Backpacks from Vera Bradley are probably the item I own the most of along with the item I get the most use out of. They are my go-to for traveling, ideal for coffee shops, everyday office bag, and just life essentials. However, due to the volume of options to choose from Vera Bradley, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the right one for you. I have several types of backpacks I am breaking down in a full Vera Bradley Backpack Comparison Guide.
Vera Bradley Backpack Comparison Guide
Dimensions: 10.0″ w x 14.0″ h x 6.5″ d with 33.25″ adjustable strap and 3.0″ handle drop
This is the smallest of all of the Vera Bradley backpacks, but don’t let the size fool you this backpack packs a mighty punch when it comes to space. It has 2 side pockets, a front pocket, and then the main portion of the backpack. What I love about this back is the style is unlike the traditional Vera Bradley backpacks with the buckle top flap and drawstring interior. It’s also made from recycled cotton which is very unique.
This backpack is also unique because it’s a limited edition style in partnership with Lana Condor. Lana Condor is best known for her work in the “To All the Boys” film series. (If you haven’t watched it on Netflix I HIGHLY recommend it). I love this style though because it feels young and fresh for Vera Bradley. The pink details add a feminine flair but the black keeps it neutral and perfect for everyday use. Along with the pink and black exterior, there’s that classic Vera Bradley pop of print on the interior which is a fun surprise.
I think this style is perfect for on the go or if you want a smaller option when traveling. It would also make a really cute diaper bag!
Dimensions: 12.0″ w x 16.5″ h x 7.5″ d with 32.0″ adjustable strap and 2.75″ handle drop
The Campus Backpack is my personal favorite style of backpack. I have two that I use religiously. I took this style of backpack with me both times to Disney World! At Disney, this backpack fits everything I needed! I was able to carry a sweatshirt, a denim jacket, water bottles, snacks, portable phone chargers, an umbrella, a poncho, plus all of the souvenirs I bought and more!
On my first trip to Disney I was only there for one day, so I actually only ended up bringing my Campus Backpack with me and it fit everything I needed for a one and half-day trip!
To me, the Campus Backpack is your traditional size and has all of the functionality you would want. The exterior features two side slip pockets (perfect for water bottles), a u-shaped front zip compartment with a front zip pocket, and a hidden back zip pocket (which I used for my wallet at Disney so it was easily accessible but closest to my body). The front u-shaped zip compartment contains four slip pockets, three pen slips, and an ID window. While the main compartment features two mesh slip pockets. This backpack also has a padded laptop compartment that accommodates up to a 15″ laptop. It also has padded shoulder straps are shaped for optimum comfort on body and great for long wear! Lastly, it has a shaped trolley sleeve which is great for airports and traveling! It has a total capacity 25 L.
Similar to the Utility Backpack this style is made out of the new recycled cotton.
I find myself reaching for this style all the time and especially when traveling either for plane rides or car rides. I love that I can throw a small crossbody inside to be ready to go when I arrive to my destination.
XL Campus Backpack
Dimensions: 12.0″ w x 16.5″ h x 8.5″ d with 32.0″ adjustable strap and 2.75″ handle drop
The XL Campus Backpack is VERY similar to the Campus Backpack just slightly deeper with an additional inch in depth compared to the Campus Backpack. It has all of the same features in pockets as the Campus Backpack.
Another key difference of the XL Campus Backpack is it made out of the Performance Twill rather than the Recycled Cotton. I do think the performance twill does a better job of keeping it shape over time and wear whereas the recycled cotton becomes more flexible and moldable.
Really if you just need a little extra room this is the style for you!
Dimensions: 12.75″ w x 18.0″ h x 8.0″ d with 32.0″ adjustable strap and 0.75″ handle drop
The Grand Backpack is completely different from the other three. It has more a sleek design with the front pocket being higher up on the backpack for a smoother front design. Additionally, the Grand Backpack feels more substantial on your back due to the added 1.5 inches in height compared to the Campus and XL Campus Backpacks.
The Grand Backpack is made out of the ReActive material which is lightweight, durable, water-repellent and made from recycled PET water bottles. The exterior features two mesh side pockets, a front zip pocket, and a back laptop zip pocket, additionally, on the exterior there is a webbing tab with a carabiner.
The interior features an ID window, two slip pockets, three pen slip pockets. The main compartment features two mesh slip pockets and a mesh zip pocket. There is a padded laptop compartment that accommodates up to a 15″ laptop.
This is a great style for the office or if you are a teacher because of all of the compartments and the sleek design. It also comes in a solid black if you want something more professional.
