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Do you want to safely and comfortably carry your belongings on your commute to class or the office, or spend time in the great outdoors without stressing your shoulders? Whether you’re using it to carry your laptop, books, accessories, or items for a weekend trip, you need a stylish, durable backpack.
The backpack should have ample space to carry all your stuff comfortably without getting too heavy. The shoulder straps should be able to equally distribute weight on both shoulders without lugging them down. The good news: there are tons of brands, models, and features available today. The right backpack for you depends on your lifestyle, travel habits, style, and personal comfort.
We’ve rounded up some of the finest backpacks of 2022 that are perfect for school, offices, travel, and more. Before you purchase one, read through our guide, tips, and considerations to make sure you get the right backpack.
This travel backpack tops our list of recommendations with its impressive storage space and number of pockets. There is a separate laptop compartment that can hold laptops up to 15.6-inches in size, as well as a roomy compartment that can store all your daily necessities including gadgets and tech accessories. The final, front compartment comes with tons of small pockets to hold the most frequently used items. There is also a hidden anti-theft pocket that will keep your valuables safe at all times. This backpack also features key fob hooks, pen pockets, and other small spaces to keep things organized, clearly visible, and easier to locate. The back of this bag features a soft multi-panel ventilated padding which prevents you from overheating while ensuring maximum back support. Similarly, the shoulder straps are also breathable and fully adjustable. This product conveniently includes a USB charger, so you can charge your phone while you’re on the go.
Available in over 30 cute colors, this backpack is perfect for traveling, day trips, and everyday use. It boasts a large storage space as well as a stylish design. Made from a waterproof material, this backpack is not only minimalistic, chic, and super soft but is also highly durable. The backpack comes with two large-sized front pockets with zipper closures for your most frequently used items. To access the main compartment, It features a unique doctor bag style opening at the top and a vertical zipper at the back. Both sides have pockets to store earphones, bottles, keys, and more, while the two smaller inner pockets are great for hidden storage. Further, this backpack is super comfortable on the shoulders and is easy to walk with due to its adjustable, padded shoulder straps and back panel. The main compartment has a steel frame and reinforced edges that retain the shape and prevent the bag from sagging.
Separate laptop/tablets compartment
Made from waterproof, eco-friendly canvas
This pick is great for anyone who’s a fan of Puma or needs a bag that prioritizes comfort and adjustability. Available in 15 color combinations, each featuring the Puma logo, the sleek design of this backpack ensures that you look and feel great while wearing it. Both the adjustable shoulder straps are double padded for maximum comfort, even if the bag is packed full of heavy books. The back panel is also padded to keep the items in the main compartment safe while preventing them from poking you in the back. The padded back also gives the backpack its upright form to prevent sagging and uneven weight distribution. In addition to the typical main and front compartments, plus laptop sleeve, each side features mesh pockets that can be used to store items that you can access easily, such as water bottles, snacks, and more.
Featuring 20 independent pockets, this bag is perfect for those who carry a lot of items and like them organized and neat. It has a large capacity storage area to store all your items safely. There are three main compartments to accommodate lots of travel accessories, college and school items, stationery, clothes, gadgets, and more in many hidden pockets. Both sides feature net pockets with elastic closure to conveniently hold water bottles, umbrellas, or travel gear. The laptop compartment is padded and has an inner nylon lining to protect against water and scratches. The shoulder straps have an inner mesh that is highly breathable so you stay cool even after hours of wearing the backpack. Both straps have a lanyard design for easy hanging of your sunglasses, AirPods case, and other small items. The external USB port allows you to conveniently charge your devices when you’re out and about or traveling.
20 independent pockets
U-shaped 3D ventilation design
Large, 50L storage capacity
Popular among students of all ages, this final product is a classic large backpack with a laptop compartment and plenty of storage pockets. There are two main compartments that can hold books, clothes, and other large items. The front utility pocket is easy to access and comes with a built-in organizer, featuring a phone pocket, pen pocket, and key clips. You can find your favorite style from over 35 color, pattern, and print options. In addition to big and roomy pockets, the S-curve shoulder strap design equally distributes weight while the adjustable, foam padded straps ensure comfort. The back is padded for comfort as well as an upright shape. Inner linings protect all your items from water and impact damage.
Buyer’s guide for the best backpacks
If you’re in the market for a new backpack, the available choices can feel overwhelming. We created this comprehensive buying guide to help you know what to look for when selecting a backpack, ensuring you make the right choice.
