What Is the Best Backpack With Compartments? 

 July 13, 2022

By  Diane Wuthrich

Whether you are an entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, parent, or frequent traveler, having the right compartments in your backpack is an important time saver. Being able to find what you need, when you need it is crucial. But how does one identify the best backpack with pockets?

A backpack should have the right compartments that cater to its specific purpose and your lifestyle. These may include a laptop sleeve, shoe pocket, locked zippers, front storage compartment for small belongings, and others. In addition, a backpack should be durable and comfortable.

Learn more about what to look for in the best backpacks with pockets by reading on below.

Best Backpacks With Compartments

When you are shopping around for a backpack with compartments, the most important consideration is its purpose. Sports, travel, toddlers, work…. Specially-designed internal, front, and side pockets in various backpacks are created with these uses in mind.

Having said that, here are some purposes to consider before deciding on a backpack with compartments:

Entrepreneur / Work

Professionals should look for a backpack with a dedicated laptop sleeve that can fit the size of their laptop or tablet. A padded laptop sleeve or compartment is best because it protects your computer from falls or other belongings in the backpack which may scratch it. A sleeve to keep documents and notebooks would be helpful too.

A hidden or theft-proof pocket will also come in handy for keeping USB drives with sensitive information, your keys, and other valuable belongings.   

Our Recommendation

Pacsafe Vibe 25L Travel Anti-Theft Backpack: This elegant backpack is a wonderful model for busy professionals who commute to and from work daily. It comes with a padded sleeve for 13-inch computers, an RFID safe pocket, and two lockable zipper compartments.

Pacsafe Vibe 25 Liter Travel Anti Theft Pack

Inside, there are two zippered pockets for more organization. Each side has a water bottle pocket which you can also use to stash umbrellas, and a hydropack system. All of that in a well-designed backpack made by one of the best names in anti-theft luggage.


A backpack for active and sporty individuals should consider specific types of pockets depending on the kind of activities you’ll be doing. These include:

  • Wet/dry clothing segregation
  • Shoe compartment
  • Water bottle pockets on the side
  • Yoga mat compartment
  • Smaller pockets for your mobile phone, wallet, and keys

Our Recommendation

Under Armour Gameday Backpack: Busy and active lifestyles need a reliable backpack, such as the Under Armour Gameday Backpack. It’s equipped with 2 tricot-lined pockets to safely keep your belongings, and welded Hypalon modern mole webbing which you can attach other items to.

Under Armour Gameday Backpack

It also has ample space for other gear, including a soft-lined sleeve for 15-inch laptops. The abrasion-resistant bottom panel gives peace of mind that your belongings are safe even when you drop the backpack down in rough floors, such as the gym.

Diaper Bag for Parents

Caring for a baby or toddler means that you’re going to have a lot of gear including diapers, toys, snacks, milk, a change of clothes, wet wipes, first aid kit, poop bags, and much more. Parents should always use a diaper or toddler backpack that is designed to help you stay organized.

The pockets a diaper bag should include:

  • Diaper pockets
  • Insulated compartment for water, snacks, and milk
  • Pocket for a removable baby changing pad
  • Laptop compartment for your gadget
  • Smaller pockets for wet wipes, first aid kit, and your necessities

Our Recommendation

Fancyout Diaper Bag: This thoughtfully-designed unisex diaper bag is stylish and has all the right compartments. Insulated pockets enable you to store milk bottles and snacks, while a wet pocket is where you can stash wet diapers and clothes.

Fancyout Diaper Bag Backpack

A nappy changing pad is already built-in, another aspect that you no longer have to think about. With 25 liters of capacity, it has more than enough space; its side pockets are ideal for holding baby wipes while the other can hold water bottles. Parents also have compartments in here too: a smaller pocket is where you can keep your essentials such as your mobile phone and wallet.


The best travel backpacks have compartments that cater to the needs of jet setters. Staying organized while on the go is crucial because you don’t want to waste time shuffling through the contents of your bag looking for your passport, boarding passes, headphones, or ID to name a few.

There are many different kinds of travel backpacks out there, and you should choose one with compartments to suit the type of trips you’re going on. A good overall travel backpack should have:

  • Spacious main compartment
  • Front pocket for your travel documents and other essentials
  • Internal media pocket for gadgets and headphones
  • Padded laptop sleeve

Our Recommendation

Tumi Voyager Just In Case Backpack: This beautiful and elegant travel backpack is made with impeccable construction and quality. The Tumi Voyager Just In Case Backpack is sleek and stylish, and its roomy soft-lined interior is ideal for holding all of your belongings as you explore new cities.

