Resources › For Students and Parents The 10 Best Backpack Features for Students For Comfort, Security, and Style Share Flipboard Email Print A-Digit / Getty Images For Students and Parents Homework Help Homework Tips Learning Styles & Skills Study Methods Time Management Private School Test Prep College Admissions College Life Graduate School Business School Law School Distance Learning View More By Grace Fleming Education Expert M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia B.A., History, Armstrong State University Grace Fleming, M.Ed., is a senior academic advisor at Georgia Southern University, where she helps students improve their academic performance and develop good study skills. our editorial process Grace Fleming Updated June 29, 2018 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 are well worth looking for, like the 10 described below. 01 of 10 Wheels and a Long Handle kickers / Getty Images 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. 02 of 10 Wide, Padded Straps Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images 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. If you ever plan on traveling long distances, padded straps are a must. 03 of 10 Lots of Compartments Catherine Delahaye / Getty Images 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 and easy to find. 04 of 10 Pockets for Pencils and Pens BongkarnThanyakij / Getty Images 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. This is especially great for school supplies. 05 of 10 Laptop Sleeve FilmMagic / Getty Images 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 from harm. 06 of 10 Magnetic Flaps Amorphis / Getty Images 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. 07 of 10 Durable Material Sawitree Pamee / EyeEm / Getty Images 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. 08 of 10 Waterproof Pouch Hydrogenn / Getty Images 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. 09 of 10 Water Bottle Pouch MosayMay / Getty Images 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 of 10 Lockable Zippers wachira aekwiraphong / Getty Images If security is a concern, use a backpack with lockable zipper heads. These add a level of security by allowing you to use a combination lock to secure your bag. That way, you always know your belongings are safe.