6 Popular Nursing School Backpacks

When you’re a nursing student, your backpack works as hard as you do — textbooks and supplies can weigh 30 pounds or more! (If you’ve ever lugged around massive pharmacology and anatomy textbooks, you know the pain.) The best nursing school backpacks spread out the weight and reduce stress on your shoulders, so you can make it through the week without store muscles.

What is the best backpack for nursing school?

The best backpack for nursing school is the High Sierra Access 2.0. Of course, there are plenty of other great options. When choosing a backpack for college, we look for:

  • Durable material (nothing flimsy!)
  • Wide, padded shoulder straps
  • Separate laptop compartment
  • Attractive design in a versatile color

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1. The Best Nursing School Backpack: High Sierra Access 2.0 Laptop Backpack

Nursing student sitting in a hallway next to a backpack
Image courtesy of Lyndsy Rommel under CC BY-SA 2.0

The High Sierra Access 2.0 hits all of the marks for student nurses: it’s strong, it has plenty of pockets to keep you organized, and it’s an excellent value. It’ll easily last you through nursing school — that way, you don’t need to worry about finding a new backpack every semester! 

When you’re running between classes and clinicals, you’ll appreciate the many different pockets and compartments on the Access 2.0. There’s even a soft, scratch-proof pocket for your phone. Load it up with everything you need for nursing school — the padded, S-shaped straps distribute the weight evenly to reduce pressure on your shoulders. There’s even a chest strap for extra support when you need it.

Pros for nursing students:

  • Ripstop fabric prevents holes
  • Multiple pockets and dividers for organization
  • Holds a full load of books and supplies 
  • Back panel is breathable 

2. Best Backpack for Heavy Books: SwissGear MYTHOS

SwissGear MYTHOS backpack loaded with heavy books
Image courtesy of Pixy

The SwissGear MYTHOS is designed to take a beating — it’s perfect for carrying around 50 pounds of nursing textbooks and supplies! The straps are reinforced, so they won’t tear away from the backpack. When you set down the backpack in class, the CaseBase foundation keeps the bag upright. That way, it doesn’t tip over and send your laptop or notebooks flying across the floor.

If you use a tablet or a laptop for nursing school, the MYTHOS is a great option. The material feels thick and durable, so you don’t have to worry about spills or dirt seeping through. The main compartments have tons of space for your textbooks, stethoscope, and notebooks.

Benefits of the MYTHOS for student nurses:

  • Reinforced construction
  • Sturdy base that prevents tipping
  • Multiple pockets
  • Laptop-friendly design
  • Padded straps

3. Most Affordable Backpack for Nursing School: Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack

Fashionable and affordable nursing school backpack on a beach
Image courtesy of André Köster under CC BY-ND 2.0

If you’re on a nursing-student budget, you might not have much money to splash out on a new backpack. That’s where the Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack comes in — it looks amazing, and we can’t get over how cheap it is! Though it’s cute and trendy, this backpack is surprisingly sturdy and spacious; your giant textbooks will fit easily inside, and a padded compartment protects your laptop. If you use a tablet for nursing school, the smaller front pocket is the perfect fit.

The best part is the convenient USB charging port; just connect your portable battery inside the backpack, and connect a charging cable to the exterior port. That way, you can charge your phone while you’re in class or meeting with your nursing school study group. We love the unisex grey design, but you can also choose from four other colors.

Highlights for nursing students:

  • Super affordable
  • Lots of pockets
  • Lightweight but sturdy nylon fabric
  • Stylish design
  • Laptop and tablet compartments

4. Trendy Backpack for Nursing Students: Herschel Little America

Student wearing a Herschel backpack walking in the woods
Image credit

You’ll be so grateful for this Herschel backpack when you’re hauling two or three enormous textbooks around nursing school — the straps are padded and contoured, so they don’t cut into your shoulders. The back panel also features thick padding for extra comfort. Since both sections use air mesh foam, you don’t have to deal with sweat stains on those hot days at the beginning of the fall semester.

The Little America bag is cute, sure (it’s got that European-casual vibe ), but it’s also a beast. Herschel is known for its ultra-tough fabric and reinforced seams; that means that you can stuff it with books, binders, and your laptop without a second thought. There’s even a smartphone pocket with a headphone port, plus lots of small interior pockets.

Benefits for nursing school:

  • Super-strong construction
  • Padded straps and back
  • Trendy design
  • Lots of pockets
  • Padded laptop sleeve

5. Best Sporty Backpack: Under Armour Hustle 3.0 Backpack

Student waiting for nursing school class in an Under Armour backpack
Photo by Logan Simpson on Unsplash

When you’re trekking between nursing fundamentals class, study group, and your clinical site, your backpack is almost always on the floor. The Under Armour Hustle 3.0 comes with a trough bottom panel that can take the stress — plus, it won’t tear when you’re carrying supplies for a three-class day. If you like to run to the gym at your nursing school, there’s even a handy shoe pocket to keep your stanky shoes away from your books. (Or, forget the gym and stuff the pocket with snacks for when you need to eat your feelings about the NCLEX.)

This backpack comes in a bunch of different colors, and the sporty design looks great on everyone. Our favorite part is the UA Storm technology; it’s water-resistant, so your notebooks don’t get wet when you’re walking around campus. Want more color choices? This Under Armour backpack has a similar vibe with more options.

Perks for nursing students:

  • Separate shoe pocket
  • Tear-proof bottom
  • Contoured comfort straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Lots of color options

6. A Nursing Backpack that Works for Hiking: The North Face Borealis

Nursing student wearing a backpack from The North Face
Photo by Mirta Fratnik on Unsplash

When you’re searching for nursing school backpacks, hiking daypacks like The North Face Borealis are almost always a good fit. They’re designed for the stress of the trail — which means that you’ll stay comfortable all day at school, even when you’re carrying a heavy load. When you’re speed-walking to an exam, the side compression straps and front elastic lacing prevent the backpack from bouncing against your back.

The pockets on this backpack really set it apart from the crowd. Inside the small front pocket, an organizer gives you separate compartments for a tablet, stethoscope, highlighters, and pens. There’s a padded laptop sleeve, of course, and a fleece-lined pocket that protects your phone screen. Need the men’s version? Check out the men’s North Face Borealis.

Why it’s one of our favorite nursing school backpacks:

  • Curved straps reduce pressure
  • Thick back padding for comfort
  • Lots of easy-organization pockets
  • Whistle on chest strap for safety on campus
  • Laptop pocket

The right backpack is crucial for student nurses! Each of these bags are strong; they also have lots of compartments and pockets that help you stay organized. When you’re in deep, trying to stay on top of medical terminology and NCLEX studying, the best nursing school backpacks make your life so much easier.

Top photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels