech-safe sleeve is padded and lined with fleece, fits laptops up to 15”. An internal media pocket is the ideal fit for your smartphone, and the additional headphone port is perfect for an on-the-go playlist.

Compbrella Guide for Choosing the best backpack for your kids

Before you buy a backpack you need to consider your children and their needs. While you may think every backpack is the same, each is unique with functional compartments and different padding or styling. A backpack is not just a bag to lug around books. It’s a fashion item as well and your child will be very particular about which one is right for them. Fortunately, Compbrella experts are all parents and are very familiar with the whims of children. We’ll help you find a bag that your child will want to be seen with while still answering all your needs, such as storage space and back support.

Recommended Backpacks:

What types of backpacks are best for school?

Backpacks come in a variety of designs each with its own features:

  • Most backpacks are what you would call “standard.” They have a few compartments for books and are relatively lightweight. 
  • Laptop backpacks are the next level up. If your child needs to carry to school a laptop or tablet these are recommended because they have a padded compartment separate from where you keep books. This will protect the expensive and fragile devices. Usually, they also come with more padding on the straps to accommodate the extra weight on your child’s shoulders. Your child will be carrying this on their back all year so it’s important that the backpack has adequate back support. Otherwise, you may find out later that they’ve been leaving some heavier books at home and showing up at school unprepared. 
  • The third most common type is what you could call two-in-ones. These are backpacks that you can adjust the strap to convert into a side shoulder or messenger bag. They’re great if your child is the type that likes to switch up their style every couple of months. 

What are the features to look for in a backpack for school?

When you’re trying to discern a high quality backpack for school from a low quality one you have to consider many factors:

  • Size is one of the most important features when considering which backpack to buy. You may think you found the right one but remember to check with your child if it’s not too big for them. 
  • Capacity is equally important. Depending on whether or not they have a locker at school, your child may be carrying every day several pounds of books, lunch, supplies, or even a laptop. They need a bag that can carry that weight and one with enough compartments to organize everything. A single compartment backpack may be ok for a couple of items but finding your pencil case when it’s mixed up with notebooks, textbooks, lunch, and calculators can be annoying to your child and not conducive to a healthy education. 
  • Make sure it’s well made. Zippers are an excellent indication of whether a bag is well made or not. Heavy-duty zippers usually mean that the bag is built to last. 
  • Choose a fabric that will last and is durable like synthetic fabrics. Your child may think a leather bag looks cool but it’s heavier and can get ruined in bad weather. Of course, if you’re inclined you can also purchase a bag made of natural fibers like hemp. They won’t last as long but they are sturdy and eco-friendly. 
  • Consider the construction and padding of the bag. The straps need to be adjustable and able to support the weight on your child’s shoulders and also offer back support. Some bags also feature waist straps that help distribute the weight while others also have padded backs for additional support.
  • Of course, what your child cares most about is that it’s a cool backpack. Backpacks are another fashion accessory so after you’ve found one that functions the best, make sure that it’s a backpack that your child actually likes to use, likes the look of, and won’t leave around to be lost.

What are the leading backpack brands for school?

The three most popular backpacks for kids are Jansport, North Face, and Herschel. They are all versatile with many designs and features that will suit any child. They are all well made and come with a guarantee to last so you know they will be used over and over by your family. Most importantly, they are fashionable without being ostentatious. The simple color designs will suit any child. Nearly 50% of all Jansport backpacks are black! Sleek and fashionable, you can’t go wrong with a well made and solid color backpack.

Compbrella Pick for Top 3 best backpacks for school

Best Overall Backpack: Herschel Supply Settlement BackpackThis simple and stylish backpack is big enough to handle most kid’s daily needs, has comfortable padding for their shoulders and also has room for a laptop. 

Best Backpack For Electronics: JanSport Cool Student Backpack– This stylish backpack is extra large with plenty of compartments and space for books and electronic equipment. It’s durable and waterproof so your electronics will stay safe and protected in most weather conditions. It even has a built-in charging station so you can use a USB to charge your equipment on the go. 

Most Outdoorsy Backpack: North Dace Jester BackpackThis durable and lightweight backpack is perfect for the kid that loves going hiking on the weekend. It’s big enough to carry books and school supplies, including laptops, while still being lightweight and ergonomic so you can hike with it for hours without feeling stress on your back and shoulders.

Why you should trust us

Compbrella was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with over twenty years experience working in retail, electronics, and e-commerce. Over the years, we have spent endless hours writing and revising consumer guides, interviewing customers about the products they enjoyed using, and talking to an untold number of technicians about why some products fail and others don’t. We draw from our own experiences about what products a household needs and what we use in our everyday lives. If we’re reviewing a product, it means we one of us has it in their home and thinks it, or a different version, would be a great addition to your homes. We stand by our recommendations because we make them to each other first.