Best Smart Backpacks In 2021
Today’s world is so technologically-driven that a dead phone is unacceptable. Carrying power banks has become the norm, especially on long-distance trips or extended hang-outs. But what if there were a simpler way? What if you could merge the benefits of a power bank for all your devices with those of a backpack? It might sound sci-fi, but smart backpacks are becoming a staple of tech wizards. Check out our list of the best smart backpacks below; see what they can bring to the table and why you need to buy one right now.
The Best Smart Backpack
At the top of our list (and the preference for most students, professionals, and commuters) this travel laptop backpack with a USB charging port by MATEIN is undoubtedly your best choice. It doesn’t incorporate a power bank, but it can fit one easily. An external USB port makes it very easy to charge your phone on the go. Suitable for almost everyone, it fits laptops up to 15.6 inches and also impresses with a wide range of pockets and internal compartments that can accommodate other gadgets. Another highlight is the hidden anti-theft pocket designed to keep your wallet, keys, and other valuables safe and secure.
Smart features apart, we love the quality of the materials. This travel backpack is made from durable polyester fabric and metal zippers. It’s water-resistant, so you can rest assured that your gadgets will be dry if you’re caught in a downpour. The breathable shoulder straps and comfortable back design are complimented by multi-paneled, ventilated padding. Ideal for travel, commuting, and students, this is by far one of the best smart backpacks around.
Main laptop compartment for 15.6 inch laptops
Built-in external USB charger
Built-in charging cable inside
Power bank pocket
Comfortable airflow back
Adjustable shoulder straps
Made from polyester fabric
Metal zipper closures
- Weight1.56 pounds
If you travel for work or consider yourself a digital nomad, you can fall in love with the 1900 ScansmartTSA laptop backpack. From the renowned brand SwissGear, this water-resistant backpack is designed specifically to help you travel with ease. Its greatest strength is the ScanSmart lay-flat technology: it allows you to simply open the backpack completely to scan your gadgets without removing them from their compartments. Compatible with laptops up to 17 inches, this bag is perfect for computer scientists, designers, marketers, and other professionals who need a laptop with a big screen.
Lay-flat technology apart, the Scansmart backpack also impressed us with its spacious, ultra-organized interior. The laptop and tablet compartments come with front organizational pockets designed for small notebooks or diary planners, keys, and writing utensils. Exterior pockets and side compartments provide the perfect storage space for an umbrella, water bottle, quick-access essentials, and even a change of clothes. Furthermore, this smart backpack features an integrated media pocket with a headphone port. It might be missing an exterior USB port, but it undoubtedly brings great value for its price — just what you’d expect from a list-topper.
17-inch laptop compartment
U-zip pocket for quick access
TSA-approved lay-flat electronics pockets
Breathable back and shoulder straps
Mesh pockets for accessories
Integrated media pocket
Accordion file holder
- Weight3.35 pounds
Next on our list of smart backpacks, the KROSER large computer backpack addresses those who have to cart around a laptop larger than 17 inches. Indeed, this backpack fits laptops up to 17.3 inches, a rare feature on most smart backpacks. Not only does it boasts plenty of space for your main gadgets, but it can also hold a host of other gizmos, including tablets, books, notebooks, umbrellas, water bottles, and daily essentials. While it doesn’t include a power bank, it does have an internal charge cable as well as an external USB port. You can charge your phone while keeping it in your hand or pocket for quick access whenever needed.
Ideal for travel or commuting, it also comes with a large luggage strap you can use to fix the bag on a trolley. Comfort is ensured by the padded, breathable back and shoulder straps. This smart backpack is available in an array of colors, this smart backpack is stylish and relatively compact, considering its capacity.
Accommodates laptops up to 17.3 inches
Built-in USB port
Made from an eco-friendly poly fabric
Foam padded back
- ModelKTF757-Light Grey
- Weight1.81 pounds
Looking for the best smart travel backpacks? Then look no further! The SwissGear 5358 combines the benefits of a USB backpack with those of the ScanSmart backpack model reviewed above. The result is the ultimate travel laptop backpack for most people. Like the ScanSmart, it comes with the TSA-approved, lay-flat compartment that can hold your laptop and tablet. It can accommodate laptops up to 15 inches, as well as a variety of other items, including gadgets, changes of clothes, and other essentials.
A feature we truly appreciate is the crush-resistant compartment for sunglasses, as well as the organizing compartment with key fob and multiple divider pockets. Similar to the other USB backpacks above, it doesn’t come with a power bank. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, considering that you can use it with any kind of portable battery. While all the features ScanSmart packs will cost you, this is no doubt one of the best smart backpacks you can get your hands on.
For laptops up to 15 inches
External USB socket
Crush-resistant sunglass pocket
Compatible with most power banks
- Weight3.15 pounds
With a design inspired by SwissGear, YOREPEK knows how to stand out. This water-resistant backpack comes at a fraction of the cost of a SwissGear model; it may not be made from the same materials, but it’s still high-quality and has all the features you’d want. What we love about this smart backpack is the pockets, including large compartments for gadgets and clothes, hidden pockets for valuables, as well as easy-access ones for essentials. The biggest pocket can accommodate a large, 17-inch laptop, while a smaller compartment is perfect for a small notebook or MacAir.
