How to Choose a Backpack for College

How to Choose a Backpack for College

Wondering how to choose a backpack for college? Size, pockets, comfort, style and value all need to be addressed.

For school, college and Uni students, a backpack is a must have, although not every student will consider this type of carrier for their books etc. the backpack is still King!

There are different colours and styles to choose from even before going into the merits of how a backpack for college can benefit you.

Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Or maybe a calm pastel colour would be better suited. Or maybe you just don’t care what colour it is, you just want a backpack to carry stuff.

The materials range from cotton, nylon, leather, and other sophisticated materials. Again, it’s a personal choice and there are so many to choose from…even a waterproof backpack might be considered for those rainy seasons and wet areas.

You will certainly want to have a comfortable student backpack that can be worn without causing stress to your back, shoulders and waist. Whatever school supplies are being placed inside the bag, you won’t want them poking out into your body, so a sturdy backpack would be ideal.

Having lots of separate compartments is essential as you don’t want to spend half an hour searching for your best pen! One big compartment is asking for trouble!

Also, backpacks where water bottles can be attached to the outside of the bag is a good idea as it keeps your hands free and inside compartments dry.

Your Backpack is a Personal Thing!

The main purpose of a decent student backpack is to ferry around all those books and notebooks needed during the day along with a laptop, as needed. There’s no getting away from it, those items are with you for a long time!

You may want your laptop to be fully protected with a dedicated compartment that is well padded. There are more and more of these backpacks coming into the market each year, but be aware that they’re not all the same sized laptop compartments.

Most cater for 15 inch laptops, so use you due diligence when researching for the right backpack for you.

The special laptop compartments are usually counter balanced inside the backpack so the weight is evenly distributed so as not to cause any unnecessary strain to your shoulders or back.

The Jansport Big Student Backpack, seen here, is ideal for busy students. Lots of compartments and a big  capacity. It’s rather expensive for a student to afford, but it’s gives you an idea of what the perfect student backpack should provide.

Look out for good reviews on this matter…sometimes a loose laptop can not only unbalance you and feel uncomfortable, but may also get damaged.

A student backpack should be made as mobile as possible so wherever you go, you can carry it without any hassle or discomfort.

It’s always best to carry your bag without stress to any part of your body, you should almost ‘not feel’ you’re even wearing it!

It’s also useful to remember that the ‘carry’ handle on top of the backpack is strong. This is quite important because you will be picking your backpack up many times during the day.

Frames, Frame-Less, Outer Frames?

After a little more digging on how to choose a backpack for college, you’ll probably find the best student backpack is the frame-less or light inner framed ones, and are the most common backpacks seen at college.

They’re usually made of synthetic materials and are cheaper than other types of backpacks, such as large trail or hiking backpacks. Frame-less backpacks tend to droop after a while and that can make carrying heavy text books painful.

Structured, or light inner framed, backpacks are manufactured with a certain sturdiness to them, a typical example would be a backpack which has lots of pockets, strong zips, plenty of room and a strong material frame that helps keeps the backpack in shape.

Also consider a waterproof backpack to keep everything dry inside. There may not be so much room in them, but are ideal if you have important text books or a laptop that needs protection from the elements.

What Capacity Size Should I Get?

The light inner framed backpacks will make the backpack balanced, especially when you have heavy things to put inside the bag. All the structure is inside, compared to the big outer frames used in hiking and camping.

These outer framed backpacks are not really necessary for students as they tend to be much bigger and are more used to carrying sleeping bags and camping gear. A good size for a student backpacks would be under a 30 litre capacity.

Backpacks for College or Uni don’t have to be expensive. For instance, The AmazonBasics Backpack above has all your need for a bust student life. Large, but lightweight. Strong, tough and has strong zippers. It can also hold a laptop up to 17″ and has outer mesh holders for drinks.

So, filtering down, we think light internal frames are the way to go for a perfect college backpack. Not only can you use it for school, but for sports too. And why stop there? These kind of backpacks are also great for day hiking, city trips, overnight camping and commuting.

One Strap or Two?

In terms of design, you can choose from one strap or two strap backpacks.

The two strap backpack is more ideal for weight distribution purposes and comfort, being worn and held by onto both shoulders and sometimes supported by a waist strap.

The single strap, worn over the shoulder and around the chest in a diagonal fashion, is more for lighter use.

So it makes sense if you’re going to be lugging around a whole heap of stuff from lecture to lecture to go for the stronger, evenly weighted backpack that has two straps.

Of course, if you just want the very basics to carry around, why not go for a lightweight one-strap backpack? Or even invest in both?

Cost = Quality?

If you want a student backpack that will last for years, you may well have to pay a bigger price for such an useful commodity. Using better materials and utilizing a common sense design will pay for itself over its lifespan.

Some cheap backpacks can be both weak and uncomfortable and may only last a couple of months with the zips being the most problematic, followed by misshaping and colour fade.

You may pay £50+ for a backpack, but it will probably last as much as 4 or 5 times longer than one that costs £20.

It’s all down to personal choice. If you want a backpack that is liable to be kicked around, poked, thrown and generally abused, then you might want to pay the extra.

Choose Wisely

Most students put laptop safety as the most important feature as it must be well protected at all times, even if the backpack is dropped or kicked, so make sure the padding is strong.

Second in importance is comfort, so a well-padded set of shoulder straps is essential. You will be humping around a lot of heavy gear!

And the 3rd most important quality in a student backpack is compartments…6 is usually a good indicator for all the important things that are really important to a student…mobile phones, headphones, food etc!

And Finally, design. The matter of decision will depend on your own idea of design, colour, types of material used, and the compartments inside and out that are useful to yourself…it will be your constant companion for a long time…so make sure you know how to choose a backpack for college or Uni. This little guide will hopefuly have shone a light on an important part of being a student.