Lay Flat Backpack
Dimensions: 12.5″ w x 20.5″ h x 9.0″ d with 38.0″ adjustable strap and 2.5″ handle drop
The Lay Flat Backpack is the largest of all of the backpacks with an additional two inches in height compared to the Grand Backpack. I would not consider this an every day back with its unique design. The Lay Flat Backpack is GREAT for overnight trips or packing in a single carry-on.
The main compartment features two slip compartments, one mesh zip pocket which is similar to a suitcase-style. Because of this when you need something out you have to unzip and lay flat the full backpack. However, for an overnight trip, this would be ideal because it’s compact and holds so much stuff!
Here’s an example of how it looks packed for an overnight trip!
This backpack is deceiving because of its unique design and its ability to hold a ton of stuff.
Honorable Mention: Commuter Personalized Backpack
Dimensions: 12.0″ w x 17.0″ h x 6.25″ d with 24.0″ adjustable strap and 2.5″ handle drop
Another style that definitely isn’t new to me that I wanted to include is the Commuter Backpack. This style is a half step up from the Campus Backpack. It resembles a very similar shape with the key differences being…
- It’s a half-inch taller than the Campus Backpack
- It’s side pockets are zippered rather than open
- The front zipper pocket is at the top instead of at the bottom
I actually reach for this style a lot because I have in the solid navy performance twill which matches my weekender and my duffel. I also have it personalized which is a fun touch.
If you are trying to decide between the Campus and the Commuter it really comes down to what functionality is important to you. If you are heading to a theme park and access to a water bottle is important to you then the Campus might be a good fit for you. If you are traveling a lot and prefer to have everything zipped up and closed then the Commuter might be a good option.
Both are available for personalization as well!
Vera Bradley Backpack Comparison Guide Final Thoughts
Overall, you can’t go wrong with any of the Vera Bradley backpacks! They are all made extremely well and made to last. They also have a style and print for everyone. If you want something bold they’ve got you! If you want something solid and subtle they also have something for you.
Use code ANGELA to enjoy 10% off your purchase at Vera Bradley!
This code can be stacked with any other Vera Bradley discounts and promos!
This post is sponsored by Vera Bradley, but all opinions are my own. Posts like this make The Thrifty Pineapple possible.
See More Vera Bradley Posts here.
Sheryl Shoaf says
I love the utility backpack. I like the size of it and the new look.
Canvas backpack is my above all favorite because it’s the most functional for my busy job in nursing. It’s very facious and hold all of my nursing accessories !
Elizabeth Hamilton says
I love the campus backpack. It fits everything I need and is great quality!
I’ve never seen the lay flat!!! That is genius and I love it!! Definitely need to up my VB backpack game. I’m still using the same once since college….but it’s held up so well!!!!
Arielle Nunez says
I love the campus backpack! Perfect size for traveling!
Ryanne Ardisana says
Utility backpack! So cute and modern
Congrats! You’re the winner of the Utility Backpack! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim!
Laura Syck says
I love them all, but I think my favorite is the Campus backpack.
I love this post. It’s like I knew there were a lot of Vera Bradley backpacks but but seeing the difference between all of them, it was perfect! I have one of the mini backpack purses myself. But I’ve always wanted to treat myself to a Campus backpack. It’s the ideal one for me!
Lizzy Versnik says
I love the campus backpack!! It literally fits everything you need, but this makes me want to try the Campus XL backpack to see the difference in material. 🙂
Erica Beckelhymer says
The campus backpack is my favorite – I have actually never owned one, but I have heard such good things! I have a few friends that have had multiple over the years. I love the size and I think it would be perfect for me!
Elizabeth Stahler says
I love the old “tech backpack” I think it’s called. I’ve had it for about 8 years and it got me though college and now work. It’s a great size to fit my laptop, notebooks, lunch box, etc! I think I want to try out the grand backpack now. I think it would be great for overnight trips or even days at work where I have a lot of stuff.
Don’t quote me on this but I believe the tech backpack was replaced by the Campus Backpack!
Elizabeth Stahler says
Oh awesome! That makes sense they look pretty similar.
I love the campus backpack and have used it since I was in college! It holds so much – including my laptop and extra clothes when traveling!
Hannah Berman says
Depends what I would be using it for but I love both the campus backpack and the lay flat! Such cute patterns and they both look like they could hold a ton without being overly bulky.
The Lay Flat backpack looks so nice!! I definitely will be checking that out. My favorite is the XL Campus Backpack as it reminds me of the laptop backpack I used to use in high school.
