26 Best Backpacks Reviews & Buying Guide 2020

Using the 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 best 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 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.

Best Backpacks in Summary

Kaukko 22.4L RucksackCollege2.49 Pound
Incase Icon BackpackCollege2.8 Pound
HP Canvas BackpackCollege4.23 Pound
Everki Atlas Checkpoint FriendlyCollege3.79 Pound
Dsptch BookpackCollege1.81 Pound
Cotopaxi Luzon 18LHiking6.4 ounces
Teton Sports Scout 3400Hiking4.4 Pound
Fjallraven – Kaipak 28Hiking2.8 Pound
Gregory Optic 48Hiking2.8 Pound
Osprey Atmos Ag 65 BackpackHiking5.03 Pound
Amazon Basics BackpackLaptop1.98 Pound
North Face Women’s BackpackLaptop3 Pound
Timbuk2 The Division PackLaptop2.1 Pound
Incase Designs Sport Field BagLaptop3.8 Pound
Peak Design Everyday BackpackLaptop3.99 Pound
JanSport SuperBreak BackpackSchool14.4 ounces
High Sierra Loop BackpackSchool1.5 Pound
Fjallraven Kanken Mini BackpackSchool15.2 ounces
The North Face ReconSchool3 lbs
Topo Designs DaypackSchool15.8 ounces
ZOMAKE Packable BackpackTravel0.55 lb
Vera Bradley Lighten Up Small BackpackTravel1.1 Pound
Patagonia Black Hole BackpackTravel10.6 ounces
Kelty Tioga External Frame PackTravel5.8 Pound
Osprey Packs Wheeled LuggageTravel8.37 lbs
Gootium Thick Canvas Backpack Heritage2.2 Pound

Things You must Know Before Purchasing Best 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 Backpacks Reviews

Best College Backpacks


Kaukko 22.4L RucksackIt is simply the perfect, classy and durable backpack you could find for college use in under $50. At such a low price, the quality of the fabric comes as a surprise to the buyers since it is made with water-resistant polyester material which is easy to clean and durable. The nylon lining on the exterior gives it a comfortable feel on your back and shoulders. The air mesh design of the back makes it even more comfortable and breathable while the padded shoulder straps make it easier to carry all day long. These shoulder straps can be adjusted easily to the size that fits you most comfortably. The large capacity of the backpack is appreciable which includes multiple compartments for organized storage of all your stuff. A dedicated laptop compartment is also available along with a separate pencil case which matches with the exterior.


Incase Icon BackpackAlthough it may appear as a sleek backpack, in reality it has loads of capacity on the inside with multiple compartments to keep everything organized. Its padded laptop compartment can store a 15” laptop safely while another compartment includes a set of pockets for holding all your small things including electronics safe and organized. The front and side pockets are available for holding stuff which you might need to access often so you won’t have to fish for it inside the bag. The exterior is sleek, stylish as well as durable since it is made from 840D Nylon which does not wear or tear easily. The back side as well as the shoulder straps are heavily padded to let you carry the backpack all day long without feeling any discomfort. It’s quite a worthy college backpack which you will find in under $100.


HP W7Q03AA#ABC 17-inch Laptop Canvas BackpackHere is a backpack from HP using which you can charge your devices on the go. In addition to your essential gear, you can store laptops of up to 17 inches in size inside this backpack. The unique backpack has 22400mAh battery for charging over 3 devices in a go. USB microcables are available for charging your Smartphone and tablets while a dedicated laptop cable is available for charging your laptop and is compatible with most HP laptops. The water-resistant canvas exterior has padding on the inside to protect your electronic devices and other things in addition to a built-in heat regulator which detects and adjusts any unsafe rise in temperature inside the bag. To recharge your backpack, simply connect the cable inside one of the side pockets with any standard HP laptop charger. The product also offers a 1 year warranty with itself so you won’t have to fear any malfunctions.


Everki EKP121-1 Atlas Checkpoint FriendlyThis backpack possesses all the qualities and features to categorize itself in one of the best college backpacks. There is a dedicated compartment for holding a laptop from 13 to 17 inches safely while there are many other organizational pockets for keeping your things safe and easily accessible. Additionally it uses its 5 point strap balance system to distribute the weight of the backpack evenly through the entire body to reduce muscle strain especially when the backpack is heavy. You will also like the water bottle pockets on the sides which can even carry an umbrella, trolley handle, adjustable, padded shoulder straps and easily accessible magazine slot on the front which are all some of the attractive features included in this backpack. Whether you are travelling abroad, going for a hike or simply going to college, this backpack offers everything that you will need to take your important things along.


