What’s a Bookbag and a Backpack: Differences in Detail-2021

book bag and backpack

Last Updated on April 18, 2021 by Backpackultra

What must go with you while you are going out on a trip? Either it’s a short trip or a long, a backpack is a must to take with you. But if you are going to school, college, or a university, you can use a bookbag instead of a backpack.

Today, though, the terms “backpack” and “book bag” are largely seen as synonymous. While some backpacks are obviously intended for more strenuous outdoor activities but it seems most backpacks can also function as book bags.

Some of us don’t find any specific reasons for the differences between a bookbag and a backpack. Hence, here is my small attempt to give a shot to make you understand.

You can keep all your books in a bookbag. It is only used for carrying books. On the other hand, a backpack in which you can carry your clothes, small items, necessary stuff, and books as well.

A backpack can innately take a lot of loads due to large space while a bookbag doesn’t need to take such loads like a backpack. It only carries books.

Still now if you have the ambiguity to understand, I hope it will be 100% clear till the end of this article.

Bookbag and a backpack


What is a book bag?

Simply a bookbag is supposed to be a bag that carries usually books, notes, school supplies, and other related stuff. This is obviously a simple term. What else can it be?

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary a book bag is “a bag or sack often with a handle or strap that is used for holding books and other items.”

While Ron Zeitlinger, Managing Editor at The Jersey Journal, Greater New York City Area, said about bookbags that “Students who attended the event each received a bookbag filled with school supplies such as notebooks, folders, pencil pouches, pencils, pens, and crayons.”

A book bag is a bit bigger than a4 size, has a handle and usually fastens with velcro. Schools often have them with logos on. I can’t really see the need for a school bag and book bag, to be honest.

Bookbags are often usually called tote bags. These bookbags were used in the early 20th century to haul ice to homes. Present days, these bags are used for various purposes such as to carry groceries to and from stores.

The eco-friendly trend to replace plastic bags started decades ago. Anyway, according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 4.13 million tons of plastic bags, sacks and wraps were generated in 2015 (Please see the latest data) while only about 12.8 percent of those items were recycled.

Let’s see some types of book bags or tote bags.

Polypropylene Grocery Tote

Reusable WASHABLE Grocery bookbag and a backpack

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Product Features:

  • Washable
  • Long-wearing
  • Good for the planet
  • Reinforced Sides and Bottoms
  • Eco-friendly

Natural Cotton Canvas Tote Bags

Natural Cotton Canvas Tote Bags

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Product Features:

  • Made of 6 oz 100% Cotton Canvas Fabric
  • 22″ self-fabric handles make easy to carry the bag
  • Self-fabric handles
  • Size: 15″W x 16″H
  • Imprint Size: 10″W x 12″H

Polypropylene Economy Tote

Polypropylene Economy Tote

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Product Features:

  • Customized Size: 13-1/2” W x 14” H
  • Logo can be set up
  • Reusable
  • 22” handles
  • 80 Gram non-woven
  • coated water-resistant polypropylene
  • Imprint Area: 9” W x 9” H.

Benefits of a Bookbag

  • Lightweight

The first and perfect advantage of a bookbag is its ultra-weight. Due to its lightweight, you can carry a lot of stuff. In a word, your shoulder will never get tired and this is why you don’t need to take this off to take some deep breath.

  • Ordinary structure

The structure is really very simple. It has two handles and you can carry this either on your shoulder or by your hand. The interior structure is ordinary as well. You just put books, notebooks, folders, and so on. It has a Velcro to fasten.

  • Comfortable in Transport

You can transport a bookbag with ease. While you are busy or running anywhere with your bookbag, you can run smoothly and fast. Your other hand will be free and can do more work.

  • Can Be Carried for a Long Period of Time

Even though you are carrying your bookbag for a long time, you won’t get tired.

  • Easy to Find Your Belongings

While you are carrying a bookbag with you, you can easily find any item you want within a flash. So this is really convenient for a user.


What is a backpack?

A backpack (also called rucksack, knapsack, packsack, pack, Haversack, or Bergen) is a cloth sack put on somebody’s back. It usually has two straps that go over the shoulders.

A backpack has a softback panel and two straps and waist belt to balance the weight to the whole body so that you don’t get exhausted even when you are carrying a heavy load.

Originality of Backpack

The word ‘backpack’ was started to use in the USA towards the 1910s. then what would people say before inventing this word. Yes, they used to call this word moneybag or packsack instead. But within a short time, this word backpack was getting popular dramatically.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a backpack is “a piece of equipment designed for use while being carried on the back.”

Let’s see some kinds of backpacks and then your concept will be clear.

