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The 5 Best Backpacks (2021 Review)

Backpacks are a hands-free way to carry laptops, tablets, and other personal items to school or work. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best backpacks on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Backpack Courtesy Amazon

A quality backpack is a must-have item for anyone who wants to transport supplies to school or work or pack accessories for a trip. To help you select the backpack that’s right for you, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best backpacks on Amazon. Here are our top five recommendations.

Most Customizable: HotStyle TRENDYMAX Backpack

With over 25 unique designs ranging from polka dots to eggs to dinosaurs, this eccentric backpack provides a roomy storage option that matches your child’s interests and personality. It has a main compartment with a laptop slot and zippered pocket, a front compartment, a water bottle holder, and a hidden back compartment.

Key Features

  • 16 by 12 by 6 inches
  • 30 design options
  • Main compartment
  • Front compartment
  • Side pocket
  • Back pocket

What Customers Are Saying

With nearly 4,300 reviews on Amazon, this backpack has an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars. Of those reviews, 95% are 4- or 5-star, while 2% are 1- or 2-star.

Customers who liked this backpack said that it was perfect for kids, adequately held textbooks, and was easy to clean. However, dissatisfied customers didn’t like that this backpack wasn’t waterproof or weather-resistant because they couldn’t use it outside during inclement weather.

Best Storage Options: LOVEVOOK Backpack Purse

This backpack has two large compartments with enough space to fit 15.6-inch laptops as well as 18 smaller pockets to store smaller belongings, such as headphones and snacks. With its sleek design, this backpack is stylish as well as functional.

Key Features

  • 16 by 12 by 7.5 inches
  • Nine color options
  • Main compartment
  • Three front compartments
  • Two side pockets
  • Back pocket
  • USB charging port

What Customers Are Saying

This product has nearly 3,700 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars. Reviewers rated this backpack 4 or 5 stars 96% of the time and 1 or 2 stars 2% of the time.

Positive reviews mentioned this backpack’s elegant design, spaciousness, and durability. However, other customers said that its stitching was cheaply made and that its USB charger didn’t work properly.

Best Small Backpack: Himawari Travel Backpack

This 11-by-16-inch travel backpack has six spacious pockets and an easy-to-access main compartment opening. This makes it ideal for travelers who are looking for a backpack that can store a lot of items without being bulky or uncomfortable. With reinforced edges and a steel frame, this bag is sturdy and reliable.

Key Features

  • 16 by 11 by 6.3 inches
  • 17 color options
  • Two size options
  • Main compartment
  • Front compartment
  • Two side pockets
  • USB charging port

What Customers Are Saying

This backpack has over 10,500 Amazon reviews and holds an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars. Among the reviews, 94% are 4- or 5-star reviews, while 2% are 1- or 2-star reviews.

Satisfied customers said that this backpack was sturdy, had a large storage capacity, and remained flat against their back even when it was filled with items. However, other reviewers said that this product had sharp, uncomfortable buckles and didn’t fit larger laptops.

Best Anti-Theft Features: Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack

With a five-step security system that includes lock-down straps, locking compartments, slash-resistant materials, and RFID-blocking pockets, this backpack protects your belongings from theft no matter where you’re traveling. It also weighs less than a pound and has a small size, making it easy to carry.

Key Features

  • 16 by 12 by 6 inches
  • Six color options
  • Main compartment
  • Front compartment
  • Two side pockets
  • Key clip with an LED light

What Customers Are Saying

This backpack holds an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars from over 1,500 reviews. Ninety-three percent of reviewers rated this product 4 or 5 stars, while 4% of reviewers rated it 1 or 2 stars.

Satisfied customers liked this backpack’s several safety features, sturdy construction, and large storage capacity. However, dissatisfied customers said that the zippers were prone to breaking after a short period of ownership.

Best For Cameras: TARION Camera Backpack

This backpack’s eight removable dividers make storing your photography equipment easy. It has room for a camera, six lenses, and a flash trigger. Plus, it features an exterior attachment for a tripod.

Key Features

  • 17 by 11.8 by 6 inches
  • Main compartment
  • Side pocket
  • Tripod clip
  • Rain cover

What Customers Are Saying

With over 2,500 reviews on Amazon, this backpack holds an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars. Among reviewers, 93% gave 4- or 5-star ratings, while 4% of customers gave 1- or 2-star ratings.

Those who left positive reviews said that this backpack was comfortable to wear and spacious enough for all of their camera accessories. Dissatisfied customers said that the straps and handles ripped easily and that some of the pockets were prone to opening without warning.

Buyer’s Guide

When determining which backpack is best for you, these are some of the most important factors to consider.

Material

Backpacks are typically made from one of the following materials.

Nylon

Nylon backpacks are waterproof and easy to clean. Some backpacks are made from ripstop nylon, which is a stronger material that’s resistant to tearing.

Polyester

Polyester bags are lightweight. They’re weather- and UV-resistant, making them good for outdoor use.

Cotton Canvas

Cotton canvas backpacks are more rugged. Because of this tougher material, these bags are resistant to almost any type of damage.

Leather

Leather backpacks are also heavy-duty, but they look more polished than canvas backpacks.

Comfort

Finding a backpack that doesn’t cause back or shoulder pain is essential. Many backpacks have mesh backs and padded, adjustable shoulder straps to ensure comfort.

Function

Determine what you will be using your backpack for, and look for models that are specifically designed for that purpose. For example, if you’re going to be using your backpack for work, make sure it has a laptop compartment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I properly wear a backpack?

Backpacks should be worn high on both of your shoulders, as wearing the bag too far down on your back or only on one shoulder can cause discomfort.

How do I take care of my backpack?

To properly care for your backpack, avoid placing wet materials directly in the bag, as moisture can damage your belongings or the bag and lead to mold growth. Backpacks should also be cleaned every few months. It’s best to hand-wash backpacks with a mild detergent.

Are there health risks to wearing backpacks?

Backpacks are largely safe, but they can cause some health problems if they’re worn improperly for extended periods of time. If a backpack is too tight on the shoulders or has too many items in it, it can cause temporary or permanent shoulder and back pain. Headaches and muscle spasms can also occur when using a backpack.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.