Practical and convenient, YOREPEK Water-Resistant Travel Backpack also presents an external USB port with a built-in charging cable plus a headphone jack. Sturdy zipper closures not only keep your items secure but also prevent water from getting in. Furthermore, padded shoulder straps and breathable back panels add to your comfort. No doubt, a great choice at a price that won’t break the bank. For more amazing options like this, check out our guide to the best waterproof backpacks.
20 pockets and compartments
17-inch laptop slot
External USB port
- Weight2.5 pounds
Looking for the perfect backpack for work? Then this computer bag with a USB charging port by Mancro might fit the bill. Perfect for laptops up to 15.6 inches, it has a neutral design that makes it equally suitable for both ladies and gents. A convenient amount of pockets and compartments make it very easy to find the right space to hold gadgets as well as essentials, ranging from your work badge to a passport. It even has dedicated spaces for your home keys, water bottle, and umbrella.
From a smart point of view, you can expect an external USB port with a built-in charger cable. All you need is a power bank to charge your gadgets on the go. Comfortable and sturdy, it also sports a water-resistant design. It’s made from eco-friendly nylon, while the S-shaped padded shoulder straps relieve stress and enhance comfort even when carrying heavier loads. Last but not least, safety while traveling is ensured by the convenient lock that holds together the main compartment’s zippers.
Made from eco-friendly nylon
For laptops up to 15.6 inches
External USB port
- Weight1.5 pounds
The TRAKK SHELL hiking backpack with a waterproof speaker is by far the best smart backpack for the outdoorsy individual. Its main purpose is to keep you entertained wherever you go with its built-in Bluetooth speaker. It can be literally heard through storms, strong winds, and even louder settings, and it will impress you with its outstanding sound quality. Whether you don’t want to feel too lonely when hiking by yourself or need quick entertainment for a beach or pool party, the SHELL’s got you covered. A powerful subwoofer with max-bass technology delivers outstanding mid- and bass notes that can make songs sound just as good as on the radio.
It pairs with all Bluetooth-enabled devices, letting you play music stored on your phone or tablet. Speaker function aside, it also functions as a power bank. Indeed, this is one of the few smart hard shell backpacks that comes with an internal power bank complete with USB output. The 5,200 mAh battery powers the speaker and acts as a power bank, so if you’re planning on hours of sound, we would suggest throwing in a secondary power bank. That is if you don’t want to run out of music.
Rigid shell construction
Shockproof, waterproof, and dustproof
5,200 mAh battery
Bluetooth range up to 65 feet
Speaker remote control
- Weight3.65 pounds
Perfect for commuters, this laptop backpack by Modoker may look vintage, but packs all the modern necessities. Made specifically for laptops to be TSA carry-on approved, it’s great for going to work, school, a weekend getaway, and even for camping or travel. Multiple compartments – six total, to be precise – give you sufficient space for all your items. It can hold laptops up to 15.6 inches, which is more than enough for most people.
Design-wise, this bag is made from high-quality 600D nylon fabric. It’s lightweight, abrasion-resistant, and also water-resistant. Regarding its smart technology, it comes with an interior power bank compartment, as well as an internal charging cable and an external USB port. Similar to other smart backpacks on our list, it requires you to use a separate power bank – an option we greatly appreciate, as it gives you the possibility to buy a power bank of your desired capacity. Available in grey or black with vintage brown details, this laptop backpack is also fashionable. It’s perfect for a professional looking for a smart, tech-savvy office bag. Our guide to the top ultralight backpacks features more cool bags like this.
External USB port
Made from 600D nylon fabric
Accommodates laptops up to 15.6 inches
- Weight1.4 pounds
SUNNYBAG surely knows a thing or two about smart backpacks, and the Explorer+ is living proof. This solar backpack is perfect for hikers, campers, as well as commuters who love to ride a bike to work rather than hopping on a bus or subway train. Needless to say, its greatest strength is the huge, built-in solar panel that charges a power bank. All you need is a bit of sun to charge your devices on the go, whether you’re in an urban park or in the middle of nowhere.
We particularly like that the solar panel pack is detachable. In other words, you can turn the smart backpack into a regular one in a blink of an eye, should you only need a bag for an outing with your friends. A roomy interior can accommodate a bunch of stuff, from a 15-inch laptop to a change of clothes, books, school or office supplies, and more. Just what you need for all purposes.
Made from insulated ripstop fabric
Ideal for laptops up to 15 inches
Removable solar charger
6 watts of power
- Weight2.03 pounds
Next on our list of best smart backpacks, the Tigernu laptop backpack with USB charging port would be a great choice for businessmen and students. It’s slim, compact, and lightweight, making it perfect to carry on your daily commute. The main compartment can hold laptops up to 15.6 inches, while six small inner pockets can hold everything else, from pens for work to keys, wireless chargers, to power banks. Like most smart backpacks, it comes with an external USB port, too, so you can keep your smartphone in your hand or pocket while charging it on the go. Another great feature is the anti-theft pocket on the back panel, preventin unwanted access to your valuables.