Jessica Vela says
I have an old Tech backpack that I got way back in college and still use it religiously. I love it so much! Perfect for work travel, although now I think I need one of those lay flat backpacks it could be a game changer!
Maddie Sayre says
I’m so glad you did a blog on this. I just went to the Vera Bradley store on Monday and was surprised at how many styles they have. The campus backpack has always been my favorite, but the lay flat backpack would be a great piece to have especially for your kids. They don’t need a huge suitcase and they won’t be carrying their luggage either.
Sarah Gomez says
The campus backpack is my fav with the commuter as a close second! I love the water bottle holder option on the campus backpack. I think this will be my new go to travel bag!
Kylie Drost says
I love the grand backpack!! I like that it is smaller (my campus one tends fold over, “sagging” on the bottom, but I’ve also had it for almost 7 years!) and that it has a sleeker look to it while still being able to hold all the things I need!! Love your reviews thank you!!!
Lizz Donoghue says
I have always loved the small backpacks Vera makes, over the years, they’ve been perfect for theme parks, fairs and hikes!
My favorite is the lay flat backpack. It seems like I always pack more than I think and the extra room is perfect.
I am amazed by the lay flat backpack!!!! I feel like I need one in my life! I used the reactive campus backpack in college and loved it! I’m hoping it’ll be able to fit all my law school supplies as well! 🙂
I love the XL campus backpack because it’s so versatile and comes in such fun prints!
I love the campus backpack! All my friends had them in college and I always adored theirs. I’d love to use it for a teaching bag too! Would be awesome for field trips and just day to day things😍
Morgan Davidson says
I don’t have a Vera Bradley backpack, but would love the grand backpack ! It would be perfect to carry all of my teacher stuff (planner & laptop!) to school and home from school. It might even fit my lunchbox! It would also be great for travel. 🙂
Congrats! You’re the winner of the Grand Backpack! Please email me at email@example.com to claim!
Morgan Davidson says
AHH! So excited. Thank you. Just sent an email!
Mary Margaret Cunningham says
I’m really loving the lay flat backpack! Looks perfect for stowing all the things I need in a few short months when I add the new role of “Mommy” to my list!
Sarah Hall says
I love the utility backpack! feels professional enough for work but also has the prefect pop of color
The Campus backpack- it’s perfect for traveling!
Love the print of the lay flat backpack, but I think the Commuter or XL Utility make more sense for my lifestyle as a marketer on the go! Great post on highlighting the differences between each of the styles.
I’m loving the lay flat backpack for quick trips!!
Lauren P says
I like the campus backpack! This was such a great post! I have a super old one from college I still love! This is making me want another. I know their factory stores also have styles and colors. I like to shop the outlet sometimes on vacation!
I don’t have a VB backpack (always wanted one), but I would get the Grand Backpack. This would work well for myself as a music teacher – there are a lot of compartments for transporting work things back and forth along with any small instruments that I would need to take with me to trainings. I would be able to use it when I travel on vacation.
Kim Derrick says
I’ve always loved the campus backpack and xl campus backpack styles for my daughters for school because they could hold everything. But I really like the subtleness and size of this newer utility backpack the best.
I have an XL Campus Backpack and it’s absolutely perfect for traveling. I’d love one in another print 😍
I love the Lay Flat Backpack, it holds so much stuff, and would be perfect for weekend trips and summer fun!
My initial thought was to say the Campus Backpack is my favorite but the Lay Flat Backpack is really catching my eye.
I love Vera…. Love the grand backpack and the campus backpack!
I would love the Campus backpack and would use it for the same thing you did… Disneyland! I love having a comfy and stylish backpack to carry my snacks, water bottle, sweatshirt, Mackey ears etc.! Vera Bradley has so many cute patterns, how could you go wrong?!
Congrats! You’re the winner of the Campus Backpack! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim!
Yahoo! And my first comment should say “Mickey” ears!
Haley Klock says
My favorite backpack is the Small Backpack. It’s small enough to take as an everyday bag but still large enough to fit all the things you may need for a typical day (even fits an Erin Condren planner!) I love the monogramming option too, this makes your bag even more unique.
The lay flat back pack. Perfect for a carry on when traveling plus the cutest prints!
I hv a ton of VB products but surprisingly no backpacks! Based on your detailed description (super helpful!) I’d chose the utility backpack for versatility and eco friendliness
I like the Lay Flat for an overnight getaway option
I love the Utility Backpack. The unique design makes it stand out from the regular backpacks and I love that it has the pop of traditional VB print inside.
