Best Backpacks of 2023: 9 Backpacks That Will Take You Everywhere

People wearing backpacks

Whether you're a jetsetter, college student, runner, or hiker, a sturdy backpack is a must. Backpacks are easy to carry, have lots of storage space, and often have pockets to keep your belongings organized. They're also a popular choice for laptop storage since typical laptop bags tend to shift the weight to one side of your body, which is less than optimal for your spine. There are a plethora of backpack options available, each with different features that are designed for specific uses like hiking, college, or everyday use.

To help you find a backpack with the right capacity and features for your needs, we've put together a list of our top picks of the best backpacks for every occasion to make your backpack shopping a breeze.

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The Best Backpacks - Our Top Picks

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Best Backpack Overall - North Face Jester

North Face Jester


  • Size: 19.75" x 13.25" x 7.5"
  • Material: Recycled polyester
  • Capacity: 28L
  • Pockets: 3 exterior pockets plus a main compartment


Whether you're commuting to work or hitting the trails on the weekend, the North Face Jester has got your back. This backpack is loaded with features to make your life easier, starting with a large main compartment for stashing books and a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve in the main compartment to help protect your computer from damage. You'll also appreciate the padded mesh back panel, as well as the front compartment with an internal organization that has an extra padded tablet sleeve, and additional secure-zip pockets.

We like that the backpack has reflective features so you can be seen when out and about. Finally, it features a comfortable padded top handle and sternum strap with a whistle buckle for added convenience, stability, safety, and comfort.

What We Like

  • Breathable back panel for comfort
  • Reflective straps and bike-light loop
  • A chest strap for extra stability
  • 2 water bottle pockets
  • Lots of colors to choose from

What We Don't Like

  • Not water or dirt resistant
  • No waist strap

BUY: North Face Jester

Best Laptop Backpack - Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack

Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack


  • Size: 15.7" x 11" x 6.3"
  • Material: Vinylon F
  • Capacity: 18L
  • Pockets: 3 pockets plus a laptop and main compartment


This Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack is a fantastic option for those who need to stash their laptops in a safe and padded compartment while still having access to the main compartment and three other smaller pockets. The backpack is made of dirt and water-resistant Vinylon F material that can easily be wiped clean, and it has a two-way zipper closure with a rain flap for added protection.

We like that the ergonomic shoulder straps are padded for comfort and that the backpack also has dual top snap handles for quick and easy carrying. With a spacious 18-liter capacity, water and scratch-resistant materials, and multiple pockets, this backpack is a fantastic option for an everyday laptop bag.

What We Like

  • Water and dirt resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Zipper has a rain flap for added protection

What We Don't Like

  • No chest strap
  • No security lock

BUY: Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack

Best Backpack for Travel - Patagonia Black Hole

Patagonia Black Hole


  • Size: 22" x 10.5" x 5.5"
  • Material: Recycled polyester
  • Capacity: 25L
  • Pockets: 4 exterior pockets plus a main compartment


The Patagonia Black Hole 25L travel backpack is a great option for those looking for an eco-friendly and comfortable solution to their traveling requirements. With a large main pocket, an internal padded sleeve to protect your laptop or hydration reservoir, and an internal mesh pocket, you have plenty of storage and organization options to make your travels easier. The best part? The daisy-chain lash points provide options for securing anything from a skateboard to a yoga mat. Plus, the backpack comes with a stealthy zippered front pocket, which is useful for concealing quick-access items. Finally, the padded shoulder straps and molded back panel help ensure comfort, which is especially useful when you're backpacking during your travels.

