The 20 Best Backpacks for College Students in 2022

These backpacks are functional, stylish, and all under $100.

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This post will show you the 20 best affordable backpacks for college students in 2022, plus tips for picking the perfect one.

Looking for the perfect backpack that is functional, stylish, and won’t break the bank? We’ve got you covered with our top 20 backpack picks of 2022, all under $100.

These backpacks combine both fashion and function in their designs, with features that will make all the difference when you’re spending long days on campus and carrying your most-needed belongings on your back.

Before we get to the bags though, let’s talk about the features which make a backpack ideal for college.

{RELATED POST: The Ultimate College Packing List with EVERYTHING You Need}

Tips for Picking the Perfect Backpack for College:

When it comes to picking a backpack for college, these are the features you should look for:

  • Durable fabric. The college lifestyle – which can involve walking across campus in varying weather conditions, going from class-to-class, long study sessions, etc.– can put wear and tear on your backpack. If you want your backpack to last you beyond a semester, be sure to choose a bag with a durable exterior material.
  • Laptop or tablet protection. A backpack with a special laptop sleeve is going to help keep your tech better protected, which is an absolute must.
  • Water-resistant exterior. It’s almost inevitable that you’ll encounter some inclement weather when walking across campus as a college student (or accidental spills), so a material that will keep your papers, books, and electronics from getting wet is sure to come in clutch.
  • Convenient design. Backpacks with thoughtful compartments and pockets will help keep your belongings organized and you’ll be less likely to misplace things when everything has a dedicated spot.

Now that we’ve covered the key features that make a backpack ideal for college life, read on for the 20 best backpacks for college in 2022 that will make you excited to go to class! Plus, they are all under $100 each.

Best Backpacks for College:

Fjällräven Kånken Water Resistant Backpack

You can’t go wrong with a Fjällräven Kånken backpack which comes in over 30 different colors and is water-resistant. It’s as much of a fashion favorite as it is a practical piece that you’ll find super useful for carrying your books and laptop across campus, rain or shine. No need to worry about your belongings getting drenched thanks to its water-resistant fabric!

Another cool feature of this iconic backpack? It comes with an interior foam insert that can be removed and used as an “on-the-go” seat pad, which could totally come in handy during long study sessions at the library.

Lululemon Everyday Backpack

Lululemon’s Everyday backpack is literally made for the everyday wear, and is roomy enough to stash everything you’ll need for long days on campus. Plus, it is water-repellent, which is something I always recommend in order to keep your laptop, notebooks, and books safe and dry.

It has a ton of compartments to keep your belongings organized too, including a padded pocket which fits laptops up to 16″, and is available in five different colors.

Leopard Print Backpack

Give your college #ootd’s a pop of print with a leopard print backpack. This backpack from UO has an eye-catching print that will make it stand out in a sea of basic, plain ones.

In addition to being stylish, it’s features a practical design with multiple exterior pockets, a buckle-down closure, and a top-carry handle.

Calpak Luka Laptop Backpack

You’ll be able to use this lightweight backpack for class and travel plans alike. Along with a laptop sleeve that fits laptops up to 15″, this backpack also boasts a luggage trolley sleeve and a shoe compartment, making it perfect for stays at your friends’ places or weekend trips home.

It also has a scratch-resistant exterior, so you won’t have to worry about the inevitable wear and tear a school bag endures throughout the year!

The North Face Borealis Backpack

The North Face Backpack in black
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The North Face is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to backpacks, and the Borealis backpack is a classic pick that will likely last you all four years, if not longer.

The durable design features a women-specific suspension system for ultimate comfort, with articulated shoulder straps and a rounded back panel certified by the American Chiropractic Association. With easy-to-access pockets and a fleece-lined 15″ laptop sleeve, this backpack is a top contender (and one of the most popular bags on campus).

Herschel Supply Co. Tech Backpack

Carrying your laptop or tablet (or both) around will be a breeze with this tech backpack. It will keep your laptop protected with its 16″ padded and fleece-lined laptop sleeve, plus has multiple other storage sleeves throughout its compartments. It even has a hidden shoulder strap pocket for wireless earbuds like AirPods.

The streamlined design of this backpack keeps it looking sleek rather than bulky, and its tonal pink hue is neutral enough to complement nearly all of your outfits.

USB Charging Port Backpack

Amazon USB Backpack in light blue
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A backpack with a USB charging port? Yes, you read that right! This unique backpack has a built-in USB port that will allow you to conveniently charge your electronic devices on the go (using your own power bank). Its doctor-bag style opening makes it easy access your belongings inside, too.

