The Best Backpacks for High School: Top Picks for 2023 

 June 10, 2023

By  Diane Wuthrich

Fail the school year? Never! When it comes to succeeding in high school (or just looking stylish in the hallways!), the right backpack is essential. And with the market for backpacks constantly growing, it can be hard to know what’s on-trend and what will last all year.

The best backpacks for high school students should have sufficient capacity, comfortable straps, and a waterproof exterior. It should also have features that suit your individual style and preferences.

But fear not! We’ve scoured the shelves and rounded up the best backpacks for high schoolers in 2023. Read on to discover the selection of stylish and durable backpacks that have something for every type of student.

Finding the Right Backpack Size for High School Students

Finding the right size backpack for high school students can be a tricky task. On the one hand, larger backpacks offer more storage space so kids can easily carry all their textbooks and class materials, but on the other hand, heavier backpacks can contribute to poor posture and strain the young bodies. Therefore, it's important to find a balance between capacity and weight so that high school students feel comfortable carrying their gear.

Start by looking for something lightweight and durable. Many popular brands offer a variety of sizes, ranging from small enough to carry just a few items to large enough to fit all your essentials. For example, one of our best backpacks is the Kanken Classic Backpack, which offers 16 liters of volume in a sleek, lightweight design.

Remember that less is more when it comes to packing for school — limit yourself to one or two essentials such as pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. and add more items only if needed. Too much luggage can lead to discomfort and possibly long-term joint damage if you overload your child's natural growth curve.

Choosing the proper size will help ensure that students get the most out of their backpack without sacrificing comfort or good posture. Later in this guide, we'll discuss other features such as adjustable straps and capacity that should be considered when choosing the perfect backpack for high school students.

Adjustable Straps & Capacity

Once you've found some backpacks that are the right size for your body frame and school requirements, it's time to look for adjustable straps and capacity. Adjustable straps are essential in finding the right fit for bodies of all shapes and sizes. Rigid straps cannot adjust to the shape of the body, but adjustable straps can help achieve a tighter fit. Look for straps that are about 2 inches wide for comfort and support. Make sure there is adjustability on both sides so that it fits your body perfectly without being too tight or uncomfortable.

In terms of capacity, you want a backpack that not only has enough space for all your belongings but also has room for the things you want to take with you on any given day. Be sure to look for bags with flexible pockets, extra compartments, and other features like clips and organizers that can add extra space when needed. It is also a wise decision to opt for water-repellent materials to protect your belongings in case you get caught in the rain between classes.

After you have found the right backpack size and made sure that the adjustable straps and capacity suit your lifestyle, it's time to consider  key factors: comfort & design. You wear your backpack practically all day, so it is important that it fits well and looks good!

When choosing a backpack, size, adjustable straps and capacity are important factors. Look for wide straps that can be adjusted on both sides to ensure a comfortable, snug fit. Opt for backpacks with flexible pockets, extra compartments, and other features such as clips and organizers for additional capacity. Water-resistant materials will protect your belongings from rain. Finally, choose a backpack that is comfortable and looks great since you'll be wearing it all day.

Comfort & Design

When it comes to comfort and design, there is an endless selection of backpacks for high school that can meet any need. Comfort is the name of the game because you want something that will not feel like a burden when you carry it around all day. Backpacks should be designed with ergonomics in mind, such as straps that distribute weight evenly or adjustable/padded shoulder straps. Breathable material is also important so that your back does not sweat when you carry the backpack all day.

There are many different backpack designs depending on personal preference and style. From simple and classic designs to more elaborate versions with fun patterns, students can find a backpack that fits their own personality and fashion sense. In general, wheeled backpacks are preferred to traditional backpacks as they offer more space and are very easy to carry.

Comfort and design are two elements that should be considered when choosing the best backpack. It is important to find a backpack that fits comfortably against your body and has features that make it easy to carry without straining yourself. Design should also be considered as you will need to wear this backpack all year round and you don't want it to look outdated or unfashionable at the end of the year. Now that we’ve discussed adjustable straps and capacity, as well as comfort and design when choosing the perfect high school backpack, let’s consider what other important features students should look for before making a final decision.

  • According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics in 2018, there were around 56.6 million students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools. The increasing number of students is expected to result in a higher demand for school supplies, including school bags.
  • North America leads the backpacks market with a 35% share in 2021, driven by key players like The North Face and increasing demand for travel, work, and school backpacks. Growing school infrastructure in the US and Canada contributes to the rising consumption of school backpacks, fueling industry growth in the region.

