The Best Backpacks for High School

By September 6, 2019 October 16th, 2019 Calculator & School Supplies Reviews
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High school is all about learning the fundamentals. That means that you would expect yourself to carry loads of thick books as well as other materials you would be needing for school. Let us not forget that high school is also all about finding your own style and identity. And who would ever disregard the fact that you will also be going up against the weather from time to time in your days as a high school student?

All that considered, it is important for every high school student to have a backpack that fits his/her needs. It should not only be big and sturdy enough to carry lots of books and materials but should also have several compartments that could store different sets of things. Of course, it is also equally important for the backpack to look good and stylish enough to fit your own personal identity. And if needed, it should be able to hold up against the elements such as rain so that you will not end up with soggy books by the time you get home.

That said, if you are in the market for the best backpacks you can use for high school or if you are someone looking for a good backpack for your high schooler, here are some choices you might want to highly consider:

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top pick for high school backpacks here.

Our Favorites for Best Backpacks for High School (the best out of the bunch)

JanSport Big Student Backpack

For decades, JanSport has been a leading name in the student backpack industry. This is a company that has been tried and tested even though it has basically used the same design for their backpacks ever since the company first made its name in the industry. However, today, it now has a lot of different styles and designs for backpacks and has come up with the Big Student Backpack for those who want to have more space in their classic JanSport. As such, this has become one of the most popular high school backpacks on the market.

The JanSport Big Student Backpack lives up to its name.This product sports the classic JanSport look but actually comes in a bigger size and with more pockets and compartments you can use. That means that this was meant to be a good choice for large backpacks for high school students who need to carry a lot of things for school. It has two main compartments, an upper zipper pocket just below the second compartment, a small front pocket for gadgets and tiny items, and a web handle at the side to hold your drink.

Since you most probably will be carrying lots of things on this backpack, the JanSport Big Student Backpack has ergonomic straps that are shaped to make sure that your shoulders will not get the brunt of the weight of the backpack. It was designed to specifically allow your back to carry the bag as well so that you will be able to relieve the pressure off of your shoulders.

If the style is important to you, then the JanSport Big Student Backpack has you covered. This backpack boasts different colors and design prints that range from basic to unique. It has all of the basic colors so that you can choose the one that fits your style or your favorite color scheme. It also has designs that are quite unique and complex so that you can stand out in the crowd if that is what you prefer.

Of course, JanSport has always been known for the durability of their backpacks. In that sense, the Big Student Backpack also carries the same kind of durability in both the fabric and the zippers so that you no longer have to worry about your bag suddenly falling apart due to the weight of your things. The same kind of durability also allows the Big Student Backpack to last for years. Simply put, this backpack can last throughout your entire high school life and even throughout your college years as well.

The JanSport Big Student Backpack is meant to be the best basic backpack you can get for yourself or for your high school student since it comes at a good price range and has all the features needed a student needs for high school.

What makes it unique:

  • It is uniquely ergonomically designed in the sense that it distributes the weight of the backpack throughout your shoulders and your back as well.
  • There are a lot of colors and design options you can choose so that you can stay unique and stylish throughout your high school years.

Why choose this backpack:

  • Whether you are looking for style, size, or durability, the JanSport Big Student Backpack has you covered.
  • JanSport has always been one of the best names in the industry, and this bag follows the trend in terms of giving you quality high school backpacks.


North Face Jester Backpack

Supreme protection is the name of the game when it comes to the North Face Jester Backpack. This product stands as one of the best North Face backpacks for high school because of its superb attention to protection and organization while making sure that it comes in a comfortable and durable package that is perfect for students and even for professionals.

Like most North Face backpacks, the Jester is a big product that is almost 20 inches high and is about 12.5 inches wide. That means that it can fit a lot of things. Moreover, it also has a lot of separate compartments that will allow you to store your things separately from one another. It comes with a front accessory pocket as well as two water bottle holders. The main compartment is also large enough that you would no longer need a secondary compartment.

However, the best part about its main compartment is its laptop sleeve. Like most backpacks, the laptop sleeve comes padded for protection. But what sets it apart is that it is elevated slightly higher than the bottom of the backpack so that the laptop will never hit the ground when you are resting your backpack.

Since you are expected to carry a laptop and several other things with this backpack, the North Face Jester Backpack makes sure that you will stay comfortable. Its patented FlexVent shoulder straps alleviate a lot of pressure off of your neck and shoulders to make it feel lighter and less stressful to carry.

With its design and functionality, the North Face Jester is also an ideal backpack for high school students who stay active because of how it can allow them to carry their gym clothes while also providing two side pockets for refreshments. You can even carry this backpack to your hiking trips as comes with a front buckle strap for maximum safety and added support.

