What backpack to get for university

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Hold, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Hold macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    I will be starting soon and need to get a backpack. Not sure what would be best.

    Things I will need to carry:
    Some food
    Two small bottles of water
    13" air and
    Some books
    Pencil case
    and some other random stuff.

    What would be a good bag to get?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I like LLBean backpacks. Lifetime, no-hassle warranties.
  3. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    I just have a Hiking bag from a local camping shop.
  4. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I know people will get on my tail for saying this but you can never go wrong with The North Face. Mine has held up for 3 years now in rain and snow and it still looks new.

    I have the Surge and it has two side pockets for water and a dedicated laptop compartment that is raised higher than the main compartment. This ensures that if you drop your bag down, the laptop won't hit the ground at all.
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
  6. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    A few options you should consider.


    Imo, the latter options are better looking, although the top two are practical.
  7. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I also agree. While I have a Jansport bag at the moment, I would not hesitate buying a Swiss Gear if I needed to carry my computer.
  8. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
  9. MusicEnthusiast macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Back in middle/high school, I bought a new backpack every year because they would always blow out. When I entered college 3 yrs ago, I bought a black Northface Surge backpack, and nothing on it has ripped. Maybe it's the fact that I don't carry lots of books in it, but I highly recommend it because it's strong, durable, and remarkably stylish.
  10. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Woohoo, a Surge user!
  11. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    Another vote for Swiss Gear. I've had one for years, and it has been very durable and holds a ton of stuff.
  12. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Most of my luggage is from Redoxx.

    I've been using a 'rock hopper' pretty much every day for the last 4 years, and it still looks almost new.
  13. Caliber26 macrumors 68000


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Personally, I would recommend a Kipling bag. I've had mine since my senior year in high school (1998) and you would never guess it. I have used it on almost-daily basis for the last 14 years and I can't see myself replacing it anytime soon.
  14. Rennir macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2012
    Unless you're OCD, I wouldn't recommend the surge. It looks good but there are better looking laptops. And it has way too many compartments and little pockets IMO. I would rather not mess with so many zippers and little compartments everywhere so I opted for a less complicated backpack.
  15. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
    Yup, the most durable and versatile bag I've owned.
  16. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    I got one from Oakley a few months back and love the size and craftsmanship. They make a lot more than shades, and their known to supply many military and police forces with gear. At least take a look before you decide.
  17. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
  18. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I bought a Targus bag when I first started, still have it and its still not falling apart.
  19. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    I'm using a Surge now, but have used a STM Revolution (Medium) and a Power Pack by Outdoor Products (linky) in the past several years.

    I started with the Power Pack, which had TONS of room for pretty much everything under the sun. The main compartment was spacious and was very convenient in that it included dividers for keeping books and notebooks separate. Lots of spaces and designated pockets for thumb drives, pens, pencils, calculators, a mouse, etc. This site has a better view of the different compartments. It had two generously size side pockets for umbrellas, water bottles, etc. And the laptop compartment was very nicely padded.

    The STM revolution was very nice, and the included rain cover saved my laptop at least a couple of times. That said, the main compartment, specifically for carrying anything more than a single book and maybe a couple notebooks was pretty tight. It's very light and feels very mobile... also has a decent amount of room for pens, pencils and calculator but at the expense of overall carrying capacity. The cushioning in the straps is noticeably thinner and less forgiving than on the Power Pack.

    What led me to the Surge however was that the Power Pack would fill up and get very heavy and bulky very quickly. When I downsized from a 13" MBP to a 13" Air, I went with the STM Revolution. However, the STM began to get quite limiting space-wise, so I moved up slightly in size to the Surge. To me, the Surge is a nice compromise between the previous two. Padding in the straps is in between the STM and the Power Pack, with interior space approaching that of the Power Pack.

    Power Pack
    + SPACE! Interior organization, very comfortable padding in straps, has designated pockets and slots for all of your computing and class needs.
    - Can get bulky, and heavy.
    Recommended use: If you're going to be out of your dorm/apartment all day and need a bag to carry everything you need.

    + Mobility, rain cover is a lifesaver.
    - Space, padding in straps less forgiving for all day lugging around.
    Recommended use: If you go the e-book route for text books, would be ideal size/form for biking to and from classes.

    + Space, without getting bulky. Mobility, without sacrificing too much space.
    - At least where I am (University of Michigan), it seems like 50% of the campus has the exact same bag. If you care about things like that.
    Recommended use: Compromise between space of the Power Pack, and the mobility of the STM.
  20. espiritujo macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2011
    columbia, sc

    This model is what I use. I think the one I have is the older model, but it's lasted me the past year and a half. I've taken it on short day hikes and it's been to 5 different countries with me so far! It has plenty of space that I need for class too. Highly recommend it.
  21. Fed macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2012
    Any North Face daysack. I've just got the North Face 'Surge'. Excellent bag.
  22. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    Agreed on the Northface packs. I use the Big Shot which is one of their larger day packs and it holds a lot of stuff. It's a single compartment pack so it's just one large compartment to hold everything.

    If you want something with lots of compartments, I'd highly recommend the Jansport Odyssey as it has a ton of individual compartments for just about everything.

  23. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    I went through several backpacks in college. Not that the bag wore out, but the padding in the straps compressed and became worthless. A couple of things to consider. If you are going to carry your bag over one shoulder, buy a bag that is designed to be carried that way. If you bike a lot, you are going to want something that fits you well, be it a courier bag or a backpack. Keep an eye out for end of year clearances on backpacks. Right now is the "premium" time to buy.

    I bought a Trager in Grad School. Still have it, still use it 15 years later.
  24. lwood1 macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2008
  25. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008

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