The 5 best back to school backpacks for 2017


All of the semester’s books, plus your laptop, plus your everyday essentials is a heavy enough physical burden to bear much less the figurative weight of coursework and a reputation to upkeep. Picking out the best back to school backpack for you can lift some of that burden.

Naturally, we happen to be experts in picking out the best of, well, all sorts of tech products, including the best back to school backpacks to cart them around in. 

From designer names for the lowest prices they’ll be found this season to sensible, affordable picks all year round, these are the very best back to school backpacks we’ve found for 2017.

AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack

Gets the job done for cheap

Key Features: Fits 15-inch laptops; zippered Speed Pocket; organization panel | Dimensions: 14.3 x 7.8 x 19.8 inches (L x W x H) | Weight: 1.6 pounds

15-inch laptop sleeve

Super affordable

Quick-access speed pocket

Lacks premium look and feel

If you’re looking to just drop 25 some bucks on a backpack that will get you through the year, i.e. most folks that just want a bag to hold their stuff, this is the one for you. Made and sold by Amazon through its Basics program, this all-black backpack has a laptop sleeve for machines up to 15 inches, and several types of pockets, for but a pittance compared to most.

JanSport Baughman Backpack

The classic returns once more

Key Features: Fits 15-inch laptops; fleece lined media pocket; front flap with organizer; front zippered pocket with removable storage pouch | Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.6 x 5.7 inches (H x W x D) | Weight: 2.4 pounds

15-inch laptop sleeve

Removable storage pouch

Fine canvas look and feel

No weatherproofing

The tried and true JanSport is tough to go wrong with. A full-canvas bag with nylon mesh inside including a 15-inch laptop sleeve, this version of the JanSport comes in several colors for a variety of prices. Included in the price are also a media pocket lined in fleece as well as a removable storage pouch.

JanSport Big Student Backpack

A classic made even bigger

Key Features: 2,100 cubic inch capacity; two main compartments; front pocket; upper zippered accessory pocket; lower front zippered stash pocket; web ergo handle with reinforced hold; ergonomic, S-curved shoulder straps | Dimensions: 17.5 x 13 x 10 inches (H x W x D) | Weight: 1.2 pounds

2,100 cubic inch capacity

Upper zippered accessory pocket

Ergonomic, S-curved shoulder straps

No weatherproofing

For those that like the look and feel of JanSport but need even more storage for a particularly heavy semester, the Big Student Backpack from them should do the trick. With a whopping 2,100 cubic inches of carrying capacity, this backpack should hold everything you need and then some. Plus, ergonomic shoulder straps help prevent your load weighing too far down on you.

Burton Tinder Pack

Old-school look, modern niceties

Key Features: 25L main compartment with rucksack-style drawstring closure; pocket on top; padded 16.5 x 10 x 1.5-inch laptop compartment; ergonomic shoulder harness; backed by lifetime warranty | Dimensions: 6 x 38 x 58 inches (W x D x H) | Weight: 1.4 pounds

Fun, classic style

15-inch laptop sleeve

Lots of pockets

Can get pricier

Burton is one of those brands that has come in vogue in recent years, and for good reason. Its backpacks come in countless colors and fabric styles, even nylon so that rain runs off it a bit easier. The Tinder style packs a 15-inch laptop sleeve, too, as well as ergonomic shoulder straps and a lifetime warranty should a piece go bad.

Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack

An ultimate premium school bag

Key Features: Fleece-lined, 13-inch laptop sleeve; magnetic strap closures with metal clips; front pocket with hidden zipper and key clip; media pocket with headphone port | Dimensions: 16 x 10.75 x 5 inches (H x W x D) | Weight: 1.9 pounds

13-inch laptop sleeve

Magnetic closures

Fantastic style

A bit small

Meet the ultimate backpack for your next school semester, marrying the worlds of form and function like few others can. The Little America comes in several colors and patterns, all intimating that look and feel of a hiker’s pack. That feeling comes through even with the 13-inch laptop sleeve, magnetic closures and media pocket with headphone port.


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