Part of the excitement of going back to school (besides being another year closer to finishing) is sporting a new backpack to and from class. A quality tote is made to not only support your shoulders, but also weather the seasons. Thankfully, you can find one with those aforementioned benefits that won’t break your budget.
Whether you’re entering your first year of undergrad or the final semester of post-graduate studies, see what we curated as some of the best bags currently on the market.
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The City Adventurer was designed for a seamless class-to-workout transition with a built-in pocket for sweaty apparel. Go straight from lecture to the recreation center without having to make a pitstop at home.
Shop it: $128, shop.lululemon.com
With so many different models, it was hard to choose which Herschel bag was our favorite, but the Nova Mid Volume triumphed thanks to its classic look and moderate price tag. There’s nothing in particular that sets it apart from other bags, but perhaps that’s why you can wear this for years to come.
Shop it: $65, shop.nordstrom.com
Not just for hitting the trails, North Face has a plethora of bags that make walking from one side of campus to the other easier than your upcoming midterm. The Jester comes with plenty of interior room, two exterior pockets for water bottles and a padded laptop sleeve.
Shop it: $69, shop.nordstrom.com
This all-weather sack features a buckled, padded sleeve that protects most 15” laptops and comes with a hydration reservoir. For those who live in fairly wet area of the country, the durable water-repellent (DWR) finish repels moisture to keep your valuables dry.
Shop it: $89, shop.nordstrom.com
If you’re looking for a nontraditional backpack for school, consider this waterproof one from Rain. It’s stylish, minimal and a hidden pocket on the backside gives you quick access when on the move.
Shop it: $110, shop.nordstrom.com
This backpack also works as a weekender for those exciting three-day breaks. You can stack the lightweight carryall over your wheeled luggage handles or fold it flat and pack it in a larger bag.
Shop it: $125, shop.nordstrom.com
Nike describes the Sportswear Elemental Backpack as a new spin on an old classic. This roomy tote comes with two large compartments and two external pockets for small-item storage.
Shop it: $40