6 Best Backpacks for Nursing Students

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If you’re in nursing school, you need the best backpack for using students! There’s no bone’s about it.

Studying to be a nurse is a tough job. I mean, nursing school is so hard! Carrying around 30-40 pounds of textbooks and supplies like a laptop, clipboard, water bottle and other medical supplies and equipment every day to school gets seriously old.

While I did see a few nurses using collapsable milkcrate-type devices to haul their garb, what you really need is a good backpack to carry all your books and supplies comfortably all day long. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options of great backpacks that will make your nursing school experience a little more comfortable. We’ve already talked about the best nursing totes with pockets, but as a student, you might need something a little roomier and with 2 straps to evenly distribute the weight and reduce back and shoulder strain. So we have listed our top choices of best backpacks for nursing students.

6 Best Backpacks for Nursing Students

We’ve outlined some of the best backpacks for nursing students in this comparison table to make it easier to find the one that is right for you. You can click the “Buy from Amazon.com” button to pick it up immediately. You need the best backpack for nursing school right now, so why would you hesitate?

Features of the Best Backpacks for Nursing Students

Backpacks come in several varieties, designs, sizes, shapes and have different functions. It can be rather mind-boggling to decide on the best backpack for you from the various options available. But don’t worry. We’re here to help!

When buying a backpack for nursing school, here are some factors that you should evaluate before making your final choice.

Support and Comfort

The best backpacks for nursing students are ones that offer good support and are comfortable to carry around the entire day, whether you decide to wear the backpack on your back or you decide to pull it along on its wheels.

Carrying or dragging around a poorly supported and heavy bag can be quite tiresome and in the long run, can cause back problems, and you could also injure yourself. So, you must choose a backpack that offers adequate support to save yourself undo strain and pain.


Another important factor to consider when buying a backpack for school is the size. You should buy one that has adequate space and extra compartments that allow you to carry all your books, supplies and equipment required for the day and that permits you to access things without rummaging around too much. This doesn’t mean you have to carry every single book you own. Consider what you’d need on any given day (including clinical rotations) and go from there.


The backpack you buy must be durable and should be able to withstand rigorous usage and also last for a reasonable period of time. You can also choose a backpack that is water resistant, as rain or snow can damage your bag, books and other things, if the material of the backpack is not weatherproof.

Buying a backpack made of durable material can be a bit expensive; however, you will be able to save money in the long run as the backpack will last longer and you need not replace it often. Choosing a backpack with a warranty is a good idea as it may reduce the risk of losing money due to damage. Go with a well-known brand so that you can be assured of the backpack’s quality and durability.


Finally, the design of the backpack is an important consideration as you will be using the bag for a long time. Choose a bag that is stylish and comfortable. Select a color that goes well with your uniform and increases your “cool” quotient. A stylish, good looking and well-designed backpack can go a long way in making you feel good and happy with your buy.


Make sure the backpack you select has the right compartments and pockets to facilitate your needs. If you’re using a laptop or iPad in class, it can be helpful to have a separate and padded compartment for these. A separate storage compartment for pens, highlighters, and other stationery accessories can also be useful. Another compartment for your phone, keys, chapstick and other items might also be in order. Carrying a purse and a backpack is a pain, so think of what you might want to have with you at all times to eliminate the need for a separate purse. Bottomline, think of what you’re actually going to carry with you, where you’ll want to locate it, and look for those features.

Some of the Best Backpacks for Nursing Students

Medium Expandable Knack Pack by Knack Bags

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We recently discovered Knack Bags and have fallen absolutely in love. The Knack Pack is so incredible because it offers so many different pockets perfect for all the accessories you need. They really promote #onebaglife and have created the ultimate backpack for nursing school. I really like that includes a specific zipper pocket for a water bottle (no more awkward dropping) and a pouch for power cables. It has a huge compartment for general day to day use and a double-zipper front pocket, which make it really easy to get to cards, pens, and other small accessories. It has a padded zippered pocket that can fit a 15-inch laptop and ensure it won’t jostle around or get scratched. 

But, the best thing about this bag is it expands. So for the days when you have to carry around 45 books, stethoscopes, clinical kits, pharmacology note cards, and all the other fun stuff you need for nursing student life, you can just unzip the compartment and double your storage space. This is a dream come true because you can have a cute and compact bag for day to day and a mega-big bag for when you need the extra space.

It’s super stylish, sturdy, and incredibly functional. I’m sort of a bag and shoe girl, and this backpack has sort of made me swoon. 

Some Features and Technical Details about the Knack Backpack

Pack Dimensions (LxWxD):

  • Unexpanded: 19″ x 12″ x 4.5″
  • Expanded: 19″ x 12″ x 9.5″


  • Unexpanded: 17 Liters
  • Expanded: 31 Liters

Weight: 2 pounds 11 ounces (Just a bit more than 2 Grande Coffees)

Laptop Pocket Dimensions (LxWxD): Pocket Opening: 15″
Dimensions: 15.5″ x 11″ x 2″ (fits 15” laptop)

Fabric: Suiting-inspired, custom-developed, water-resistant 1200 denier two tone polyester body fabric. Tested to carry loads up to 40 pounds.

Lining Fabric: Custom, stain-resistant, antimicrobial 150D Nylon fabric lining

Zippers: Water-resistant YKK™ reverse coil zippers

Zipper Pullers: Strong, custom-designed cast zinc zipper pullers with comfortable PU overmold and chip-resistant PVD coating

Hardware: Duraflex™ buckles and sliders

Back Panel Material: Molded, comfort-cool foam back panel

Everyday Features:

  • Spacious main compartment with lockable zippers
  • Large zip-away side water bottle pocket holds 17 ounce S’well™/24 ounce Hydro Flask™ bottles
  • Padded, side computer pocket fits up to 15″ laptops (measured diagonally)
  • Comfort-foam top carry handle
  • Ergonomically-designed comfort foam shoulder straps with easy-release clips
  • Elastic keepers for shoulder strap
  • Adjustable, removable sternum strap helps make heavier loads more comfortable

See more everyday features and travel features on the Knackbags.com website.