I love the Lay Flat and the Grand backpacks! Always looking for different styles of backpacks for when I can start traveling in Europe again!!
I love the XL Campus backpack. I can fit everything I need and still have extra room.
Zuleika Danao says
The utility bagpack is really unexpected with the pop of color inside. I can use it for trips my to Disney and Sea World. Thanks for opportunity.😊
Andrea p says
The xl campus bagpack will be my top pick… a great bagpack to travel alongside my two girls and have my hands free it a win
Yvonne Collier says
Definitely the campus style is my absolute favourite. Love ❤️ Vera Bradley I bought my first one in Florida and I love Disney too. Love how the campus looks chic and put together, but also can hold a ton of stuff. So versatile. X
So many cute options! It’s so hard to decide which is my favorite! It is probably the Utility Backpack, is the perfect size for any adventure and I LOVE the pop of color and pattern on the inside! So cute!
I prefer the “Small backpack” since it is small and holds everything I need for Disney trips. Out of the ones that you reviewed, I am really interested in the lay flat backpack.
The lay flat backpack. It looks wonderful for travel!
The XL Campus Backpack is my favorite! I work in 2 different clinics throughout the week. Since I am basically carrying around my whole office in my backpack, that extra room would be really helpful!
I love the campus backpack because it’s not too big and not too small. Just the right size. I love that they have recycled cotton. I always prefer Cotton bags and to have them made even more sustainable (recycled cotton) is extraordinary. Kudos to Vera Bradley!
Rachel Ellis says
I like the XL Campus backpack! That’s my favorite material it’s so sturdy and nice quality. Also easy to wash!
Jessica Sellers says
I love them all! But the one I use is the campus backpack. It holds everything my family needs for a day hiking, at the zoo or amusement park without being to big.
Maria Rodriguez says
I like the campus backpack. I’ve been thinking of getting one for a while now. I like that it’s big enough to keep all the things I would need for a trip to the zoo or on vacation.
The campus backpack! It looks like the perfect teacher bag!
Abby Pannell says
Definitely the Campus, as we’re going to Disney in Sept!
I love the lay flat backpack! The tropical print is gorgeous and it would be perfect for traveling.
Kim Bourgault says
I love the utility backpack! Love the smaller size so I don’t overpack!
I love the campus backpack the most because it’s a classic! It’s good for day trips and I love a good day trip!
Sara S. says
I like the campus backpack the best! My second choice would be the grand backpack. I like organization, so these two are more my style with all of the extra pockets. I am also intrigued with the reactive collection. I have not purchased anything from the reactive line yet, but I like the concept.
Sheri Lopez says
I love the Lay Flat backpack. I like how it completely unzips for packing. Great for an overnight or weekend trip.
I think the campus backpack makes the most sense for my lifestyle! I’m starting a new job next week and will be commuting on the bus, so this would be perfect for carrying all of my work essentials!
Carol Platt says
I love the campus backpack it great for work!
The Lay Flat Backpack is my favorite! I’m not typically a backpack girl, but this style makes it so fun, convenient, & accessible.
Love me some Vera….I love them all but the lay flat style is awesome. It perfect for quick trips and looks like it fits a ton.
I’ve had a campus backpack for several years! It’s been to Europe twice and never fails me at Disney world! Quality is so good and size is perfect to hold everything I need without being bulky or cumbersome.
I love my lighten up zip top backpack! It opens wide at the top like a tote bag which makes it so easy to get in and out of while traveling.
The lay flat backpack is definitely my favorite! Anytime I can pack for a short trip in a backpack, I alway will. I also like these type of back packs for work when you need to bring gym clothes or another outfit change!
Brianna Luszcak says
I own a campus XL, it goes everywhere with me. It expands great, can literally fit my entire life necessities in there for a long weekend (minus extra shoes). I would definitely say this is my favorite backpack option but I am also intrigued by the lay flat backpack and if they way the compartments are sectioned would actually provide me more capabilities or not. Guess I’ll just have to buy it and see!
Meg Brown says
The Commuter is my favorite! It’s perfect for bringing my laptop back and forth to work. I adore the placement of pockets and how it’s in the Performance Twill fabric; it feels sturdier and stands up to the rain. I’m so sad Vera is no longer offering them in as many pattern options!
My runner-up is the Carryall in leather. It’s the perfect size for running errands and travel. It seems to be similar in size to the Utility, which I’m super excited to try!
Holly M. says
I love the Lay Flat backpack. Perfect as a Carry on. Looks to keep everything organized!
