Hydrogen is a potential sustainable and clean source of energy that can decrease reliance on hydrocarbons. Although advances in renewable sourcing of hydrogen are encouraging, safe storage for hydrogen gas remains a significant hurdle for widespread use in a hydrogen economy. Currently, hydrogen gas must be substantially compressed at low temperatures for safe storage, which poses a large problem for wide spread use. A simple solution lies in metal and covalent organic frameworks (MOF and COF): highly porous materials with promising gas storage capabilities at decreased pressure and higher temperature compared to traditional methods. Hydrogen uptake and operability for these frameworks do not yet meet the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 2020 targets of 0.03 kg H2/L of system and operating temperatures of -40-60°C. To reach these goals, key parameters to optimize are MOF/COF ligand design and surface area, as these correspond to improved hydrogen uptake. We have developed new COF ligands that result in high surface area COFs with potential enhanced hydrogen storage properties. We show hydroxy and fluorine groups on the linkers enhance hydrogen binding within the framework, while judicial solvent choice boosts surface area. Future work will test for metal integration into the framework to further augment hydrogen bonding capabilities. Progress in designing functional COFs with high surface area, preferential hydrogen bonding groups, and metal incorporation improves hydrogen’s potential as a clean, widespread energy source.