Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best College Backpacks - 2021

Last updated on May 7, 2021

We looked at the top 10 College Backpacks and dug through the reviews from 53 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best College Backpacks.

Best College Backpacks

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top College Backpacks

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

SHRRADOO Waterproof College Laptop Backpack

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

SHRRADOO

Waterproof College Laptop Backpack

Overall Take

Multiple Color OptionsYou'll find this backpack is available in five fun colors, including purple, red, royal blue and sky blue.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus DigiTravelist, The Drive, CBR.com, Top Ten Review Pro, Planet Traveler. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Comes with comfort and sturdy handle. Ample space for properly organizing the essentials and other belongings. Straps can be adjusted. Comes with an anti-theft pocket. Completely waterproof in nature."
Cons
"Depending on the color selected, it’s not a professional-looking backpack. Not as water-resistant as other backpacks, and thus not as all-weather friendly."
  Comes In Many Colors

Himawari Waterproof College Backpack

Himawari

Waterproof College Backpack

Overall Take

Waterproof DesignYou'll find this college backpack is available in an astounding 43 different color combinations.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Spacious Pick

Matein Water Resistant College Backpack & USB Charging Port

Matein

Water Resistant Backpack & USB Charger

Overall Take

Plenty of StorageThere is room for all of your college essentials in this handy backpack.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus BestReviews, iMore, Top Best 10 Reviews, Trendy Reviewed, Best Backpack Lab, Buy Me Top 10 and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Backpack interior features 2 separate compartments big enough for large laptops and textbooks. Straps adjust to fit both average sizes for men and women."
Cons
"Not designed for larger electronic devices"
  Great for Travelers

SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart TSA-Friendly College Laptop Backpack

SWISSGEAR

ScanSmart TSA-Friendly Laptop Backpack

Overall Take

Hassle-Free TravelThis college backpack opens up quickly for TSA scans and checks.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus BestReviews, Travel and Leisure, Upgraded Points, New York Mag, Best Brand Reviews, Watchdog Reviews and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Lies flat for easier airport security processing. Accommodates up to 17" laptop. Generous supply of external pockets for paperwork and electronics."
Cons
"For a product which prides itself on its two trademarked features, it's surprising to see a lack of USB ports (although it does have a headphone socket)."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the college backpacks available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

53

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: DigiTravelist, The Drive, CBR.com, Top Ten Review Pro, Planet Traveler.

152,976

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 10 College Backpacks and also dug through the reviews from 53 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best College Backpacks.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

SHRRADOO Waterproof College Laptop Backpack


Our Expert Score

9.4
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.4
11,442 user reviews

Our Take

With this college backpack, your belongings are kept safe and sound, thanks to the fixed anti-theft password lock. The waterproof outer material adds another form of protection, should you spill a cup of coffee or tea. There's also a USB port, adjustable shoulder strap and a binding buckle.

What other experts liked

Comes with comfort and sturdy handle. Ample space for properly organizing the essentials and other belongings. Straps can be adjusted. Comes with an anti-theft pocket. Completely waterproof in nature.
- DigiTravelist
Offers all the space, features, and comfort one could want in a backpack. Has many features usually reserved for more expensive backpacks.
- The Drive
Comfortable for the back. Roomy. Light.
- CBR.com
Looks expensive. A good number of pockets. Multipurpose daily backpack.
- Top Ten Review Pro
Adjustable shoulder straps and breathable mesh design. Comes in many attractive colors. Separate laptop compartment.
- Planet Traveler

What other experts didn't like

Only perfect for a 2 to 3 days trip and not for long ones.
- DigiTravelist
Depending on the color selected, it’s not a professional-looking backpack. Not as water-resistant as other backpacks, and thus not as all-weather friendly.
- The Drive
Not waterproof.
- CBR.com
No additional padding at the bottom.
- Top Ten Review Pro
Not waterproof. Bad quality lining.
- Planet Traveler

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Matein Water Resistant College Backpack & USB Charging Port

Our Expert Score

8.5
7 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.4
17,759 user reviews

Our Take

This college backpack includes a separate laptop compartment and other pockets for textbooks and essentials. It has multi-paneled ventilated padding for support and breathability. The luggage strap enables you to carry it like a suitcase if needed.

What other experts liked

Backpack interior features 2 separate compartments big enough for large laptops and textbooks. Straps adjust to fit both average sizes for men and women.
- BestReviews
A single, heavy-duty zipper keeps the main compartment shut, and you can further secure this pack with the included combination zipper lock.
- iMore
It is a roomy backpack that holds a 15.6 Inch laptop and also has Front compartment to keep other items organized. Moreover, it has a built-in USB charger to charge your electronic devices.
- Top Best 10 Reviews
Comes with hidden theft proof pocket designed to ensure maximum protection of your stuff
- Trendy Reviewed
Ideal for the student turned traveller, it has a luggage strap on the back so that it can be attached to the handle rods of a rolling suitcase.
- Best Backpack Lab
This backpack is made of water-resistant fabric, so you will no longer concern when it rains.
- Buy Me Top 10
The side pockets are well sized to fit large water bottles
- A Guide Product

What other experts didn't like

Exterior mesh pockets offer little protection to keep items from being stolen.
- BestReviews
Not designed for larger electronic devices
- iMore
Note that this is a backpack with a charging station only; power bank and external USB cord are not included.
- Best Backpack Lab
The laptop compartment could have protective padding in the bottom
- A Guide Product

