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How to Pick the Right Backpack

Here are four backpacks for use anywhere from the beach to the office to the classroom

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Back-to-school season, travel in the summer, fall business trips, spring journeys to the beach – is there ever really an off-season for backpacks? Those over-the-shoulder bags have been lifesavers for a culture on the go. And while the design has evolved over the decades, the fundamental need for a good backpack hasn’t changed at all.

Here are four models of backpacks – one for every common need – that users rave about. Find the right one for you.

JanSport Superbreak

JanSport Superbreak Backpack

It’s lightweight with a zippered front pocket and padded shoulder pads. Oh, and it’s available in 30 colors. Amazon

It might look like an everyday backpack – and really it is – but here’s why we love this one so much for the beach: It’s water-repellent construction and zippered pockets keep your goodies dry come high tide, rainstorm or even a spilled water bottle. Plus with 30 available colors, you can match it easily to your other beach accessories.

Student Backpack

JanSport Cool Student 15-inch Laptop Backpack

The JanSport “Cool Student” has synthetic leather base and trim along with a sleeve that can fit a 15-inch laptop. Amazon

Backpacks weren’t nearly this cool when we were kids. This JanSport model features plenty of room for a laptop, books, headphones and anything else you need for class. If you’re having trouble organizing all your digital wires, consider purchasing the “digital burrito pouch,” which also fits inside this backpack.

PANS Military Expandable Travel Backpack

Military Expandable Travel Backpack

This expandable backpack has space for everything you need on a short hike or a long camping trip. Amazon

This backpack was designed to anticipate your needs. There’s a mesh pocket for a water bottle, a walkie-talkie pouch and separate storage areas to keep your gear organized. It also sports an adjustable chest belt so you can disperse the weight of the packed bag. Users particularly rave about the expansion features of this backpack.

Travel Laptop

Travel Backpack

We love the front compartment with organization features to accommodate every business tool under the sun. Amazon

Where do we start? Maybe with the built-in USB charger outside (with the charging cables inside). A hidden theft-proof pocket on the back of the bag helps protect valuables, money and a passport. Oh, and don’t forget the suitcase strap that lets you attack the backpack easily to your rolling luggage.

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