Best Backpacks Reviews and Buyer’s Guide 2018

Using the best backpacks for all kinds of movements has made life better. It also has made tourism more fun in the sense that travelers don’t necessarily need to bother about where they spend the night or how long they spend in a particular place because they have all they need for their immediate comfort at arm’s reach.
Funny as it may seem, some people are of the belief that backpacks are manufactured mainly for kids or children, but that notion is quite wrong. It has been scientifically proven that making use of a backpack is healthier than using a traditional briefcase all the time, aside from the health benefits, it gives you more balance for long distance movements which can be very restricted if you have to drag a loaded briefcase or box. If you are confused as to where to get a perfect backpack, we are going to go through some of the best backpack reviews today so that you can make an excellent choice.

What Is a Backpack?

The word backpack translates to a bag made of cloth and carried on the back. A backpack can either come with two straps or a single strap (sometimes called a mono-strap backpack). The single-strapped backpacks are usually lighter in weight than the two trapped backpacks.

Another close relation to the backpack is the rucksack, although most people believe that they are one and the same, they still have some differences. For example, the name “backpack” originated from the US while the name “rucksack” has German origin, and a rucksack is generally of larger size than a standard backpack. As we take a look at the best backpacks, you will further understand their structures and mechanism and unravel why they are preferred than other pack in the market. Knowing what a backpack is all about is the first step toward getting one, now let’s review the top choice backpacks.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Backpacks:

Frame type:

There are two main types of frames which a backpack can have; they are the internal or external frames. The significant difference between the both of them is that most of the rod materials used for support in the external frame bags are placed on the outer part of the bag, while those for the internal frame are hidden within the bag. In recent times, the internal frame designs are more in circulation as they are fashioned in such a way that a higher amount of balance is given to the load placed within the bag, making it a preferred choice for hiking or extended periods of travel.


The right backpack should fit perfectly in the right position when carried; having an oversize backpack could be problematic to handle especially when used for school. The important parts to measure when buying a backpack are your torso length and your waist. Although some backpacks offer you the advantage of adjusting the length, it is still paramount to get the right size. To measure your torso length, start your calculations from your shoulders all the way down, towards your hips. The right backpack size will have a good balance around your hips and also commensurate with your entire body.


This plays a crucial factor especially for people who have to carry multiple things like office workers who carry laptops and documents, carrying a single backpack might not be sufficient for the amount of load required. It is important to ensure that your weight is well distributed to avoid accumulated body pains, so getting a minimum of two bags works to your advantage. Also for college students, having an extra backpack saves you the stress of having to deal with one being over full or getting soiled and worn out. Having multiple backpacks is safer.

Hip belt:

Most of the weight of your backpack will be centered on your hips, so the hip belt of the backpack must be firm as it is a major factor. Excellent backpacks like the ones discussed above have easily adjustable hip belts for more tightness or slack and can also be padded. A comfortable hip belt makes the carrying of the backpack easier for hikers; it prevents the load of the entire backpack from leaning on only one side of the hips. This is achieved by sharing it evenly around the body so that the impact of the load is scarcely felt when moving.


The durability of a backpack determines how long it can be of service to you. Durability is essential for which ever purpose you are getting it for, either for long distance travel or shorter movements. Although men’s backpack designs differ in some ways from that of women, the quality should be relatively the same. Short term use backpacks tend to be financially draining; it is advisable to go for something of more quality which can stand the test of time.

Best College Backpacks

HEX Unisex Origin Backpack

This unisex backpack is the ideal design for college use and is constructed with a cotton exterior which is water resistant making it suitable for all kinds of weather conditions. Along with its main section which will hold all your books and notebooks, a dedicated sleeve is available to keep your laptop secure. A small pocket is present at the front to hold all your stationery, phone, keys and other small essentials. The bag is purposefully made lightweight so that you can carry it around all day without any trouble.

Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack

If you are looking for a college bag with a simple and stylish design, this backpack is an excellent nominee which features a water resistant exterior and a large main compartment which has a roll top closure system which allows easy access to all your belongings. The main section has a dedicated space to keep your laptop secure. It features stretchable side pockets for holding your water bottles. Shoulder straps are padded and ventilated with a mesh lining for comfort and headphone routing. The long lasting and lightweight nylon used in the construction will permit you to carry it along for long hours without tiring yourself.

