10 Cute Backpacks for College: The Ultimate List

cute backpacks for college

With school years lumping together like the world’s spinning at double speed, there’s a good chance your tattered old backpack is about ready for the trash.

Even if it still has some life left in it, it is always nice to freshen things up with a new look. Read on to see our top picks.

What Are the Cutest Backpacks for College in 2019?

backpacks for girls, girls backpacks, cute backpacks, school backpacks, college backpacks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two bag designs
  • Lots of pockets
  • Fits 14-inch laptops
Price: $22.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
north face backpacks, north face backpacks, backpacks for girls, girls backpacks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Safety features
  • 15-inch laptop sleeve
  • Stylish
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
high sierra backpacks, backpacks for girls, girls backpacks, cute backpacks, school backpacks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 25 different designs
  • Lots of pockets
  • Comfy straps
Price: $87.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
herschel backpack, herschel backpacks, backpacks for girls, girls backpacks, cute backpacks, school backpacks, college backpacks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large opening
  • Durable
  • No zippers
Price: $68.26 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dakine backpacks, dakine backpack, backpacks for girls, girls backpacks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Zippered side pockets
  • Durable
Price: $41.53 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
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  • Cheap
  • Durable
  • Padded laptop compartment
Price: $18.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
vera bradley backpack, girls backpacks, cute backpacks, school backpacks, college backpacks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight
  • Flat base
  • Stylish
Price: $78.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
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  • Stylish
  • Low price tag
  • Comfy straps
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
jansport backpacks, jansport backpack, backpacks for girls, girls backpacks, cute backpacks, school backpacks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 25 unique designs
  • Lightweight
  • Spacious main compartment
Price: $69.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
backpacks for girls, girls backpacks, cute backpacks, school backpacks, college backpacks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Durable
  • Quality lining
Price: $24.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Leaper Casual School Backpack Medium/Large

    Pros:
    • Two bag designs offer flexible use
    • Additional side and front pockets
    • Large design fits laptops up to 14 inches
    Cons:
    • Metal loop on the strap of some designs can be uncomfortable
    • Medium design does not have a laptop compartment
    • Side pockets do not close

    Both the shoulder daypack and casual handbag style Leaper backpacks combine a thick, long-lasting canvas design with a low price that makes them a great pick for a student on a budget.

    The Large 13.8 x 17.7 x 6.7 inch design has straps like a classic backpack, while the Medium 14.6 x 15.7 x 5.9 inch design can also function like a shoulder bag.

    On the medium design, the two shoulder straps actually consist of one piece of material looped through a brass ring.

    Although this can make wearing the pack on both shoulders tricky at times, it also allows the strap to be pulled to one side for use as a tote bag. Both designs have open side pockets for water bottles or phones, plus a snap-shut front pocket.

  2. 2. The North Face Women’s Borealis

    Pros:
    • Offers safety features like reflectors and emergency whistle
    • 15-inch laptop sleeve and dedicated tablet sleeve
    • Women-specific design offers shoulder and back support
    Cons:
    • Side pockets do not hold water bottles well
    • Colors can appear slightly different than advertised
    • Could be larger

    The North Face makes a number of cute backpacks for college, but the Borealis is one of our favorites. This no-nonsense bag is durable enough to handle the campground or the campus.

    Its injection-molded shoulder strap and padded chemise back panel with extra back support are designed with women in mind, and carrying a full pack is no trouble with the optional sternum strap and a towable hip belt.

    That said, if you have a truly enormous class load or plan to take it hiking, you might wish it was a little bigger.

    Otherwise, the Borealis backpack is loaded with ample pockets and organizers, and even offers safety features like reflective material and a whistle built into the strap.

  3. 3. High Sierra Loop Backpack

    Pros:
    • 25 different designs
    • 6 exterior pockets and 4 interior pockets
    • Comfortable straps
    Cons:
    • No sternum or waist strap for hiking
    • Tablet/laptop sleeve is too small
    • Zipper pulls can easily get caught in zipper

    The Loop Backpack from High Sierra is a spacious and versatile pack with a style for everyone. Its has over 25 different designs, all of which have adjustable straps to slim down the pack for lighter loads.

    Alternatively, you can loosen the straps to fully expand the pack, and even attach extra gear to them as well as its monster hook.

    The Loop has six exterior pockets and four interior pockets, so you can find the perfect spot for anything. The two mesh side pockets can hold a larger water bottle with ease, and the largest pocket has a padded tablet sleeve.

    This sleeve is only 12.5 x 11 x 0.8 inches though, so if you want to store a laptop in this bag, you will need a separate neoprene sleeve to keep it cushioned.

    The zippers are smooth and fast, but a downside of this is that the zipper pulls can get in the way easily.

    There are also no sternum or waist straps for hiking, but if you otherwise plan to use this backpack for school or commuting, it offers a ton of useful features at a great price.

  4. 4. Herschel Supply Co. Little America

    Pros:
    • Large opening and main compartment make it easy to pack and unpack
    • Durable material and thick padding
    • No zippers means less frustration
    Cons:
    • Laptop sleeve might not fit some 15-inch laptops
    • Front pocket could be larger
    • Lacks side pockets

    Herschel Supply Co.’s Little America backpack is as known for its reliability as it is for its distinctive design

    You will never have to worry about a caught zipper, as this pack uses stylish straps to cover a large opening to its main pocket, which is only supplemented by a small front pocket.

    To many this will be a strength rather than a weakness, as the fully padded and pinstripe fleece-lined interior of this bag can hold 24L of books, supplies, clothes, and a laptop without feeling overstuffed.

