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Hey you, young person. I have some bad news to deliver.
Wait, you don’t have a backpack, yet? Well, don’t worry because we’re going to look at the coolest bags for techie students. Not only will they carry your books and other boring school stuff, but they’ll keep your fun stuff powered up and ready to go! Never worry about your phone outsleeping you during a boring lecture again!
General Use Bags With Chargers
These bags are designed to keep your phones and tablet up and running while on the go!
I’ve been using this bag myself since it came out a few years ago, and it’s quite good. First (this is important for students), it’s quite large, sporting 1,450 cubic inches of space. You’ll be able to stick all your books in the bag without issue. It will also accommodate a large, 15-inch laptop without a problem. In total, there are 13 pockets, so you can carry every single electronic device you own, along with your pens, pencils, vape rig (or whatever else you kids carry around nowadays), and even a water bottle (or, um, another kind of bottle).
Of course, we’re here to talk about techie backpacks, and the rechargeable 10,400mAh battery scratches that itch. It possesses two 1 Amp USB ports for charging phones and one 2.1 Amp USB port for charging tablets and other larger devices. Where things get smart is the pack’s wire organizing feature. All USB charging cables snake through the pack to wherever you want them to go. Whether you want to charge something in the hard compartment on the top, or you want to get a cable to the tablet compartment, it’s easy to do without the wires getting in the way.
Something you won’t find on many other backpacks is the NFC tag on the shoulder. For iPhone owners, this won’t do much, but for Android, you can set up some cool stuff. For example, you can set it so whenever you tap your phone to the strap, it unlocks. You can get creative with it!
The bag is a tad on the expensive side, currently, selling for around $134.96 on Amazon (though it’s MSRP is $169.99). That being said, it’s a solid bag, and it’s far from the most expensive bag on the list.
This bag forgoes backup batteries and instead opts to include a cable that you plug into the wall. This way, you can leave all your devices plugged in and inside the bag and charge when an outlet is nearby. It’s a kind of cool idea, but it does lack some of the flexibility of the bags with batteries inside. For students, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as most campuses have an abundance of outlets (though you may need to sneak it). The positive for doing it this way is that you can also charge your laptop, something you won’t find in many backup batteries (unless they’re expensive).
Speaking of expensive batteries, you can choose to buy an optional one later, and it will charge your laptop, phones, and tablets. Though it comes with a high price tag of $129. Speaking of price, the MOS Pack sells for around $109 in three different colors. It’s a stylish looking bag (one of the better-looking ones on the market, in my opinion), and it looks to be quite functional as well. The pockets are intelligently laid out, with specific things for a laptop, tablet, power bank, smartphone, sunglasses, and passport. It’s 20 liters, so it’s big enough to carry all of your stuff with no problem.
Who says a backpack can’t be a conversation piece? Imagine how much you’ll impress the person you’re attempting to woo when you show them this bag. Why will they be impressed? Because the bag sports solar panels! Think of the coolest celebrity you know (you kids like Justin Bieber, still?), and how everyone fawns over him or her. Well, if you have an OffGrid Solar Backpack, that’ll be you.
Jokes aside, the bag comes with a 4,000mAh battery to charge your devices. The solar panel isn’t just for show: it charges the backpack’s battery, which then charges your phone, tablet, or camera. Sadly, the sun isn’t always available, and the backup battery can also be charged with a power outlet so that you can stay juiced (hey, gym rat, I mean the battery!) regardless of where you are.
The numbers are quite impressive as far as how it charges devices from the sun:
- 3 hours in direct sunlight fully charges a typical smartphone (approximately 4 hours of smartphone power from 60 minutes in the sun)
- 8 hours in direct sunlight charges most 7-inch tablets
- 11 hours in direct sunlight charges most 10-inch tablets
Clearly, the tech stuff is undebatably cool. But the bag itself is pretty solid too. It’s 18-inches high, 12-inches wide, and 8-inches thick. It has a dedicated laptop sleeve and a large compartment that’ll fit all the rest of your stuff (like books).
