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Vera Bradley backpacks are as gorgeous as they are functional, and there are plenty of patterns to choose from, so you can find one that suits your personal preferences. However, there are a number of different types of backpacks available, which can make it hard to decide which one will work best for your lifestyle. We’ve evaluated the options and detailed the differences so you can select the ideal backpack.


Product Summary

This manufacturer offers vivid colors and practical utility in every design. The company started out as a way to fill the need for better looking luggage, and since its humble launch in 1982, has become a global success. Now it’s an iconic brand that offers high quality bags for stylish women on the go. The backpacks take handbags to a whole new level by offering versatile organization solutions for parents, students, professionals, commuters, travelers and other busy individuals.

One of the hallmarks of Vera Bradley backpacks is the signature diamond stitch. This quilting design enhances the aesthetic of the patterns and also adds to the durability of the bags (but it’s not found on every style). This brand understands that convenience is just as important as elegance, which is why the colors resist fading, and the materials are safe for machine wash.

The Campus Tech backpack is the largest bag we reviewed. If you have to carry a lot of books, notebooks or binders along with a computer, it’s probably the ideal option for you. The Laptop backpack has a sleeve for computers with screens that measure 15 inches or smaller, but the sleeve isn’t separated from the main compartment with a zipper, so this bag may not accommodate bulky school supplies.

If you’re looking for an everyday bag, you might want to go for something smaller, such as the Lighten Up Just Right backpack. This one has plenty of pockets for organization, but it doesn’t have an electronics sleeve. On the other hand, it repels water, making it one of the most weather-resistant options.

Some backpacks are suitable for everyday use. The smaller versions such as the Drawstring and Leighton styles are perfect replacements for a purse or tote.

Reviews of the Best Vera Bradley Backpacks

Campus Tech Backpack (Foiled Cotton)

The Campus Tech backpack is perfectly sized to fit everything you need for a day on campus. It measures 12 x 16 x 7.5 inches, which is large enough to carry books, electronic devices, writing utensils and other necessities without overpowering your frame. The straps are wide and adjustable, making this comfortable to carry even when it’s full.

Although this backpack has a traditional look, it has modern features such as the electronics compartment that lets you connect your earphones to a device so you can listen to music wherever you go.

This backpack style really shines when it comes to the perfectly placed pockets. The main zip pocket is the largest, and there’s also a separate zippered rear compartment that contains extra padding to keep electronics safe. Two zippered compartments give you a place to stash a phone, pens or other small items, and two open side pockets are perfect for water bottles.

The Campus Tech is also ideal for travel. The quilted back panel has a trolley sleeve that slips over the handle that extends from a wheeled suitcase. Whether you’re wandering through campus or across the globe, you can easily transport your most important items.


  • Padded electronics compartment
  • Opening for earbuds and headphones
  • Plenty of room for organization

The backpack that we reviewed is made of cotton. It’s not waterproof, but it’s durable, and the items inside shouldn’t get very wet unless you’re in a bad storm. The manufacturer also makes this backpack in microfiber, which may be more resistant to water than cotton.


• The bag isn’t waterproof
• A bit big to use as a daily handbag
• Tight fit for a 17-inch computer

Customers say that this bag has many uses and is comfortable to wear and travel with. However, some users say that the straps aren’t as large as they would like.

Laptop Backpack

If you don’t need to lug around bulky items like books and binders but want to keep your computer and a few other necessities contained, you might prefer this backpack.

It features a structured, streamlined design that tucks neatly under an airplane seat or next to you in a car. At 12 x 16 x 6 inches, it isn’t much smaller than the Campus Tech, but it has a neater, more rectangular shape even when it’s stuffed to the brim.

The front pocket zips from edge to edge, creating a flap that opens all the way. Inside is another zippered pocket as well as two slots for carrying pens, credit cards or a wallet. There is one zipper around the main compartment. Inside is a sleeve that can hold a small laptop.

Many consumers say that they were surprised by the durability of this bag. The material washes well, and the quilted cotton stands up to heavy use. Users also like the fact that the bag isn’t bulky.


  • Front zip pocket opens all the way, making it easy to access the inside
  • Shoulder straps are wide and comfortable
  • Great for carrying and protecting a tablet


• Doesn’t fit large computers
• Side pockets aren’t big enough for large water bottles
• No trolley sleeve

Lighten Up Just Right Backpack

This item works better as a commuter or everyday bag than a student backpack. Measuring 11 x 15 x 6 inches, it’s smaller than the Campus Tech and Laptop styles. Unlike some of the other styles of small backpacks, this one has wide, padded straps, so it’s still a comfortable fit even if you fill it with heavy items.

