A Quick Guide to 10 Different Styles of Backpacks

Last Updated on 17th September 2022

Ah, the backpack. It’s an essential item that can be used for just about any purpose, whether it be long-distance travel, rushing across campus to your next class, or your first sleepover. A backpack is a staple in nearly everyone’s accessory trove. While the umbrella category of backpack seems pretty straightforward, there are a variety of styles that serve a multitude of functions. So lets start with a brief overview of the different styles of backpacks available to buy.

Standard Backpack

The standard backpack is about as straightforward as you can get in this department, and it is probably the one you are most accustomed to seeing. While incredibly forthright, this bag can be used for any occasion, from school books to sleep-away trips, to daily use for your belongings. This is a classic day-to-day look that will never go out of style.

backpacks for school
Everyday backpacks are great for school

Satchel Backpack

The crossover between a messenger bag and a shoulder bag is worn with one strap diagonally across the body and is perfect for everyday use. This bag typically features one larger compartment for books or tablets and several smaller compartments for items like keys, money, or cell phones. It is comfortable and compact.

Tote Backpack

This is where style meets function in a versatile bag that can be slung over the shoulder, gripped by the handles, or worn as a backpack. The tote backpack is a bit more condensed than your standard backpack but still larger than a purse. You can find these in a variety of fabrics and colours to suit your style, and most can fit a tablet or small laptop in addition to all of your daily necessities.


What makes a rucksack different from a traditional backpack is the closure of the main compartment. Rather than zipping shut, there is a flap that folds over the front of the bag and buckles or clips to secure itself. This is a flexible option for a backpack but works best with flat items like laptops or books, as packing it too full will cause it to protrude, deeming the external front pockets of little to no use.

,am with hiking backpack
Hiking backpacks tend to have more pockets and space

Rolling Backpack

Ideal for heavier packing, a rolling backpack saves your back from the weight of travel or books you may be carting from class to class. Many even come with the option of shoulder straps making their versatility extra convenient. Its compact size is perfect for carry-on bags and can often substitute for a suitcase.

Drawstring Backpack

Lightweight and super flexible, drawstring backpacks are affordable and effortless accessories that offer perfect storage for the minimalist. Odds are you’ve come across one of these at a festival or event similar to these at Go Promotional. It features one compartment for your daily essentials and sinches at the top, offering secure concealment of your items whilst on your back. It’s important to note that the strings do tend to dig into shoulders the heavier you pack the bag, so this bag is meant to keep it light.

Mini Backpack

Arguably the cutest of the category, a mini backpack is literally, well, a backpack, but mini! Perfect for carrying the essentials while offering comfort and style. It’s basically your purse but in backpack form, so it’s really the best of both worlds!

Electronics Backpack

These bags are large and sturdy enough to support electronics like tablets and laptops while offering shockproof padding. Many are also waterproof should you get caught in the rain running home from class. These bags are secure and durable, and some even come with tech-oriented features like USB charging ports. Photographers and videographers also turn to this style of bag that can come with padded compartments to secure lenses, flashes, and other accessories

backpack for electronics
Padded shoulder straps are essential for the extra weight carried with laptop backpacks

Rolltop Backpack

A rolltop backpack offers flexible storage space, and sort of a pick-you-own-adventure style of closure. The bag secures by rolling the fabric down and then buckling or clipping. So if you have more to fit in, simply roll less, if your bag isn’t quite packed to the brim, roll it down more for a smaller package. These are perfect for those on the go throwing their belongings into a secure one-pocket bag.

Messenger Backpack

A sophisticated option for business casual settings, a messenger bag is to be worn as a crossbody or off to one side over the shoulder. These bags are perfect for business trips to secure your laptop and stationary. some offer the versatility of dual shoulder straps to convert into a backpack.

There are tons of options and functions to each different types of backpacks that are sure to fit your personality and lifestyle. And who says you have to stop at selecting just one?