Dsptch BookpackThis bookpack is actually a slim backpack with much useful functionality. There is a main compartment which will include padded sleeves for your electronic gear including laptop of up to 15 inch screen and tablets. There is also a front zipper pocket to hold all your little things which you access often. Apart from the front pocket, you can also keep your things organized in the internal pockets inside the main compartment. Built to perfection in the United States, it is reinforced with mil-spec webbing and DuraFlex plastic for durability. The durability of this 18 liters backpack can easily be judges by the lifetime guarantee that comes with it. This is definitely a great backpack you could consider for college use in a little over $200.

Best Hiking Backpacks


Cotopaxi Luzon 18LIt’s hard to find a hiking backpack in under $50 yet we have a good one for you which is durable and lightweight which is especially a benefit if you take it on hiking and camping tours. Made of flexible nylon, it easily packs away in a bigger bag or a suitcase if not being used. Additionally, although the design may look simple on the outside, it features multiple compartments on the inside to keep all your things safe and organized. A front zipper pocket is also available for you to keep all the little things in which you will often need to access. The product weighs less than a pound while it can hold up to 18 liters which makes it quite spacious yet a lightweight backpack. What’s even more surprising at such a low price is the 61 years warranty that the product brings with it.


Teton Sports Scout 3400Hiking backpacks are often the most expensive types of backpacks available in the market probably because of the fact that they have to be super comfortable, lightweight, durable and spacious all at the same time. This backpack, however, offers all the qualities of a hiking backpack only at a much lower price tag. In under $100 you get this 4.5 pounds backpack with a 55 liters capacity with multiple compartments and pockets to hold all your essential gear. With multiple adjustments, it can fit most body sizes perfectly and the shoulder straps are padded for carrying it comfortably. There is also a rainfly included which covers the entire bag in case of a heavy downpour. You also get with it gear loops to carry your ski poles, ice axe or other stuff comfortably. It is one of the best choices for hiking if you are in search of an affordable option.


Fjallraven - Kaipak 28If you want a simple backpack that is rugged and lightweight for outdoor use, one of the best options is this hiking backpack in just under $150 made entirely out of recycled polyester and cotton. As if the fabric was not durable enough already, it is treated with Greenland Wax to prevent any wear and tear and to protect it against moisture. Along with the shoulder straps, there is also a hip belt which can be removed when not required. Multiple compartments and pockets make the bag organized and spacious enough to carry all your gear. You also get fasteners for your trekking poles integrated into the backpack. Compression straps can easily adjust the size and shape of the backpack when it is not fully loaded with stuff. Another useful feature is the rain cover that is included with the pack to protect it against the weather.


Gregory Optic 48Backpackers are continuously demanding for the lightest of the backpacks which are comfortable to take along on their expeditions and Gregory lives completely up to these demands by bringing to the market its Optic 48 model with a large volume of 48 liters but a weight of only 2 lbs. The construction is well-designed and sturdy and does a good job at taking the load off your shoulders and distributing it though the entire body for carrying the bag comfortably. Along with the ventilated back panel and shoulder harness, there is also a hip belt, all for your comfort. A rain cover is included to protect the bag and its contents against the weather. Many compartments and pockets are available for simpler organization and easy accessibility including hip-belt pockets, water bottle holder, front mesh pocket and more. The top lid is removable to make the pack even lighter in place of which you can attach the lightweight weather flap to protect your things.


Osprey Atmos Ag 65 BackpackThe features and construction make it probably the best hiking backpack on our list. It can hold up to 65 liters and has an ‘Anti-Gravity’ back panel which is also one of its top selling points since it distributes the weight of the pack evenly through your body and provides a comfortable fit. Organization is easy and so is accessing your things since it comes with plenty of pockets and compartments. There are 2 zipped pockets on top, 2 water bottle holders on the sides, and a large pocket on the front to hold all your essentials. The material is durable which can handle excessive use and foul weather easily without damaging the contents or the pack itself. Weighing only 4 pounds, it is already one of the most lightweight backpacks in the market but if you still want it to be lighter, you may remove the top lid since “Flap Jacket” already covers the main compartment.