This no-frills style has two slip pockets on the sides and two zippered ones in the front. The main compartment also closes with a zipper. Unlike the signature cotton quilted material, this backpack is made of sleek polyester. The pattern is typical of the brand. However, the smooth fabric is similar to that of a standard backpack.


  • Repels water
  • Padded straps
  • Streamlined silhouette

Most users say that this backpack is extremely sturdy. One customer says that this bag can hold approximately three large textbooks and a bulky binder.


• No electronics compartment
• May be too small for school needs
• Straps may rip when bag is filled

Some customers find this style too small and believe that it should be marketed as a child’s bag. Others have had the strap rip when they fill the bag with heavy items.

Drawstring Backpack

Larger than many traditional purses but smaller than a student knapsack, the Drawstring Backpack is a useful way to carry everyday items. At 11 x 12.75 x 5 inches, it’s small enough to bring everywhere.

Even if you don’t want to wear it on your back, you can carry this as a handbag using the 3.5-inch handle. The main compartment is roomy and contains a zippered pocket inside of it.

The compartment itself closes with a drawstring. A top flap folds over everything and has a magnetic closure to conceal and contain your stuff.  A zippered pocket on the back of the bag offers a secure area to stash your valuables. The shoulder straps adjust with a belt-like buckle and you can place them on three different settings.


  • Roomy main compartment
  • Carry-on compliant
  • Durable construction


• Top flap pops open, allowing items to fall out
• Thin shoulder straps
• Side pockets may be too small for water bottles

Because its straps are narrow, the bag isn’t designed to sling over one shoulder. You might find this to be more comfortable when worn over both shoulders.

Leighton Backpack

The Leighton is another bag that crosses the line between purse and backpack. Measuring 7 x 11.75 x 4.75 inches, it’s too small to be used primarily as a student bag, but it’s perfect for running errands, heading to work and carrying your phone, wallet and other essentials.

The main pocket zips close for security and has two interior slip pockets. There’s a zippered pocket on the outside of the bag as well as side slip pockets. You can slip your keys or phone inside the side pockets for easy access, or keep them in the pocket on the strap side for added security.

This bag makes a convenient purse. It’s also ideal for young children. It can easily hold a lunch and a change of clothes, but it won’t accommodate a standard-size folder, notebook or binder. Users say that this bag is beautiful and well-made. Urban dwellers say they love it for its organization and ability to evenly distribute weight, but if you need to haul a lot of heavy items, this bag may be too small for you.


  • Can fit a tablet or small electronic device
  • Slip pocket against the back
  • Side pockets large enough to fit most 16.9-oz. water bottles


• Won’t fit a standard-size folder
• No computer or tablet sleeve
• Straps might not adjust tightly enough for a small child

Benefits of Carrying a Backpack

In 2017, NBC News reported that overstuffed bags may contribute to back pain. A lot of people sling purses over one shoulder or wear messenger bags, which can cause muscle imbalances and can affect your posture and the way that you walk.

A backpack puts equal pressure on each shoulder. When you place items in a backpack, distributing the load properly is important. Heavier items should stay close to the back, so if your computer is heavy, you probably want a bag that has a compartment for it on the strap side. A backpack with a streamlined silhouette will stay closer to your body and be less likely to sag and put pressure on your lower back.

Things to Look For in a Backpack

When you’re buying a backpack, you need to balance efficiency with comfort. Some features to look for in a backpack include:

Size – Let functionality guide you. If you don’t need to carry binders and large textbooks, you might not need the biggest bag available. Choosing a smaller option might save your back.
Adjustable straps – The more tightly you can adjust the straps, the closer the bag will stay to your center of gravity.

Strap width – The width of the straps should correspond to the size and weight of the bag. If you’ll be carrying heavy items, you’ll need wider, more padded straps.
Material – If you’ll be outdoors regularly or live in a wet climate, you might want a bag that resists water.

How To Identify Authentic Vera Bradley Backpacks

If you’re spending money on Vera Bradley backpacks, you probably want to make sure that it’s not a knock-off. Here are a few features that all of this brand’s bags have:

Zipper pulls – Older zipper pulls have fabric that matches the bag. Newer bags have ribbons with the brand’s signature on the zippers.

Logo tag – All authentic bags from this brand have a logo tag sewn into the lining. The design of the signature has changed over the years. It may read ‘Vera Bradley’ or ‘Vera Bradley Designs’.

Although you might hear that all Vera Bradley bags have a patterned lining, that’s not true. The company has begun to make some solid linings as well as plain exteriors. Another myth is that all bags from this brand might be quilted. The Signature Cotton material contains argyle-shaped embroidery. However, other styles and materials do not.



If you’re looking for an all-around backpack that can be used for work, travel, school and every day, the Laptop Backpack is ideal. It’s small enough to retain its structure even when it’s stuffed full, and we love that it has a specialized compartment for a computer.