Backpack vs Bookbag


It is quite common among normal people like us that we want things capable of multitasking. And that often leads to confusion as, which might suit us the best. When it comes to carrying our traveling goods, we are a bit more choosey than ever.

Such confusion gives rise to this common question. Backpack or Bookbag, which one should you go for? Well, it’s not that much easy to answer. Why? That’s what you will learn here and I’m pretty sure after you finished reading, you’ll be quite an expert on this topic. So, let’s jump in, eh?

What is Backpack?

‘Backpack’ is also known as ‘Rucksack’.  It refers to a type of bag used to carry one’s belongings while traveling. These are most common among the hikers and also students. But modern-day backpacks have different uses. And the regular use of these bags is noticeable for their versatility.

Depending on the purposes, backpacks are of different types. For example; duffle backpacks, hydration backpacks, hiking backpacks, and so on. Users expect the backpacks to be heavy and comfortable. Otherwise, their purpose of being heavy-duty will be in jeopardy.  That’s why the materials used for making backpacks are mostly canvas, cotton, or nylon. Although backpacks made of other materials are also common these days.

What is Bookbag?

‘Bookbag’ is a type of ‘Backpack’ with more sophisticated use. It is more compact and generally used for carrying books. Although, in recent times, these bags have more diverse uses as these are also used for light travels.

As the name suggests, the users of bookbags are the students but not limited among them. It is also a favorite among diverse groups of users due to its compactness. There is a huge demand for waterproof bookbags these days. PVC-treated nylon or sometimes silicon are the ingredients for making waterproof bookbags.

So long story short, what are the main differences between these two?

SizeSmall to medium (12”-15”)Small to large (12”-20”) depending on use.
Capacity22 liters (avg)6 – 50+ liters
TypesPre-school, School and College bagsDuffle (Sports) bags, Hiking bags, Hydration (cycling) bags etc.
UsageMainly to carry books, sometimes laptops and light travel gears.From carrying light gym material to heavy mountain climbing gears.
Price$50 – $200$130 – $500

When to use Backpacks?

There was a time when people used to think of long tracking or expeditions when they heard backpacks. But things have changed nowadays. It is true that backpacks are famous for their heavy-duty. Also, they are people’s best companions on a trip. They can contain almost everything you need on a trip to survive for days even in extreme cases weeks. But modern-day backpacks have usage beyond the need of a trip.

It is true that backpacks are versatile. But industries now are making these beasts depending on specific purposes. If you’re planning on a that will last only a day or two daypacks should be your choice of bags. You’re very much into cycling? Then biking or hydration backpacks will make your life easier. The design of these backpacks made them ideal companions for bikers. Duffle bags have side straps to carry them on either side of the shoulder. They have few compartments as people use them for the gym.

The moral of the story is, backpacks now are a lot different from the early days. And their variety has made our life easier and more convenient. Now, as it seems till now, they are full of advantages only and no downside. It’s not that simple actually. This all-purpose friend of travelers has some downside too. Here are some of the merits and drawbacks of using backpacks.

You Can Also Read: Best Travel Backpack For Men

Pros: Backpacks

  1. The huge size of backpacks allows you to travel along with your goods when on a trip. So, there’s less of a chance for them to get stolen from the hotel room.
  2. The straps of the backpacks make it easier to carry heavy loads without much effort.
  3. As they are waterproof, you don’t have to worry about the weather or your things getting wet.
  4. Backpack’s longevity is unquestionable. Which means your one-time investment will serve you longer.
  5. Backpack variety provides the option to buy the appropriate one owing to your needs.
  6. It is easy to travel with a backpack on the shoulder than a travel suitcase.
  7. Military backpacks are ideal for survival in harsh conditions than any other type of bag.

