Friday, August 1, 2014
Last updated: 4 days ago

Put five backpacks to the test

Photo illustration Kai Jacobson/The Ubyssey

Photo illustration Kai Jacobson/The Ubyssey

Looking for a new bag? It can be daunting to choose a bag that aligns with your budget and your fashion sense. Add the fact that it needs to fit piles of books — plus the laptop you use to stay awake through class — and your choices start to narrow.

The five backpacks below not only suit different budgets, shoulder strengths and volume requirements; they also won’t make you look like you just got back from a spontaneous hike.

Herschel Little America

The price is a little steep at $89, but if volume is what you’re going for, this is your bag. This almost-hipster backpack will hold your laptop (up to 17″) and most of your textbooks. Reviews claim that it lasts a while “if you take care of it,” so don’t take it on a hiking trip or long walks in the rain.

North Face Borealis

It may be yet another North Face on campus, but this baby will last a long time and be kind to your shoulders and your back, as it has extra padding on the injection-moulded shoulder straps. It will also hold pretty much everything you might need, including a 15″ laptop. Take your pick from 12 colours, and you’re bound to complement someone’s North Face jacket on campus. Bikers will appreciate this backpack’s reflective loops and lifetime warranty, and while the added safety whistle may not be useful during peak hours at Main Mall, it’s still a nifty feature.

Jansport Right Pack

A colourful Jansport backpack might make the grey Vancouver days a little more tolerable, but the suede leather bottom may not be the best if you’re more of the rugged, I-will-put-my-backpack-anywhere type. A bonus is that at $55, it’s one of the more wallet-friendly options on the market.

Dakine Detail 27L

Want a cool-looking bag but can’t afford the price tag of a Herschel? The Dakine will put you back only $65, and it follows the Jansport in style, with a noticeable organizer front pocket. At 27 litres, it promises to hold most laptops and books. This backpack comes in four colour combinations; the black and charcoal option seems to be the most versatile, unless you like the multicoloured effect of the “Palapa.”

Chrome Orlov

This made-in-California rolltop backpack will definitely make you stand out on campus. It will comfortably hold pretty much anything you can imagine carrying on a regular school day, and its waterproof outer shell and lining will last during the worst of Vancouver’s rain. At $150, this is not going to be in everyone’s budget, but it comes with a lifetime warranty, a choice of five colours and promises of much happier shoulders.