Those summer holidays always have just one, big, aching problem – they come to an end before they’ve ever really begun, and it’s back to school all over again. At least there’s one saving grace – that new backpack excitement that never goes away, no matter how old you are. if you’ve got a laptop you need to cart around, you’re going to need a bag with a large enough padded compartment to keep it safe, along with room for all your other school essentials. Any of the backpacks on this list will fit that requirement – find something for everyone on this list.

Popular brand

JanSport Big Student Laptop Backpack

Staff Favorite

The laptop compartment of this popular brand holds up to a 15-inch laptop. I’ve purchased several JanSport backpacks over the years; it’s a great basic bag for school kids, teens, and adults. I love that they offer so many fun colors and patterns at reasonable prices.

From $39 at Amazon

$60 at Walmart

Ergonomic choice

Bellroy Classic Backpack

This slim 17-liter canvas backpack can hold any laptop up to 15 inches in its padded laptop compartment. It’s my daily driver for when I need to bring 13-inch Macbook and not too much else. The padded straps make it very comfortable to wear. The main compartment holds plenty of personal items, plus it has a couple of small zippered compartments for smaller things. There are six color choices.

$89 at Amazon

$139 at Bellroy

Converts to tote

Solo Parker Hybrid Tote

This fashionable bag is a hybrid between a backpack and a tote bag. It has a fully padded compartment that holds up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro, plus lots of interior compartments and feet on the bottom for extra protection. This is my daughter’s bag for graduate school since she will want something more professional-looking when she does her clinical work.

$70 at Solo

Bigger bag for women

Osprey Packs Nova Women’s Laptop Backpack

Don’t ask me why Osprey needs to make division by gender, but the women’s version of this large bag is slightly smaller than the men’s. As a medium-sized woman, this 32-liter backpack is perfect for my frame and is about as big as I could wear comfortably. The many compartments carry up to a 17-inch laptop and tons more.

From $90 at Amazon

Bigger bag for men

Osprey Packs Nebula Men’s Laptop Backpack

The men’s version of the Nova, called the Nebula, is slightly larger than the women’s version at 34 liters. With so many large pockets, including a laptop compartment that fits a 17-inch laptop, you’ll be able to carry all of your necessities and then some.

From $90 at Amazon

Full-featured bargain

MATEIN Laptop Backpack

Carry any laptop up to 15 inches in this fully featured bargain bag. It has lots of pockets and an external USB port you can connect to your power bank (not included.) Choose from seven different colors and patterns.

From $30 at Amazon

$65 at Walmart

Wheeled design

High Sierra Wheeled Laptop Backpack

High Sierra is another backpack brand I’ve bought for my own children on several occasions, and we’ve always been happy with them. This version has wheels, so you don’t always have to carry your laptop and other essentials on your back.

From $71 at Amazon

$70 at Walmart

Slim, functional bargain

Mancro Laptop Backpack

With tons of features, this slim and highly functional backpack is sure to please. It comes with a combination lock, charging cable, and many compartments, including a padded laptop compartment that holds any laptop up to 17 inches. Choose from seven different colors and patterns.

From $26 at Amazon

$43 at Walmart

Luxurious style

Waterfield Sutter Slim Laptop Backpack

For a professional, business, or graduate school student, this would be a fantastic laptop bag. It’s crafted locally in San Fransisco from ballistic nylon or waxed canvas with full-grain leather accents. It’s slim, and yet it will hold up to a 15-inch laptop in its padded compartment. This classy bag will take you from student to professional.

$229 at Waterfield

Quality and features

OGIO PACE 20 Backpack

This well-constructed bag is comfortably padded for your comfort. The laptop and tablet compartments are both well-padded and situated away from the very bottom of the bag for extra protection. There are lots of pockets inside and out, including two water bottle holders. A luggage slide on the back means you can slip the back onto a carry-on suitcase handle when traveling.

$100 at Amazon

$100 at OGIO

Trendy and colorful

Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack

Don’t ask me to pronounce it, but I see this brand sold in all the cool stores. It holds up to a 15-inch laptop in its dedicated compartment, plus it has a main compartment and three other pockets. A huge part of its appeal is the tons of gorgeous colors you can choose from.

From $115 at Amazon

From $75 at Walmart

Purse combo

S-ZONE Leather Backpack Purse

This pretty bag is a cross between a backpack and a purse, and it comes in five colors. Smaller than a typical laptop bag, it can fit up to a 14-inch laptop and a few essentials.

$65 at Amazon

Vintage style

Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack

This modern, functional back has a fun retro look. Its padded laptop compartment holds up to a 15-inch laptop. It has an external USB charging port and built-in charging cable, so you can charge your smartphone on the go.

From $22 at Amazon

Which one should you choose?

If you just need a simple laptop backpack for any student heading back to school, the JanSport Big Student Laptop Backpack is an easy pick. It covers all the basics with a padded laptop compartment large enough for a 15-inch laptop. There are plenty of color and pattern options, so even the choosiest student will find one to love. The quality is good, and the price is right.

However, if you’re looking for something a bit more sophisticated and upscale, you can’t beat the Waterfield Sutter Slim Laptop Backpack. It will hold both your 15-inch Macbook Pro and your 12.9 iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard Folio in two separate padded compartments, plus your other tech gear. This is an investment piece that will take you past your school years and into the professional world.

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