Best Backpack: Top 5 Picks Review & Comparison

a boy using a backpack and is holding a skateboard on his hands

With so many options on the market where backpacks are concerned, it can be difficult to weed through them all. While it’s possible to go to the corner store and pick up the cheapest bag you can find, why do that when there’s so much affordable quality out there? Whether you’re a student or simply looking for a more efficient way to carry things around, we can help you pick out the best backpack in 2018.

Comparison Chart

Product

USB Port

Laptop Compartment

Water Resistant

Price

ZUMIT Laptop Backpack

No

Yes, 15 inches

Yes

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Under Armour Hustle 3.0

product photo of Under Armour Hustle 3.0 backpack

No

Yes, 13 inches

Yes

No products found.

JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack

product photo of JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack

No

Yes, 15 inches

Yes

No products found.

Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack

product photo of Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack

Yes

Yes, 15 inches

Yes

No products found.

SOCKO Convertible College Backpack

No

Yes, 17 inches

Yes

No products found.

Product FAQ

a student sitting on the floor and is about to take out something from his backpack

What are some features I should be looking for in backpacks?

What size laptops will these bags carry?

How We Reviewed

a woman carrying a backpack on her back

We have an eye on quality. We really wanted to make sure that we could offer great backpacks at great prices. Some of these hover around the $$ mark, and others are slightly more expensive. However, all will perform well at what they were made for. It’s important for you to understand your own needs where owning a backpack is concerned.

Price Range of the Product

In terms of backpacks in general, they can range from $ or less all the way up to $$$ of dollars, depending on brand and materials used. For this article, all of the bags are under $, as this is probably the most common price point for somebody who wants to buy a nice bag that will last a while but isn’t looking for a designer product.

The Best Backpacks of 2018

ZUMIT Laptop Backpack

product photo of ZUMIT Laptop Backpack

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This is a backpack that is perfect for the minimalist who doesn’t want to carry around the kitchen sink. (Or the type of person who will carry around the kitchen sink if the bag is too big.) If you don’t have a ton of stuff to carry around but you want to carry your laptop in comfort, the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack is a great choice.


Key Features

The key feature to the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack is its slim appearance. Carrying around the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack means that you will travel lightly and effortlessly. We also like the look of the bag: all straight lines. The ZUMIT Laptop Backpack is more of an “executive” feel rather than a “college student” feel, and those who need a more professional look are sure to love it.

Pros

  • One of the major pros to the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack is definitely the price. For such an attractive backpack we wouldn’t have been surprised if the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack retailed for twice the price that it does. It’s attractive, and it’s water resistant.

Cons

  • Of course, the main negative to the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack is that all that minimalism means that you won’t be able to carry a lot of stuff, even if you would like to. Plus, we rather think that the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack ought to come with a USB charger. It looks like it could use one.

Pricing

The ZUMIT Laptop Backpack is $ on Amazon.


Where to Buy

You can get the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack or purchase it directly from ZUMIT.

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Under Armour ​​​​Hustle 3.0

product photo of Under Armour Hustle 3.0

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This is a great backpack if you happen to be an athlete or attend the gym a lot. It has a very rugged nylon construction that will handle basically everything that you throw at it. Additionally, you’ll be able to clean the Under Armour Hustle 3.0 very easily, so you won’t have to worry about too much of a “gym bag” smell if you do use it to haul your socks back from the gym.


Key Features

The extra pockets on the Under Armour Hustle 3.0 are very well thought out. There’s one at the top of the bag, which is perfect for keys or a wallet. There is another zippered pocket at the base of the bag, which is great for gym shoes and socks. There is also a laptop sleeve, but keep in mind that it’s only going to fit laptops up to 13 inches.

Pros

  • The biggest pro to the Under Armour Hustle 3.0 is definitely the construction and durability of this bag. Under Armour is a famous brand for a reason, and it’s because the products the company churns out are consistently of good quality. The Under Armour Hustle 3.0 backpack is no exception. The cleverly located pockets and incredibly durable synthetic material make this bag a winner on many levels.

Cons

  • The biggest con is the fact that the laptop sleeve only works with devices up to 13 inches. This seems to be a bit strange, given that it’s advertised as fitting laptops up to 15 inches, but reviewers report that this is not the case.

Pricing

The Under Armour Hustle 3.0 starts at $ on Amazon.


Where to Buy

The Under Armour Hustle 3.0 is available on Amazon and can also be found at major sports outlets across the country.

