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Top 10 Best Backpacks For School in 2021

Backpacks play an important part in making you stand out from the rest of the crowd when your school life starts. This means you have to look for one that is both comfortable and chic at the same time. For this, OwlRatings have come forward with the best backpacks for school in 2021 which you might consider as a worthy purchase.

Reasons to look for a good backpack for school

A school backpack endures a lot. Harsh UV rays, dust, sports practice, being tossed around or dragged through hallways- and it has to carry a heap of stuff as well. And since it’s an everyday-carry item, it has to survive these elements every other day.

Therefore, you should take these aspects into account when choosing your back-to-school backpack. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should opt for a military-grade bag.

In this post, we’ve reviewed backpacks, which are not only functional but also stylish and versatile. Here’s a detailed guide to help you find the ideal backpack for school.

Best for travel

Matein backpack

Matein backpack

It has an anti-theft pocket and lots of pockets allowing you to stash as many school supplies as possible.

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The Matein travel backpack is one that checks all the boxes for what we’d want in a school bag. It’s stylish, roomy, and comfortable.

The bag provides enough space to fit a 15.6-inch laptop. Plus, its shoulder straps are adjustable and made of breathable material for maximum comfort. There’s even an anti-theft pocket, where you can stash your most valuable items.

This backpack is also pretty versatile; you can easily use it for travel and it will serve you well. To crown it all, it comes with a decent price tag.

Best for teenage girls

High Sierra Loop backpack

High Sierra Loop backpack

The backpack has a suspension system that provides relief when carrying weighty loads. The system works by dampening shock during weight transfer, making the load feel lighter.

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If you’re looking for a backpack that will make a bold fashion statement when you walk through the school hallways, the High Sierra model is your best bet.

While not as big as the top pick, this backpack offers a good selection of features. For instance, the main compartment has a sleeve dedicated to delicate gadgets like tablets.

Also, the shoulder straps are S-shaped. This allows the straps to conform evenly around your neck, upper chest, and sides; thus, providing comfort.

Best for teenage boys

Amazon Basics backpack

Amazon Basics backpack

The backpack has a special compartment for storing large laptops (17-inch laptops). It’s also padded to protect your device from impact.

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Does your coursework require you to carry your laptop to school frequently? If so, the AmazonBasics NC1306167R1 is the ideal backpack.

It has a distinct compartment for holding your laptop; can fit a 17-inch laptop. Better yet, this pocket is padded to protect your devices.

The heavily-padded shoulder straps are another impressive feature of this backpack. They make the bag comfortable to carry, even when you’re carrying a heavy load

Best for books

JanSport SuperBreak backpack

JanSport SuperBreak backpack

Middle-school kids carry snacks, books, and other reading supplies. JanSport makes it easy to organize all such items by equipping this backpack with one main compartment, a front utility pocket with an organizer, and a side water bottle pocket.

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JanSport JS0A4QUT is an excellent backpack option for middle school students. It’s averagely-sized, and comes in numerous shades, making it easy to get one in your favorite color.

For maximum comfort, up to two-thirds of the back panel is padded. The shoulder straps are also padded to prevent you from experiencing too much strain on these areas.

While this backpack is not the biggest, it offers a decent amount of space. The 25-liter capacity is adequate to fit any items that a middle school student would need.

Best classic look

VASCHY Classic backpack

VASCHY Classic backpack

Its lightweight and durable construction stand out. While the polyester material used in its construction gives this backpack the light feel, it lasts long regardless of the number of items it carries

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High school students can’t go wrong with a minimalist backpack like this one by Vaschy. Weighing less than a pound, this bag is lightweight enough to carry for an extended period of time.

Users will find it easy to organize their school items thanks to the array of pockets. There’s a large compartment, featuring a top-loading design.

There’s also a zippered compartment, which includes a divider. You can also store your EDCs in either the front or two side pockets. 

Best affordable with USB port

SHRRADOO Durable backpack

SHRRADOO Durable backpack

Apart from the regular shoulder straps, the backpack is fitted with additional straps to enhance function. It has a breast strap for stabilizing the backpack’s center of gravity and a luggage strap for more comfortable carrying.

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For several students, getting through school means constantly worrying about how they can afford it. Luckily, SHRRADOO understands this, which is why they’re offering a quality backpack at a cheap price.

The backpack has a dozen pockets for ease of organizing school items. It also comes with a luggage strap, which makes it convenient to use with a suitcase in case you’re traveling.

This backpack’s shoulder straps are adjustable, allowing you to find the perfect fit. And, the back panel is encased in a mesh fabric for breathability.

Best vintage look

Modoker Vintage backpack

Modoker Vintage backpack

Apart from its retro design, Modoker includes a handy external USB charging port and set-in charging cable for charging your mobile device when walking.

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Do you resonate more strongly with the 90s fashion trend? If you do, you will love the vintage look of the Modoker B085Q5N3L7 backpack.

This backpack has pockets galore! It has one large main compartment, a secondary pocket with a zip closure, a front pocket with zipper, a laptop section, a small pocket and two more pockets on either side.

To make the backpack comfortable to carry, the shoulder straps are not only adjustable but also well-padded.

Best for gym

YOREPEK Extra Large backpack

YOREPEK Extra Large backpack

Its built-in USB port with a set-in charging cable allows you to charge your phone or tablet while walking. The bag is also equipped with a bookbag that provides easy access to your headphones.

