Gearing Up: My Quest to Find the Perfect Backpack at OfficeMax


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Scoping Out the Options for My Back-to-School Needs

As summer winds down, I’m starting to think about going back to school and all the supplies I’ll need for another year of learning and growth. One essential item on every student’s shopping list is a durable, comfortable backpack. With hundreds of options to choose from, I decided to check out OfficeMax to find the perfect backpack to get me through the coming semesters in style and with room to spare for all my books, tech gadgets and more.

The other day I headed to my local OfficeMax to scope out their selection of backpacks. I was overwhelmed at first by the sheer variety of brands, styles, colors and designs they had in stock. As I browsed the aisles, I noticed backpacks in all different sizes, from compact packs for younger kids to large-capacity bags for high school and college students.

OfficeMax carries backpacks from popular brands like Jansport, High Sierra, Under Armour, Adidas and Disney. I saw basics like solid black or navy packs, as well as trendy patterns, neon colors and bags with sparkly or sequined accents that would appeal to fashion-forward students. There were also licenses bags featuring characters from Disney movies, TV shows and video games, which I know are always a hit with the younger kids.

In addition to the usual canvas and nylon backpacks, there were also more durable options made of leather orABS plastic. I even spotted a few rolled leather packs inspired by old-school vintage designs but updated with modern pockets and compartments.

The range of prices was also diverse, from simple vinyl backpacks under $15 to premium leather bags costing $100 or more. They have budget-friendly options for penny-pinching parents and students, as well as splurge-worthy designer bags for those wanting to make a bold fashion statement this school year.

One section that caught my eye was the collection of laptop backpacks in different sizes designed to hold laptops, tablets and other tech accessories. The dedicated laptop compartments in these bags provide padding and protection for your tech gear. As a high school senior this year, I’ll definitely need a laptop backpack to safely transport my new MacBook Pro to and from classes.

Ergonomic backpacks with special shoulder straps and back padding also grabbed my attention. As a chronic back pain sufferer, comfort is my number one priority in a backpack. These ergonomic designs disperse weight more evenly across your back and shoulders to avoid muscle strain. I tried on a few of the High Sierra padded packs which felt great – no more post-school soreness and slouching for me!

Another key feature I noticed on some of the backpacks was a built-in USB port that allows you to connect your phone charger to an internal battery bank. These tech-savvy bags let you charge your smartphone or other USB devices right from your backpack battery without hunting for an outlet. Super convenient for teens like me who can never keep their phones charged!

For students who bike, skate or walk to school, reflective details like strips or piping on the exterior help improve visibility and safety. I also saw several water-resistant or waterproof backpacks made of vinyl or treated nylon that would be ideal for kids in rainy climates. And many bags had external attachment points which let you clip on a bike light or other accessories.

While browsing the backpack selection, I picked up a few OfficeMax flyers to scope out any promotions or sales on bags for back to school. One flyer advertised 30% off all backpacks over $25, plus an offer to get a free lunch bag with any JanSport purchase over $35. They also had a couple Disney bags on clearance for 50% off. I’ll have to keep an eye out for any special deals that may pop up closer to the start of school.

In addition to the in-store selection, I was pleased to see OfficeMax also offers backpacks for purchase online. It’s always convenient when I can browse additional colors, styles and brands from the comfort of my couch. The website showed a few more options that weren’t available in my local store, including some stylish Vera Bradley printed bags and a great selection of durable Ogio packs designed for athletes.

After spending some time browsing in-store and online, I have a much better sense of the backpack selection at OfficeMax. I’m fairly confident that I’ll be able to find the perfect backpack to suit my preferences and needs before the new semester starts in a few weeks. And if I can’t decide between a few different bags, I may just have to buy multiples so I can switch up my style throughout the school year!

Key Backpack Features for High School Students

As I continue my search for the ideal backpack for my senior year of high school, there are a few must-have features I’m prioritizing as I shop OfficeMax’s selection:

Padded laptop sleeve. A padded compartment designed specifically to protect and hold a laptop is essential for me to safely transport my Macbook Pro to and from school each day. Extra padding will prevent bumps, shocks and falls from damaging my pricey tech gear.

Separate main compartments. I need my backpack to have at least two large, spacious main compartments so I can organize my stuff. One compartment will be for folders, notebooks and textbooks, and the other will hold my packed lunch, water bottle, extra layers of clothing and other daily essentials I’ll need access to throughout the day.

