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How to buy the best Nike backpack for school: our top picks

Nike backpacks
(Image credit: Nike)

Whether you're ready or not, the back to school season is upon us  and it's the perfect time to pick up some essentials. From stationary to power banks, you'll need a backpack that can carry it all (and look good while doing it).

If you’re big into brands and on the hunt for a new backpack, then Nike has a wide selection available. Best known for its shoes and iconic swoosh logo, its backpacks come in plenty of colors and finishes, from messenger bags to more traditional options – and even bags with multiple pockets for bulkier tools. 

There are a few things you’ll want to consider before picking up a Nike backpack, though – do you need a big laptop compartment, a water bottle holder, and how many pockets will you need for all your supplies? 

For a back to school backpack, you probably won’t want something that's made of leather, as it'll need to fend off the elements without being treated. Additionally, it's good to aim for lightweight material that won't weigh you down if you walk a lot during your commute. Padded shoulder straps can also help reduce the wear and tear on your shoulders and back, and an across the chest strap can also work wonders. 

Additionally, if you suffer from sweaty-back-syndrome, as most people do, a bit of breathing space and padding on the back of the backpack should keep you from creating any embarrassing circles. 

We’ve picked five of the best Nike backpacks across a range of prices, covering multiple styles to save you the trouble, though we’ve steered away from more sports-oriented options to keep things simple.

These are products that we haven't had in our test labs, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at.

Our selections take into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability and unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

Nike Sportswear Essentials Backpack

(Image credit: Nike)

Nike Sportswear Essentials Backpack

Specifications
Key features: Water-repellent finish, mesh side pockets, phone compartment and laptop sleeve
Dimensions: 54 x 31 x 15cm (H x W x D)
Material: 54% polyester / 46% nylon
Color: Black/Black/Dark Smoke Grey
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A reasonably priced backpack, the Nike Sportswear Essentials has subtle branding and is water-repellent which should keep your laptop dry during any downpours. The backpack has a handy rain flap that will stop any drops from leaking in through the zip, and also acts as an extra layer of security.

There's plenty of room for your sports kit and stationery inside, and the included mesh pockets on the left and right sides are ideal for small items. You could probably fit a reusable water bottle in there, too, provided the main compartment isn’t full up.

Your shoulders are also in for treat, thanks to the backpack's padded straps, and with its handy phone compartment, you'll never be caught fumbling about for your smartphone when someone calls.

Nike Heritage 2.0 Backpack

(Image credit: Nike)

Nike Heritage 2.0 Backpack

Specifications
Key features: 15-inch laptop sleeve, zipped front pouch, padded shoulder straps
Dimensions: 43 x 30.5 x 15cm (H x W x D)
Material: 100% polyester
Colors: Black/Blue/Pink
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Packed full of pockets, the Nike Heritage 2.0 is a super affordable backpack capable of carrying a 15-inch laptop. It's perfect for media students or creatives, and its simplistic and clean design means it looks great in any color.

With a large front zip compartment, which is ideal for carrying a power pack, the Nike Heritage 2.0 also has a zipped main compartment for the tech you want to keep safe and secure like your smartphone.

With padded, adjustable shoulder straps, it’s as comfortable and versatile as it needs to be. The backpack’s top haul loop also provides an alternative carrying option for extra convenience, and it’s available in three colors: Black, Blue and Pink. As for branding, it has a simple, clean, tasteful Nike swoosh logo on the top half of its front.

Nike SB RPM Skateboarding Backpack

(Image credit: Nike)

Nike SB RPM Backpack

Specifications
Key features: 15-inch laptop padded compartment, water-resistant fabric, ample storage
Dimensions: 53.5 x 33 x 16.5cm (H x W x D)
Material: 100% polyester
Color: Black
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The Nike SB RPM Backpack isn't just for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater enthusiasts. It's got plenty of storage for all your back to school essentials, including a padded compartment for a 15-inch laptop.

The biggest of the backpacks in our roundup, you don't need to worry about storage as there's more than enough room for all your gear. The water-resistant fabric will also help you protect it, and the curved shoulder straps provide a comfortable fit.

If you're a skater, then, this bag is a no-brainer as there's room for your board, and plenty of compartments for everything else.

Nike backpacks

(Image credit: Nike)

Nike Vapor Energy 2.0

Specifications
Key features: 70% nylon, 30% polyester, 15-inch laptop sleeve
Dimensions: 47 x 33 x 15cm (H x W x D)
Volume: 20-30L
Weight: 430g
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The Nike Vapor Energy 2.0 is the backpack to go for if you want minimum branding, maximum storage, back padding and weather resistance. Its messenger bag style top can be rolled up or down, depending on how full it is. This means that it can be relatively compacted when empty, or unfurled and tall when full.

The Vapor Energy’s finish is coarser than other backpacks in our list, but it adds to the durable feel. When it comes to styling, its black color option and clean lines come together to create a backpack that’s clearly on the premium end of the satchel spectrum.

Whether you’re packing gym kit, stationery or course reading materials, the Vapor will also keep everything organized with its multiple zip pockets, separate shoe compartment, and its multitude of interior spaces for pens, passports and more. With a padded laptop pocket too, as with most backpacks in this list, it’s able to stow a laptop with a screen size of 15 inches or less.

Nike Hayward 2.0 Backpack

(Image credit: Nike)

Nike Hayward 2.0

Specifications
Key features: Large main compartment, spot clean, lasting durability
Dimensions: 48 x 33 x 23cm (H x W x D)
Material: 100% polyester
Color: Olive
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The Nike Hayward 2.0's polyester shell features a dense weave for lasting durability which should help it survive the rigors of school. The adjustable shoulder straps let you customize your carrying experience, so you can wear it however you like.

Inside the backpack is a large main compartment, and while there's no laptop sleeve, you can still fit plenty of gadgets inside and in the two large side pockets. A front zipped pocket is also ideal for storing things you want easy access to, such as pens, your phone and more. 

The Nike Hayward 2.0 also features a chest strap providing extra relief from the strain of whatever you're carrying. A twist on an old favorite, you can't go wrong with this affordable Nike backpack. 

Back to School 2020 is certainly going to be different, and we’re here to guide you through what you'll need. Whether you’re truly going back to school or remotely attending classes online, we’re rolling out a series of in-depth guides for students, teachers and parents to ensure you're buying the right technology and accessories.