Starting the school year is always memorable. I loved the first day of university every year. I had normally spent the whole weekend moving into wherever I was going to live that year in Victoria, buying food and whatever else I needed, and unpacking with my roommates and figuring out where everything was going to go. By the evening before the first day of school, we were all moved in and getting excited about seeing all our friends and starting school the next day. The next morning we would get up early (probably the earliest we would get up all year), actually eat breakfast and head to campus to see our friends and crack open our new notebooks for our first lecture of the year. Though the novelty of this always inevitably wore off each semester, the first day of school was always fun!
During a typical school day, you use your backpack all the time: on your commute, in between classes, to lunch, to the library, to soccer practice, and on your walk home. Since it’s such a key component to your day, it’s important that you choose one that suits your needs.
Size and Space
When choosing a backpack, you first have to decide what size you need. Choosing the right size depends on what you’re going to use it for. How many classes do you have every day? Do you need to bring extra supplies for labs? Are you bringing extra clothes for the gym or work? Are you going to be on campus all day and need lots of food?
If you’ve got tons to pack every day, go with a mega sized backpack like the High Sierra Loop Backpack. These backpacks come in a variety of shades and designs and holds up to 33L of books, clothes and food so you don’t need to worry on days that you’re going to be on campus all day. The JanSport Digital Student Backpacks are also a great option. They hold up to the 38L of stuff and come different fun colours and styles! These larger size backpacks are also large enough for overnight or weekend trips, making them great for taking them to sports tournaments or home to see family for the weekend.
However if you don’t have tons to bring every day, you also don’t have to lug around a massive, empty backpack. If you’re looking for a small bag, the Roxy Pink Sky 21L Day Packpack or the Burton Youth Gromlet 15 L Backpack is great for any high school or college student who needs a compact bag for a few books and a snack. A small bag, like the Marvel The Avengers Backpack or the Disney Minnie Backpack with Lunch Bag is also great for any little tyke going off to preschool or elementary school in the fall.
Have you ever dug around in your bag for 5 minutes to find your sunglasses to finally realize that they have been at the bottom all day and are probably broken? That’s why having a bag with pockets is so important! Pockets have always been something I’ve been picky about when choosing a backpack. Well-placed pockets allow you to easily find and protect everything you need and easily accessible packets let you quickly grab keys, sunglasses and other personal items when you need them. I like the front pockets on the High Sierra Access 45L Laptop Backpack. There is a main front pocket for pens, post-it notes and your wallet, a small pocket within it for your keys, gum and other small personal items and a pocket at the top of your backpack for your sunglasses. This backpack also has a laptop pocket which I consider to be a backpack essential. Most people spend between $500 and $1000 on a new laptop, so it’s important to protect that significant investment from damage. In addition to the High Sierra backpack mentioned above, check out these other backpacks with a laptop pocket.
Another backpack essential is a water-bottle pocket. We have all had a water bottle or coffee mug leak in our bag and ruin a cell phone, laptop or book of notes. Having your water bottle or other liquids on the outside of your bag give an extra layer of protection to the important items inside. The High Sierra Access Backpack has a water bottle pocket, and here are some other backpacks with a handy water bottle pocket.
Straps and Design
As I mentioned above, on some busy days where you have school, work and a spin class, your backpack can feel like it’s full to the brim with everything you own. On days like that, it’s important that you have a high-quality backpack that can not only fit what you need but also save you and your back from long-term damage. To help protect your back, you may want to invest in a backpack with a chest or hip strap and specific ergonomic design. A great option is the stylish Burton Day Hiker 32L Backpack. This spacious backpack has ergonomic shoulder straps and a molded back panel to help protect your back from heavier loads. It also has a chest strap and a removable waist strap for added comfort, security and back protection when carrying heavy items for long periods throughout the day. Another great option is the line of backpacks from ObusForme. These backpacks come is a variety of styles and sizes and are all equipped with the ObusForme Comfort Support System, which is specifically designed to protect your back when carrying heavy loads.
Wear and Tear
The last feature you need to consider when choosing a backpack is the quality of the fabric and it’s resistance to wear and tear. If you’re going to spend money investing in a new backpack, you may as well choose something that is going to last, especially if you know you will be consistently carrying lots of items to and from school. Both Swiss Gear and Roots both have various backpacks that are made from water resistant, durable polyester or nylon materials that makes them great for withstanding various types of Canadian weather. Check out the Roots, Swiss Gear and other water resistant back pack styles here.
A good backpack is a back-to-school essential. When choosing the perfect backpack for school, it’s important to first choose the right size to suit your needs. Then you need to further narrow your choice by finding a bag with the right pockets for your personal items, laptop and water bottle. Lastly, you want to choose a bag that is made of water resistant materials with a high-quality ergonomic design and chest and hip straps for extra support and comfort. Other than that choose a style that suits your personality and get yourself to class!
By Lucy Woodhead, Technology & Lifestyle
My focus is to discuss tech products that are trendy and in demand amongst the younger generation. Over the years I have reviewed, compared and wrote about a wide variety of products, including headphones, speakers, sound docks, iPods and mp3 players. With Best Buy’s launch of VIVA and Home & Lifestyle, I have had the opportunity to expand my focus to include a younger person’s perspective on many of these great products as well!