Patagonia Refugio Pack 28L

Made with synthetic material, this is a large, lightweight backpack ideal for daily use at the college and even for small vacations. Mesh shoulder handles and its back panel adds better balance and comfort while you carry it along. It features 2 large sections with a separate sleeve to hold your laptop secure and an external pocket to keep all your stationery, cards, phone, keys and other important things. A medium sized pocket is also present with a soft lining to keep your tablet. It even has soft pockets to keep your sunglasses in an accessible location.

Topo Designs Daypack

This backpack will not just give you a classy look but will also deliver everything the best college backpack is supposed to deliver. Constructed in the USA with 1000D Condura and coated with a pack cloth liner, it will withstand daily usage for several years without effecting its performance or looks while keeping all your essentials safe inside it. The large main section has a useful organizer pocket in addition to a laptop sleeve. A pocket is also present on the exterior for stuff than you need to access quickly like your keys, college ID card and more.

Herschel Supply Co. Nelson Backpack

This is one of the most fashionable college backpacks on our list which comes at a very attractive price too. This lightweight and spacious backpack has a main compartment with plastic zips with leather pulls. The main compartment has a padded sleeve to hold a 15 inch laptop securely and internal organizers with a mesh design to keep everything secure and accessible. The exterior is constructed with polyester with a striped fabric lining for style and durability. An external pocket is also present to hold all your smaller belongings which you will need to access quickly.

Best Heritage Backpacks

Topo Designs Klettersack Backpack 22L

This backpack is built with a heritage design to give you a classy look while carrying it on a hiking trail or around the city. Its strong construction features 1000D Cordura with leather handles to add to the vintage look. It is purposefully made slim so that all your belongings are compact and easy to carry. The main compartment is surrounded by a waterproof cloth to keep your stuff safe even in a heavy downpour. Many useful pockets and attachments make it a perfect backpack for daily usage other than giving a classy look.

Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack

This classy backpack is constructed by one of the leading manufacturers who back their backpacks with a lifetime warranty for ultimate satisfaction. The inside has the patent striped lining as with all the other Herschel backpacks and has a laptop sleeve that can easily hold a 13 inch laptop or Macbook. You will also find a small media pocket on the inside and headphone ports for your enjoyment. Only one pocket is present on the outside to give it a neat and simple look which also has a key clip to safely store all your keys.

Eastpak Wyoming Backpack

If you want a versatile backpack designed for everyday use with a heritage look, this is the perfect one. Apart from its looks, it is highly capable as well and provides a long term warranty of 30 years. The simple design features only two spacious compartments with a sleeve to hold a 13 inch laptop easily. The front zipper pocket is available to keep all your little things in an accessible spot. All the zippers are fully functional and durable while the base of the bag is made with genuine leather to protect the bag and its contents from any damage.

Canvas Vintage Backpack Casual Daypack

The exterior of this vintage bag is made with eco-friendly and long lasting canvas which has a Nylon lining. Along with a main compartment with a drawstring closure it also has an external flap with leather straps for added safety and an improved look. The main compartment has a sleeve to store a large 14 to 15 inch laptop easily. 3 small pockets are available on the exterior to easily hold all your small belongings organized. A 6 month warranty is also present by the manufacturer to back the heritage bag.

Brooks England Saddles Dalston Knapsack

This vintage backpack is manufactured by hand in Italy with the best quality vegetable tanned leather to give superior performance and durability. On both sides of the backpack you will find pouches made with fabric to hold your water bottle. Along with padded shoulder handles, chest straps are also present to make it even more comfortable to hold the bag all day long on your back without feeling any fatigue. The main section has a dedicated padded sleeve to hold a 13 inch laptop and the exterior has 2 pockets to hold all your little things.

Best Hiking Backpacks

Osprey Aether/ Ariel

This backpack has all you will need in a bag to cover all your hiking requirements. With adjustable handles to match your size and a waist belt, it will allow you to concentrate on the hike while carrying all your essentials along with you comfortably and securely. With a number of spacious compartments and pockets it will keep all your things safe, organized and easily accessible. Since it is exclusively designed for hiking, it has a ventilated back panel to keep you comfortable even when hiking on hot summer days. With a lower compartment for sleeping bag, compression strap on the inside and outside to use the space as needed, waist belt pockets to hold your snacks close to you and ice axe holders, it is the perfect bag you could select for your hiking trips.

The North Face Cobra 52 Backpack

This backpack was specifically built keeping in mind the needs of hikers or mountaineers. It features ice tool pockets and large crampon pockets. It has a number of useful pockets and storage compartments to hold all the essential mountaineering gear. You can load the pack with accessories and it will still be comfortable to hold. Made with 420D Corder Nylon, it carries your belongings safe in even the most adverse weather conditions. It features detachable parts which can be removed when you do not want the access weight.  With quality performance and lightweight construction this is the finest backpack you can take on your expeditions.

