The best everday backpacks are functional, durable and affordable. They’ll comfortably hold a day’s worth of textbooks, notebooks and extracurricular accouterments without bursting at the seams or straining your back. Made to be used every day, they’re cut from long-lasting Cordura and ballistic nylon and include reliable YKK zippers. All this value is combined in a product that won’t break the bank. Depending on your needs, there are a number of bags that check all the boxes — check out 10 great options under $100 below.
JanSport Right Pack
This classic piece of campus kit is simple, but has all the essentials. It's cut from durable Cordura fabric and has padded shoulder straps and features a large main compartment that's large enough for several textbooks and notebooks. It also comes with a padded internal laptop sleeve as well as a smaller front utility pocket that is ideal for keys, pens and other accessories.
Matador On Grid Packable Backpack
If you need something that's compact, you can't get much more compact than this. That's because the backpack can actually pack into itself, saving space and saving you in a pinch when you've suddenly got more to carry. It's made with a waterproof 100-denier nylon fabric and comes with a laptop sleeve, expandable water bottle pockets and bartack reinforcement throughout.
The North Face Daypack
At a roomy 22L, this pack will hold everything needed to get through a long day of classes. Inspired by the brand’s ’70s mountaineering packs, it has a large main compartment, a smaller front pocket and padded straps.
Patagonia Atom 18L Backpack
Patagonia's Atom 18L Backpack may hold a smaller amount compared to other packs on this list, but it holds its own in terms of features. Using a 630-denier nylon for the exterior and 200-denier recycled polyester for the interior, the backpack comes with a spacious main compartment with an electronics sleeve that can hold a laptop up to 13 inches. It also has a convenient easy-access stash pocket, daisy chain loops, reinforced handles, and generous back padding that's both breathable and comfortable.
United By Blue Transit 25L Backpack
If you need ample space to slot in a large laptop, this trusty pack can fit laptops up to 17 inches. It's got plenty of compartments throughout for you water bottle, quick-access items, and small goods. Plus, all the fabric comes from recycled materials, so you'll have a smaller environmental impact, too.
Topo Designs Y-Pack 14L Backpack
This flip-top bag is secured with a quick-release Y strap. It’s made from durable Cordura fabric and features a laptop sleeve, water bottle pocket and an internal zippered pouch.
Everlane Modern Backpack
Everlane’s direct-to-consumer business model delivers quailty products for a fair price, as this water-resistant flip pack proves. The bag features a 19L padded internal compartment, two side slip pockets and a front zip pocket — spot the leather detials and YKK zippers.
Fjällräven Raven 20L
This understated backpack offers tons of organization with an internal zip pocket, a sunglasses pocket, a front pocket complete with mesh organizer and side water bottle pockets. The main compartment has a padded laptop sleeve and the bag features ergonomic padded straps.
Rains Field Bag
Known for its outerwear, Rains also makes a range of water-repellent bags perfect for inclement weather. This minimalist bag has a padded laptop sleeve and an external zip pocket, and the PU-polyester blend is inspired by the Danish brand’s classic raincoats.
Bellroy Slim Backpack
Effortlessly balancing minimalist aesthetics with maximum utility, Bellroy's Slim Backpack is deceptively streamlined. It has a hidden on-seam exterior pocket for your EDC, strong magnetic closures, plush lined pockets to keep your goodies safe.