TUMI Voyageur Just In Case Backpack

The spacious main compartment is of the perfect size to hold your passport and wallet too. The top grab handle is a nice touch, allowing you to change how you hold the bag for comfort.


Going out hiking, whether for days or weeks, requires that you have everything you need to survive in the outdoors conveniently stored in your backpack. Hiking backpacks come in an array of compartment choices to ensure you can access your essentials on the trail.

These are the types of compartments to consider in a hiking backpack:

  • Spacious main compartment for your clothes, trekking gear, and food
  • Sleeping bag pockets, designed to protect your sleeping bag
  • Elastic or mesh side pockets for keeping water bottles or extra footwear
  • Front zippered pockets for keeping travel documents, maps, GPS, and other smaller belongings that you will need easy access to
  • Rain cover pocket, usually removable and kept in the bottom of the pack

It’s also worth noting that some hiking backpacks with several outer compartments are ideal for long hiking journeys. These will enable you to quickly access belongings during a sudden change in weather, such as a downpour.

Furthermore, it will also help you compartmentalize the things you will be needing at night (sleeping system and tent), things you will need during the day (snacks and cookware), and things you may need access to several times during the trail (map, GPS, rain gear, and toilet paper).

Our Recommendation

Columbia Unisex Maxtrail 16L Backpack: Hikers can neatly organize all belongings for your next adventure with the Columbia Unisex Maxtrail 16L. Featuring an ultra-spacious main compartment, it also has an interior accessory pocket for smaller belongings.

Columbia Unisex Maxtrail 16L Backpack

In addition, this sturdy hiking backpack has external stretch pockets, stretch side and front pockets, trekking pole attachment points, and customizable twin slot webbing.


The best backpacks for school come with several compartments of varying sizes, dividers, and pockets. These will vary depending on the grade of the student, though generally speaking, school backpacks should have compartments for:

  • Laptop or tablet
  • Textbooks
  • Notebooks
  • Water bottle
  • A small front pocket for your essentials such as calculators, wallet, mobile phone, and keys

Our Recommendation

JanSport City View Backpack: This backpack is a timeless classic from one of the most famous names on campus. The JanSport City View Backpack is simple, and versatile enough for students of any age. A spacious interior compartment can hold several textbooks and notebooks, while two front pockets are ideal for storing your pens, calculators, and other smaller belongings.

JanSport City View Backpack

Straight-cut and padded shoulder straps also help ensure that the pack is comfortable to carry from class to class.

Additional Features To Look For

When shopping around for the best backpack with compartments, there are other features you may want to consider:

Extra Protection in Compartments

Backpacks whose compartments have extra protection will ensure that the belongings you put in them are safe.

For example, insulated pockets for diaper bags help maintain the temperature inside so that milk bottles and snacks stay warm. Padded laptop and tablet compartments ensure that electronics are safe from jostling around. Theft-proof pockets give you peace of mind that sensitive media are kept safe. 


All the compartments can hold your gear and keep them organized, though it wouldn’t mean anything if the backpack is constructed poorly.

The last thing anyone wants is for a backpack to break down while in use, with all the things you have neatly stowed away in compartments falling or spilling out. It’s worth investing in a backpack that is renowned for durability and comes with a warranty.

Look for backpacks that are made with strong nylon or polyester, as well as YKK zippers which are famous for lasting many years. Other durable materials include cotton canvas, rip-stop nylon, and cordura. Leather is long-lasting, but tends to be on the pricier side of the spectrum.

Check the shoulder straps too; this feature tends to tear easily especially after prolonged use. Double stitched shoulder straps are recommended. Last but not least, look for a bag that is designed to withstand the weight you intend to carry.


Last but not least, a backpack should be comfortable. Look for a backpack with padded shoulder straps, breathable back panel, and a hip belt for traveling and hiking – all of which help to evenly distribute weight across the body. 


The most important consideration before you buy a backpack with compartments is its use. Once you’ve narrowed down the purpose you’re buying it for, you can easily find many high-quality models to accommodate your lifestyle.

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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