With back-to-school shopping season creeping up on us, you might be asking yourself what type of backpack you should get that will last you the school year and beyond. Below are some prime examples that are versatile and durable, as well as stylish, to meet just about anyone’s needs!

1. Quilted Faux Leather Backpack - Forever 21 ($29.90)

Forever 21

This bag by Forever 21 will not only help you stay in style with its trendy quilted faux black leather look but is simple enough for multi-use, in and out of school, day or night. While complimentary to just about any outfit, this bag is also light and small enough to remain comfortable on your shoulders all day long.

Pros: Exterior zip pocket, two interior patch pockets, more compact in size, fashionable.

Cons: Thinner straps, less durable material than sports backpacks, less space, no place for water bottle.

2. Silence + Noise Nylon Backpack – Urban Outfitters ($59.00)

Urban Outfitters

Another option for the fashion-savvy college student is this cream colored nylon backpack. With several compartments on the exterior and in the interior, you will never run out of places to put your things. It is also safe to say you cannot go wrong with thick adjustable straps and a compact minimalist design.

Pros: Lots of space, front zip pocket, thick adjustable straps, complements clothes, water bottle compartments.

Cons: Zipper may be difficult to unzip (according to review by customer).

3. Nelson Backpack – Hershel Supply Co. ($64.99)

Herschel Supply Co.

Herschel Supply Co. is well-known for its innovative backpacks that carry a sleek, classic design. Among many others that they carry, this bag comes in 15 colors to please just about anyone. With this in particular, the easily-accessible storage compartments for your school supplies make it perfect for school use.

Pros: Several specific compartments for organization with easy access, fully padded and fleece-lined 15" laptop and iPad sleeve pockets, trendy.

Cons: Fabric styles are not waterproof, side compartments may not fit all water bottles.

4. Campus Backpack – Victoria Secret’s PINK ($54.95 – Prices Vary on Color)

Victoria Secret's PINK

Designed to be specifically for college students, this backpack is well-suited for any campus. With tons of storage space for books and electronics, places to put up to two water bottles, and thick shoulder straps, this is surely a simple go-to. Not to mention the array of nine new colors they released this year that you can check out.

Pros: Mesh water bottle compartments, durable fabric, top stash pocket, comfy shoulder straps, padded for laptop.

Cons: Laptop pocket only fits small laptops, may tear easily after some time (based on reviews).

5. Nike 6.0 Piedmont – Nike ($29.97)


Nike sportswear and accessories are all the rage this year and with a compact bag like this, you will be sure to not only hit the textbooks but also the gym! The black and white design goes with anything and is perfect for anyone in need of a simple look that is still athletic and fashion forward. 

Pros: Lightweight, large interior space, front pocket, fashionable, compact, padded shoulder straps for extra comfort, built to last.

Cons: No place for water bottles, slightly on the small side, not made to hold very heavy items.

6. Recon Backpack – Northface ($99.00)


This Northface backpack, among the many other popular backpacks they have produced, dominates the backpack scene. Not only is it waterproof, but this backpack has an incredible amount of storage compartments to hold school supplies, electronics and more, while still remaining compact. Also, its Flex Vent feature prevents shoulder, neck and back pain making it great for students who tend to have poor posture. Check out the other 21 colors that are available as well!

Pros: Flex Vent straps, 15” laptop/tablet sleeve in front compartment for easy access, hydration port and two mesh water bottle compartments, stretch front stash pocket for helmet, ball, or extra gear, sternum strap with whistle buckle, removable waist belt, waterproof.

Cons: May not hold extremely heavy loads well after time, very compartmentalized and may minimize space in other compartments if one is filled (based on reviews).

Buy here: Women’sMen’s

7. Digital Student Backpack – Jansport ($55.00)


Jansport is yet another well-praised brand when it comes to student backpacks and this one is made with tech-savvy students in mind. With the advancement of technology and greater use of electronics in education, they have created a backpack with a dedicated external cord storage pocket, stretch interior pockets and even a removable laptop sleeve. It comes in 16 total colors.

Pros: Removable laptop sleeve, external cord storage pocket, stretch-fit pockets, side water bottle compartments, S-curve shoulder straps, lightweight, two large main compartments.

Cons: May get bulky when carrying several items.

8. Digital Organizer Pack – L.L. Bean ($79.95)

L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean produces some of the most durable backpacks out there and have been for about 30 years. This backpack, like the previous one mentioned, has caught up with the times, featuring top-notch compartments for all of your electronic needs. The mesh side pockets allow for places to put water bottle and the several front compartments will surely come in handy for anything. It comes in five colors!

Pros: Waterproof, simple, multiple pockets and spaces, water bottle compartments, free shipping, heavy duty zippers, padded back panel, S-curve straps, organization for phone, cords, thumb drives, writing utensils, files and notebooks.

Cons: Slightly bulky.

Feel free to visit all of the sites to view even more available styles, selections, and colors, and keep exploring! There are tons of backpack brands you can try out that may be even better suited for you aside from our suggestions. Best of luck in your back to school shopping!

Lead Credit Image: Humboldt State University via Flickr Creative Commons