We're not going to lie. The backpack is a tough look to pull off, especially if you're a both-straps-on type. Anytime we see an adult wandering the streets or coffee shops of Manhattan looking like a harried high schooler, we cringe a little bit. That said, the one place you can get away with it is when you're actually in school--hence our perfectly timed collection of back-to-school laptop backpacks.
We may mock the backpack a bit, but despite years of bag evolution, they're still the best way to carry a laptop, books, and other assorted gear around campus. Finding a good bag is requires a complex balance of needs: style helps, but more importantly a backpack should have ample padding, some weatherproofing or ruggedness, and plenty of pockets for books, gear, and maybe a change of clothing on weekend trips.
Submitted (and modeled) for your approval, we've collected the best laptop-friendly backpacks, each with one or more unique features worth noting. Some are affordable; some are immense and customizable; others are knife-proof. Read our impressions in the gallery below and check out how they look slung over a shoulder.
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