A great backpack is essential for getting from class to class with class. But it’s got to be versatile; a durable book bag that serves as a stylish weekender should last well beyond graduation. These five all-purpose backpacks do the job nicely. They’re all stylish and comfortable, and they’re all under $100 — so you can buy the college supplies you really need, like Ramen by the case, avocado toast, and beer. Lots and lots of beer.
Herschel Supply Company Pop Quiz Backpack
Herschel Supply Company’s Pop Quiz backpack (from $75) earns its reputation with a large-capacity interior, padded and fleece lined 15" laptop sleeve, internal media pocket with headphone port, and fleece-lined sunglass compartment. Plus it comes in a mind-boggling choice of colors and patterns from Zappos.
The Patagonia Men's Refugio 28L Pack
Patagonia is known for its tough-as-nails products backed by a lifetime warranty and the company’s Men's Refugio 28L Pack stays true to that ethos. It’s made from rugged recycled polyester that’s trail-ready but perfect as an everyday carry. It features a large main compartment with a padded laptop sleeve, a lined tablet pocket with room for books, and a zip-front smaller compartment to handle all your cords and chargers. It comes in a ton of cool colorways; the adzuki red is on sale at Backcountry right now for $58 but if red/gold isn’t your thing, Moosejaw has a host of color choices for $89.
Solo New York Weekender Backpack Duffel
With the Solo New York Weekender backpack duffel (on sale for $45 at Amazon) you can go from running across the quad with laptop and books in tow, to hauling dirty laundry home for the weekend. We love hybrids and this one gets high marks with its padded 16” laptop compartment and an internal iPad/ tablet pocket. It’s even got a separate shoe compartment.
Fjällräven Raven 20L
We love the clean design and nice range of colorways of the hardworking Raven 20L ($85) from Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven. It’s a great everyday backpack that fits a 15-inch laptop. It has some practical details too, like a fleece-lined pocket for shades and smartphone and a slash-zip front pocket with a mesh organizer to keep all your stuff exactly where you want it.
Rains Messenger Backpack
Rains, a Danish company that launched in 2012, specializes in weather-defying products and its Messenger backpack (below, $95) does just that. Based on a traditional European school backpack, It’s got a weatherproof outer made from a polyester-polyurethane material with a matte finish to keep your stuff nice and dry even if you aren’t. The Messenger has fine detailing and a roomy interior with a laptop pocket.For more than 25 years, Men’s Journal has been the expert in all things gear — from mountain bikes to fitness trackers, blenders to watches, and drones to cars. We take pride in a rigorous review process that includes testing and torturing. While our standards remain high as ever, our site now includes affiliate links, which means that if you buy something using these links, we may receive a commission.