Best Laptop Backpacks


Amazon Basics BackpackThe most inexpensive laptop backpack on our list is this one by AmazonBasics which does a pretty good job at covering all the basic features that a laptop backpack must have. It is a large backpack with multiple compartments and a dedicated sleeve for holding any laptop with size smaller than 17 inches. There is additionally a smaller sleeve for storing smaller electronic items like tablet. The sides are equipped with pockets to hold your water bottle while there are additional pockets as well for holding little things like keys, phone, pen etc. the shoulder straps are padded to let you comfortably carry the backpack even when it is loaded with stuff. With all these features, the product is backed by a warranty of 1 year and available in only around $30. If you don’t have the budget for the most high-end products, this is a great deal at an affordable price.


The North Face Women's Pivoter Laptop BackpackProduced by a company known for manufacturing high standard backpacks, this is a women’s laptop backpack which is not only affordable and durable but also highly comfortable since it is uniquely manufactured to suit a women’s body. The breathable back panel of the backpack and shoulder straps, together, result in a comfortable and ergonomic fit for the user. The main compartment possesses a dedicated padded sleeve for holding your laptop and protecting it against any fall or bump that the bag experiences. There are additional compartments and pockets for keeping your stuff safe and organized. The front pockets can be used for storing things that you will need to access frequently. With all these features, the backpack also has a professional look to suit most office environments. Another great thing about it is you get the entire package in under $100.


Timbuk2 The Division PackIf you are looking for a compact backpack for office or college use, this is a great choice which can keep all your stuff safe and organized. It also has a dedicated compartment for holding a laptop of up to 15 inches with padding to prevent any damage. Apart from the laptop compartment, the main pocket also has smaller organizational pockets for holding stuff like pens, cables, earphones, phone and the like. There is also a front zipper pocket which lets you access your little things easily without opening the main pocket. You will additionally find a side pocket to hold your water bottle and side straps which you can tighten to make your backpack even more compact whenever you need to. Besides the padded shoulder straps, you can also lift the backpack using the grab handle on the top.


Incase Designs Sport Field BagIf you are into any kind of sport, you will love what this backpack has to offer since it offers pockets and compartments spacious enough to hold your sports gear while also featuring a dedicated compartment just for holding your laptop safe. The compartment is large enough to store any laptop with up to 15 inch screen size. The main compartment has a wraparound zip which lets you access the whole space conveniently where you can store your shoes and clothes. The laptop sleeve is completely separated from the main compartment to keep it away from smell and moisture and is accessed through the back panel. Additional zippers and pockets are available for storing all you essentials in a single place yet organized for easy accessibility. It will also include a rain cover to protect it against the weather whenever needed.


Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20LThis is a laptop backpack which photographers will love since it contains compartments accessed through the sides which are most suitable for holding your camera and its accessories safely. In addition to the camera compartments, this spacious backpack also has a dedicated sleeve for holding a 15 inch laptop so you can use the same backpack to take for work or study when you are not out taking pictures. Other than these compartments, it also has many other pockets and compartments for holding things like water bottle, phone, keys and more. The material is water-proof to protect your valuables against the weather while the unique MagLatch system conveniently expands the backpack whenever you need to store more stuff. Additionally, the straps are comfortable on your shoulders and adjustable to your size for producing a contoured fit. Overall, the backpack offers large capacity for storing all your essentials while still giving a sleek appearance.

Best School Backpacks


JanSport SuperBreak BackpackYou will be surprised by the attractive price tag on a backpack by such a popular brand. It is available in under $40 and is durable, stylish and spacious to make it a perfect choice for elementary students. What will specially attract the kids are the tons of bright and bold designs of the product which you can choose from. The main pocket is spacious enough for carrying everything from books, notebooks to your kid’s lunchbox with ease. The smaller pocket at the front is perfect for carrying smaller things like stationery. The customers seem pretty satisfied with the quality and durability of the backpack since it will last years before their kids demand a new one. However, since the backpack is designed for younger students, you won’t find a laptop compartment or other padded compartments. Since the design is very basic, the backpack weighs less than 1 pounds making sure it does not hurt your kid’s back or shoulders.


High Sierra Loop BackpackOne of the most inexpensive school backpacks that you will find in the market is this Loop Backpack by High Sierra which is made with water-resistant polyester, weighs only 1.4 pounds and can store up to 15 pounds of stuff in it. An array of compartments and pockets are available to keep everything organized and safe.  The backpack has got style and is available in 33 different designs to choose from depending on your preferences. The shoulder straps are well padded for your comfort while there are also compression straps available to tighten the backpack in order to make it compact when it’s not fully loaded. The shoulder straps also include a suspension system to provide relief to your back when carrying heavy load. Side pocket can hold your water bottle while the front organizer pocket will hold all your little things like pen, keys, phone and earphones organized.


