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Top 10 Best Backpacks in 2021

We conducted deep research into the best backpacks, featuring sturdy construction and comfort.

Reasons to look for a good backpack

Are you tired of buying backpacks that are heavy, uncomfortable or break quickly? We prepared a list of 10 of the best backpacks for the price to help you replace your old backpack with an upgrade. A good backpack is durable, made of premium material and offers a good-looking design and lots of useful rooms. Here’s our list of the best backpacks that tick all of those boxes.

Best overall

Under Armour Hustle 4.0 backpack

Under Armour Hustle 4.0 backpack

The UA Storm Technology offers water-resistance to this backpack like no other. It also makes the fabric super breathable and moisture-wicking.

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If you are looking for a backpack with solid construction, outstanding durability, and excellent comfort, look no further.

The Under Armor Hustle 4.0 backpack features UA Storm Technology. As a result, it offers the best water resistance amongst many other backpacks.  

Add in other factors like the breathable shoulder straps and lightweight material, and you get maximum comfort. Moreover, there are spacious and well-organized compartments present, including a shoe compartment.

The polyester fabric offers admirable qualities to this backpack, such as abrasion, UV resistance, and sturdiness.

One excellent feature of this backpack is the presence of various internal/external pockets. Thus, making it perfect for carrying travel or other accessories too!

Best affordable

Sosoon Travel backpack

Sosoon Travel backpack

The anti-theft design, consisting of hidden pockets and hooks is beyond excellent for the backpack’s price.

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If you have a specific budget and don’t want to spend a lot on backpacks, opt for Sosoon Laptop Backpack.

Featuring an anti-theft design, this backpack is not just cost-effective but rich in features too.

The material is exceptionally comfortable with breathable properties and padding. Moreover, it’s slightly waterproof in nature which is good enough for the price.

Now, you may think that an affordable backpack isn’t durable enough. But, this backpack breaks the stereotype with its 1680D polyester fabric and reinforced stitching.

It’s also quite spacious, with three well-organized compartments and inner/outer pockets. You can also find many other excellent features here, like hidden pockets and a USB port.

Best for travel & for laptop

KROSER Travel backpack

KROSER Travel backpack

This backpack has well-organized compartments and internal pockets.

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When it comes to traveling, an ordinary backpack won’t do. Instead, it would be best if you go for a sturdier build that can handle hours of traveling.

The KROSER Laptop backpack is ideal for travel, owing to its excellent construction, comfortable design, and spaciousness.

The backpack has proper sections that allow easy access whenever you’re out. Moreover, the compartments offer additional space to dump in all your travel essentials!

Now, even though the backpack is slightly heavy, its high-quality polyester fabric lasts for ages. In addition, the padded shoulder straps and breathable mesh offer a comfortable experience.

Best for school & college

JanSport Cool Student Remix backpack

JanSport Cool Student Remix backpack

The contoured S-curved straps present here reduces the friction between your shoulders and the backpack.

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Carrying a heavy backpack to school and college is a hassle, and hence, you should avoid it at all costs. The best way to tackle this issue is by opting for a lightweight backpack, such as JanSport Cool Student Backpack.

This efficient backpack features ergonomic S-curved shoulder straps. These straps provide a snug fit and avoid shoulder or back-related problems.

The best part of this backpack is its ultra-lightweight nature as it weighs about 1.3 lbs only. Additionally, this backpack can easily fit your items with several compartments and a water bottle holder.

If you’re facing issues with durability, the company offers exchange or return options too.

Best for kids

Wildkin 15 Inch backpack

Wildkin 15 Inch backpack

The presence of a water-resistant nylon lining helps prevent water spills from ruining the contents inside.

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The Wildkin Kids Backpack, with its vivid colors and adorable prints, is the best backpack for kids!

We recommend this backpack for kids due to its lightweight and excellent material.

As it weighs only around 0.7 lbs, it doesn’t put too much pressure on their tiny shoulders. Add in its 600D polyester material, and you get a high-quality backpack.  

Another exciting feature is that the backpack has reflective tape. It makes it easy for anyone to spot your kid in the dark.

However, note that this backpack requires proper care and less load due to its delicate build.

Best for work

Carhartt Legacy Standard Work backpack

Carhartt Legacy Standard Work backpack

This backpack is made up of superior-built Poly fabric that can handle rough working conditions and enormous weight.