Features to Look for in a High School Backpack

As important as comfort and design are when choosing the right backpack for a high school student, so are the features of the backpack. The most important features to look for in a backpack include the number of compartments and pockets, the type of materials used, safety features, ventilation (for backpacks with straps), and protective measures such as water resistance or a special coating that prevents spills from leaving stains.

Having multiple compartments and pockets is essential to staying organized in high school. Many students prefer to divide their supplies into different sections: pens and pencils in one pocket, notebooks in another, water bottles on one side, etc. This makes it easier to access items without having to rummage around in the different sections — especially if those compartments have zippers or closures. It also helps that most reputable suppliers offer detailed diagrams of all the pockets and compartments in their backpacks.

The type of material a backpack is made of is also worth considering. High-quality backpacks are made of durable fabrics typically used for outdoor gear, such as ripstop nylon or polyester canvas, combined with well-made zippers. Such fabric combinations create a reliable shell that enhances the overall look and ensures that your teen’s belongings remain safe during unforgiving activities like sports or hikes. You may want to look for additional protective features, such as water-resistant coatings or extra padding for laptops or textbooks.

While there is no perfect backpack for everyone, young adults can find a suitable backpack by paying attention to the features mentioned above. If you carefully consider the size of the compartments, the quality of the fabric, and the details of the design, you can find a backpack that suits your physical needs and allows you to express your own fashion style. Nowadays, students have a wide range of backpacks to choose from depending on their preferences And once you have ticked the bag off your wish list, it's time to take a closer look at what else you need, such as multiple pockets and compartments, to keep your backpack tidy and organized on a daily basis.

Multiple Pockets & Compartments

When looking for a high school backpack, one of the most important features to consider is a variety of pockets and compartments. Plenty of storage options can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your backpack organized and functional.

Multiple pockets and compartments make it easy to divide items into separate sections so that common items don’t get mixed up or lost in a single large pocket. For smaller items, having designated areas to spread your stuff out can be invaluable — so you can quickly find the things you need without having to search through the contents of your bag.

On the other hand, some people prefer backpacks with fewer pockets because they feel that this avoids unnecessary bulk and offers a simpler look. For example, if they only want to take textbooks with them, they may feel “over-prepared” if there are several compartments specifically for books and notebooks. It comes down to personal preference in the end; what works best for one person may not work for another.

In any case, having multiple pockets and compartments is an absolute must if you want to organize your belongings and not waste valuable time rummaging through your backpack. From zippers to mesh pouches and drawstrings, each type of storage compartment can accommodate different types of items, making it easier than ever to stay organized on the go.

Regardless of the type of backpack with compartments you choose, it is important to pay attention to the various compartments a backpack has — or that it has any at all — before buying. Fortunately, many modern backpacks are equipped with numerous pockets and compartments ready for everything you need. This way, you can neatly store everything from pens and paper to headphones, phones, and laptops.

Now that we've explored how multiple pockets and compartments can help students organize their belongings more efficiently when choosing a high school backpack, let’s take a look at how these bags offer an unprecedented level of protection, convenience, and portability when it comes to storing laptops and tablets on the go.

Laptop and Tablet Portability

When it comes to transporting laptops and tablets from one place to another, a backpack that is so convenient and easy to use is essential for modern high school students. On the one hand, there are many reasons why backpacks should have an external pocket that is not only designed for these devices, but also allows quick and easy access to them. This is especially important if the student needs to quickly take out their laptop or tablet when going through security at airports, train stations, and the like.

On the other hand, there are many advantages to having a laptop or tablet fit comfortably in the main compartment of the backpack instead of having a separate pocket. Not only does this free up space that would otherwise be taken up by an awkward pocket, which might only be used very rarely, but laptops and tablets are also well protected as they are not exposed to external influences such as heavy-duty zippers and tight-fitting materials.

Although both sides offer compelling advantages to their respective methods of transferring laptops and tablets, safety must always come first for high school students. Considering all factors, such as travel distance, activity level, potential exposure to inclement weather, and how often the backpack will be used, can help determine the best solution for each student's needs. With these considerations in mind, students can set out to find the best backpacks for their personal needs without compromising on form and function.

Whichever way they choose to go — a roomy backpack with multiple pockets and compartments or one with a single main compartment — it's always worth considering all the elements to determine which design feature will work best for them. Just as important as finding a suitable bag for one’s needs is considering what type of bag will provide lasting protection for school beginners throughout their academic careers. Now that you know that portability between different devices plays an important role in choosing the perfect backpack for your high school student, let us turn to the question of what exactly makes the best backpack for a prospective student.