The one drawback of the bag is that it’s a tad heavy, even without stuff in it, coming with a weight of 4.5 pounds. Apparently, that extra weight comes from the battery and solar panel. You can remove the panel to lighten the load, or to use it without the backpack, which is a nice convenience. Also, the $199 price tag is a bit of a drawback, but think about all the people you’ll impress with this thing — doesn’t it seem worth the cost?
Who says a backpack needs to carry books? These two throw that out the window and instead focus on fitting large laptops and gaming peripherals (though books fit too). There’s no better time in your life to find other people to game with than college, and these backpacks should make getting to where you want to play easier.
If the solar backpack was designed to attract others to you with coolness, this one is clearly designed to repel them from you.
But who cares? You have a giant backpack that can carry your laptop (up to 17.3-inches), gaming headphones, controller, keyboard, mouse, USB drive, and just about anything else you can throw at it.
When it comes to techie packs, this one is as geeky as it gets — but man does it make up for it in functionality. If you’re a PC gamer on the go, this thing not only carries everything you need it to, but it’ll protect it, too. It comes with a hideaway rain cover, so if you’re wandering around campus with your expensive gaming stuff and a downpour manifests with the goal of ruining all your stuff, you can laugh at that rain and keep moving to the LAN party (or class, if that’s your thing).
The one thing it’s lacking is a battery for charging your mobile devices. But it’s so vast that you can always pick up a battery backup and keep it in the bag without even noticing that it’s taking up any additional space. A trend you might see among the tech-focused backpacks is a high price tag, and this one is no exception (not that you’d expect it to be since it’s from Razer), coming in at $114.99. But for what it offers, it’s no big deal. When you consider the value of the things you’ll be putting in it, it’s a worthwhile investment.
If you still want a bag that can handle a beefy 17-inch laptop, but you want it to be a little more low profile than the Razer, the ASUS ROG Shuttle is for you. It comes with a $100 price tag, so it’s a tad cheaper.
It’ll still fit most of your PC gaming stuff without issue, though it’ll be a tighter squeeze. That being said, you also aren’t placing a target on your back that says “look, I’m carrying a backpack full of expensive stuff.” You’ll find plenty of padded compartments, and the pack is water resistant, so while it’s not quite an extreme level of protection, it’ll still handle a bit of rain.
Like Razer’s gamer-focused backpack, this one also lacks the ability to charge your mobile devices, which remains a bit of a drawback.
Between the two PC gaming bags, I’d personally go with Razer’s, just based purely on functionality and size. But I’m also 30 and don’t need to worry about what others at school think of my ultra-geeky backpack. If that describes you, then the ASUS is probably the one to go with.
There are two bags that I’d also like to mention, but they both have some pretty serious drawbacks (one has the ultimate disadvantage in that it doesn’t exist, officially.)
First, we have the AMPL Smart Bag. Everything about this bag is cool. It includes connected mobile apps, gorgeous styling, and just about everything you could ever want from a backpack. Sadly, that comes with a price. First, there’s the actual price, which starts at $249 for the entry level model (and jumps to around $500). And there’s the bigger cost, which is the fact that this bag doesn’t exist yet. It was successfully crowdfunded in March of 2015, and it still hasn’t been released. As much as I’d love to say this is the backpack you need (because it does look like it could be), you might need to wait until next school year to strap this thing on.
The next honorable mention goes to The North Face Resistor Charged Daypack. It looks like a good backpack, and The North Face is a brand that’s considered “cool” and “trendy.” That’s why it’s here and not featured above; it just costs too much.
It’s $250, and it doesn’t do anything that the other bags can’t. In many ways, you’re paying for the name, and it’s hard for me to recommend it fully based on that. However, if you’re brand conscious (we won’t judge you, people in school tend to be judgemental, after all), then this is a bag that’s worth getting, as it offers all the techie features such as a battery, but it comes from The North Face.
Onward, Growing Mind!
Who says a backpack has to be a nondescript sack for the sole purpose of carrying books and pens? These bags bring the tech! Personally, I prefer the Tylt bag, as it strikes a good balance between price and functionality. In all honesty, they’re all great (hence them being included on the best backpack list), so you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose!
Have any back to school backpack recommendations to share with us? Let us know in the comments!