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JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack

product photo of JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack

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This is one of the most classic backpacks in the game from one of the most classic backpack manufacturers. JanSport is well loved for a reason, and that’s because it produces some of the hardest wearing backpacks in the industry. A JanSport backpack will likely last you years if taken care of correctly, and the JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack is no exception.


Key Features

The JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack has the traditional JanSport look with the suede bottom. It also has a sleeve that will fit up to a 15-inch laptop. The interior is very large and only one pocket, which may be a pro to some and a con to others. There is another large pocket on the front of the bag which is good for wallets and other smaller items.

Pros

  • Many people love the JanSport look and the JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack definitely has it. Many people also love that JanSport doesn’t have a bunch of extraneous “organizational” compartments and instead focuses on providing lots of space. Whether this is a pro to you is open to interpretation.

Cons

  • There are tons of different colors to choose from, and it will fit most laptops.The main negative is that there is no side water bottle pocket, which is a bit of an oddity considering how well used those side pockets seem to be. There is also no USB charging option.

Pricing

The JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack retails for $ on Amazon.


Where to Buy

The JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack is available on Amazon and can also be found at many big box retail stores.

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Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack

product photo of Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack

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This is a great backpack for those who want a sleek look and also want the added benefit of a built-in USB charging cable. This is also great for those who are concerned about their belongings becoming water damaged, as the material is fully waterproof. (Great for those who live in rainy climates!)


Key Features

In addition to the wonderful appearance and the fact that this has a USB charging cable in it, the Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack also is very handily divided. There are specific areas for your keys, phone, water bottle, and more. If you are the kind of person who likes to have all of your possessions well organized, the Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack is a great choice.

Pros

  • We love the included USB charging cable. Being able to charge your phone through your backpack rather than being chained to a wall is so very convenient; we think that these should come standard on basically all backpacks these days, considering how many different gadgets all of us have. The price is also very impressive considering how much you get out of this backpack.

Cons

  • The only main negative actually has to do with comparing the current model of the Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack to the past one. This one does not have a lock. However, none of the other backpacks on this list have a lock, either, so this isn’t a true negative of the bag. If you like to carry a lot of stuff with you, though, the Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack might not be the best choice. It’s not as minimalist as the ZUMIT Laptop Backpack, but it is pretty close.

Pricing

The Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack is available on Amazon for $.


Where to Buy

The Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack is available on Amazon and does have Prime.

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SOCKO Convertible College Backpack

SOCKO Convertible College Backpack

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If you can’t decide between a messenger bag and a laptop, the SOCKO Convertible College Backpack has the answer for you. It can be easily carried both ways and looks great doing it.


Key Features

Easily the key feature to the SOCKO Convertible College Backpack is the fact that it’s convertible. Some people really love carrying messenger bags generally, but may need the functionality of a backpack when they have to carry heavy loads. This is where the SOCKO Convertible College Backpack comes into play.

Pros

  • The pros are that the SOCKO Convertible College Backpack is affordable and pretty slick-looking. It holds a lot and will keep your belongings safe with its water-resistant exterior. Plus, it will hold up to a 17-inch laptop, which is above standard.

Cons

  • The major con is… if you don’t really need the convertible function, you’re paying for something that you won’t lose. We really recommend the SOCKO Convertible College Backpack to somebody who prefers messenger bags but doesn’t want to totally discount the easy carry of the backpack for special occasions.

Pricing

The SOCKO Convertible College Backpack is $ on Amazon.


Where to Buy

The SOCKO Convertible College Backpack can be bought on Amazon.

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Our Verdict on the Best Backpack of 2018

a person wearing a backpack as he is about to travel by train

We’ll be honest: if we had to pick one, we’d go with the Under Armour Hustle 3.0, with the exception of the small laptop sleeve. The small laptop sleeve does set it back considerably, however, which is a bit of a shame. However, if you don’t need to cart a bigger laptop around, then the Under Armour Hustle 3.0 provides a lot of versatility for the money. We also like how it has the convenient separate pockets, which make it easy to cloister smelly clothing together.

Again, if you don’t plan on carrying around large laptops, this is our choice. If you are planning on carrying around a larger laptop, then we’d go with the JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack. We love the JanSport name and quality, and we also love how the pockets are not divided. Obviously, this is totally a matter of preference. If you do like to have divided pockets so that you can be super organized, then we’d recommend the Matein Anti-Theft, Water-Resistant College Backpack over the JanSport Right Pack Laptop Backpack.

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