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If you are searching for an extremely sturdy and durable work backpack, Carhartt Legacy Standard Work Backpack won’t disappoint you.

The 1200D Poly fabric used in this backpack’s production has outstanding properties. For instance, this fabric bears heavy load easily and is abrasion-resistant. Hence, it makes the backpack more durable than others.

With two separate compartments for laptop and tablet, this backpack is space-efficient too. You can also find many extra pockets to keep other items.

The exclusive Rain Defender technology protects the backpack from moisture and keeps it safe.

Additionally, there are five different colors and prints available. So, you can pick one as per your liking.

Best premium

The North Face Borealis backpack

The North Face Borealis backpack

With the latest suspension system technology, this backpack directs the extra weight from the shoulders to the back.

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Unique suspension technology has helped the North Face Borealis Backpack earn a spot on this list.

The suspension technology of this backpack is what makes it extremely lightweight and comfortable to handle. Also, it directs the weight from shoulders to back, which allows uniform distribution.

Moreover, the FlexVent system also offers breathable panels to prevent discomfort while you’re out.

This backpack comes with spacious compartments, including a tablet sleeve. Factor in the extra pockets and water bottle holder, and you get one of the most efficient backpacks.

Also, the blend of Ballistic Nylon, Nylon, and Polyester makes this backpack durable and tough.

Best for hiking

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame backpack

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame backpack

The backpack’s overall adjustable feature allows a secure and comfortable fit.

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The Teton Sports Scout Backpack is one of the best ones for hiking due to its fully adjustable nature and strategic design.

The straps near your torso, waist, chest, and shoulders are adjustable. Hence, this hiking backpack provides a proper and comfortable fit through rocky terrains.

Moreover, the padded shoulder straps and the ventilated back panel reduce any discomfort and increase breathability.

With its 55-liter capacity, you can carry quite a lot of stuff with you. The well-organized compartments and pockets also offer quick accessibility for hiking accessories, such as pocket knives or compasses.

Also, during a heavy downpour, the backpack offers a rain cover that you can use to protect your items.

Best for women

Himawari School backpack

Himawari School backpack

This backpack offers the most accessible pockets and compartments that you will come across!

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Women require a lightweight and accessible backpack for their extra items. This is where a Himawari Laptop Backpack comes into the picture!

With one 15-inch laptop compartment, one tablet compartment, two side pockets, and two inner pockets, you get a lot of space. Additionally, its lightweight nature and padded shoulder straps provide extra convenience too.

The canvas material is not as widely common as nylon or polyester. However, it still provides the Himawari backpack with durability and sturdiness. The best part is how breathable the canvas material feels.

Along with the features, the Himawari backpack has an adorable style and various color options.

Best for teen

Champion Manuscript backpack

Champion Manuscript backpack

The backpack’s lightweight nature is unparalleled. It offers a feather feel and reduces the extra load on the back.

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A casual and minimalist backpack, like the Champion Men’s Manuscript Backpack, is suitable for teenagers.

This 1.04 lbs backpack feels comfortable on the shoulders. In addition to that, the ergonomic and adjustable strap design makes it easier to carry the backpack.

There is one huge compartment that can fit most of the essentials. There are a few pockets and a water bottle holder, too, for additional space.

When it comes to durability, the polyester material offers sturdiness and resistance to external factors.

This backpack doesn’t have any advanced features, and hence, it’s pretty affordable and suitable for basic usage.

What to look for in a good backpack

Weight

It’s essential to opt for a lightweight backpack. So, when you carry it with your items inside, the backpack won’t add to the weight.

Typically, most empty backpacks weigh around 1 to 6 lbs. However, there are ultralight ones that are only about 1 to 2 lbs.

So, if you require a backpack for daily use, opt for the ultralight ones. But, for hiking or traveling requirements, you may want to opt for a slightly sturdier one.

Spaciousness

Spaciousness is yet another crucial aspect to consider while choosing a backpack. So, you can find various backpacks having several compartments and pockets.

For instance, some backpacks have one spacious compartment. Hence, this is good enough for laptops and their accessories. So, it is ideal for professional use.

However, there are some which have two to three compartments. We recommend opting for such backpacks for travel purposes.

Apart from the compartments, you should take note of the additional panels as well. Always opt for backpacks with two to three inner or outer pockets. If you require a water bottle holder, make sure to check for that in the backpack’s description.