    Yes, there is a well-padded sleeve for laptops, but you may be hard-pressed to fit one with a 15-inch screen or larger into it. Unless you like to have separate pockets for everything, the Little America pack is a stellar pick.

  5. 5. Dakine Prom Laptop Backpack

    Pros:
    • Padded laptop compartment
    • Zippered side pockets can expand to hold water bottles
    • Durable and water-resistant
    Cons:
    • Zipper quality is so-so
    • Shoulder strap padding could be better
    • Colors can appear slightly different than advertised

    Don’t let the awful name fool you, because unlike actual prom, Dakine’s Prom backpack is something anybody can appreciate.

    This durable pack provides a tremendous 25L of storage in a compact design. It has two large main pockets, two zippered side pocket that expand to mesh water bottle holders, and a small insulated front pocket that is great for snacks.

    Several multi-function interior pockets also help organize your clutter, but this pack’s zippers can be finicky. The padded laptop sleeve can easily hold a 15-inch laptop, and offers decent protection from drops and scratches as well.

  6. 6. Mygreen Storm Dot Daypack

    Pros:
    • Low price tag
    • Durable and waterproof
    • Padded laptop compartment
    Cons:
    • Straps can loosen with heavy use
    • Cannot support larger book loads
    • Only 2 pockets

    Though the Mygreen Storm Dot daypack does not come from a name brand manufacturer, this compact and durable bag offers the basics of a quality backpack at a price that is hard to beat.

    Though the bag only has two pockets, it is spacious enough to hold a couple textbooks, plus a laptop in its padded laptop compartment.

    Those with larger book loads, however, will want to steer clear of this bag, as over-packing it can cause the straps to sag.

    On the other hand, if you only stash a couple things with you each day, this stylish polka dot pack can be a long-lasting companion.

  7. 7. Vera Bradley Lighten Up Grande

    Pros:
    • Rugged and lightweight
    • Flat base makes pack easy to store
    • Beautiful designer styles
    Cons:
    • Side pockets do not hold water bottles well
    • No laptop compartment
    • High price tag

    The Lighten Up Grande backpack combines a signature style from handbag designer Vera Bradley with the functionality and durability you need from an everyday backpack.

    While this bag isn’t made from the normal quilted Vera material, it offers a more rugged and functional polyester finish that resists water.

    This pack’s two exterior front zip pockets are designed for larger loads, while the two slip pockets on the side stow smaller items like keys or a wallet.

    Unfortunately, larger water bottles don’t fit as well. There is also a small internal zip pouch inside the main pocket, which helps for organizing.

    If you like this pack’s designer style, but want something less bulky, the Lighten Up Just Right is yet another option when looking for cute backpacks for college.

  8. 8. Emoji Canvas Mobile

    Pros:
    • Eye catching design
    • Low price tag
    • Soft, comfortable shoulder straps
    Cons:
    • Small size
    • No side pockets
    • No laptop compartment

    Like your outfit to always match your mood? This cute Emoji design from Yonger shows off your expressive side, and offers a good amount of storage at a low price.

    While this pack only has a main pocket and front pocket, it is still a full-size backpack, and can carry quite a bit of textbooks plus a laptop — though there is no dedicated laptop compartment.

    The straps are soft and comfortable, and the backpack is a nice intermediate size to suit most wearers.

  9. 9. Jansport Classic Superbreak

    Pros:
    • 25 unique designs
    • Lightweight and compact
    • Spacious main compartment
    Cons:
    • No side pockets
    • Front pocket could be larger
    • No laptop compartment

    Jansport is name associated with timeless and reliable backpacks like the Classic Superbreak, a compact and cute backpack for college. The material of the Classic Superbreak is more light weight than most Jansport backpacks, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as it makes the bag easier to carry without significantly sacrificing durability.

    The classic configuration of one large and one small compartment is not the most accommodating for large loads, but can handle them well enough. Additionally, the padded shoulder straps and back panel offer luxurious comfort without the addition of horizontal straps. Although this model is lacking side pockets and a laptop compartment, it still does what it is meant to do excellently.

    Plus, those looking for a more traditional Jansport pack will instead prefer their Big Student Classics, which boasts over 50 different designs.

  10. 10. Hmxpls Bohemia Laptop Backpack

    Pros:
    • Padded laptop compartment
    • Sturdy and durable design
    • Quality interior linings
    Cons:
    • Zipper quality is so-so
    • Could be larger
    • Sometimes ships with a factory odor

    The fashionable Hmxpls Bohemia backpack has enough flair to wear every day, and enough pockets to satisfy the most organized packers. Between its three main pockets and two side pockets, there is enough room for several textbooks as well as smaller items in the front pocket.

    This backpack is slightly smaller than an average backpack, so if you are known for pushing your packs to the limits, it would be best to stick to a larger backpack. The padded laptop compartment is helpful, though, and is complemented by a quality inner lining not usually seen in backpacks this inexpensive.

    One common complaint is that this pack ships with a distinct odor, but airing the pack out will quickly remedy this.

To inspire you with some ideas, we've picked out a handful of our favorite cute backpacks for college. The options above each offer high storage capacity, good compartmentalization, and of course, style.

Most of these backpacks also qualify for two-day free shipping with Amazon's Prime Student Free Six Month Trial.

If you are a student with a valid .edu email address, you get this plus free movie streaming, free photo storage, early access to deals, free Audible content, and free access to select ebooks. All for six months at no charge.

See Also

10 Best Cheap Rolling Backpacks: Your Buyer’s Guide (2019)

10 Best Waxed Canvas Backpacks: Your Buyer’s Guide (2019)

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