Berghaus Freeflow Backpack

This is among the more affordable options for a hiking backpack which is lightweight in construction and spacious enough to accommodate all your belongings to carry on your hiking trips. With a small space between your bag and your back to allow ventilation and a rain cover to keep all your belongings and your bag protected in a heavy downpour, it has everything you would ask for in a top quality hiking backpack. With several pockets and compartments, it also has attachments to hold your ice tool. Along with padded shoulder handles, it also features a waist belt with a safety whistle in case of an emergency.

Deuter Aircontact Backpacking Pack

Extremely stylish in design, this backpack is constructed ergonomically and spreads the load evenly through your back to carry maximum weight for longer distances without feeling any discomfort. A unique ventilation system on the back allows breathability and prevents more perspiration than with most of the other backpacks in this price range. Aluminum stays provide better balance and flexibility to the bag while pushing more of the weight to your hips preventing your back and shoulders from any fatigue. Some attractive features include a removable rain cover, attachments to hold ice tools, sleeping bag compartment and several pockets to store all your essentials.

Fjallraven Kaipak 28 Hiking Daypack

This is a powerful backpack built for trekking and mountaineering. It is made with recycled polyester to provide maximum durability and performance. The material can also be waxed using Greenland wax to make it water proof and wear-proof. Shoulder straps and a removable waist belt allow you to comfortable carry all your belongings close to you. The large main section features a snow lock to make the backpack usable in all weather conditions. Pockets are available for organizing several things with fasteners for keeping your ice tools. Additional features include a rain cover, compression straps and a safety whistle on the waist belt.

Best Laptop Backpacks

Incase Icon Pack

Built with a sleek design, this is an ideal backpack you can buy if you want to carry your laptop or macbook along with some other basic essentials to work. A small front pocket is padded to hold your Smartphone and IPod safely.  Another medium sized pocket can securely hold your tablet in place while the main compartment has a dedicated section to hold a full sized laptop or macbook easily. Additional compartments allow you to keep all your essentials safely and with organization while shoulder straps offer multiple adjustments to carry the bag around comfortably.

Booq Cobra Squeeze

Constructed with water resistant material, this laptop backpack offers a unique curved shape and a sleek appearance. It uses YKK zippers for closure for all its pockets and compartments while a dedicated padded compartment is present to hold your laptop securely. A small pocket is lined with a soft fabric to hold your Smartphone safely and allows you to access it easily. What’s most unique about the bag is a special serial number given to it by its manufacturing company to help recover the bag on an occasion when you lose it.

Eastpack Out Of Office

This is a simple and modern looking bag you could carry comfortably to your workplace with your laptop and all the essentials safely in place. Although it comes at an affordable price, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it for a very long time as it comes with a long 30 year warranty. The main compartment holds your important stuff along with a dedicated sleeve for holding your laptop. A small front pocket is available to keep your little things in place while an inside pocket with a mesh design allows you to keep your phone and other valuable stuff safely. Padded shoulder handles will allow a comfortable transportation of the bag.

Mammut Xeron Courier 25

With an attractive design, this laptop backpack is specifically constructed for people who travel to work by bike but can be used by anyone who need to carry their laptop along with other essentials to work. The main compartment can easily be accessed via its unique roll top closure while a separate section is present for holding your laptop which can be accessed through a zipper. A front pocket has another zipper pocket inside it to hold your valuable things and a key clip for even more convenience. A back plate is available to add more balance while you carry your bag while shoulder handles allow a comfortable travel.

The North Face Pivoter Laptop Backpack

This is an affordable laptop backpack which works great when you want to carry your essentials to work, school or even gym. With a D shaped opening to quickly access all your things in the main section, it has a dedicated sleeve for holding your laptop and a large separate space to carry your gym clothes and shoes. A small pocket on the front allows you to keep all your little belongings safe while on both its sides you will find mesh pockets for holding water bottles. Made with the finest quality polyester, this backpack will be great for your gym practices as well as work for many years.

Best School Backpacks

Osprey Packs Parsec Daypack

This is the ideal backpack for school days and also comes in handy on weekend hiking trips. Multiple features are present to provide better comfort while carrying the bag including mesh shoulder handles, back panel and waist belt. In spite of providing pockets and compartments for all your books, notebooks, stationery and electronics, it is extremely lightweight and comfortable to carry around for long hours. A front pocket allows you to keep the things you want in an accessible location. A dedicated scratch resistant pocket is also available for storing your sunglasses and other smaller belongings.