In addition to the medium Knack Pack, that I’ve described here, the backpack is available in small and large. I think the medium is the right size for most nursing students, but you can take a look at the others. This backpack is expensive, but it’s the last backpack you will ever have to buy and it will serve you as your backpack for nursing school and as your nurse backpack when you start your first just in the hospital.

Get Your Knack Pack Now

Swissgear Travel Gear Scansmart Backpack

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SwissGear’s Travel Gear Scansmart Backpack is a fantastic choice for nursing students. Not only is it very stylish, but it is very spacious too. It has enough space to accommodate your books, notepads, a laptop, mobile phone and other accessories.

The backpack has a large and spacious main compartment, separate compartments for your laptop and tablet, mesh organizers, many zippered pockets and a separate compartment for your water bottle. The polyester material of the SwissGear Backpack is extremely durable and it has comfortable shoulder straps that make carrying the bag very easy. The backpack is available in many colors such as red, black, black and gray and black and blue on Amazon.

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Notable Features of Swissgear Travel Gear Scansmart Backpack:

Size: 18.5” x 13.5” x 9”

Made with durable and weatherproof 1200D ballistic polyester material.

Lay-flat technology accommodates and protects laptops up to 17” in size.

Roomy main compartment, separate compartments for laptops and tablets, front pocket for accessories, large U-shaped zippered front pocket for essentials. Side pockets for water bottles, umbrellas, etc.

Ergonomic mesh shoulder straps and adjustable side compression straps.

Back panel with padding and airflow ventilation for additional comfort and support.

Jansport Big Student Classics Series Daypack

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JanSport Big Student Classics Series Daypack has a convenient multi-compartment design. The ergonomic S-curve shoulder straps make carrying the backpack very easy. The JanSport backpack has two main compartments for your books and laptop, a utility pocket in the front and 2 zippered stash pockets. The JanSport backpack is made of durable polyester material and is available in a wide range of colors from Amazon.

Notable Features of Jansport Big Student Classics Series Daypack:

  • Size: 13” x 16.7” x 8.5”
  • Made of 600 Denier polyester material.
  • Web haul loop.
  • Contoured S-curve shoulder straps for additional comfort.
  • 2 spacious main compartments, front utility pocket for essentials, 2 front stash pockets with zips and a completely padded back panel for comfort and support.

Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz Backpack

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The Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack is made of canvas material and has a clean design. This highly functional backpack has a spacious main compartment and padded laptop slot that is lined with fleece. It also has an additional front pocket for your accessories.

The Pop Quiz backpack features a heavy-duty bottom, a white front zipper and the classic Herschel logo that adds to its stylish look. This stylish and minimalist backpack is available on Amazon in many color options including tan, gray, black, plaid, navy, etc.

Notable Features of Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz Backpack:

  • Size: 16” x 13”
  • Made of 100% polyester.
  • Front pocket with mesh organizers, zipper closure, accessory pocket that has a fleece lining.
  • Can accommodate 15” laptops.

Under Armour Hustle Backpack

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The Under Armour Hustle Backpack is a high-quality, large backpack that is spacious enough to hold many books and a 15” laptop. The backpack has 4 external pockets and 1 internal slip pocket. The backpack also has 2 side pockets for your water bottles.

The Under Armour backpack has padded, adjustable shoulder straps for additional comfort. It is made of 100% durable polyester material with a UA Storm Gear DWR finishing that makes the bag waterproof and also makes it breathable. The Under Armour is available in a variety of attractive colors and has 4.5 stars on Amazon.

Notable Features of Under Armour Hustle Backpack:

  • Made of 100% polyester.
  • UA Storm technology makes it highly water-resistant.
  • Abrasion-resistant, tough bottom panel.
  • Lined laptop sleeve to hold 15” laptop, waterproof front pocket, 4 external and 1 internal pockets.
  • HeatGear shoulder straps for added comfort that can be adjusted.

High Sierra Powerglide Book Bag

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The High Sierra Powerglide Book Bag is very spacious and has a multi-compartment design. The backpack has a double-tube telescoping handle with an easy-store facility.
The backpack can accommodate a 17” notebook and has a large front compartment, several open pockets and zippered pockets for your water bottle and other school supplies. The Powerglide Book Bag is available in many colors like black, red and blue on Amazon.

Notable Features of High Sierra Powerglide Book Bag:

  • Size: 21” x 14” x 10”
  • WaffleWeave technology.
  • Spacious multi-compartment design.
  • Completely padded sleeve that can hold up to a 17” notebook, zippered media pocket with a port for headphones, pocket organizer, multiple open pockets, removable key fob, side pockets with zipper, triangle clip for lock or any other accessories.
  • Kick plate and corner guards for abrasion protection.
  • Smooth, corner-mounted wheels.
  • Flush-mounted, double-tube telescoping handle with easy store feature.
  • Adjustable, ergonomic, VAPEL mesh padded shoulder strap.
  • Zippered, padded back panel for added comfort.
  • Reflective strips for night safety.
This rolling backpack would have been a dream to have in nursing school. It’s the best of both worlds and our favorite on the list.

Buying a Backpack You’ll Love

Buying a good backpack can ease your burden of heavy books and supplies considerably and help you get through your school day effortlessly. A durable and comfortable backpack with good support can make going to nursing school a total “breeze”.

And if a backpack is not for you, check out our picks for work bags for nurses or nursing tote bags.

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