I love the XL campus backpack! It’s perfect for trips and everyday use. It has so much storage (and pockets) which is always useful! I haven’t tried the Utility Backpack, but I think that it would be great for everyday use because of the size and look!
My favorite is the XL Campus Backpack because of the padded laptop compartment and the durable twill fabric. We have had a couple of these that have lasted for several years.
Jaime Aleman says
The campus backpack seems amazing, it is definitely my favorite of the five you compared! I appreciate this comparison as I am in need of a new backpack for work!
The campus backpack! I love the hidden pocket on the back. We are going to Disneyland in August and the campus backpack seems like the perfect fit for that trip!
Karrie Cook says
I always loved the Campus Backpack while in school but it looks like it’s changed a bit since then!
The lay flat needs to get added into my Vera travel collection. It’s a great option for a quick turn around overnight!
Congrats! You’re the winner of the Lay Flat Backpack! Please email me at email@example.com to claim!
Oh wow! This is amazing – thanks so much, Angela. Email sent!
I love them all but I think my favorite is the XL Campus backpack!
Congrats! You’re the winner of the XL Campus Backpack! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim!
Love the commuter personalized backpack for travel! And who doesn’t love a good monogram! ❤️
Love the commuter personalized backpack for travel! And who doesn’t love a good monogram! ❤️
XL Campus, is my favorite. The perfect right size for a Momma of 2 young kids always on the go. Pockets for kids water bottles and plenty of room for snacks and Momma’s things as well.
I love both the campus and lay flat, depending on what is needed. The lay flat looks perfect for travel, and sleek looking as well!
I love the XL Campus and the lay flat. Being a mom I feel like there’s always so much stuff to bring along! The more I can fit and have it organized the better.
Jessica W. says
I have had a campus backpack for years that I use as my teacher bag. It fits my laptop and my change of clothes for coaching volleyball and basketball. I also carry it with me on game days for easy access to extra pens and bandaids which I stash in the front pocket.
Eyeing that lay flat style for a travel bag refresh.
Kasey B. says
I have had a few campus backpacks over the years and LOVE them. They hold up well and always hold everything I need. But I am very intrigued by the lay flat backpack! It looks so neat.
Loving the Lay Flat style, this is not a style I seen around. Would love to get me one before this school year starts back up for this teacher/coach and soon to be mom!
Love the utility and the grand! The utility is sporty with plenty of room and the grand would be great for travel!
Haley Thompson-Tucker says
I love the XL campus backpack. I’ve used it ever since my sophomore year of college. (Obviously with different prints to change it up.) As a PT student, it is perfect for carrying my school supplies and very roomie. I can’t lie I have matching Vera everything for school to stay in style.
I am torn between the XL campus backpack and the ReActive material!! I love the size and organization of the campus, especially as a PA student. But, I love that ReActive material when I get caught in the rain!
That lay flat backpack is so cool! I love that it’s half suitcase half backpack!
I like the Grand backpack. It would be great to use in carrying my files back and forth to work and class. Love all of them though! Thanks for the chance!!
I love the Lay Flat Backpack! It’s compartments make it a perfect carry on or Travel Bag! Can count as a personal item on most flights and keep everything organized.
I love the butterfly print backpack! It would make a great backpack for the upcoming school year for my daughter.
Yesenia Valdez says
My favorite is the campus XL. I use it for work, weekend trips, and even a diaper bag.
Love the campus backpack as it seems to be the perfect size to hold everything!
Have you tried the commuter backpack?
I’m debating between the commuter and the campus XL for an upcoming day trip!
I’m thicker, abd taller, so I’m also a little paranoid about a smaller backpack.
Haha. I read again and saw the commuter at the bottom, I missed it reading the others.
Based on this review I really think I want to go with the commuter.
Thanks for this!!
Oh good! Yes, I love my commuter!!
Do you feel it’s better than the XL Reactive? I’m really struggling between those 2.
I can’t see much difference in the sizing? I’m taking a day trip to Salem, I want to be able to carry my basics (makeup, medicines, etc) and sounvenirs!
I haven’t tried the X: reactive, but it looks like a mix between the Grand and the Lay FLat size-wise. I find most of their backpacks vary in size by 1-2 inches so it’s not a huge difference.
Lol this blog made my decision harder!
I ended up with the commuter AND the campus XL 😂😂.🤦🏼♀️
Love your blog!! Btw! So glad I found you!!
Haha they are both great for different purposes! I like the commuter for work and my Campus Xl for adventures like Disney!