Additionally, this spacious backpack comes in a ton of different color options, and is made from an eco-friendly, waterproof canvas material.

Vans Reflective Backpack

If you find yourself often walking across campus at night, you should definitely consider a reflective backpack to help keep you safe.

This backpack will add extra visibility to your cross-campus commute thanks to its reflective detailing, while still being practical for school with a laptop sleeve, ample space, and durable material.

JanSport Cross Town Backpack

Jansport backpack in light blue with front pocket
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There’s a good chance that at some point during your academic career, you’ve used a JanSport backpack. Give your classic JanSport an update for college with the Cross Town model, with extra pockets including a mesh water bottle pocket and fabric made from partially recycled materials.

This awesome bag comes in a wide variety of colors and prints, and even boasts a lifetime warranty.

Velour Laptop Backpack

Carry your laptop in style with this adorable velour laptop backpack.

Available in both black and pink velour, this backpack isn’t just trendy, but functional, too. It has large interior capacity and a padded laptop compartment to keep your tech secure. The gold exterior zippers give it an extra glam appearance.

Madewell Recycled Fabric Backpack

You’ll feel good knowing that this backpack is made with fabric recycled from plastic that could otherwise go to landfills, while still being soft yet sturdy.

Its painted leopard print is also super cute and adds a fashionable touch to the backpacks thoughtful design, which includes a laptop sleeve, lots of pockets, and a trolley sleeve for travel.

Under Armour Hustle Signature Backpack

This highly water-repellent Under Armour backpack is described as being “tough as nails” yet has a sleek design with metallic details for a bit of shine.

Also available in black and navy, this backpack features an abrasion-resistant bottom panel, two side water bottle packets, a laptop sleeve, and a zipper pull that doubles as a hair tie. So cool!

Billabong Roadie Backpack

You’ll feel like you’re on a beach vacation when you look at the tropical print on this backpack.

With multiple compartments including a laptop sleeve and pencil slots, the large size of this backpack is going to fit all of your materials comfortably while keeping them organized.

Ted Baker London Puffer Backpack

Puffer jackets are totally trending this season, so take the trend a step further with this emerald green puffer backpack.

Not only is this backpack trendy but is highly functional, with a padded laptop sleeve and a detachable zipper pouch that hangs off of the shoulder strap to keep smaller items extra-handy. The accessory pouch is perfect for holding your phone, earbuds, or keys close to your chest, rather than having to reach around to the other side or take the whole backpack off.

Madewell Color-Block Sport Backpack

The stylish color-blocking on this sporty backpack gives it a fresh look, while its commodious construction is ideal for fitting all of your school gear.

With a laptop sleeve, dual water bottle pockets, and a zippered front pocket, you’ll have a place for everything you need. Best of all, it’s made from recycled materials.

Hunter Pioneer Backpack

If you’re like us, you adore Hunter rain boots, so you may be excited to find out that Hunter makes a water-resistant backpack in a similar style.

With the classic Hunter logo on the front, this durable backpack provides all-weather protection and has a mesh back to allow for airflow. There’s also a padded interior laptop sleeve, recycled fabric-lined interior, and an external top clip for extra sturdiness.

Adidas Backpack

Adidas Backpack in blue denim
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For a sporty vibe, check out this Adidas backpack with LoadSpring shoulder straps for added comfort.

Made with recycled content, this backpack has four outside zippered pockets, dual water bottle pockets, and an internal laptop sleeve. I love its rose gold accents, including its zippers and logo, which give it a more polished look.

Fjällräven Kånken Tote Backpack

If you can’t decide between using a backpack or a tote bag, I have good news: you don’t have to make a choice. This convertible bag can be carried as a tote and as a backpack, with straps that do it all.

Not only does this bag give you options on how to carry it, but it’s also water-resistant and holds most electronic tablets.

Girlfriend Collective Sustainable Backpack

Aptly named the “Please Recycle” backpack, this sustainable backpack is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and can be recycled when you’re done using it.

It’s available in five fashionable earthy tones, is water-resistant, and has an interior sleeve perfect for your laptop or notebooks.

Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz Backpack

This backpack has all the compartments you’ll need to keep your belongings organized, from a fully padded laptop sleeve to a fleece-lined sunglasses and accessory pocket at the top.

Its reinforced bottom panel is made of eco-friendly materials, and it comes in an array of cute colors.

What do you think of our backpack picks for 2022?

Would you wear these styles? Which backpack is your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!

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