Cons: Backpacks

  1. You can’t expect your ironed shirt or pant to remain organized inside a backpack like a suitcase.
  2. The lack of roller board under the backpack sometimes makes it tough to carry them with heavy loads.
  3. As the backpacks are huge, it is very tough to move around in a crowded place.
  4. You’ll also face difficulties fitting in a heavy backpack inside public transport.
  5. Backpacks are an easy target for pick-pocketers. So, you have to be extra careful while carrying your stuff in a backpack.

When to use Bookbags?

It’s a no-brainer that students and use bookbags for carrying books. While nowadays office employees and scholars use them to carry important documents. Their different colors and design make them more fashionable than normal backpacks. They’re comfier for carrying moderate loads.

For their compact size and durability, bookbags are gaining popularity among travelers. People who prefer to travel light, often use their bookbags to do compensate for the job of backpacks. Bookbags have different compartments apart from the main big one. The small compartments of the bookbags are for carrying small stuff. Such types of things include pencils, pens, even sometimes tiffin box.

If you prefer both looks and durability also travel often, a bookbag can be your best companion. Let’s have a look at some pros and cons of having a bookbag.

Pros: Bookbags

  1. They are more fashionable than backpacks as they come in all colors and sizes.
  2. New waterproof backpacks are ideal for carrying both academic and official documents. And also useful for traveling purposes.
  3. Due to their compact size, it is easy to move around with these even in crowded places.
  4. For their multi-purpose usage, bookbags are more cost-efficient than backpacks.
  5. Comfortable straps of bookbags make it more convenient to carry loads without discomfort.
  6. For the size of bookbags, they take less space. Also, they fit in well anywhere making them ideal to replace backpacks for short trips.
  7. These even allow people to carry laptops which means you don’t have to invest extra money for another bag.

Cons: Bookbags

  1. As there’s less space inside the bookbag, these are not ideal for longer trips.
  2. Bookbags are for carrying heavyweight. This means, at times you’ll struggle to accommodate essential equipment for expeditions.
  3. Bookbags without padding straps can cause serious damage to your shoulder and spine.
  4. The longevity of backpacks is not very much assuring. They won’t last long if used for carrying anything other than books and light stuff on regular basis.

Well, there you have it, folks. Both backpack and bookbags have their usability and downside. But a wise investment of money can assure you a longer, comfortable service. So, it’s up to you for which reason are you going to use your bag.


  1. Which type of backpack lasts longer?

The backpacks made of nylon have a reputation for being the most durable. This material is familiar for being tear-resistant. Which means it will last longer. Some other materials like TSU and Reinforced polyester also have the same properties. They are also very good water-resistant.

  1. Which bookbag size is ideal for school or college?

It is tough to suggest which size would be ideal for schools or colleges. Since the bookbags for schools have many compartments, the ideal capacity is 21 to 30 liters. But this may change according to your taste and need

  1. How to calculate the size of a bookbag or a backpack?

Well, there are two ways to measure the size. The first one is to take the measurement of width, length, and height and multiply that. The unit is cubic inches or liters. And the second one is to look for a certain measurement type like width, height, or length in inches.

  1. What are the important components of a backpack?

Before buying a backpack, you need to know things your backpack must-have.

  • Shoulder strap (cushioned);
  • Stabilizer strap (to balance weight);
  • Haul strip (lift or lower the bag);
  • Compression strap (to compress half-filled bag);
  • Sternum strap (to keep bag closer to you);
  • Lumber pad (cushioned to support your back);
  • Hip belt (for stability and balance);

  1. What should be the ideal capacity of a hiking backpack?

Suggesting the ideal capacity for any backpack is a bit risky. As the preference changes from travelers to travelers, every trip is also unique. But if you need a rough idea about a capacity then the suggested figure would be anywhere around 50 liters. It is enough to carry all the necessary stuff for hiking like sleeping bags, tents etc.


Well, there you have it, folks. Both backpack and bookbags have their usability and downside. But a wise investment of money can assure you a longer, comfortable service. So, it’s up to you for which reason are you going to use your bag.

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