Comfortable, adjustable straps. The best backpacks have heavily padded shoulder straps that are both comfortable and, importantly, adjustable. Being able to customize the strap length ensures the bag fits my body properly so I’m not straining my back and shoulders lugging around a heavy load.

Lightweight yet durable materials. I need my backpack to be made of strong, abrasion-resistant fabric that can handle being tossed around and still last me through my entire senior year and beyond. But I definitely don’t want something super bulky and heavy that’s going to weigh me down – finding the right balance of durability and lightness is key.

Reflective elements. For safety, I want to make sure my new backpack has reflective strips, piping, logos, or other details to enhance my visibility when walking or biking in low light. This is especially important in the darker winter months when I’ll be commuting to and from school before sunrise and after sunset.

Aesthetic style. While function is my top priority, I also want a backpack that looks stylish and reflects my personality. As a senior, I want to stand out from the underclassmen with a trendy, unique bag. Whether it’s a cool print or an eye-catching color combo, I want my backpack to be an accessory I actually look forward to wearing each day.

Budget-friendly price. As thrifty student buying my own supplies, budget is also a major factor. I’ll aim for the best bargain while still getting a high-quality backpack that will last me multiple years. OfficeMax’s selection of both price-conscious and premium bags gives me lots of options to get the most features for my limited dollars.

With these key factors in mind, I’m optimistic I’ll be able to find the perfect OfficeMax backpack to meet all my needs for Year 12 while expressing my personal style. My bag will become an important part of my high school experience and memories, so I want to choose wisely!

The Ultimate Ergonomic Backpack

As someone who’s suffered back pain for years from improperly worn and fitted backpacks, I was excited to see OfficeMax offers a variety of ergonomic-specific packs. These bags are designed with health in mind to promote good posture and evenly distribute weight across the back and shoulders. After testing several ergonomic backpack options at OfficeMax, I finally found one that checks off all my boxes:

Introducing the High Sierra® Swerve Laptop Backpack, my new go-to ergonomic backpack for long days of comfortable wear and pain-free carrying. Here’s what makes this bag so perfect for my needs:

  • The S-curved shoulder straps follow the natural contours of the shoulders and neck to provide a customized fit and reduce neck and shoulder strain. No more soreness or pinched nerves!
  • The fully padded back panel with airflow channels help prevent that dreaded sweaty back syndrome. My back stays cool and sweat-free even when the bag is loaded up and I’m hustling between classes.
  • The padded 14-inch laptop compartment protects my precious (and expensive) MacBook Pro from shocks and drops. No more freaking out when someone bumps into me in the hallway!
  • Reflective accents on the front panel and straps make me visible at night. I feel so much safer biking home after late study sessions and club meetings.
  • With two roomy main compartments, I can carry everything I need for school, sports, clubs and more. No more stuffing it to the point of bursting!
  • At just over 2 pounds, it’s incredibly lightweight. My back and shoulders barely even feel the strain, even after carrying it for hours.
  • The durable nylon fabric can withstand being tossed around in my locker, dropped on the floor and caught in the rain. This bag is built to last!

For under $80, this ergonomic and high tech backpack has everything I need to stay comfortable, organized and injury-free this year. I wish I’d discovered ergonomic backpacks much sooner to save my poor back!

Cool Backpacks for Stylish Students

While comfort, space and durability are key for a functional school backpack, style is also important when making a fashion statement as a high school student. I didn’t want just any boring black pack – finding a stylishly designed bag at OfficeMax was a top priority for me.

After trying on dozens of options, I fell in love with the sleek, modern look of the Adidas Foundation Team Issue Backpack. With its understated heathered fabric, tonal logo and clean lines, this bag nails the sporty yet refined aesthetic I’m going for as a senior.

A few highlights that make this my favorite stylish backpack from OfficeMax:

  • The minimalist heathered black fabric paired with gunmetal gray zippers creates a subtle modern vibe without being overly loud.
  • The external carry straps are perfect for holding my yoga mat or clipping on a bike helmet when riding to school.
  • The pop color orange lining and headphone port add just the right hints of color without going overboard.
  • The adjustable shoulder straps, padded back panel and soft mur faux leather bottom keep me comfortable even during long days of wear.
  • Roomy enough to hold all my gear, butslim and tailored in profile to maintain a sleek silhouette.
  • Front zip accessory pocket provides quick access to keys, transit pass and other small essentials.
  • It’s stylish enough to transition smoothly from classroom to sports practice to hanging out with friends on the weekends.