What We Like

  • Key keeper and organization pocket for small items
  • Stealthy front pocket for your essentials
  • Water resistant
  • Made with recycled materials

What We Don't Like

  • Not dirt resistant
  • Not abrasion resistant

BUY: Patagonia Black Hole

Best Backpack for College - Lululemon Everyday

Lululemon Everyday


  • Size: 11.4" x 5.9" x 16.5"
  • Material: Polyester
  • Capacity: 23L
  • Pockets: 3 pockets including a laptop compartment


If you're a college student who needs a new backpack, the Lululemon Everyday Backpack is definitely worth considering. It features an exterior padded pocket that fits a 16-inch laptop and interior pockets to hold all the essentials, including a water bottle and keys. Additionally, the backpack has a trolley-compatible sleeve for added convenience when you're traveling back home during breaks. Finally, the backpack is water-resistant and has an impressive 23-liter capacity, which provides plenty of space for your laptop, notebooks, and other essentials. Whether you're headed to class or the airport, the Lululemon Everyday Backpack is a splendid choice for students who need a functional and stylish backpack.

What We Like

  • Trolley-compatible sleeve for easy airport transport
  • Water resistant
  • Enough space for student essentials

What We Don't Like

  • No color options
  • No security lock

BUY: Lululemon Everyday

Best Backpack for Hiking - Osprey Talon 22 Pack

Osprey Talon 22 Pack


  • Size: S/M-19" x 10.5" x 9" ; L/XL: 21" x 11" x 9"
  • Material: Recycled nylon
  • Capacity: S/M- 20L; L/XL-22L
  • Pockets: 6 pockets plus a main compartment


If you're an avid hiker, the Osprey Talon 22 Pack is right up your alley. It features dual-zippered panel access to the main compartment and lower-side compression straps to help secure your load. It also has a large stretch-mesh front panel pocket that is great for storing snacks and other small items and several other pockets to store water bottles, phones, or cameras. Some of the unique features of this backpack include the harness pocket, which gives you easy access and storage for your climbing harness, and the ice axe and helmet attachments, which allow you to keep your headgear and ice axe within reach.

Finally, the backpack comes with a blinker light attachment, so you can add extra visibility to your backpack during your hikes. Whether you're hitting the trail for a day hike or embarking on a longer expedition, the Osprey Talon 22 Pack has everything you need to make it a successful trip.

What We Like

  • Pocket to quickly access your climbing harness
  • Helmet, ice axe, and trekking pole attachments
  • Blinker light attachment
  • Hip-belt pockets

What We Don't Like

  • Not water resistant
  • Not dirt resistant

BUY: Osprey Talon 22 Pack

Best Budget Backpack - JanSport Big Student

JanSport Big Student


  • Size: 17.5" x 13" x 10"
  • Material: Not specified
  • Capacity: 34L
  • Pockets: 3 pockets plus 2 main compartments


Our best budget pick has to be the JanSport Big Student backpack. With two large main compartments, a padded 15-inch laptop compartment, and a variety of pockets, this backpack is designed to keep you organized. The ergonomic S-curve shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry, and the fully padded back panel provides solid support. This backpack is available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find the perfect one to match your style. And best of all, every JanSport comes with a lifetime warranty. The ergonomic straps, multiple pockets, and affordable price make this backpack a functional and budget-friendly option for anyone in need of a new backpack.

What We Like

  • Large capacity
  • Ergonomic shoulder straps
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Lots of colors and patterns

What We Don't Like

  • Not waterproof
  • No security lock

BUY: Jansport Big Student

Best Backpack for Athletes - adidas Roll-Top Backpack

Adidas Roll-Top Backpack


  • Size: 4.5" x 11.5" x 23.5"
  • Material: Recycled polyester twill
  • Capacity: 22.5L
  • Pockets: 4 exterior pockets


If you're an athlete on the hunt for a high-quality backpack to carry your essentials, then the adidas Roll-Top Backpack may be right for you. Made from recycled polyester twill and TPU-coated fabric, it's durable, environmentally friendly, and water resistant. It is built with an air-mesh back panel that keeps you cool and comfortable, ideal for when you've finished a strenuous training session and need a backpack that won't heat you up. We like that the backpack features front zip pockets for storing small items and a roll-top drawcord closure, which makes it easy to access your belongings. Another useful feature is the side slip-in pockets with elastic tops, which are ideal for holding water bottles, protein shakes, or post-workout snacks. The multiple pockets, air-mesh back panel, and convenient drawcord closure makes the adidas Roll-Top Backpack the clear winner for the best backpack for athletes.

