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Which Nike backpack is best?

Stylish and practical, Nike backpacks are great for everything from school to work to trips to the gym. Coming from a well-respected brand, you can expect quality and durability, though not all are equally reliable. 

It’s important to think about what you need from a backpack before you buy. Size is important, as are the number and location of pockets and compartments. The versatile Nike Elemental Backpack is a top choice. 

What to know before you buy a Nike backpack

Types of Nike backpacks

Consider the types of Nike backpacks available before you buy. You can find school and work backpacks, as well as those great for sports, travel and casual use. Of course, many span several categories. 

  • School backpacks: School backpacks must be large enough to fit textbooks, pencil cases, a lunch bag and any other school essentials. It’s useful to have a range of pockets and compartments for easy organization. 
  • Work backpacks: If you take your laptop to work, a laptop pocket is an essential feature of a work backpack.
  • Sports backpacks: These backpacks should be large enough to comfortably fit all your sports gear. They’re usually easy to clean to avoid getting stinky from your dirty gym clothes or sports uniform. 
  • Casual backpacks: If you just need a backpack to carry around everyday essentials, a casual backpack is ideal. Mini backpacks fall into this category, since not everyone needs a large backpack for casual use. 
  • Travel backpacks: Roomy and rugged, travel backpacks are ideal for taking on trips. Some are large enough for long backpacking trips, while others are better suited to weekends away. 

Compartments and pockets

Compartments and pockets can make or break a backpack. Without roomy enough main compartments and handy pockets for organization, backpacks become impractical.

  • Main compartment: The main compartment is where you’ll fit the bulk of the items in your bag. The size varies, but you should check the dimensions to make sure it’ll fit everything you need. 
  • Laptop sleeve: This padded compartment is designed to hold a laptop, protecting it from getting knocked around. 
  • Zippered pockets: You can find zippered compartments on the front, sides and even inside the main compartment of a backpack. They’re great for holding small items that might get lost in the main compartment or anything you regularly need quick access to, such as your phone or wallet. 
  • Elasticated pockets: Many backpacks have one or two elasticated pockets on the side to hold drink bottles. 

What to look for in a quality Nike backpack


You can find backpacks in a range of sizes, from mini to extra-large. Consider how much you need to carry in your bag and choose a size accordingly. 


You’ll find the Nike swoosh logo on many of the company’s backpacks. It can be small and subtle or large and attention-grabbing. 


While no backpack is fully waterproof, you can find some water-resistant backpacks to withstand showers. 

How much you can expect to spend on Nike backpack

You can find basic ones for around $30 to $50, while high-end offerings can cost over $100. 

Nike backpack FAQ

Are Nike backpacks machine-washable? 

A. While you should check the label to make sure, most of Nike’s nylon and canvas backpacks are safe to wash in the machine. Empty it completely, making sure to check all the pockets. Turn it inside out over the sink or in your yard to get all the debris out from the body. Ideally, you should wash it in a mesh laundry bag, but you can wash it inside a pillowcase if you don’t have a mesh bag.

Wash it on a gentle cycle with a small quantity of mild laundry detergent. Once the cycle’s over, line dry or air dry it — avoid using a tumble dryer. 

How long do Nike backpacks last? 

A. This is difficult to answer because it depends on a range of factors: how regularly you use it, how heavy a load you fill it with and its overall quality all make a difference. You can expect to get at least a year of daily heavy use from your backpack, but it will last significantly longer if you only use it occasionally or don’t carry much in it.

What’s the best Nike backpack to buy?

Top Nike backpack

Best Nike Elemental Backpack

Nike Elemental Backpack

What you need to know: Roomy but not oversized, this is a great backpack for school or everyday use. 

What you’ll love: It has plenty of compartments to help keep you organized. The zippered front pockets are secure and great for items you need easy access to, while the side pocket holds a water bottle. It has a simple yet stylish design with the Nike swoosh logo.

What you should consider: Some buyers found it was smaller than expected, so check the dimensions. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Nike backpack for the money

Best Nike Brasilia Medium Training Backpack

Nike Brasilia Medium Training Backpack

What you need to know: This versatile backpack is great for sports gear or for work or school. 

What you’ll love: It has a large main compartment and a slimmer one with a padded back panel that’s great for holding laptops. The base is water-resistant to keep your gear dry if you put it down on the ground, and it has handy interior, front and side pockets. 

What you should consider: It could use a larger front pocket for items you need quick access to. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Nike Heritage 2.0 Backpack

Nike Heritage 2.0 Backpack

What you need to know: Thanks to its classic retro design, this bag won’t go out of style. 

What you’ll love: The large main compartment is spacious, great for holding all manner of items from textbooks to a spare sweater. It has one roomy front pocket, one zippered side pocket and one elasticated side water bottle pocket. 

What you should consider: The material is somewhat lightweight and may not hold up to heavy use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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