10 Best Backpack Features

For Comfort, Security, and Style

Whether you're in kindergarten or going to law school, there's one piece of equipment every student needs: a backpack. Some students may want a colorful bag to show off their style, while others may want something more practical. But there are some features that all great backpacks have in common. Here are the 10 best backpack features to look out for.

1. Wheels and a long handle

Rolling backpacks can be great for taking the load off — but only when the handle is long enough for comfort. If you have to bend over to pull it along, it can actually contribute to back pain. The best rolling backpacks have long handles, making them easy to transport even when they're filled with heavy textbooks.

2. Wide, padded straps

Thin backpack straps can cut into your skin and cause pain. Look for a bag with padded straps, which provide added comfort for your shoulders.

3. Lots of compartments

A great backpack includes lots of compartments in various sizes. Not only do they spread the weight around, preventing strain from trying to balance a bottom-heavy bag, but they also help keep things organized.

4. Pockets for pencils and pens

It's easy to stay organized when there's a designated space for every tool. Make sure your backpack has special pockets for tools such as pencils and pens to avoid the "dump and search" system.

5. Laptop sleeve

The best thing about laptops is their portability. You can take them to class, to the coffee shop, to the library and back. But laptops are also fragile. Laptop sleeves are specifically designed to cushion your computer and keep it safe.

6. Magnetic flaps

Avoid frustration with easy-to-access pockets and quick-release latches. These are a great feature for students on the go who don't have time to bother with zippers and buckles.

7. Durable material

If you want a backpack that will last, look for one made out of durable material such as nylon or canvas. You'll also want to invest in a backpack that's well-constructed. The extra money will pay off when your backpack is still in one piece after years of use.

8. Waterproof pouch

If you need to carry around a cell phone or a tablet, a waterproof pouch can help keep your belongings safe from the elements. Nothing is worse than finding a soaked notebook after a surprise downpour.

9. Water bottle pouch

Carrying your own water bottle can help you save money and stay hydrated. But nobody wants a leak, especially in a backpack. A separate pouch can help keep liquids away from electronics and other sensitive materials.

10. Lockable zippers

If security is a concern, be sure to find a backpack with lockable zipper heads. These add a level of security by allowing you to use a combination lock. That way, you always know your belongings are safe.

Everyone's needs are unique. Make sure you find a backpack that fits your size, your style, and your stuff.