What We Like

  • Chest strap for stability
  • Easy drawcord closure
  • Plenty of pockets

What We Don't Like

  • Only 22.5L capacity
  • Not water resistant

BUY: adidas Roll-Top Backpack

Best Waterproof Backpack - Yeti Panga 28L

Yeti Panga 28L


  • Size: 12.5" x 7.0" x 20.0"
  • Material: High-density nylon
  • Capacity: 28L
  • Pockets: 1 pocket plus a main compartment


If you're looking for a tough, reliable backpack that can stand up to the elements, the Yeti Panga Waterproof Backpack is a superb option. This backpack is made with a high-density nylon shell that is resistant to punctures and abrasion, and it features waterproof and leak-proof zips to keep your belongings dry, even when fully submerged. The bag also has several convenient features, including an interior mesh pocket for valuables, an interior sleeve for laptops or other essentials, and QuickGrab Lash points for quick access. Additionally, the bag comes with a removable chest strap and waist belt for extra stability when you're on the go. The extra pockets, QuickGrab Lash points, and impressive waterproofing features make the Yeti Panga Waterproof backpack our top pick for the best waterproof backpack.

What We Like

  • Waterproof
  • Chest strap and waist belt for stability
  • Waterproof and leak-proof zips

What We Don't Like

  • No exterior pockets
  • Not many color options

BUY: Yeti Panga 28L

Best Design Backpack - Herschel Classic

Herschel Classic


  • Size: 16.5" x 12" x 5.5"
  • Material: N/A
  • Capacity: 24L
  • Pockets: 1 pocket plus a main compartment


The Herschel Classic Backpack is a stylish and functional backpack that is fantastic for everyday use. The backpack features contoured shoulder straps and air-mesh back padding for comfort, as well as prusik cord zipper pulls for easy access to the main compartment. We like that the backpack has a front storage pocket which makes it convenient for on-the-go items, and the backpack also features Herschel's classic woven label. The most impressive feature of this backpack is its craftsmanship, which is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. The Herschel Classic backpack is both stylish and high quality, which makes it our pick for the best stylish backpack.

What We Like

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Stylish design
  • Dual zipper closure

What We Don't Like

  • Low capacity
  • Only 1 exterior pocket

BUY: Herschel Classic

What to Look for in a Backpack


For everyday use, a backpack made from durable material like nylon is ideal. If you'll be using the backpack for outdoor activities, look for a water-resistant or waterproof material.


When shopping for a backpack, pay attention to the capacity of the backpack, which will be shown in liters. The capacity and other features will tell you whether the backpack can be used for traveling, camping, or everyday use.


When choosing a backpack, it's important to ensure that it fits well. The straps should be adjustable so that you can customize the fit to your body. Additionally, the back panel should be padded for comfort.

FAQs About Backpacks

How long should a backpack last?

When it comes to how long a backpack should last, it depends on the material and how often it's used. Generally, a well-made backpack made from durable fabric can last for years.

How much can a backpack hold?

The capacity of a backpack is measured in liters. Most backpacks will have enough space for a laptop and other essentials, plus additional pockets for water bottles, glasses, and keys.

What is the best backpack for everyday use?

The best backpack for everyday use depends on your needs. If you'll be carrying a lot of items, choose a backpack with a large capacity. If you'll be using the backpack in inclement weather, look for a waterproof or water-resistant option.

How big should a backpack be?

For everyday use, a backpack between 20 and 30 liters is typically sufficient. If you'll be using the backpack for outdoor activities or for travel, consider a backpack with a capacity of 40 liters or more.

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