17 Inch Basic Bulk Backpacks

17 Inch Basic Bulk Backpacks

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Main Features:

  • 24 value pack
  • Promo Giveaways – Perfect for back-to-school
  • multi-pack is convenient for businesses
  • A clean timeless design
  • The main zipper compartment
  • Side mesh water bottle pocket
  • Comfortable padded back
  • Convenient front zipper pocket

Travel Max Carry On Luggage 22x14x9

Travel Max Carry On Luggage 22x14x9

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Main Features:

  • 2 in 1 Carry On Luggage with Detachable Travel Backpack
  • Built-in zip-out daypack for quick escapes
  • Zipped together size: 22x14x16 inches/ 56x36x41 cm
  • Weights: 8.1 lbs.
  • Flight approved size 22x14x9 inches/ 56x36x23 cm.
  • Roomy 43L capacity
  • Empty weight: 5.7 lbs.
  • Detachable Travel Backpack. This 20L casual daypack weights 1.8 lbs. and measures 17x12x7 inches/ 45x31x18 cm.
  • Dedicated interior laptop and tablet sleeves to suspend and protect up to 15.6-inch laptop and 10.5 tablet
  • A rolling suitcase
  • 3PCS Packing Cube
  • Full-length mesh pocket on the lid
  • Compression straps and an exterior large pocket
  • Portable USB charged port and headphone port
  • 2 sides water bottle pockets
  • Trolley sleeve on the back
  • Aluminum frame extended the dual-tube handle,
  • 90mm polyurethane wheels provide maneuverability on even surface

Waterfly Chest Sling Shoulder Backpack

Waterfly Chest Sling Shoulder Backpack

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Main Features:

  • Unique Design
  • Multi-Color to choose
  • Water-resistant nylon material
  • Lightweight & portable
  • The breathable mesh contact surface is comfortable for all-day wear
  • The strap phone pocket is compatible with phone 7 plus
  • Flexible Strap
  • Durable Buckle
  • Reflective Strip
  • Breathable

Here are some backpacks to check out:

Benefits of a Backpack

A backpack has a lot of benefits. So let’s take a look at what kinds of advantages we can get from a backpack.

  • Well-organized

A backpack has a huge space in it and thus you can keep your different items in separate compartments so that you can find you any item within a second. So big space and separate compartments let you organize your stuff perfectly.

  • Security

Your valuables will be secured if you use a backpack with you. If you have a laptop then the laptop sleeve inside the bag will help you to protect. In addition, other chambers can help you to keep your small valuable items as well.

  • Long-distance carrying

As a backpack has straps and waist belt, it helps a user to carry a heavy load for a long time and a long distance. You won’t even get tired.

  • Time-saving

We all know time is very precious to all of us. Then how is it a time-saving? Well, when you carry a backpack, your hands will be free and you can carry your other suitcase or another load. It will help you to save time and money at the same time.

  • Easy to move

It does without saying, a backpack is really very easy to move. For this reason, when a person carries a bag, he can move quickly and can do his work perfectly.

Which One is Preferable?

If anyone is directly asking this question then I would say this answer will depend on the person that what purpose he is going to use. As a result, you think first what you are up to and then you yourself can decide which one you are going to pick.

As mentioned earlier, a bookbag is for carrying books, moneybag, tablets, and other smaller items. In addition, a book bag will fill up your criteria best. And to judge neutrally, there is no need to carry a heavy bag on your back all day long.

Furthermore, if you are going to a class or a seminar, a bookbag is the best that you can take with you.

On the other hand, a backpack is versatile in many ways. You can use a backpack from attending class to camping. Backpacks can be a bit heavier but straps and waist belts attached with it will equalize the balance your whole body so that you do not get exhausted even though carrying the bag whole day long. To be truthful, you can pack all of your gears, necessary items, sunglasses, clothes, laptop, and even sometimes shoes and guns (if there are any specific compartments for these two). We must look for a lightweight backpack.

In a word, a backpack can happen your journey happy and comfortable and it fits everywhere. It must be your best friend during your trip.

Last of all, a bookbag offers you a limited space with limited chambers and pockets while a backpack is what a man always wishes for.

Frequently Asked Questions  

  1. Are a bookbag and a backpack the same?

Actually they are often synonymous. But depending on its structures, styles, and designs, they can be distinguished in different ways.

2. What happens if your backpack is too heavy?

Prolonged hours of carrying a backpack on your back may risk your bones and muscles. For this reason, health experts suggest not to carry a backpack weight more than 10-20% of a student’s weight.

3. Which one should I take; a book bag or a backpack?

It directly depends on your needs. If you prefer going camping or a casual tour to a short distance you need to consider for a backpack. But for a seminar or for school, you can choose a book bag.

Last Words

You are a user and you know the best on which purpose you are going to a bag. You only can measure your need and then go for it.

A book bag and a backpack though are used sometimes at the same meaning but there is no way to deny a backpack’s versatile multi-functional use. From school to skating, you undoubtedly can use a backpack.

So, whatever I say doesn’t matter. When you want to buy, think carefully depending on your needs and choose wisely.

Happy buying!


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