Overall Product Rankings

SHRRADOO Waterproof College Laptop Backpack

1. SHRRADOO Waterproof College Laptop Backpack

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 6

Himawari Waterproof College Backpack

2. Himawari Waterproof College Backpack

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 1

Matein Water Resistant College Backpack & USB Charging Port

3. Matein Water Resistant College Backpack & USB Charging Port

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 10

Ronyes Waterproof College Laptop Backpack & USB Port

5. Ronyes Waterproof College Laptop Backpack & USB Port

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 9

Modoker Vintage College Laptop Backpack

6. Modoker Vintage College Laptop Backpack

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 10

Winblo Lightweight College Travel Laptop Backpack

7. Winblo Lightweight College Travel Laptop Backpack

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 10

YOREPEK College Travel Laptop Backpack & USB Charging Port

9. YOREPEK College Travel Laptop Backpack & USB Charging Port

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 10

WindTook College Travel Laptop Backpack

10. WindTook College Travel Laptop Backpack

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 1

Our College Backpack Findings


SHRRADOO Waterproof College Laptop Backpack

What We Liked: With this college backpack, your belongings are kept safe and sound, thanks to the fixed anti-theft password lock. The waterproof outer material adds another form of protection, should you spill a cup of coffee or tea. There’s also a USB port, adjustable shoulder strap and a binding buckle.


Himawari Waterproof College Backpack

What We Liked: This college backpack has a unique vintage look, yet still accommodates modern tools, such as a 14-inch laptop. The bag is durable and constructed from a scratch-resistant nylon and leather. There are plenty of inner and outer pockets to keep all of your school supplies neat and organized.


Matein Water Resistant College Backpack & USB Charging Port

What We Liked: This college backpack includes a separate laptop compartment and other pockets for textbooks and essentials. It has multi-paneled ventilated padding for support and breathability. The luggage strap enables you to carry it like a suitcase if needed.


SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart TSA-Friendly College Laptop Backpack

What We Liked: Travel without worry with this functional and TSA-friendly backpack. It is made out of durable polyester to withstand heavy and rough use. It includes multiple compartments of different sizes for the best usability.


Ronyes Waterproof College Laptop Backpack & USB Port

What We Liked: Head to college in style with this functional backpack. It includes a laptop pocket and USB charger, and multiple zippered pockets. It’s lightweight and ideal for school, hiking, travel and more.

Our College Backpack Buying Guide

Heading to your college classes with a backpack that’s falling apart or can’t quite accommodate all of your textbooks is no fun. When you want to focus on your studies and make sure you ace your next paper, it’s important you have everything you need right at your fingertips. A backpack that has room for all of your things is an excellent way to prepare for the exciting year ahead.

When you’re looking for a college backpack, start by figuring out what kinds of things you’ll need to bring with you. If you’re staying on or close to campus, you may have the opportunity to head back to your room to grab things or switch books out of your bag. But if you have a tightly packed schedule or live far from school, then you’ll want to make sure you bring everything you need with you.

Many college students bring their laptop or tablet so they can take notes digitally. It’s lot more efficient than taking notes by hand. A special laptop pocket in your backpack ensures your tech is safe. It won’t bump around as you move and won’t get banged up if you set your backpack on the floor. Make sure you use this pocket every time you bring your laptop or tablet with you. In addition, make sure you bring your charger with you, in case it runs out of batteries.

You’ll also need space for a few textbooks, notebooks and stationery. It’s also important to bring a reusable water bottle or coffee cup, as well as a few healthy and energizing snacks. Don’t forget things like your Chapstick, sunglasses and a pack of gum.

DWYM Fun Fact

Be sure to pack your college backpack properly so you can find everything when you need it. Put the heaviest items closest to your back so they are easier to carry. This includes your laptop, tablet and textbooks. Keep items like your water bottle or travel mug in the outer pockets so you can access them easily – and so they don’t leak on the inside of your bag where your tech and books are. Things like your wallet, phone, student ID and keys are best kept in a smaller interior pocket so they are easy to find but can also deter theft.

The College Backpack Tips and Advice

  • Your college backpack needs to have room for everything you need to carry. Begin by making a list of things you’ll be bringing with you on a daily basis so you can get an idea of the kind of space you’ll need. Then opt for a backpack that has different compartments and pockets. You don’t want to get a backpack that has just one giant pocket, because then it will be really hard to organize and find your things.
  • Durability is key so that you don’t have to replace your college backpack in the middle of the school year. For handles and straps, check the stitching to make sure they are well-anchored to the bag and won’t tear off. A rubber bottom on the bag will ensure it doesn’t tear. Heavy cloth or canvas material is best and able to last through many years of use.
  • When it comes to zippers, looks for sturdy ones that have a fabric flap over top for protection. This way, the zippers aren’t exposed to snow and rain which can cause them to rust and deteriorate.
  • For many college students, having a USB charger built into your backpack makes a world of difference. That way if your phone or laptop dies midday, you can get it back up and running. Keep in mind that tech features will increase the weight of the bag. They can also increase the price.
  • Look for broad straps that are padded. These make it more comfortable to carry around a heavy load all day. Having a padded back panel is also helpful. A waist strap helps to distribute the weight more evenly over your body, so that not all of the burden is on your shoulders.

About The Author

Avatar
Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. She values finding the best products to make people's lives easier. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.