This stylishly versatile Adidas backpack checks off all my fashion and function requirements for the school year. The neutral color palette with sporty accents reflects my personal style to a tee. Now I can focus on more important things, like actually getting to class on time!

OfficeMax Backpacks Put to the Test

With so many backpack options to pick from, I decided to put a few leading contenders through some back-to-school testing trials to see how they held up. Here’s how some of the top backpacks I tried from OfficeMax fared across some key use cases:

Commuting: I tossed the bags on public transit and my bike to see how they handled transportation. The High Sierra Access Laptop Backpack came out on top with its trolley strap to securely attach to my rolling luggage and water-resistant fabric that kept my stuff dry on rainy bike rides.

Heavy books: I loaded up each bag with 10+ textbooks to simulate lugging my daily class load. The padded straps on the Adidas Capital Backpack prevented digging into my shoulders even under heavy weight.

After-school snacks: I carried open bags of chips, sandwiches and other sticky snacks in the main compartments. Only crumbs remained in the Jansport Big Student Backpack which wiped clean easily with a damp cloth.

Gym clothes: I shoved sweaty tees and sneakers into each bag post-workout to check for ventilation and odor resistance. The Under Armour Hustle 4.0 Backpack maintained the freshest smell thanks to its water resistant bottom and breathable side panels.

Daily wear and tear: I did not go easy on these bags! Lots of tossing on floors, cramming into tight lockers, spilling drinks, and general rough handling over several weeks. Only minimal scuffing showed on the hardy canvas exteriors of the High Sierra Fat Boy Backpack.

After these back-to-school trials by fire, I’m confident the tested tough OfficeMax backpacks can endure whatever this year throws at them. Now to pick which rugged warrior will be by my side for the next 10 months!

Packing the Perfect OfficeMax Backpack

After selecting the ideal backpack for my needs, the next crucial step is properly packing it to keep myself organized and prevent back strain throughout long school days. Based on the storage compartments and features of my new Adidas Linear Backpack from OfficeMax, here is my system:

Laptop sleeve: Holds my MacBook Pro, iPad, chargers, portable battery pack, and other electronics I’ll need for classes. Having my heavy tech items closest to my back helps distribute weight properly.

Main compartment #1: This is where all my folders, notebooks, textbooks, and other core class materials go so they are easily accessible when I’m in class or studying in free periods. I use built-in divider panels to separate subjects.

Main compartment #2: Holds my packed lunch and snacks, reusable water bottle, extra layer of clothing, gym shoes, and other personal items I may need throughout the day like lip balm, Band-Aids, gum, etc.

Front pocket: Ideal for small essentials I need quick access to like my keys, bus pass, ID card, pens, ear buds, and any other little odds and ends I toss in. Keeps me from digging through the whole bag every time I just need my bus fare!

Outer pockets: Water bottle pockets on each side so I’m never without hydration. Loops to clip on my bike lights for safe commuting before sunrise. And a sunglasses slip pocket for safe storage of my shades.

Properly utilizing all the storage options on my cleverly designed Adidas backpack will be key to staying organized and maintaining comfort no matter what my busy senior year throws at me! Now it’s loaded up and ready to roll.

Backpack Shopping: Lessons Learned

After hours spent analyzing the backpack selection at my local OfficeMax, trying on countless options, and putting top contenders through various back-to-school tests, I’m officially an expert on shopping for student backpacks. Here’s what my quest to find the perfect OfficeMax backpack taught me:

  • Don’t underestimate the value of trying bags on in person – fitted and adjusted properly, even budget bags can be comfortable.
  • Prioritize padded straps, breathable backing, and weight distribution when evaluating ergonomics.
  • Laptop protection, lots of compartments for organization, and easy-clean fabrics are so important for heavy school use.
  • Extra features like charge ports, straps and reflective details make everyday use more convenient.
  • Style matters too – find something that suits your personality so you actually enjoy wearing your bag.
  • Be picky and test out bags to find ones that are genuinely durable and best for your needs.
  • Take advantage of sales, bundles and clearance deals to get the most value for your money.
  • Backpacks are investments – choosing the best one you can afford will pay off for years of school and life use.

With my sleek, comfortable, and perfectly organized new Adidas backpack, I feel fully equipped for whatever adventures senior year brings. This bag will carry more than just my books – it will carry memories of my last year before embarking on new adult adventures after graduation!

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