What Is the Best Backpack With Lots of Pockets? 

 July 13, 2022

By  Diane Wuthrich

Backpacks with lots of pockets and compartments help you stay organized while saving you time as you look for belongings. Having said that, many wonder what are the best backpacks with many pockets.

A good backpack should have pockets for belongings that you need it for. Whether it’s a laptop, water bottle, keys, mobile phone, or cables, pockets should make your gear simple to locate. The backpack should also be comfortable and have adequate space for its purpose.

There are other things to consider when shopping around for the best backpacks with compartments. Read on below to learn more.

How To Choose a Backpack With Lots of Pockets

Backpacks that are equipped with the right pockets for your needs help you stay organized while enabling you to conveniently and efficiently locate your belongings when you need them.

Before you choose a backpack based on its pockets, it’s important to consider the reason you are buying it. Do you need a hiking backpack that has ample compartments for camping and trekking, or do you need a work backpack that keeps your daily essentials safe while you’re on the go?

Here are some examples of when you may need backpacks with pockets:

Hiking Backpacks

Hiking and travel backpacks come in an array of designs and sizes, all with various pockets located in and out of the bag. These ensure that hikers can easily access crucial belongings even while they’re out on the trail. Examples of pockets that are used on hiking backpacks include:

  • Side pockets, usually elasticized, are ideal for storing water bottles that you can easily access for hydrating. Side pockets can also be used to store sandals that you can change to from your hiking boots upon reaching camp, if you are hiking in warm weather.
  • Hip belt pockets are close to the body; these are designed for storing small essentials that you can reach for without having to stop. These may include lip balm, snacks, GPS, or your mobile phone.
  • Front pockets are great for keeping a spare jacket or maps. Some backpacks come with front pockets that have even smaller pockets inside them.
  • Lid pockets are typically small and designed for keeping flat items like gloves for cold temperatures, a toque, or other travel and hiking essentials.
  • Sleeping bag compartments are usually placed at the bottom of the pack, and designed just to keep a sleeping bag.
  • Rain cover pockets in the bottom panel are typically concealed and made for storing a backpack rain cover.

Laptop or Work Backpacks

Backpacks designed for the workplace or laptops have their own unique compartments. These pockets are designed to keep your gadgets safe while some also have extra features such as document compartments. Laptop compartments may or may not be padded, though if you will be commuting often with it, padded laptop compartments are recommended for extra protection.

Additionally, some laptop bags have hidden compartments, which protect you from attempted theft. These are the most essential pockets to look for in a laptop or work backpack.

School Backpacks

School backpacks should have adequate compartments to help students stay organized. Depending on the design, the best backpacks for students have pockets for:

  • Water bottles
  • Laptop/tablet
  • Smaller pocket for your mobile phone, keys, calculator, pens, chargers
  • Notebooks
  • Snacks

Gym Backpacks

Active individuals have specific needs when it comes to pockets in gym backpacks. You may want to consider those that have these specialized pockets:

  • Separating dry and wet clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Shoes
  • Storage for wallet, keys, and mobile phone
  • Front-loading pocket for essentials you need easy access to

Additional Features To Look For

Here are additional features you may want to consider when looking around for the best backpack with pockets:


A backpack with lots of pockets should always be comfortable to wear. Check for wide, padded straps that are comfortable even if you fill up the bag to its full capacity. Backpacks with narrow straps aren’t recommended since these can burrow into the shoulder and cause discomfort.


Even though your backpack has multiple pockets, the main storage compartment should also have ample space for the majority of your belongings. The right capacity will vary depending on its purpose; hiking backpacks range from 30L to 70L, while laptop and work bags don’t typically exceed 35L. Meanwhile, gym bags can range from 15 to 30L.

Our Recommendations

To make your shopping easier, here are some recommendations for backpacks with lots of pockets:


-   Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpack: Certainly among the best-equipped unisex hiking backpacks out there, the Teton Sports Oasis includes an 18-liter hydration pack plus multiple pockets that extreme outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate. These include stretch side pockets for water bottles or slippers, a sewn-in rain cover, smaller front compartment, and more pockets inside the pack.

This hiking backpack is versatile and can be used for a wide array of sports. Whether you are cycling, traveling, trekking, or going on day hikes, you will easily be able to find what you need, when you need it with this backpack.


-   Vera Bradley Lay Flat Travel Backpack: Featuring a simple but elegant silhouette, the Vera Bradley Lay Flat Travel Backpack can be taken wherever you’re going. There are three pockets in its exterior, including a side mesh pocket that can be used for hydration or other travel essentials.

Inside the main compartment, the backpack has two more slip pockets and a mesh zip compartment. Take your laptop with you safely thanks to the laptop compartment, plus zip closures.


-   Daffer Neoprene Backpack: High-tech 100% neoprene fabric isn’t the only thing to love about this backpack. This Daffer pack has just the right number of pockets to help students stay organized in school. The external pocket can fit pens, a calculator, and mobile phone.

Inside, it has three zippered pockets for documents and other valuables. Two side exterior pockets come in handy for water bottles or other school necessities.


-   Samsonite Mobile Solution Classic Backpack: The Samsonite Mobile Solution Classic is made for discerning professionals. The interior padded panel is designed for most laptops, and it can also fit 9.7” tablets. Two slip pockets on the exterior front compartment, as well as a pen sleeve, helps makes organizing your work essentials neatly.

In addition, the backpack is equipped with a side snap pocket that’s ideal for a water bottle or other smaller goods.


-   Adidas Climacool Speed Backpack: Simple but highly functional, the Adidas Climacool Speed Backpack has 2 side pockets and an ergonomic design to support active lifestyles. It has a spacious main compartment for your sports equipment, while a padded laptop sleeve keeps your gadgets safe.

This backpack also comes with two side pockets, where you can neatly stash a water bottle and other sports gear.


Finding the right backpack with pockets is best done by first identifying what purpose you’ll be using it for. There are many high-quality backpacks with compartments out there, so you’re sure to find one that can fit your needs.

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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