Dakine – mission – porterage backpack

This 25 liters unisex backpack is perfect for students as it is lightweight and has many compartments to keep them organized and their things safe. It has 2 large zipper sections to hold your books, notebooks and documents safely. A front zipper pocket will allow you to store all the small belongings quickly and conveniently. A smaller pocket is lined with fleece to hold your sunglasses without damaging them and an additional small pocket for keeping your gloves or other stuff. Padded shoulder handles, chest belt and waist belt allows you to carry it comfortably all day long.

Speedo Large Teamster Backpack, 35-Liter

If you want for yourself an affordable but durable and comfortable backpack for school, this is a stylish backpack with a spacious main section that has a separate sleeve to hold your laptop. The laptop compartment is intelligently made with a water resistant base so that your electronic items are protected if you sit on wet ground or accidentally drop your bag.  The exterior is made with durable material to withstand daily usage at school or gym practices. In contrast to most backpacks, it also has a detachable dirt bag to keep your dirty or wet clothes or other belongings away from your books and laptop.

Little America Mid-Volume Backpack

Made in Canada, this a backpack constructed for everyday use by students. The inside has a striped design and features a sleeve for safely storing your laptop that is lined with fleece to protect the laptop from damage. The main compartment features a drawstring for closure. Additionally, what you will like in the bag is the media pocket and headphone port it offers to allow you to conveniently listen to your favorite songs while carrying your bag along. A front zipper pocket allows easy access to your small things with a key clip for even more organization. The shoulder handles and padding at the back allows it to be comfortably carried all day.

JanSport Big Student Backpack

Manufactured by one of the top backpack manufacturers based in the USA, this is a popular backpack among students that allows convenient storage, organization and comfort while carrying it. A front pocket features an organizer to conveniently pack your electronics and essentials. In addition, it also offers a headphone port, and a small upper pocket for your little stuff like headphones, pens, pencils etc. The shoulder handles are padded and shaped like an S to allow you to carry the bag comfortably.  This is the perfect backpack for high school and college students alike.

Best Travel Backpacks

Osprey Packs Porter 30 Travel Backpack

This is a lightweight backpack to carry all your stuff including laptop, tablet and more. It offers a dedicated back panel where you can safely store your tablet or laptop. A top pocket has a zipper to conveniently store and access your toiletries and liquid items. The front panel features pockets secured with zips for storing your books and important documents. Other than organized and protected storage that the backpack offers, it is also easy to carry with padded handles and hip belt. Compression straps ensure the safety of your bag and the contents while also adjusting the size of the bag according to its load.

Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack

This is the most convenient size a backpack can offer for road or air travel. The U zipper allows you to easily access all your belongings in the main panel while its organized front pocket allows you keep all your important documents safely. The compression straps on the sides can compress or expand the size of the bag according to your needs. Keeping your comfort in mind, the manufacturer has included a ventilated back panel, padded shoulder straps, a detachable waist belt and a LightBeam aluminum stay. The backpack lets you keep all your belongings safe while ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable travel.

Explorer 45+15-Liter Ruckcase

This is a unisex backpack which offers adjustable features to suit the requirements of the travel. It has a day sack which can be detached if you want to carry it individually or if you have a smaller luggage. The smaller day sack has a front zipper pocket, a side pocket with a mesh design to hold your water bottle and an MP3 port at a convenient location to enjoy your favorite music on the go. A front zipper panel lets you open it conveniently and easily access all your belongings. Shoulder and waist belt spreads the load evenly through your back so that you may carry it comfortably.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible

With many useful pockets and zipped compartments to keep your belongings organized, the backpack has an expansion zipper to add 10% more volume if you need to pack more stuff for your journey. This lightweight backpack also features a dedicated laptop section with an adjustable sling to hold any size of laptop snugly. Weighing only 3.7 lbs, it is extremely light weight to carry. The shoulder handles are padded for carrying it comfortably while the compression straps allow you to compress the bag according to the amount of contents to carry them safely and compactly.

Deuter Transit 50

Constructed in Germany, it is an excellent choice if you want a large travel bag that can hold all your things. Apart from the front main compartment with a U-shaped zip, it also has a disconnected bottom compartment to keep stuff like your shoes and sleeping bag. Shoulder handles are adjustable and can easily be concealed away when not being used. A waist strap helps you carry it safely and comfortably. A separate day sack can be detached and used for shorter travels.  This is an perfect choice if you are looking for a large, durable backpack for international travels.

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