Ultimate Guide for Choosing a Backpack – BestbackpackLab

When I was a student, I seemed to go through a huge amount of backpacks.

I just couldn't find one that would both last the test of time that was also well organised and spacious enough for all my belongings. 

I bought so many bags over the years, however, that in the end I became an expert on how to pick the right one. 

How To Choose Backpack For Everyday Life

People often ask me what to look for when choosing a backpack. If you're reading this, you've probably got the same question. I've written this article so that you don't have to experience the same difficulties that I did.

Instead of buying the wrong one first time and then having to buy another, inform yourself first time around so that you know which is the best backpack for you and make the right choice.

After reading this article you'll able to buy the best backpack for college, best backpack for school and best backpack for travel, best backpack for men and women.

If your priority is to have a stylish backpack, a backpack for under 50 or the best backpack for under 100 then you've come to the right place. 

Considerations When Buying a Backpack

Before starting your search you need to have the following points clear in your mind.


If you're looking for a backpack that you can take to work with you then your occupation will determine what you need to carry with you every day.

It may also influence the style of your backpack, as your work place might be more or less formal. If you don't want to use your backpack for work then you'll be less restricted. 


The place where you'll be using the backpack most will have an impact on which one you go for.

The most influential feature is likely to be the weather, as if you live in a damp climate then you'll definitely need a waterproof bag, but those blessed with eternal sunshine won't have to worry about this so much. 


What you usually carry in your backpack is extremely important when it comes to deciding on one.

Sporty? You'll want to carry your gym clothes or tennis racket. 

Student? You'll need space for your laptop and all those books.

Tech-obsessed? Look for something with a charging port and special laptop and tablet sleeves. 

And so on and so forth!

Features of Quality Backpacks

Packs that you use on a daily basis need to be durable. That is, they have to be able to stand up to everyday use.

Here are a few features that will make sure your pack stands the test of time. 


Firstly, if you live in a rainy climate make sure your bag is 100% waterproof. Otherwise rain or moisture will seep in and your belongings get wet. Waterproof means it must be able to resist absorbing a cup of water.

If you live somewhere dry, this doesn't have to be as much of a priority and simply water-resistant will be enough. 


This is another important thing to look for. The zippers should be good quality and move smoothly without getting caught in the fabric. Choose those bags that have two zippers on each compartment.


Choose backpacks that have several pockets on the sides and front as well as elastic pockets. These pockets allow you to carry additional things that you want to have quick access too, like a water bottle.

Zipped pockets are great places to keep things you know you'll need access to so you don't have to dig through deep pockets.

Padded Components

Padded elements are great for protecting any technological devices you want to carry with you, like a laptop. Check if they are present and how much protection they offer. 

Hip Belt and Breast Strap

These are really only necessary for a large pack that you might use for a trip. They help to spread out the load of a pack which makes it more comfortable to carry. If you go for a pack with these, make sure they're padded and adjustable. 


As you're going to use it every day, I suggest purchasing well-known brand backpacks whose products you know you can trust. Well-known brands will usually offer you a guarantee on your pack. 

Internal Frame

Choose a pack that has an internal frame instead of buying one with an external frame. An internal frame makes your bag slimmer thus making it easier to move around.

It should be made of tough plastic or carbon fiber that will make it lighter as well as durable.


If your backpack is just for leisure purposes then don't be shy, pick a fun colour. However, make sure you go for something that won't show the dirt too easily.

If you do plan on using your back professionally, go for a more muted colour that will match your work clothes. If in doubt I always suggest going for a classic black or gray. You can't go wrong!

Price Estimation

The price of your backpack will largely depend on size, fabric and, as I mentioned above, the brand. Good backpacks mostly range between $99- 300 USD, but you can often find good deals on more expensive backpacks. For a backpack that will stand up to daily use, aim to spend $50 - 150.

Check out our backpack list for under $100.

If your budget is really limited we also have a guide for backpacks for under $50.

Brand Recommendations

Osprey, North Face, and Gregory are big brand names that you can always trust, especially for backpacks you'll be using in the great outdoors.

Keep your eyes peeled for products from these brands, but don't rule out other brands if you come across a product that appeals to you. 


The popularity of backpacks has exploded in recent years. Your backpack should be like you, practical but stylish.

Pick a pack that will last you a long time and can be used for different purposes. When you find the perfect pack for you, you'll know! 

  • Updated October 30, 2021