Factors to consider when shopping for a backpack
You should keep the following considerations in mind when getting a new backpack.
Design, size, and intended use
When buying a backpack, it’s best to choose one according to its intended use. For example, a backpack designed for everyday light usage would not be suitable for long trips out of town. After this decision, you should consider the optimal design and size. The backpack should be able to accommodate all your items without squishing overstuffing and stretching its seams. The capacity will typically be provided in liters. For a better idea of what this measurement means, a backpack meant for daily use can hold 20-24 liters.
Durability is a must-have feature for a backpack. The strength of a backpack is defined mainly by the material it’s made from and how you maintain it. The size (in liters) and load (in kilograms) it can carry will also factor into its durability. Backpacks are usually made from polyester and heavy-duty nylon. These materials are highly durable, waterproof, and offer sufficient flexibility too.
Besides the frustration of carrying an uncomfortable backpack, doing so can cause serious damage to your spine and shoulders in the long run. Look for a backpack with padded straps that are contoured to sit on the shoulders while ensuring equal weight distribution. For maximum comfort, especially while active, the back panel should be breathable, preferably mesh, and there should be waist and chest straps.
Look for a bag that has a laptop sleeve to safely hold your most valuable device everywhere you go. Most laptop compartments have padded walls and mesh lining that acts as additional protection against moisture and impact.
Also, consider the number of pockets and compartments altogether. There should be plenty of them to neatly organize your items for quick and easy access.
Reasons why you should invest in a travel backpack
In comparison with standard roller luggage, backpacks provide greater mobility and freedom when traveling. Here are a few reasons why you should get a travel backpack:
Versatility and weight
Travel backpacks have tons of organization space in the form of pockets and compartments. You can keep all your belongings with you right on your back, traveling anywhere and with almost anything depending on the load capacity. The design and build are lightweight and comfortable to carry for long hours.
Since a backpack is worn on your body, both of your hands stay free to carry other essential items like your phone or passport, or simply to open doors or use elevators. You won’t have to lug anything around or deal with the loud noise and instability of wheeled luggage. Feel like running or climbing a flight of stairs? Go ahead with ease!
Travel backpacks take up very little space on public transport and airplanes. If you’re a fan of an adventurous lifestyle and like to be ready to go at any moment, a backpack will become your best tool for travel.
Choosing a high-quality backpack
A few features of a high-quality backpack include:
Padded and adjustable shoulder straps
Padded hip belts to distribute the weight
Padded and contoured back for less stress on the shoulders/back
Double stitching on all seams
All content is protected by padding or protective linings
It’s made from water-resistant and waterproof material
Features multiple compartments, front pockets, and elasticized side ones
Selecting the appropriate backpack fit
If you’re purchasing a backpack for your still-growing child or teen, get an adjustable suspension that adapts to the growing body. If you’re shopping for yourself or another adult, a fixed suspension should be suitable.
Whether you’re shopping for a fixed or adjustable suspension, you need to determine your torso length to pick the right fit. Here are a few simple steps to do so:
Stand up straight with your hands placed on a flat surface above your hip bones with your thumbs pointing toward the lower spine
Tilt your head down, and ask a friend or family member to extend a measuring tape from the end of your thumb to the bone that protrudes from the back of your neck
Make note of this measurement, which is the length of your torso
Your torso length should fall within the backpack’s range for it to fit you perfectly. For casual, everyday backpacks, you can simply try one out to see how long below your waist it falls. It shouldn’t go any more than four inches below your shoulders or waistline.
Backpacks come in a variety of different sizes, styles, and materials as well as with a range of features for different uses. Depending on your needs, you can choose between laptop backpacks, casual everyday backpacks, or dedicated travel backpacks with tons of storage compartments, sturdier material, and extra support straps.
People also asked
Q: Should I use a backpack for the office? Do they look professional?
A: Yes, there are plenty of styles of backpacks perfect for the office. Consider a sleek-looking leather one for a complete professional look comparable to a leather briefcase. Avoid getting a slouchy, laid-back design to keep it formal.
Q: Should I wear my backpack to the front?
A: Depending on where you are and what activity you’re doing, you can wear your backpack on the front of your body. People usually wear their backpacks in front to prevent theft and pickpocketing, or simply for quick access to the front pockets.
Q: How long should my backpack hang?
A: Your backpack should be hanging slightly below your shoulder blade while its bottom should reach the curve of your lower back. Don’t let the bottom fall more than four inches below the waist.