Fjallraven - Kanken No. 2 Mini Backpack for Everyday Use and TravelIf you want a compact, stylish backpack to walk into your school with, picking this one is just the right call. Available in a stylish, vintage look, this backpack comes in many different color options to select from. The material is G-1000 which is further treated with Greenland Wax to make the product water resistant and long lasting. The main compartment is where you can put all your textbooks and notebooks while the front pocket is great for keeping all of your smaller stuff like pencils, sharpeners and more. You will also find in the backpack, 2 side pockets to hold your water bottle. The leather handles give it an ultimate classy look while the shoulder handles are ergonomically designed for carrying the backpack comfortably for longer durations. Even with all the styling and the use of leather, the product just weighs 1.2 pounds while it can carry over 16 liters of gear.


The North Face ReconJust like all the other models from the leading manufacturer North Face, this one is also very durable and is packed with features to cover all the backpacking requirements of a high-school student. It comes with an updated suspension system, breathable and padded back panel and shoulder straps, a dedicated padded compartment for a 15 inch laptop, another padded compartment for tablet, water bottle pockets, removable waist belt and some additional organizational pockets. You will find this backpack available in different versions for men, women and also unisex versions to suit both. The women’s model will feature a slightly smaller design suitable for a women’s body. Made with a combination of the highest quality polyester and nylon, the backpack weighs only about 3 lbs and has a large capacity of 30 liters. The product is backed by a lifetime warranty by the manufacturer.


Topo Designs DaypackMade in the USA, this one of the classiest backpacks that you will find in the market. Other than its stylish design, the backpack is also very practical making it the perfect pick for taking to school, college or even camping. The exterior is made from highly durable 1000D Cordura Nylon with a leather section at the base to give it a classy look. Additionally the YKK zippers used in the backpack are a bit larger than the usual size to make them even more durable and easy to handle. Besides the main compartment which is great for holding your books and notebooks, there is also an external pocket for keeping your little stuff easily accessible. Inside the main compartment you will also find a padded laptop sleeve and an organizer pocket. Although the product may appear sleek, it can hold up to 20 liters while it weighs only 1.65 lbs.

Best Travel Backpacks


ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable BackpackYou will be surprised by the price tag on this backpack since it is only available in around $16. At such a low price tag, the backpack is waterproof, durable, lightweight and stylish. This makes the backpack perfect for travel, day trips, camping and even every day use at school. Weighing only around 8 ounces, the backpack has the capacity of carrying around 20 liters and offers multiple compartments and pockets for organizing your stuff. Besides the main compartment for storing laptop, books and travel guide, you will also find a front zipper pocket for smaller stuff to be easily accessible. There is also an inside zipper pocket for valuables like your phone and keys while the side pockets are great for holding your water bottle and umbrella. When empty, the backpack packs into a small pouch which can easily be stored inside a bigger bag.


Vera Bradley Lighten Up Small BackpackIf you prefer to travel lighter with a stylish backpack, this is just the right pick in under $80. It is machine washable, water resistant and weighs only 1 pound. You can easily take it along to your class or for a road trip since it comes with multiple easily accessible pockets along with a tablet compartment to keep everything organized. It is available in multiple designs and colors each one as stylish as can be. Other than style, the manufacturer has also focused on making the backpack lightweight and durable to last you years without a trouble. The material is polyester and will not fade or lose its appearance for a very long time. Additionally, the backpack features adjustable and padded shoulder straps along with top handle to carry it comfortably. Overall, it’s a lightweight backpack perfect for your travel if you don’t have too much stuff to carry.


Patagonia Black Hole Backpack 25LWhat you need most in a backpack while going on a long journey is large capacity, light weight material and durability. This model from Patagonia delivers it all in under $150. The material is ripstop polyester reinforced with TPU and DWR finish to make it water resistant. The backpack can survive the toughest of weathers comfortably and additionally offers heavy padding on the back panel and the shoulder straps so that you don’t feel much discomfort even when carrying a fully loaded backpack. The product weighs only 1 lbs while it is spacious enough to carry 25 liters of gear. There is also a dedicated laptop sleeve for holding a laptop of up to 15 inches in size. The laptop sleeve has a separate access from the main compartment of the backpack which makes accessibility even easier. Two stretchable side pockets are also available for holding your water bottles.


