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What are the Parts of a Backpack?
An Illustrated Bag Anatomy

updated: April 13 2024
Bag Anatomy Infographic

What are the Parts of a Traditional Backpack?

When you are shopping for a custom printed backpack, like the Academic Backpack pictured above, you’ll see a list of features for each one. Here are the basic parts that make up backpacks:

  • Padded Adjustable Straps
  • Front Pocket
  • Side Water Bottle Pocket
  • Main Internal Compartment
  • Main Compartment Zipper
  • Top Grab/Carry handle
  • Ventilating Mesh or Grommets
  • Interior Organization Pockets
  • Piping/Trim
  • Imprint Area (The space available to print your art or logo.)

Special Features for Traditional & School Backpacks

  • Headphone Port
    • Keeps devices safe and steady inside the bag so the wearer can listen to music, podcasts or audio books with earbuds.
  • Laptop or Tablet Protector Pocket
    • Important for business, travel and education.
  • USB Port for Power Banks
    • For keeping phones and tablets charged on the go.
  • Cell Phone Sleeve or Pouch
    • Provides extra protection for expensive and delicate devices.
  • Shoulder Strap
    • Allows for more than one way to carry the bag.
  • Reinforced Base
    • Helps the backpack bottom hold up against streets, floors and heavy contents.



What are the Parts of a Drawstring Backpack?

A drawstring backpack, like the Zip-Front Drawstring Backpack pictured above, is lighter, smaller, and less expensive than a traditional backpack. This type of bag is perfect for packing up and shipping to events because of its weight. Drawstring bags won’t weigh down small children, runners, or trade show attendees. Pull string or cinch bags are also a good choice for short term use because of their economy. They are less complicated than book bags and have fewer parts. Here are the basics:

  • Drawstring Straps/Carrying Strap
  • Reinforcing Grommets
  • Main Compartment
  • Front Pocket and Zipper
  • Imprint Area

Special Features for Drawstring Backpacks

  • Headphone Port
  • Reflective Safety Strips
  • Mesh Accents

What are Backpacks Made Of?

Backpacks carry a lot of weight and take a beating, so they are usually made of fabrics that can stand up to wear and weather. Popular backpack materials include:

  • Polyester
  • Poly Canvas
  • Nylon
  • Canvas
  • Cotton
  • Nonwoven Polypropylene



Which Backpacks are the Most Durable?

Durability depends on the material the bag is made of, and how thick that material is. The terms below will help you decode the information you’ll find on the product detail pages for backpacks:

  • Denier is a unit of measurement that is used to determine the thickness of threads used in fabrics. Fabrics with a higher denier count tend to be thicker and more durable.
  • GSM (Grams per Square Meter) is a unit of measurement for non-woven polypropylene material, since it is not a true fabric, but a pressed sheet. The GSM level refers to the weight of the material. The higher the number, the thicker the fabric.