I carry a Porter briefcase on campus. Backpacks are for high school. I'm not a big fan of briefcases and backpacks can be for any demographic depending on the style of it. Unless you're going to college in a super trendy place get a standard North Face. You will be lugging around your laptop plus books and who knows what else if you are pledging and/or if it's snowing or pouring rain, it's better to have a functional backpack over style. Your dorm may be a 15-20 minute walk to your classes. As for messenger bags I've never been a fan as I think it makes you look like a tool in most cases on campus. As for Topo design I've never heard of them and just because it's makes "trekking" gear does not mean it's good quality. Dana Design would probably be one of the best bag makers but alas they were bought out a few years ago. I go to school in Canada and the place I'm at gets a lot of rain during Autumn and quite a but of snow in the Winter so durability is paramount over style and thought my best chance to have both is to go for a trekking a.k.a. daypack Topo is a relatively new company but I've been reading many good comments about the construction of their bags and the materials they utilize. I'll be checking out the bags on Dana as well. Blk pine workshop makes a chill backpack. If you've got the $$, check out north face purple label backpacks I searched around and have been unable to find many retailers that sell this label but they are very nice bags. If you know any retailers let me know (Blackbird has some but compared to a few I saw on Blk Pine's website I'm not really liking their selection) Forgot to mention, I might pick up one of those Topo bags if goruck doesn't come through with a discount for me. They look decent for the price. Anyone have hands on experience with them? Topo was recently established and the bag I posted was just released in the last 3 weeks so I doubt many people have any experience with the brand yet.