17 Perfect Backpacks For College

So, you're well into your first semester at college (or maybe returning), and finally starting to get the lay of the land – and have figured out just what you need to have on hand every day. Finding backpacks for college that effortlessly balance your style with practicality can be a bit tricky, but well worth the hunt. High school probably kept you weighed down with stacks upon stacks of books and papers, whereas your college load is likely a bit lighter. Whether you have one or five classes on a given day, you probably have some down time in between and only have to deal with a few staples at a time: laptop, textbook, notebook, pen, plus all the usual purse suspects. You definitely need space, but nothing crazy. Finding the perfect backpack can be daunting (it truly becomes an extension of your person), but finding one you love will both simplify your life and make you feel totally put-together — even at an 8 a.m. recitation.

It's just like Bianca Stratford said, "I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack." While you're probably not looking to splurge too hard on something that will live half of its life on the floor of a lecture hall, a go-to that complements your personal vibe is absolutely essential. And lucky for you, backpacks are totally back in style. These 17 picks are perfect for college, and will have you feeling way more like campus-ready Karlie Kloss than a kid waiting for the school bus — with plenty of room for all your stuff.

1. Athleisure All The Way

Adidas Originals Classic Backpack, $47, Amazon

If athleisure is your thing, this classic adidas bag is the way to go.

2. Structured And Sleek

LOFA Leather Backpack, $50, Amazon

This is almost too chic to be a backpack, but I'm into it. Your roomies will be begging to borrow this one.

3. Mixed Chambray With Natural Leather Details

Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack, $45, Amazon

Denim truly goes with everything, and that applies to accessories too. Subtle tonal color blocking lends just the right amount of interest.

4. A Little Outdoorsy

Fjallraven Kanken Daypack, $75, Amazon

This wine-red bag is just as sturdy as it is cute. Plus, it can do double-duty on outdoor adventures.

5. Burgundy Leather With Crisp Styling

Kenneth Cole Reaction Streamers Backpack, $84, Amazon

Minimalist styling allows this bag to effortlessly balance form and function.

6. Rip-Stop Plaid (With All The Pockets)

LeSportsac Voyager Backpack , $75, Amazon

Who said plaid has to be preppy? This will add just the polished grunge vibe you're looking for — and burgundy looks great with all neutrals.

7. Ready For Anything, In Style

LeSportsac Voyager Backpack, $88, Amazon

Roomy, classic, and just what you need. This will also make a great carry-on when you fly home for the holidays.

8. Less Is More Black Nylon

LeSportsac Signature Dani Backpack, $158, Amazon

Simple, sleek, and just the right size.

9. Branded (But Just A Little)

Calvin Klein Nylon Zip Backpack, $128, Amazon

Taking #MyCalvins a step further... and I'm not mad.

10. Tan Leather That Ages To Perfection

Piel Leather Large Buckle Flap Backpack, $170, Amazon

This will literally go with everything, age beautifully, and never go out of style.

11. Contemporary Camo

Marc By Marc Jacobs Domo Arigato Brush Tips Packrat Backpack, $191, Amazon

This abstract take on camo will add the perfect pop of print to your black-on-black looks.

12. Unexpected Color And Subtle Texture

Marc By Marc Jacobs Crosby Quilt Nylon Backpack, $198, Amazon

Navy is a great alternative to black, and this quilting lends interest without being overbearing.

13. Timeless Chestnut Leather

Fossil Vickery Backpack, $228, Amazon

This is one of those bags that only gets better with age. And the bucket style is on-trend by not too trendy.

14. Statement Hue With Smart Details

Ash Danica Medium Backpack, $234, Amazon

This bold hue looks totally sophisticated with subtle, luxe details and an understated silhouette.

15. Classic Black Leather

Kooba Steinbeck Backpack, $236, Amazon

Like your favorite black leather purse, but bigger.

16. Moto Leather With Zips

Marc By Marc Jacobs Domo Biker Backpack, $395, Amazon

A subtle biker edge gives this luxe backpack a little something extra. And it has pockets for everything.

17. Understated Biker Jacket Turned Backpack

Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack, $295, Amazon

This pack is a little smaller, but perfect for those days when all you need is your iPad or a notebook.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

Image: paultarasenko/Fotolia