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It’s not always easy to transition back to the classroom or office, but prepping all of your gear can make it more exciting. The end-of-summer tradition is an opportune time to restock on supplies, tech essentials (such as tablets for taking notes, portable chargers, travel-friendly monitors and more) and other gear — as well as a cool and comfortable backpack for carrying them in style.
We’ve rounded up some of the best backpacks for students of all ages, no matter their budget and style. Backpacks with dedicated laptop compartments make it easy to shuttle your screens safely to the library or dorm, while other carryalls cater to hyper-organized wearers who want to want to keep every pen, cable and accessory in its proper place. And for digital nomads and frequent travelers, there are also packs with plenty of room for a day’s worth of clothes and then some.
Whether you are making a fashion statement, looking for tech-friendly options or need waterproof material and extra space, we’ve rounded up some of the best backpacks to help students of all ages start the new school year in style. Check out our top picks for any budget — high or low — from brands such as JanSport, State, Herschel Supply Co., Fjällräven, Balenciaga and more.
1. State Mini Kane Backpack
This casual mini backpack by mission-driven brand State is easy to carry and comes in a cool silver material with a zippered main compartment, front storage pocket, plus padded and soft adjustable straps. And for each bag purchased, the label supports families and kids in the U.S. by donating packed backpacks and funding special projects.
2. Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz Backpack
Herschel Supply Co.’s extra large Pop Quiz backpack has adjustable padded straps, a fleece-lined laptop sleeve that fits most 15-inch screens and a media pocket so you can keep your tech items easily accessible. An exterior zip pocket has a key clip and an interior pocket boasts a headphone port.
3. JanSport Big Student Backpack
Crafted in part with recycled materials, JanSport’s best-selling Big Student backpack has two spacious compartments, a separate 15-inch laptop sleeve, a side water bottle and three front zip pockets. Select from a variety of styles and colors (including Night Sky, Strawberry Shower, Pastel Lilac, Buckshot Camo and plenty of other designs), and don’t forget: every JanSport comes with a lifetime warranty and the company offers to replace or repair any breaks.
5. Fjällräven Kånken 15-Inch Laptop Backpack
Fjällräven’s boxy Kånken backpack is a cult-favorite carryall for a reason. (Director Chloé Zhao even wore a mini version of this bag on the red carpet.) Featuring a padded compartment for 15-inch laptops, this 18-liter backpack has moisture-wicking fabric, comfy padded straps and removable foam pad that turns into a seat cushion when you’re out on the bleachers or looking for a soft spot to sit. Other student-friendly features include a roomy front zip pocket and side compartments.
6. Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus
Bellroy’s sleek Classic Backpack Plus has a dual compartment design that lets you safely carry a 16-inch laptop and the rest of your gear in the main area, with plenty of quick-access pockets and organizers throughout for your smartphone, sunglasses, wallet and more. The contoured shoulder and sternum straps offer all-day comfort, and the back panels give lumbar support.
7. Wildkin 15-Inch Kids Backpack
Take Wildkin’s durable and fun kids’ backpack straight from the classroom to the playground. The 15-inch-tall waterproof backpack is the perfect size for kids and has two adjustable padded shoulder straps, a name tag and two compartments for easy organizing.
8. Cariuma JJ Backpack
From the eco-conscious brand known for its comfy (and starry) sneakers comes a work- and school-friendly carryall that gets an A+ in sustainability. Cariuma’s 25-liter JJ backpack is made in ethical factories and features a roomy, rounded design that can fit 13- to 17-inch laptops. It features Global Recycled Standard-certified and waterproof materials including post-consumer plastics and production waste. A side water bottle pouch, supportive chest strap and interior and exterior pockets round out the convenient and comfort-minded touches.
9. The North Face Borealis School Laptop Backpack
The North Face’s spacious 28-liter Borealis backpack has room for your laptop and a front elastic bungee system with easy-to-access pockets. Whether you use it for school or commuting, the straps have a mesh padding with ventilated support so it’s easy to carry and keep on your shoulders. It also has two mesh pockets for water bottles or extra items, plus a front compartment with an additional padded tablet sleeve and zip pockets for your smaller electronics and other belongings.
10. Calpak Luka Laptop Backpack
Calpak’s Luka laptop backpack has room for 15-inch devices and all of your essentials for the day. This padded, scratch-resistant carryall has enough space for your next day trip, thanks to plenty of exterior and interior pockets (inc.uding for shoes) and a luggage sleeve that converts into a zippered pocket
11. Himawari Laptop Travel Backpack
Skip worrying about when you’ll charge your laptop or cellphone next with this Amazon 4.5-star rated laptop backpack that comes with a detachable USB cable and port. It has two large front zipper pockets, two small inner compartments and two side pockets. Plus, it’s made of waterproof canvas so you don’t have to worry about the weather. Other colors available.
12. Balenciaga Puffy Leather Backpack
Explore fashion and function with Balenciaga’s puffy leather neon yellow backpack. This Italian-made carryall is 20 inches high, has a top zip closure, adjustable backpack straps, an exterior front zip pocket and interior back zip pocket.
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