The Best Backpack for High School Students

Finding the best backpack for high school students is a daunting task. There are many different variables you need to consider, such as the ability to carry laptops and tablets, durable materials, and convenience. Fortunately, modern backpacks are becoming more versatile and efficient, allowing students to move seamlessly between classes and activities while carrying everything they need.

When it comes to laptop and tablet portability, there are pros and cons to consider. On the one hand, having a backpack with dedicated pockets for devices makes it much easier to quickly pull out what you need and still have one hand free. On the other hand, if the backpack has too many dedicated compartments, it can be difficult to fit all your needed items in one bag. The best backpacks for high school students usually have adjustable straps to ensure that your belongings stay well in place without sacrificing overall size or carrying comfort.

In addition, modern backpacks have extra features such as waterproof zippers and padded cushioning for added protection from wear and tear during daily commutes or outdoor adventures. By combining these features with laptop/tablet-friendly pockets, high school students can keep their larger electronic devices safe and still have enough space for smaller items they need throughout the day.

Overall, when it comes to finding the best backpack for high school students, versatility is key. It's important to find a bag that offers both enough space and structure to keep all your items safe, no matter what life throws at you next. With this in mind, let’s now set out to find a bag that is as comfortable as it is sturdy. In the next section, we’ll look at the importance of durable materials and comfort.

Durable Materials & Comfort

When it comes to backpacks, durability and comfort are key. High school students carry heavy textbooks, laptops, notebooks, and snacks on a daily basis, so they need something that can withstand the weight and constant use throughout the year. Students also need a backpack that is comfortable to wear for long periods of time as they will likely be carrying it for several hours at a time.

As an expert on backpacks, I recommend that high school students pay careful attention to the material when choosing a backpack. Durable and water-resistant fabrics such as canvas and ballistic nylon are excellent choices for everyday use. Polyester and cotton blend backpacks, while comfortable and lightweight, are not as durable as they can fray and tear. Look for backpacks with padded straps for extra comfort when carrying heavy items such as books and laptops.

The size of the backpack should also be taken into account when considering which backpack is the best for high schoolers. A backpack that is too small won't have enough room for all the necessary items, while a large backpack will weigh too much. For most students, medium-sized backpacks are best. They provide ample space and are still light enough to be carried comfortably throughout the day.

Overall, when searching for the best backpacks for high school students, you should focus on durability and comfort. By carefully considering materials, sizes, and additional features such as padded shoulder straps, every student can find the perfect backpack to accompany them during the school day.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What features should I look for in a backpack for high school?

When selecting a backpack for high school, it's crucial to keep in mind a few key factors. Comfort and security should be a priority, so look for a backpack with adjustable straps and even weight distribution for a comfortable carrying experience. Additionally, ample storage compartments will help you keep your belongings organized throughout the day.

Durability is also essential, ensuring that the backpack maintains its shape and color despite regular use. Consider opting for a water-resistant backpack to protect your items during rainy weather. Ultimately, choose a design that aligns with your lifestyle and provides the necessary features to meet your school needs.

What are the best brands for backpacks for high school?

Popular brands for high school backpacks include North Face, JanSport, Patagonia, Vera Bradley, Columbia, and Herschel. These brands are known for their high-quality construction, innovative features, and stylish designs. North Face and Columbia specialize in outdoor-friendly backpacks, JanSport offers a variety of colorful prints, and Patagonia has versatile designs with interchangeable straps.

Vera Bradley offers beautiful patterns and vibrant colors, while Herschel focuses on commuter-friendly designs with lots of pockets. These brands cater to different preferences and needs, offering a wide range of options for high school students.

Are there any features I should avoid in a high school backpack?

When choosing a backpack for high school, it's important to be cautious of certain features. Backpacks with numerous pockets and zippers may seem appealing, but they are more prone to wear-and-tear due to the increased stress on zippers and seams. Similarly, intricate designs may look visually pleasing, but they can accumulate dirt more easily due to their complex textures. To ensure durability and ease of maintenance, opt for a backpack with a simpler design and sturdy construction.

When it comes down to it, selecting a high school backpack, simplicity should take precedence over unnecessary embellishments. Opt for a sturdy backpack with a single main compartment and minimal pockets as it is likely to have a longer lifespan than a backpack with multiple compartments and intricate designs.

About the author

Diane is our head writer and researcher for our backpack informational content. Her everyday carry is a Herschel.

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