Best Durable Backpack for Work, College, and travel

Best Durable Backpack for Work, College, and travel

No matter what you need a backpack for, whether it be for school, college, work, gaming or just for personal use, it’s great if they are durable. To help you with selecting the best durable backpack for your needs we’ve put together a quick review.

The price of backpacks varies significantly from the very cheap, around $10 up to the much more expensive, running into the thousands! Here you’ll find neither of those as we prefer a balance of cost and quality.

**Note** – A quick hello to anyone reading this, I’m Alastair AKA Product Review Lad. I started this site to help people choose the best products to buy, and hopefully what you’re about to read will aid you in your choice. This page includes affiliate links to the likes of Amazon, which if you make a purchase I qualify to earn a (typically small) commission. Don’t worry as this won’t cost you anything, the likes of Amazon pay any commissions. Thank you in advance for your support as this helps Product Review Lad to create the best reviews.

Best Durable Backpack for Work, College, and travel

Our overall best durable backpack goes to………

Best Durable Backpacks

After extensive research of over 100 durable backpack we have shortlisted the best available. We have highlighted the best for different criteria, and hopefully one suits you. We have completed this research to save you hours of searching and to ensure you buy the best quality backpacks available.

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Overall Best Durable Backpack – Ogio Renegade

After long deliberation it was decided to give the title of best durable backpack to the Ogio Renegade RSS Backpack. This is a brilliant backpack which lasts a long time. This back has good water resistance but try and avoid storms if possible! The straps have plenty shoulder padding which is great for comfort even when wearing a heavy backpack for a long time.

There are plenty of zipped compartments, and even more storage areas although it is easy to forget which pocket you put your keys in! The backpack has a 1,800 cubic inch (30 litre) capacity so plenty of room for most peoples needs. Even though this is a fairly large and durable backpack it still only weights 3.5 lbs so far from back breaking.

The laptop compartment can fit screens up to 15″, if you want to check if your laptop fits in the compartment dimensions are 15.5 x 10.8 x 1″. Unfortunately this isn’t any use for the larger 17″ screened laptops. One of the best things about this bag is the crush proof vault which has a soft lining for the laptop. Another great feature is the camera pocket which has plenty of padding to protect your camera.

The only downside some customers have encountered is the stitching at the bottom of the bag failing prematurely. If this happens the bag should be replaced for free under warranty as OGIO have a good warranty policy.


  • Great carry on luggage
  • Very durable
  • Awesome laptop protection
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Plenty of storage


  • Can be awkward and uncomfortable for taller larger built people

Best Large Capacity Durable Backpack – Everki Beacon

If you have a 17″ laptop or need to store a lot of things in your daily bag, the Everki Beacon is the backpack for you. The bag is predominantly aimed at gamers who want to carry their console to other places, but really is not limited to this. The laptop compartment is 1.38 x 14.17 x 19.69″ so if you have a large laptop this is likely the backpack for you. On top of this the bag boasts nearly 2,000 cubic inches (32.5 litres) of volume. You can just about squeeze an Xbox one into the main compartment!

Another nifty feature is how the backpack opens. You can open the bag as normal to open for access from the top, if you unbuckle the strap then you can open the back to 180°. Such a handy feature if you have something like large textbooks, an Xbox or PlayStation to carry.

To add to the durability of this backpack there are 2 lifting handles. Making heavy lifting both easier and putting less stress on the handles so reducing the risk of ripping. The bag has a chest strap which helps with weight distribution and is really handy when the bag is very full.


  • Huge capacity
  • Two zipped side pockets perfect for quick access
  • Great for big laptops
  • Good shoulder padding
  • Really durable
  • Comes with water resistant cover


  • Chest strap design isn’t the best for women
  • Bulky which doesn’t suit everyone

Best for Travel Durable Backpack – SWISSGEAR Getaway

This bag is called a hybrid as it is a backpack which crosses design with a suitcase. Perfect for a weekend get away or overnight business trips. The backpack has a zip which goes around 3 sides and some of the 4th side, allowing the bag to hinge like a suitcase does. In the suitcase section there are several compartments, and a hidden zip pocket on the outer section.

The bag can fit most 15″ laptops and has a size zipper for quick access to your laptop. Although, larger laptop are a little struggle to remove from here. The padded laptop compartment has the following dimensions 13.25 x 10.25 x 1.25″. The bag is slightly smaller than the above two backpacks but still have a hold capacity of 1,500 cubic inches (24.6 litres).

One other great area of this backpack is how comfortable it is to wear, and for long periods too. It’s well ventilated and light weight which is brilliant if you have to travel long distances with this on your back.


