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The Best Backpacks for College Students With Laptops

James Frew Updated 12-03-2020

Whether you’re just starting college or going back to school for another year, you’ll want a backpack that is both functional and fashionable. And one that can carry your laptop safely, too.


It’ll need to fit all your college textbooks and provide secure, safe storage for your laptop and other gadgets. We know there’s a lot of choices out there, so we’ve rounded up the seven of the best backpacks for college students with laptops.

1. The North Face Access Backpack

The North Face Access Backpack The North Face Access Backpack Buy Now On Amazon $148.90

Most backpacks for college students look pretty much the same and come in reasonably common colors. But not The North Face Access Backpack. This backpack has laptops and gadgets in mind, with pulley systems granting easy access to the bag’s many compartments.

The Access Pack is designed for comfort, too, with OrthoLite padding and ladderlocks for the shoulder straps. The interior pockets are fleece-lined, while the rest of the bag is durable polyester and nylon.

Although it is one of the most expensive options out there, the backpack does at least come with a lifetime warranty. The compartmentalized bag is particularly suited to those students who like to keep their belongings organized while on the go.

2. SWISSGEAR Getaway Laptop Backpack

SWISSGEAR Getaway Laptop Backpack SWISSGEAR Getaway Laptop Backpack Buy Now On Amazon $64.99

The SWISSGEAR Getaway Laptop Backpack is designed for both comfort and practicality. Most importantly for students, this backpack comes with a padded laptop compartment suitable for devices up to 15 inches. To keep things tidy, there are specific areas for common items like your smartphone and passport.

You can store your water bottle in the elasticated side pocket, and use the interior slip pocket for locating smaller items. The straps and bag are ergonomically designed, so the bag should be comfortable to wear for long periods. Should you need to take a break, the add-a-bag feature lets you slip the Getaway backpack over the handle of wheeled luggage.

3. STM Banks Backpack

STM Banks Backpack STM Banks Backpack Buy Now On Amazon $112.66

The STM Banks Backpack looks much more like a traditional college backpack, but a very stylish one. The monochrome color choices—blue, brown, green, grey—help give the bag a modern and minimalist look. The STM Banks comes fitted with a laptop compartment for devices up to 15 inches.

But it’s real strength is hidden from view inside the 18-liter bag. The backpack comes equipped with a cable-routing system. To keep your devices topped up, pop a portable charger in one compartment, then run the cable through to where it’s needed.

4. Thule TCBP-417 Crossover Backpack

Thule TCBP-417 Crossover Backpack Thule TCBP-417 Crossover Backpack Buy Now On Amazon $99.95

The Thule TCBP-417 Crossover Backpack is an ideal choice for active college students. The bag comes with 32L of storage space, with a padded, zippable 15-inch laptop compartment. Well packed bags are often a dangerous environment for fragile items like sunglasses.

Fortunately, the Crossover comes with a crush-proof SafeZone, which can be locked or even removed altogether. Alongside the device storage, the TCBP-417 Crossover is equipped with an interior organization compartment that’ll help keep your gadgets and accessories tidy but at hand.

To protect your belongings from the elements, the bag is made of water-resistant, but lightweight materials. There’s also an easy-access Shove-It pocket, which provides additional exterior storage for things like papers, magazines, and jackets.

5. Eastpak Out Of Office Backpack

Eastpak Out Of Office Backpack Eastpak Out Of Office Backpack Buy Now On Amazon $20.99

Eastpak is a familiar sight all around the world. They are ubiquitous, but for good reason. The Eastpak Out Of Office Backpack is one of the best backpacks for college students available today, and one of the most affordable, too.

There are only three compartments; a zippered front pocket, the main compartment, and an interior 13-inch laptop sleeve. An internal mesh pocket helps you keep track of smaller items.

The zip-down front panel makes it easy to access and load the main compartment, particularly as there are two zippers. The back and shoulder straps are padded to keep the bag comfortable to carry.

6. Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack

Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack Buy Now On Amazon $39.51

Herschel backpacks are a staple of college life. Their minimal, modern design and affordable price make them a handy companion. The Heritage Backpack keeps things simple with just one front pocket and the main compartment. Though, there is also an easy access interior 15-inch laptop sleeve.

This simplicity means that there is plenty of space in the main compartment which you can fill with books, clothes, food, and anything else you may need to get you through a day at college. There is also an internal media pocket for your phone or media player with a port to run your headphone cable through.

7. AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack

AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack Buy Now On Amazon $30.41

Amazon has it’s own range of affordable items uvnder the AmazonBasics brand. Included in that lineup is the AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack. The bag can fit laptops up to 15 inches, although there is also a 17-inch AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack, too.

There are multiple interior compartments and pockets for easy organization, as well as a small, zippable pocket on the front for quick storage. The product description suggests keeping your smartphone and passport in this pocket. However, as there is no additional security other than the zip, this isn’t advisable.

The meshed side pockets are perfect for storing water bottles while on-the-go. The shoulder straps are padded, so it should be comfortable on your back even when fully-loaded.

The Best Backpack for College Students

Whether you’re heading there for the first time or returning for another year, these are some of the backpacks for college students with laptops.

If you’re carrying your laptop around with you, there’s a good chance you won’t be near a power outlet when you most need it. So, be sure to take one of these laptop power banks to recharge your computer anywhere The 6 Best Laptop Power Banks to Recharge Your Computer Anywhere Need more charge for your laptop or MacBook? These awesome battery packs can charge your laptop and more wherever you go. Read More with you, too.

Explore more about: Back to School, Laptop, Online Shopping, Students.

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  1. ReadandShare
    September 8, 2018 at 5:35 am

    Seems Amazon got its idea (and hopefully its license as well) from Case Logic.

    • James Frew
      September 8, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Hadn't heard of them before, thanks for the tip. You're right - they do look very similar.