Whether your kid wants to sport a classic or a trend, it’s the sturdy bag that makes the grade. From tropical prints to sleek and simple gear, we’ve found 17 awesome backpacks that’ll send your kids back to school in style (and won’t fall apart in six months). Flip through the slideshow below to find your favorite.
Unicorn Backpack from OMG Accessories
Indulge in your kid's unicorn obsession with an adorable mini backpack that's perfect for sleepovers at nana's house. There are two zippered pockets, adjustable straps and it's made with iridescent material that adds a whimsical touch.
Available at omgaccessories.com, $55.
We can't decide what we like the most about these new backpacks from Tula Kids. From the fashion-forward prints and the comfy fit to the 100% water-resistant polyester fabric that makes for easy cleanup and the extra pockets for plenty of storage space, this backpack is something that beginning students can enjoy past the preschool years.
Available at babytula.com, $79.
Your little scholar will be raring to go this school year when you let her sport this fun dino pack. Offered in fun colors like tangerine, hot pink, electric blue and graphite, the easy grab handles and soft spikes are perfect for preschoolers. Plus it comes with padded shoulder handles, has two zippered vertical pockets and is machine washable. Score!
Available at 7amenfant.com, $42
These Scottish-seaside inspired print backpacks from Tea Collection won’t get lost in a crowd! Each backpack is made from 100% polyester with adjustable shoulder straps and measures 15.5"x 11.23" x 4.5", which means they’re perfect for your grade school scholars. The only problem will be choosing from the new graphics, which include bold triangles, sweet florals, or fun flying bikes.
Available at teacollection.com, $44.50.
A Study in Sturdy
Packed with pockets, straps and gear loops to keep everything in place, made of water-resistant polyester and featuring adjustable padded shoulder straps and exterior straps, the Mackenzie backpack is one of the most efficient and playfully designed collections around—making it a hit with kids and parents alike. The large backpack holds a lunch bag, a large notebook, two small notebooks, several books and a water bottle. New prints this year include rainbows, outer space, horses, multicolored patterns and more.
Available at potterybarnkids.com, $23 - $55.
Send a Strong Message
Is there no end to the cuteness from Target’s Cat & Jack? Each one of these new 18” backpacks has a fun print and an empowering message on the back. There’s a front hook, sweet zipper detail, the inside is double-lined, and the straps are padded. And the best part? It comes with a two-year warranty at a great price.
Available at target.com, $19.99.
The New Kid
Originally launched on Kickstarter, the backpacks from HERO NEW YORK are ready to accompany your kiddo anywhere. They are made from a military-grade, water-resistant material and lined with an easy-to-clean (for real!) nylon and there’s a front compartment with a key fob for easy access, a small pocket at the back for valuables, special pockets for electronics. There are plenty of charming, on-trend prints to choose from. And, the best part? Each backpack comes with a collectible trading card of a hero from history that’ll inspire kids when the going gets tough.
Available at herobackpacks.com/collections, $49 - $99.
We are totally crushing on these adorable new backpacks—12 little kids™ by TWELVElittle. The new gear includes two-tone zipper accents to add a little pop, there are also multiple pockets for easy organizing, and TWELVElittle designed the interior lining themselves (the 12 animals from the Asian zodiac calendar!). Also, each backpack comes with a pack of iron-on patches so your little designer can customize her backpack to her own individual style.
Available at twelvelittle.com/courage-backpack-pink, $54.50.
Designed with your littlest scholars in mind, these sleek backpacks can turn a nervous kiddo into a superhero in the blink of an eye. Simply don the secret cape that’s stashed away in a pocket at the back of the backpack and pow! There’s even an accompanying eye mask to complete your kid’s transformation. Each backpack is insulated with EVA, which keeps drinks and snacks cold, and can easily store notebooks, a change of clothes and more. There are 10 color combos for every type of superhero, a SuperME velcro patch, and the option to personalize!
Available at daphdaph.com, $39.90.
New in 2017, the LEGO Eco backpacks take the love of LEGO and being green to a whole new level. Every bag is made from recycled plastic water bottles, and you’ll find amazing designs—NINJAGO and NEXO Knights; clever brick-patterned fabric styles; and—our favorite—the giant LEGO brick pack that has two outside pockets and plenty of room for all the gear kids tote around all day. Each pack features a place to write your kiddo’s name, stash pockets, reflective fabric strips on the padded shoulder straps, and the lining even has its own brick pattern. And, the bags are big enough to hold everything without being too big for the kids.
Available at legobags.com/backpacks, $25 - $50.
The Tot Tote
This mom-invented tote can be worn as a backpack, carried as a bag, and can even be used as a backseat organizer! You’ll find seven internal pockets to keep everything tidy, one mesh drink holder and an external zipper pocket for easy access. Whether older kids use it while on the way to after-school activities or if younger tots use it to tote along their favorite items to school, the multi-pocket function will always come in handy. And, with over 10 adorable designs in five collections, there’s a style for every kid.
Available at tottote.com, $35 - $45.
Send your budding ninja to school with this awesome backpack that’s always on guard. We love the multi-compartments (one main compartment, two side open compartments) with zippers that'll help your stealth student will stay organized. Measuring in at 11.8” x 16.5” x 6” with padded, adjustable straps, this school pack is perfect for older kiddos.
Available at just-zipit.com, $24.99
Skip to School
Skip Hop knows that kids need a friend to help get them through those first days of school. That’s why we love the NYC-based company's animal backpacks. Measuring at 11" x 5" x 12", they are the perfect size for first-time scholars. The front insulated pocket can hold a stash of snacks, the wipeable liner makes for easy cleanup, and the padded shoulders give little shoulders extra comfort. New in 2017 to the ever expanding menagerie is a Dalmatian, leopard, and fox!
Available at skiphop.com, $20.
For the Back Pack
Weighing in at just over one pound, each Bixbee backpack is designed with your student’s comfort in mind. There are five exterior pockets (including a lunch money pocket and water bottle holder), an ID holder, and three interior organizer pockets that hold small necessities like pencils, pens, and crayons. New this year is the Forrest Pixie LED Flyer, that comes with real lights (batteries not include) that'll make your little scholar shine bright as she makes her way down the hall.
Available at bixbee.com, $43.99.
The new Vintage Little One from Lassig is designed in a classic style. We love the accessories pouch, the name label and the drawstring closure that ensures everything stays put. Your kids will love the snap hook, which is perfect to display their latest charms and beanie boos! Padded straps and a front snap ensure a comfy fit.
Available at lassigusa.com/littlemebackpack, $44.95.
Sweet and Small
Beckmann offers a wide array of sizes, and their Gym Rucksack is ideal for preschool or kindergarten kids with a smaller frame. Designed to be a day pack, it actually attaches to the outside of the 1st grade backpack, so it can be removed and used separately or be the solo bag. It has an insulated lining and can double as a lunch bag, plush padded straps and with reflective features and is super lightweight. We love it for weekend trips, hikes and plane trips as the perfect pint-sized carry-on.
Available at beckmann-us.com, $40.
It’s all about being able to customize your gear, and these cute backpacks from Stuck on You will do the trick. Personalizing the backpack is included in the cost so your little learner can pick a color, a graphic (there are 12) and a font (there are 10) that fits his personality the best. The large rucksack backpack comes with a front small zipper pocket, a large compartment zippered space, and measures in at 42cm x 29cm x 12cm.
Available at stuckonyou.com/largebackpack, $45.67.
— Gabby Cullen