  • Great for when you need luggage space
  • Drinks bottle holder
  • Two external quick access pockets
  • Very comfortable


  • Zips could be stronger
  • Can be awkward and uncomfortable for taller larger built people

Best Flap Durable Laptop Backpack – Herschel Little America

It’s very well known that Herschel make what is considered the best flap open backpacks on the market. Not only are they at the height of fashion they are also extremely durable and the reason why they’re featured here. They have a huge range to choose from and you can almost guarantee there is a design which everyone loves.

The laptop compartment fits most 15″ laptops and has plenty of padding and a fleece lining, which feels amazing. There is also magnetic strap closures which help making sure your backpack is shut and not left accidentally open.


  • Great looking
  • Very durable
  • Comfortable to wear


  • Smaller than other backpacks listed

Best Waterproof Durable Backpack – Skog Å Kust

This bag is the best choice if you have a daily commute in an area where it rains a lot, especially if you don’t have a laptop to carry but still need plenty of storage. The backpack comes in two sizes 1,525 or 2,135 cubic inches (25 or 35 litres). This Skog bag is also amazing for heading outdoors on a hike, heading to a beach or while kayaking for example. It’s lightweight while very robust, weighing only 2.5 pounds and most importantly it’s waterproof! The waterproofing is mainly down to the 500 Denier PVC material, and it holds an IPX6 rating (very impressive).

There are plenty of choices when it comes to color and patterns including some camouflager type style. Just try not to loose it! Each bag comes with a reflective patch to help viability in low light, very useful for those long winter nights when you may be heading home in the dark. The top of the backpack is a roll top which is to be rolled at least three times, then clicked. This makes a useful handle too! You can also close the backpack using the side clip, both are really simple to use and robust.

One final great feature is that the bag will float, just don’t put any bricks in it….


  • Great weight distribution
  • Large front zipped pocket
  • Large capacity
  • Great for work and getting away from work
  • Good visibility in the dark


  • Would benefit from more shoulder strapping
  • No designated laptop section

Best Value and RFID protection Durable Backpack – KROSER RFID Travel

The best value durable backpack also comes with a level of RFID protection unlike most backpacks. For those that don’t know what RFID protection is, it’s a method of protecting your contactless bank cards from card skimming. To read more about card skimming check out these pages, RFID Blocking wallets Do They Work or Best RFID Blocking / Jamming Cards. Basically this backpack has a pocket with an RFID blocking lining, which is great to protect your bank cards or contactless car key fobs.

The backpack is very durable but seems to wear slightly faster than some of the others reviewed, but for the price it really does well. The back also has some level of waterproofing but you don’t want to get caught out in heavy rain.

This bag is huge! It fits beastly sized 17″ laptops and has plenty of storage for books or whatever else you need it fit in. There is a hard shell to protect laptops and is very breathable when being worn. The backpack has several zipped pockets of which the top one is perfect for storing your sunglasses.


  • RFID protection pocket
  • Stores large laptops
  • Big capacity
  • Great laptop protection


  • Might be a little to big for some
  • Lacks some style compared to other backpacks
  • Durability is good but others reviewed are better

What to look for in the most durable backpacks

There are several key factors to asses when buying a backpack these are:

  • Size of laptop compartment
  • Overall size/capacity
  • Laptop protection
  • Style
  • Durability
  • Price
  • Weight
  • Material
  • Comfort

Size of laptop compartment

This one doesn’t need much explanation. If you’re looking for a backpack to fit a 15″ laptop there isn’t much point buying a bag with a 13″ laptop compartment. Sometimes it is best to buy a size larger than your laptop depending on the width of the none screen area.

Overall size/capacity

You may be looking for a thin streamlined bag or you may need one which can fit in textbooks, your lunch and notepads for example.

Laptop protection

Accidents happen, you could fall or drop your bag and the last thing you want is for your laptop to break, that can really ruin your day! Most backpacks come with sufficient protection but cheaper products sometimes lack this.


This is down to personal taste, ultimately as soon as you look at a bag you know if you don’t want to buy it.


You want a bag you can rely on, which isn’t going to have the straps break, the zip stop working. It’s also important to have a bag which is waterproof or at least water resistant. Something I have found out from experience.


This is a personal preference yet again, as we all have a budget in mind when purchasing something. If you see a bag which meets your needs but is slightly more pricey than you want to pay, I’d advice spending that little extra for quality.

Weight & Comfort

Weight strongly links with comfort, as if you’re on the move for a long time and have a big cumbersome backpack, this really isn’t comfortable.


The main materials that durable backpacks are made from are the following:

  • Canvas
  • Duck Fabric
  • Nylon
  • Denier (1200D or higher being preferential)


There are many great durable backpacks highlighted on this page, hopefully one to suit everyone depending on your needs. Personal favorites are the OGIO and the Herschel. The OGIO being a great all-rounder, but the Herschel being super stylish.