Besides being functional, the backpack is also stylish and comfortable to carry. It sports a U-shaped back panel that allows for proper ventilation. This pack also utilizes breathable foam straps designed to promote airflow while reducing stress on your shoulders. No doubt, this smart backpack is a great choice if you’re looking for a stylish laptop bag with USB charging port.
External USB charging port
Built-in charging cable
For laptops up to 15.6 inches
Multiple inner compartments
Hidden anti-theft pocket
Double-layer zipper closure
- Weight2.4 pounds
Our Tzowla pick is a sleek, stylish backpack with a USB charging port and a password-protected lock, which is ideal for travel or commuting. This smart backpack sports a slim and minimalist design, in-line with all modern city backpacks. There is also plenty of space inside this bad boy. You can expect a wide range of pockets and compartments, including a large laptop compartment for gadgets up to 15.6 inches. Multiple divider pockets, including a pocket with built-in power bank charging cable, add to this backpack’s value. The convenient exterior USB port makes charging your phone while texting on the go that much easier.
This smart backpack is made from high-quality polyester fabric. It’s practical and comfortable, easy to clean, and maintain. It’s also water-resistant and features impressively sturdy metal zippers. We were really impressed by the fixed password lock designed to keep your valuables protected while you travel. Suitable for men and women alike, the bag also comes in multiple colors and at a price that won’t break the bank.
External USB and headphone ports
Laptop compartment for 15.6-inch laptops
Built-in charging cable
- Weight1.8 pounds
The last entry on our list comes from SOLDIERKNIFE. A functional backpack with plenty of storage space for all your essentials, this backpack can hold up to 15.6-inch laptops, pens, books, notebooks, changes of clothes, and other items — all at once. What sets this smart backpack apart is the exceptional internal division of the compartments. You can throw anything in the bag without worrying that you’ll have to dig for it later. Similar to other smart backpacks listed above, it comes with an internal pocket for a power bank as well as an external USB charging port.
Lightweight and durable, the SOLDIERKNIFE Travel Backpack also features sturdy zipper closures and water-repellent materials. Added comfort comes from padded shoulder straps as well as padded mesh panels that promote airflow and prevent overheating. Ideal for daily use or travel, this smart backpack will surely serve you well for years to come. You may also like some of the best college backpacks from our list, so be sure to check them out.
Made from water-resistant nylon fabric
15.6-inch laptop compartment
Padded shoulder straps
- Weight1.8 pounds
Smart Backpack Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Smart Backpacks
With dozens of models on the market, finding the best smart backpack is often a daunting task. To make sure to find the right option for you, make sure to check for the following features.
Size–Smart backpacks vary in size from compact units ideal for commuting, to larger travel and hiking backpacks. Before buying, check its overall size, as well as the size of the laptop compartment, to make sure it fits all of your gadgets.
Material – Most options are made from durable, water-resistant nylon, although hard shell backpacks are also available. The former is great for its flexibility, but the latter is usually fully waterproof and shock-resistant.
USB Compartments – Most smart backpacks come with dedicated internal compartments with a built-in charger for a power bank and external USB port. Some also have external ports for your headphones, too. To get the best smart backpack for you, evaluate your needs, and pick accordingly.
Battery Pack – If you don’t want to invest in a separate power bank, choose a backpack with a built-in battery pack. There are a few models you can pick from, but the downside is that you’ll have to settle for whatever battery size the manufacturer proposes.
Solar Panel – The best smart backpacks are by far those that come with solar panels. With such a model, you’ll only have to keep the bag in direct sunlight to charge your device. You won’t have to carry heavy power banks, and you’ll be able to charge your electronics anywhere, including on a mountain or in the middle of the desert. On the downside, if there is no sun, you’ll have no power for charging your gadgets.
Smart Backpack FAQ
Q: What is a smart backpack?
A: Smart backpack is an umbrella term defining all backpacks able to charge your devices on the go. Some require you to buy a power bank separately, others come with built-in battery packs or solar panels, while some even have built-in speakers that can power up an outdoor or office party.
Q: How does a smart backpack work?
A: Regardless of the model you like, all smart backpacks come with an external USB port you can use to plug in your phone’s charging cable. A built-in charging cable connects both the USB port and the battery pack, transferring energy from the battery to your device. It’s as simple as that.
Q: Why do I need a smart backpack?
A: In today's world, nearly everyone owns a power bank. Charging devices on the go, however, can be daunting. The cables can disconnect when they're tossed into a bag, leaving you with a dead phone when you need it most. While you could babysit both the phone and battery pack in your pocket or holding them in your hand, this is far from convenient. A smart backpack, on the other hand, keeps the battery pack securely in a tight pocket, while you simply plug in your device’s charging cable in the external USB port. It's ideal for charging your phone while you’re walking, riding a bike, or commuting by train.