Kelty Tioga External Frame PackThis backpack can carry all your essential belongings conveniently with you on your hiking or camping tours. It offers a truly massive capacity of 90 liters which is quiet sufficient to carry belongings for a 2 weeks tour. The frame is highly adjustable and there are multiple compartments and pockets both on the outside and inside to keep your stuff accessible and organized. The shoulder straps are padded for your comfort and there is also a waist belt for additional support when the backpack is loaded. There are compartments for sleeping bag at the bottom and side pockets for holding your water bottles. The material is water resistant and highly durable which can endure all kinds of weather easily without using any rain cover. Even with the massive capacity that the backpack offers, it only weighs 5 pounds and is available in under $170.


Osprey Packs Meridian 60L/22 Wheeled LuggageThe biggest selling points of this backpack are its massive capacity and flexibility that lets you wheel it or carry it around as a backpack. It is actually two bags zipped together for carrying on long journeys. You can wheel them together as one pack or zip them apart and carry the smaller day pack on your shoulders for shorter trips during your journey.  The day pack will contain padded sleeves for carrying your laptop and tablet safely around with you. The main compartment will contain 4 side pockets for keeping everything organized while the internal compression straps will keep your clothes tightly in place. There is also a pocket on the back panel to hold magazines and newspapers in an easily accessible location. The top pocket is perfect for storing liquids and stuff that you’ll need to access often. The backpack offers a total capacity of 60 liters.

Best Heritage Backpacks


Gootium 21101 Specially High Density Thick Canvas Backpack RucksackAvailable in only under $50, this is a thick canvas backpack which is tough and durable making it perfect for outdoor use. Multiple organizational pockets and compartments are available for keeping all your stuff easily accessible and the garment is treated to give it a vintage look. The material is 100% cotton and the fastenings are made out of durable metal. There is also a dedicated laptop compartment big enough to hold a 17 inch laptop easily. Drawstring closure with a flap secured with a magnet snap closes the bag to keep all your things secure. The backpack is lightweight and comfortable to carry making it a great selection for taking to school or on a camping trip.

Reasons for buying a backpack in the first place:

Whether you are a student, mountaineer, adventurer or tourist, backpack is such an important gear for you that you don’t need much reasoning to buy it. You simply cannot dream of beginning a journey without it! Nonetheless, here are some major reasons for investing in a good backpack:

Helps you travel:
a good backpack gives you more mobility and makes you a better traveler. With everything packed safely and comfortably on your back, you won’t have much problem climbing the steepest mountains, catching a bus or simply riding a bike to school or to work.


Most of the good backpacks that you will find today are highly durable. They will last you many years before you have to worry about replacing or repairing it. Backpacks are built for rugged use and will survive the toughest weathers and the harshest terrains without giving you any trouble. The only consideration that is asked of you is that you be careful when making the purchase and select it from reliable manufacturer that also gives a long enough warranty. Don’t go for bargain options at the stake of quality and durability.

Organized storage:

The backpacks are generally designed to hold your stash in a much more organized way as compared to suitcases or bags. In a good backpack you will find dedicated compartments for your laptop, tablet, keys, phones and smaller items like stationery to make accessibility much quicker and easier for you.

Lets you enjoy your travel:

Since a good backpack does not hinder your mobility and lets you access your essentials easily, it makes it easier to enjoy your travel, explore the world and visit more places. All in all, it motivates you to travel more often which is not just an entertainment but also gives you a lot to learn.

Types of backpacks available these days:

You will find a vast variety of backpacks available in the market which you can choose from. The type that will suit you most depends on the nature of your journey and your requirements. Here are some of the major categories of backpacks which you will find:


Daypacks are relatively smaller and cheaper varieties which are suitable for daytime activities like hiking, sightseeing or simply cycling around the town. They will usually have a maximum capacity of 40 kg.


Overnight backpacks will feature a larger capacity of about 40 to 60 liters and will let you carry stuff suitable for longer trips of 2 to 4 days. They will also have a dedicated compartment for a sleeping bag.


These are even larger backpacks designed for carrying stash enough to last you for over a week. Besides the larger carrying capacity of over 75 liters and dedicated compartment for sleeping bag they are also built stronger to survive tougher conditions.


This is also a kind of multi-day pack but features a larger capacity with more compartments which makes it suitable for mountaineering or camping trips in the winter season when you would require additional clothing to carry with you. The capacity that they feature can go as high as 125 liters.

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