The Best Backpacks for University Students 2017

Getting the best backpack for university can be challenging as there are a lot of things to consider from how comfortable it is, to how much you can fit in the bag and how stylish it is. In this guide we will shown you how to find the best backpack for university and show you some really good backpacks that you can buy for university today!

Why is it important which backpack I buy for university?

While you are at university, you will have a lot of stuff to carry around with you, this can include a laptop and heavy (and expensive) textbooks that should be well protected. It is also important that any backpack that you buy for university is comfortable, even when you are carrying a lot of weight.

At Backpack Reviewer, we have researched the best backpacks for university students so that you can easily find the best backpack to suit your needs as a university student.

What backpack features have we looked at?


Comfort is the most important thing when looking at a backpack, as after all, you only have one back! If you have to carry your backpack around university all day, having a backpack that is comfortable regardless of what you are carrying will make your life much easier and will stop you from aching as much when you get home from university.


When you are looking at a backpack for university, then space is extremely important. Generally, a backpack for university should have at least a volume of 10L, though you probably won’t want to go any higher than 30L as that will make it awkward to carry around in small spaces such as corridors. It is also important to have multiple compartments to keep your stuff well organised.


Style may or may not be one of your top considerations, but it is still important to have a backpack that you like the look of. All of the backpacks we have reviewed are stylish, though some are more stylish than others!


There are many things to consider about the functionality of a backpack such as:

  • Does it have a laptop sleeve and would you be happy to put your brand new laptop in it?
  • Are there enough compartments?
  • Is it water resistant?

Will it last?

Life at university can be hard on backpacks as they tend to get a lot of use and are more likely to be used to carry of a lot of weight, that is why we have only reviewed the most sturdy backpacks for university.

The Backpacks

The Herschel Supply Company Retreat Backpack

These backpacks are extremely popular at the moment over in the states and are also becoming popular too here at universities in the UK. This is a very high quality backpack that is also comfortable and stylish, and as such it is one of our most recommended backpacks.

On this bag, Herschel decided to go with straps instead of zips which looks very stylish and it also means that you don’t have to worry about the zip getting stuck! The flap that is on the top of the bag is also secured using to magnet to protect your possessions from the rain.

The Herschel Supply Company Retreat Backpack also has a laptop sleeve to keep your laptop safe in the bag from being scratched or damaged by other items in the bag. The size of the bag is 19″X12″X6″ which isn’t huge but should be enough for most people.


  • Very comfortable
  • Stylish
  • Very well built, this backpack should last you for years


  • Laptop sleeve could do with a little more padding
  • If you carry a lot of stuff with you then you might want a bigger backpack.

EcoCity Vintage Canvas Backpack

This is a fantastic backpack for university students who are eco-conscious. It looks stylish, is very comfortable and isn’t too expensive either! The EcoCity Vintage Canvas Backpack is available in several different colours, and all of them look really nice; coffee, army green, khaki, grey and black. This backpack is made from cotton canvas so that it is more eco-friendly than if it used synthetic materials like are often used in other backpacks.

Similarly to the Herschel backpack, this the EcoCity backpack uses straps and a draw string to close the flap on top of the main compartment instead of a zip, the draw string ensures that the bag is tightly closed. The backpack is not huge (11″L x 16.5″H x 6.3″ W), but it should have enough space for the majority of students.


  • Comfortable
  • Lots of pockets
  • Made with eco-friendly materials
  • Looks good and available in multiple colours


    • If you have a very large laptop it may not fit in the backpack.

Kinmac Bohemian Pattern Laptop Backpack

The Kinmac Bohemian Pattern Laptop Backpack is a very stylish backpack that you make you stand out from the crowd at university! As well as looking good, this backpack is very functional, having a padded laptop sleeve that can fit laptops up to 15 inches in size and has plenty of room for your books and other items. Once of the best features of this backpack is the straps, Kinmac calls these massage straps and they are extremely comfy, making it easier to carry around your backpack all day.

There are lots of pockets on this backpack for storing other smaller items and there are also side pockets for keeping your water bottle.


      • Stylish & unique design
      • Massage straps make it comfortable for all day use


      • Not ideal for larger laptops (e.g 17 inch laptops).

Fjällräven Kånken Backpack

The Fjällräven Kånken Backpack is an extremely popular backpack at the moment, and is has a huge number of 5 star reviews, just look at amazon by clicking the image or link above! This backpack is available in several different colours and also different sizes, so this bag should be suitable for most people’s needs.

This backpak has been made to a very high standard and sports a very stylish retro look. Like the other backpacks here, The Fjällräven Kånken Backpack has a laptop sleeve that should keep your laptop nice and safe and other smaller pockets for keeping items that might get lost in the main compartment.


      • Looks great
      • Multiple colours
      • Multiple sizes from 13L to 20L


      • Expensive, but worth the money
      • Can get dirty on the bottom when placed on the ground

The Amazon Basics Backpack

The Amazon Basics Backpack is not the most stylish backpack around but it offers great functionality for university students while not breaking the bank. This backpack has a laptop sleeve which can even fit larger laptops (such as 17 inch laptops) and has lots of compartments for storing smaller items.

The bag has dimensions of 12″ x 4.5″ x 17.5″ so there is a lot of space, this backpack should be big enough for every student.


      • Low cost
      • Lots of space
      • Lots of smaller pockets
      • Padded laptop sleeve
      • Mesh pockets on the side of the bag for carrying water bottles


    • A little more padding on the laptop sleeve would offer more protection
    • Some especially bulky 17 inch laptops may not fit.
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