Design

The overall design of the backpack has a significant impact on your comfort. Choosing the wrong design can lead to inconveniences like shoulder pain and backache.

Ideally, you should go for a backpack having proper and ergonomically designed shoulder straps. Some options include:

  • Straight shoulder straps

Backpacks with straight shoulder straps are pretty eye-catching. However, they aren’t an ideal option for long-term use.

Straight shoulder straps consist of a single layer of nylon, leather, or canvas. Also, most of them lack padding and cause load on shoulders. Hence, they are not ideal if you have a lot of items to carry.

  • Curved shoulder straps

Curved shoulder straps are definitely the best ones out there for your comfort and safety.

The manufacturers create these backstraps to mimic the natural shape of your body. Hence, backpacks with such shoulder straps offer an excellent fit.

Moreover, curved shoulder straps contain advanced padding, such as EVA foam. They also include mesh lining for additional breathability.

Hence, backpacks with curved straps are best for daily use or travel purposes too.

  • One-piece shoulder straps

One-piece shoulder straps are standard in travel and outdoor backpacks. Here, both a ‘bridge’ on the top of the backpack connects both the straps.

However, in such backpacks, size becomes an issue. So, make sure that you have the correct size. If the backpack is too small, the ‘bridge’ portion may push into your neck and cause discomfort.

Material type

Every backpack material has specific pros and cons. So, the ideal material type depends on your requirements.

Some of the most common backpack materials include:

  • Nylon

Nylon is a highly versatile backpack material as it’s present in both affordable and high-quality backpacks.

This synthetic material has unparalleled benefits. First, it is incredibly durable and sturdy. Moreover, it is abrasion-resistant and prevents mold issues as well.

But, the only issue with nylon is that it’s not precisely UV-resistant.

  • Polyester

One major benefit polyester has over nylon is its UV-resistant properties.

Polyester can withstand chemicals and high temperatures. It’s pretty solid and durable, too, like nylon.

Moreover, the best benefits of polyester are its wrinkle-free nature and quick drying.

  • Polypropylene

Unlike nylon and polyester, polypropylene isn’t a very famous backpack material. Yet, it is affordable and sturdy. The best quality is its stain-resistant nature which keeps its new look intact.

Durability

You can determine a backpack’s durability, depending on its material. However, in material too, there are some specifications.

For instance, you may come across terms such as 600D Nylon or 100T Polyester.

In 600D Nylon, ‘D’ stands for Denier. Keep in mind that the higher the Denier, the higher is the sturdiness and fabric volume. So, 1050D Nylon is stronger and more durable than 600D Nylon.

Similarly, in 100T Polyester, ‘T’ stands for thread count. So, the higher the thread count, the better is the fabric’s strength and durability.

Keep in mind that you can easily compare two similar fabric types, 600D and 1050D Nylon. But, if you’re comparing two different fabrics, nylon is usually stronger and more durable.

FAQ

How do I know what size backpack to buy?

Backpacks are available in various sizes, as denoted in liters (L). So, the below-mentioned points can help you know what size is ideal for your requirements:

– Mini and Small Backpacks (6L to 10L) are ideal for kids and sports purposes.
– Daypacks (10L to 30L) are excellent for commuting and one-day trips.
– Medium Backpacks (30L to 50L) are suitable for hiking, camping, or overnight trips.
– Large Rucksacks (More than 50L) are best for traveling or backpacking.

Depending on the liters, you can gauge whether a backpack’s size is right for you or not.

How to keep your backpack well-maintained?

No matter how sturdy a backpack is, it’s bound to lose its durability and strength if you don’t take good care. So, we have listed below a few tips to keep your backpack well-maintained and as good as new!

1. Never overload your backpack. Overloading may loosen the stitching and stretch the material beyond its capacity.
2. Try to avoid harsh stain removers and detergents if you’re planning to wash your backpack.
3. Avoid carrying your backpack with your hands, using shoulder straps. This may loosen them. Instead, use the backpack handle or loop.

Don’t entirely depend on the waterproof material of the backpack. Instead, try to keep it away from rain and moisture as much as possible.

Final verdict

Most of us just check the design and appearance of a backpack and decide whether it’s worth the bucks or not. But, you may encounter discomfort and other problems, such as poor durability, if you don’t consider the tiny details.

So, while choosing a backpack, consider the other factors like ergonomics, material type, and weight and make sure to use a top 10 list so you avoid regretting your purchase with a bad backpack.

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