Of course, North Face guarantees that this product was built to last as it was made with premium materials and was crafted meticulously to make sure that it does not have any weak points. Its support, large compartment, and durability all make it a great choice for any high school student especially at a time when most teenagers carry laptop computers and other gadgets in their bags.

What makes it unique:

  • The floating laptop sleeve provides maximum protection for your laptop and other gadgets as well.
  • Alleviates a lot of pressure off of your shoulders as it was designed for students who do a lot of walking around the campus while carrying a large backpack.

Why choose this backpack:

  • It is ideal for almost any kind of student because of its combination of durability, comfort, and functionality.
  • This product guarantees safety for your laptop as it will never hit the floor if you accidentally drop the bag or if you place it on the ground.


Herschel Retreat Backpack

Though it is not as time-tested as the other brands on this list, Herschel Supply Company has been one of the fastest-rising names in the industry today. Regarded as the best top-loading backpack, the Herschel Retreat Backpack offers you a unique and stylish design that departs from the usual zipper compartment to give you a product that allows you to feel safe from possible pickpockets while also looking good when you walk around the campus.

The Retreat Backpack actually comes with its own unique and distinct design that will make you stand out in the crowd. The main compartment is initially covered by a flap that has a magnetic buckle. After you flip the flap, it has a drawstring enclosure you can easily pull open to access the rest of the compartment. This dual feature protects the main compartment from possible pickpockets, who know how to work their way around zipper enclosures in most backpacks.

The main compartment comes with a large laptop sleeve that can accommodate computers that are as large as 15 inches. Of course, this sleeve is padded for extra protection for your laptop. Though the bag accommodates a large space for your laptop, it still has enough space for the rest of your books and things in the main compartment.

For those who love to listen to music on the go and while traveling on the bus to school, the Herschel Retreat Backpack comes with a media pocket that hides your music device while also allotting space for your headphones so that you no longer have to pull your phone or your device out when you are in public just so you can listen to music.

If you want something that fits your style, the Retreat Backpack comes in all sorts of colors and designs. It has different colors that range from basic to bright so that it fits the discriminating tastes of every kind of high school student out there. In that sense, you can stay as simple as you want or you can stand out in the crowd.

The Herschel Retreat Backpack is a solid entry to this list because of its overall unique design and standout appearance. And while it might not look like it, this backpack is actually very durable and will probably last longer than backpacks that are just as expensive or even more expensive than this one. Its contoured straps also allow you to feel comfortable while carrying this backpack so that you will not strain your shoulders even though you might have stuffed a heavy load inside this bag.

What makes it unique:

  • The top-loading design is uniquely appealing while also adding a safety feature to protect you against possible theft.
  • Makes it easy for you to find your things as you literally just have to place them through the top of the drawstring opening.

Why choose this backpack:

  • It is simple yet unique and very stylish and appealing to use.
  • As simple as it may look, it is quite durable and comfortable without a lot of the unnecessary features and compartments you can find in other backpacks.


The Runners-Up for Best Backpack for High School (still good but a little lacking)

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

Compartments, compartments, compartments. Truth be told, the eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack is full of compartments to make you feel professionally organized as early as your high school life. This product allows you to carry everything so that you never have to forego carrying an important item for school.

While the eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack is great allowing you to carry different types of items, it is just as great at organizing your items. It has a dedicated main compartment that was designed to carry a 17-inch laptop or a book that is just as big. Meanwhile, the secondary compartment is also quite spacious and was designed for smaller gadgets such as tablets or for smaller books. The reversed L-shape zipper opening also allows for more safety and security.

The cream of the crop when it comes to this bag is the front compartment, which you can flip to open after unzipping it. You can see inside the compartment that there are different smaller compartments made for various items. As such, it keeps things organized so that you will never have to randomly stuff everything inside. This product also has smaller lower compartments at the front and at the side meant for smaller items and for your beverages respectively.

Due to how many compartments it has, this backpack can carry more items in an organized manner but without making it look bulky. You can even attach it to your rolling luggage if you are traveling. So, in terms of functionality, it not only fits the regular student but also the professional in you.

However, there are things that make it a mere runner-up on this list. First off, it comes with a really hefty price tag that not all students will be able to afford. Second, it is quite heavy even if empty. Finally, it really is not the most comfortable bag to carry on your back especially for students who are bigger than most others. Nevertheless, the eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack is actually pretty functional and organized that it actually fits its hefty price tag.

What makes it unique:

  • Its front compartment is separated into several smaller compartments to allow you to organize your items.
  • The reversed L-shape opening gives you an added security that could deter pickpockets and thieves from trying to open the backpack.

