The Ultimate Backpack Comparison Guide

It’s that time again — the sweet spot between summer and fall. There’s still plenty of sunshine and lakeside chilling ahead, but the upcoming school year is fresh on the mind. Whether you’re gearing up for your next year on campus or just haven’t been able to give up the backpack life (hello, commuters and frequent fliers), you need a backpack that fits your personality, lifestyle and of course, all of the essentials. With our biggest backpack selection ever across three different collections, it can be overwhelming to choose your next backpack style. Shopping for a backpack should be fun, not daunting, so we created the ultimate comparison guide to make choosing your next backpack a total breeze!

iconic collection



iconic backpack

available in: cotton, microfiber and denim

size: small

starting at $108

With a laptop compartment and a trolley sleeve, the Iconic Backpack is great for commuters (and travelers)! Expandable slip pockets on the side can fit your water bottle (or morning brew), while the zippered pocket keeps your metro pass or work ID safe. This backpack is lightweight, easily packable and has feminine details, making it transition from work to weekend with ease.

Shop the Iconic Backpack



iconic campus backpack

available in: cotton, microfiber and denim

size: medium

starting at $108


Our #1 selling backpack style is a fan-favorite for a reason. The Iconic Campus Backpack has all the same features as the Iconic Backpack with a few additions: side pockets for your water bottle, additional interior pockets and an extra compartment for everything you need. You’ll love this backpack both on and off campus.

Shop the Iconic Campus Backpack



iconic xl campus backpack

available in: cotton and microfiber

size: large

starting at $128

Whether you find yourself on campus from 8 – 5 (needing ALL of the books) or want to travel home for the weekend, our Iconic XL Campus Backpack is exactly what you need! The largest backpack in our Iconic Collection, this style features all of the benefits of the Iconic Campus Backpack, with additional space, an extra compartment and a chest strap for added comfort.

Shop the Iconic XL Campus Backpack


hadley collection



hadley backpack

available in: cotton, microfiber and denim

size: extra small

starting at $88


If your campus days are behind you, but you can’t shake your love of backpacks, we feel you. Backpacks make great everyday bags, keeping your hands free so you can fill them with that iced soy chai and your phone (obvi). Our Hadley Backpack is petite, lightweight and the perfect size for running errands. Although this style is considered to be a mini backpack, it can still fit a water bottle and full-size wallet!

Shop the Hadley Backpack


lighten up collection



lighten up study hall backpack

size: small

starting at $78


The Study Hall Backpack is one of the new additions to our Lighten Up Collection, featuring everything you love about the rest of the collection — durable fabric, water-repellent exterior and light in weight. The smallest of the Lighten Up backpacks, this style is great for library trips, study dates and coffee shop work sessions. If you prefer working on your iPad over a laptop, you’ll love the padded tablet sleeve to protect your tech!

Shop the Lighten Up Study Hall Backpack



lighten up frame backpack

size: small

starting at $108

It’s nice to be hands-free in the airport, so if you prefer to travel with a backpack, you’ll love our new Lighten Up Frame Backpack. The unique frame opening allows for easy packing, while a padded compartment protects your laptop or tablet (making it great for class, too). With nine different pockets, you can stay more organized than ever with a separate place for your passport, keys, wallet and anything else you need.

Shop the Lighten Up Frame Backpack



lighten up grand backpack

size: medium

starting at $108


Love the style of the Study Hall Backpack, but it isn’t quite large enough for your daily needs? The Lighten Up Grand Backpack has similar features, with an extra main compartment and a padded laptop sleeve. You’ll appreciate the intricate details from the interior ID window to the expandable side pocket for your larger water bottles. The added trolley sleeve on the back makes this bag great for campus or travel.

Shop the Lighten Up Grand Backpack



lighten up large rolling backpack

size: large

starting at $158


Heavy course load? Let us help take some of the pressure off (literally) with our Lighten Up Large Rolling Backpack. With a telescoping handle, two wheels and tuckable straps, you can give your back a break and roll it at your side.  The largest of our backpacks, this bag has all the bells and whistles including several pockets, multiple zippered compartments and a padded laptop sleeve. Not just for students, frequent fliers can feel comfort knowing this backpack is durable enough to withstand being checked at the gate.

Shop the Lighten Up Large Rolling Backpack



lighten up journey backpack

size: large

starting at $168


We don’t like playing favorites, but our new Lighten Up Journey Backpack is one of our most exciting styles yet! Although we recommend this backpack for travelers, you can easily wear it for hiking, school or work. When we say this backpack has everything, we do mean everything! There’s a pocket or compartment designed specifically for your sunglasses, laptop, travel documents, phone, charger and even a ventilated pocket for your shoes! The trolley sleeve and tuckable straps make it easy to slip over your rolling luggage handle, while the adjustable chest strap and padded shoulder straps provide extra support when you pack it full. Not to mention, there are handles on three of the sides, making it easy to grab and go from under the seat or the overhead storage bin on your flight.

Shop the Lighten Up Journey Backpack


Still undecided? This handy chart will help compare features so you can be confident in your decision.

Shop All Backpacks


Leave a comment below or read what others wrote (5).

  1. The Best Backpacks According to Top Style Bloggers - Vera Bradley Blog said on :

    […] styles are perfect for travelers, commuters and weekend warriors alike. Last week we shared our ultimate backpack comparison guide to help you choose the right style, but today we wanted to share testimonials straight from the […]

  2. The Best Backpack for School: Lighten Up Frame Backpack - Vera Bradley Blog said on :

    […] our full backpack comparison guide to decide which bag is best for […]

  3. Rae said on :

    Genius designs, both beautiful and functional.

  4. Elise said on :

    The difficulty with which your customers must go through in order to purchase a back pack is ridiculous. Why you cannot provide precise dimensions is an arrogance. Going through the Vera Bradley website to find dimensions was impossible. I purchased a Vera Bradley through Amazon, where I got the dimensions I needed.

  5. The Ultimate Wallet Comparison Guide - Vera Bradley Blog said on :

    […] we created the Ultimate Backpack Comparison Guide, which you all loved and found to be very helpful! Next we helped you decide which beach tote was […]

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