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Are you the type of student who likes to carry everything with you to school? (from your laptop to spare shoes and gadgets). If you are, you will love the roomy Yorepek 8541574260 backpack.

With its dimensions: 19.00 by 10.23 by 14.60 inches, and a capacity of 45L, it offers enough room to fit all your paraphernalia. Better yet, it’s compartmentalized so nicely, allowing you to keep all your items organized.

Best lightweight

Outlander Lightweight backpack

Outlander Lightweight backpack

The Outlander’s ability to develop a lightweight backpack without skimping on function is a bonus. With up to four storage compartments, you can stash as many items in the bag as possible.

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School is hard enough without having to lug a 3-pound backpack on your backpack. Outlander understands this, which is why they’re offering this ridiculously light bag suitable for school.

Weighing less than 0.5 pounds, this backpack is one of the easiest to carry. Even with its lightweight design, it doesn’t compromise on volume as it has a 20-liter capacity. Thus, you still have plenty of room to pack your items

Best with wheels

J World New York Sunrise backpack

J World New York Sunrise backpack

The telescoping handle stands out. Apart from providing the much-needed convenience when rolling the backpack, its locking mechanism allows you to adjust the handle to a comfortable height.

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Conventional backpacks exert a great deal of strain and pressure on school children. A better alternative, therefore, is a rolling backpack such as the Sunrise RBS-18.

This backpack gives you the option of using the telescoping handle or the contoured and padded shoulder strap. One thing we like is that the handle can be set at different heights, allowing you to find a comfortable position from which you can navigate.

What to look for in a good backpack for school

Size

Although the majority of students look at the design of a backpack first, size is the most important aspect to consider. It determines how well it fits, how much it can hold, how heavy it is, and more.

There are two things you should focus on here: height and shoulder width. Ideally, the backpack’s width should be relatively proportionate to your width. As for height, it should run from a few inches below your shoulder blades to your waist level or slightly above your waist.

Straps

Shoulder straps are another essential feature in a school backpack. Keep in mind that your shoulders will bear most of the weight from this bag.

To prevent excess strain, look for a backpack with sturdy, wide and adjustable straps. These will provide ample support and help to distribute the weight of the load uniformly.

Most backpacks are fitted with one of two types of shoulder straps:

  • Padded: a backpack with padded shoulder straps feels more comfortable to carry than one without. Manufacturers use different fabrics for padding, ranging from open-cell foam to EVA.
  • Injection-moulded: shoulder straps designed with this technology provide better cushioning and flexibility; thus, helping to relieve pressure.

Some school backpacks also come with waist and sternum straps. Like shoulder straps, waist straps also help with weight distribution. However, sternum straps, which run across your chest, are incorporated to ease pressure from your shoulders.

Pockets and compartments

Once you’ve checked the quality of the straps, the next thing you should inspect is the number of pockets and compartments. The golden rule here is: the more the merrier.

With more pockets and compartments, you can organize your belongings neatly; not to mention, enjoy more storage space. If you intend to carry your laptop or tablet, look for a backpack that has a dedicated space for that. An external side pocket, where you can put a water bottle, will also come in handy.

Durability

When shopping for a backpack, look for one that can last for years. You might be wondering, “how can I determine whether a backpack is durable?” There are two things that can help with this. One, examining the quality of stitching, and two, placement of the handles and straps.

If the stitching looks flimsy, there’s a good chance the bag won’t last. Similarly, the handles and straps should be anchored properly.

Weight

If you’re in high school or college, you will likely have to carry a plethora of items to school- a laptop, books, and more. So the last thing you want is a school bag that adds to your overall weight. When shopping, check the backpack’s weight and ensure that it’s something you can carry with ease.

FAQ

How should you clean a school backpack?

Start by emptying all its pockets. Fill a basin with lukewarm and add a tiny amount of a mild detergent.
Then, using a soft cloth, scrub your backpack, paying attention to the dirtiest sections. If you encounter stubborn stains, use a soft bristle brush to get rid of them. Once you’re done cleaning, rinse it thoroughly, then hang it outside to dry naturally.

How heavy should a school backpack be?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a school backpack shouldn’t weigh any more than 10 to 15% of your body weight. For instance, if you weigh 100 pounds, then your backpack should weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.
Backpacks that are too heavy for a child can result in serious injury, especially on the joints, back, neck, and shoulder muscles.

What’s the right way to wear a school backpack?

Wearing your backpack correctly is just as important as choosing the right one. Here are a couple of pointers on how to wear a school backpack:
– Wear both straps whenever you’re carrying a backpack. Doing so aids in distributing your weight evenly so that you’re not straining just one shoulder.
– Do not overload; if the backpack ends up weighing more than 15% of your body weight, consider removing a couple of items to make it lighter.
– Your backpack should not cause you to sway from side to side when you’re walking. If this happens, adjust the straps so that they’re tighter
– For backpacks that come with waist or sternum straps, be sure to use them.
– When packing, always put the heaviest stuff closer to your back.

Final verdict

Picking the right backpack for school can be tricky when one has so many options to consider. To make your seletion easier, consider the most important features. These are size, straps, durability, number of pockets and compartments.

Also keep in mind that your schoolbag shouldn’t weigh more than 10 to 15% of your body weight.

If you start off with a backpack that’s already heavy, you’ll end up straining your back once you factor in all the school items you have to carry. To avoid this, choose a reasonably-weighted backpack, pack smartly and only carry what you need for the day.

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