Why choose this backpack:

  • Go for this backpack if you want to make sure that your items are well-organized, which cuts the time you need to look for certain things.
  • It looks very professional and can make a simple high school student look more mature.


Eastpak Padded Pakr Backpack

Eastpak is a brand that has been around for as long as anyone can remember and it is a name that is almost synonymous to backpacks made for high school students. The Padded Pakr Backpack itself has been around since the 1970s and its design has seen little improvements ever since it was released. Nevertheless, it still is one of the most popular backpacks for high school students.

As simple as it might look, its simplicity is the key to its popularity. It simply is very effective at storing different important items such as books and binders, which are basics for any high school student. It also looks small but the main compartment is actually very spacious that it can fit any item that is necessary to help the high school student do well in school. Meanwhile, the front pocket looks really big and spacious enough to carry many smaller items such as your phone, calculator, pens, and earphones.

To make sure that this product fits your preferences, the Eastpak Padded Pakr comes in many different colors and designs that are all stylish. You can choose from simple colors to a combination of different designs that all have their unique appeal. In that sense, you can stand out or stay as simple as you want by choosing a design that fits your fancy.

And while the straps are padded, this backpack is only a runner-up on this list because of how it was not made to be comfortable for your shoulders when you are carrying a heavy load. On top of that, this backpack also looks very simple that it might not fit all the needs of today’s modern high school student, who carries laptop computers and gadgets to school. However, for its price and for the basic functionality it provides, it is quite an impressive product that has stood the test of decades and different generations already.

What makes it unique:

  • It has been around ever since the 1970s!
  • The main compartment looks small but is quite spacious.

Why choose this backpack:

  • Go for it if you prefer simplicity and style over overall functionality.
  • It is time-tested and is proven to be a durable and effective backpack for any high school student.


The Value Pick for the Best Backpacks for High School (good and affordable)

JanSport Superbreak Backpack

Coming from the brand that most students and parents trust for school backpacks, the JanSport Superbreak Backpack is the basic line of backpacks that JanSport can offer you but it is arguably the most iconic design the company has. It is iconic, time-tested, and simple enough for any kind of high school student to handle. On top of that, it comes in an affordable price tag that is tough to beat for any other backpacks with the same design and functionality.

The Superbreak Backpack is made of pure polyester that promises to be durable. And if ever you find your backpack to have any sort of damage, which is pretty rare for a JanSport product, the company promises a lifetime warranty. As such, you can feel confident enough that JanSport will fix your Superbreak for you if ever it encounters any breaks that can be repaired.

Opening the main compartment will make you see how spacious the entire backpack is despite its midsized basic design. It will not feel cramped even if you put lots of books inside. Moreover, you can really feel how sturdy the bag is even if you stuffed plenty of items inside it. And because of how spacious the main compartment is and how wide the opening is, it is pretty easy for you to organize your things so that you will never have to waste time looking for certain items.

Of course, the Superbreak comes in a lot of different colors and designs that will help you stand out or give you a certain identity. You can choose to fit in with the crowd or give yourself a unique look with a design that nobody else in class or even in school has.

Overall, the JanSport Superbreak is a great value for your money because of its affordable price tag and great functionality as a basic backpack that is durable and very simple to use. You will be hard-pressed to find any other backpack that is quite as good as this one for the price that it comes with.

What makes it unique:

  • Has that JanSport lifetime warranty.
  • It has unique colors and designs that only the Superbreak has.

Why choose this backpack:

  • It is affordable and very simple yet provides you with topnotch quality.
  • The wide opening and spacious interior allow you to easily get things you need for class without much hassle.


Summary for the Best Backpacks for High School

Wrapping everything up, here are the backpacks for high school we went over today:

ProductList Price
JanSport Big Student Backpack $49.78
The North Face Unisex Jester Backpack $69.00
Herschel Retreat Backpack $80.00
eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack $139.99
Eastpak Padded Pakr Backpack $40.72
JanSport Superbreak Backpack $36.00

Choosing a good backpack for high school student need not be rocket science. Sometimes, it can be just as fundamental as high school is because of how you only need to consider a few factors when buying a high-quality backpack. Even the most basic backpack is good enough for most high school students so long as it is durable enough to handle everyday use and functional enough to carry the important books and items that a student needs to survive.

However, if you truly want to stand out not only in style but also a student, you should very well know that going for a large backpack might be a good idea so that you can make sure that you will never leave anything important out. After all, today’s modern student does not only need books but also gadgets and computers to excel in class. As such, it is highly recommended that you choose any of our top choices since they combine size, functionality, style, and durability all one package.

Did you find this helpful? Then check out our other school supplies reviews here.


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