The Best Backpacks for College Students and Teens: (2021)

Every student needs a good backpack and every parent needs their teen to have a backpack that keeps them organized and that will be durable. We asked our Grown and Flown community for their favorites and here are the most popular backpacks for teens and college students. 

Top backpacks for college or high school students

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1. Herschel

We love the stylish and practical variety of products that Herschel offers for all students. Check out their site to see all the choices they offer in sizes and shapes for backpacks and accessories (think laptop sleeves and masks). Our favorites for this season: the customized Little America (what’s not to love about making it your own?) and the Charlie Wallet (a minimalist mini for everyday in a range of colors for everyone).

Herschel backpack

2. The North Face

With rave reviews for durability, The North Face is another popular brand for college student, according to the Grown and Flown community. You might want to consider the North Face Pivoter backpack, which gets great reviews for spacious design and relative affordability. You can see where your teen can store their laptop in a

North face backpack

3. JanSport

If your teen has ever owned a JanSport backpack you know they basically never wear out. This one, the JanSport Right Back Pack, is iconic and a best-seller for the brand.  It is available in 14 colors that all look fantastic with the suede bottom that makes this backpack unique. Comes with a 15″ sleeve to hold a laptop

JanSport backpack

4. L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean backpacks are legendary for their durability and design and we think this one, the Comfort Carry Laptop backpack, is a great option for it’s “ergonomic features… like a rigid back panel with extra foam padding and comfortable, breathable mesh straps to create optimum air flow.” The padded backpack sleeve is a key design feature that will help your teen keep their most valuable piece of electronics safe.

LL Bean backpack

5. Victorinox Swiss Army

This is another popular backpack for teens and college students and this one, the Victorinox Altmont,  has a unique design with the laptop accessible through a fliptop  compartment.

Swiss army backpack

6. Patagonia

We are big fans of everything that Patagonia offers and think this highly-rated Arbor Classic Backpack is the one to consider if your teen or college kid needs to transport bulky books and gym clothes back and forth to class and sports practice.

patagonia back pack

7. Fjallraven Kanken

Who wants to go to college with an inch of crumbs in the bottom of a grimy backpack? Consider the Fjallraven Kanken Backpack, created with inspiration from The Swedish Guide and Scout Association. Lightweight, durable, water resistant, and available in lots of great colors, this backpack is both stylish and practical.

Fjallraven backpack

8. Amazon Basics

If you are looking for a basic backpack that won’t break the bank, the Amazon Basics Backpack is for you.  For $35 it holds a laptop, and has ample compartments to keep your teen organized.

Backpacks for teens and college students

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9. Nike Backpack

This backpack is trendy, has padded shoulder straps, small internal pockets, and a large main compartment with a zipper closure.

The North FaceApparel & Accessories Retailers (NEC)

10. Adidas

This backpack is 100% polyester, and has over 1,400 five star reviews, has a lifetime warranty, and has multiple colors to choose from.

BagsCollege Students

11. Puma

This backpack has multiple pockets, is soft on the skin, and has over 4,400 five star reviews.


12. ASICS Team Backpack

This backpack is 100% polyester, has a zipper closure, tons of space inside, and is relatively inexpensive.


13. Vera Bradley

This is a 100% cotton backpack with a zipper closure. It is lightweight and durable with separate compartments and offers many unique patterns on the outside.

PackagingAmariyanna Copeny

14. Himawari Backpack

This unique backpack comes in multiple color combinations and is perfect for a college student looking for a unique backpack.

BackpackCamping equipment

15. Dagne Dover

This super-popular brand makes lightweight and stylish backpacks that your daughter can take from college to career.


16. CLUCI Women Backpack

This backpack is very fashionable, is large enough to fit a laptop, and can be worn as a purse or backpack.

electronicsHiking equipment

Little AmericaLittle AmericaLittle America

17. Kenox

This is a vintage floral pattern backpack. It is simple, cute, and a fun stylish backpack.

Apparel & Accessories Retailers (NEC)Bags


This backpack is waterproof, durable, and offers lots of pockets for storage.

College StudentsEducation


This backpack offers several trendy patterns, including sunflowers, roses, or butterflies. It has many compartments and is lightweight and durable.


20. Kinmac

This is a super cute backpack that also offers unique patterns, has a USB charging port, excellent back support, and a hidden anti-theft pocket.


You May Also Want to Read:

17 Items to Cross Off Your List Before Your Teen Leaves for College – Here are important things to take care of while your teen is still at home.

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