15 Killer Backpacks You Need For Back To School

Looking for some killer backpacks for back to school season?

Whether you’re heading back to high-school or starting college, you want something really awesome to lug around your books and supplies!

Your backpack should stand out, should be an expression of your personality and oh yeah- should be roomy and comfy for your books.

After all, you will be carrying it every.single.day.

Head back to school in style! We will show you our favorite teen fashion backpacks picks for every budget. Which one is your favorite?

If there is a back to school purchase you want to shine, it should be your backpack.

Read on to discover our favorites!

Related: Michael Kors Teen Fashion Accessories Under $100

15 Killer Backpacks for Back to School

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We have the scoop on the most fantastic fashion backpacks for teens for the first day of school. Swoon!

Even better, these backpacks will totally leave you room in your budget for all the rest of your back to school essentials and maybe a few extras.

Backpacks Under $30

These backpacks are full of color, pattern and a style that is all yours plus the prices are all under $30. These bags are on the edge of teen fashion, just waiting to be plucked.

What are you waiting for, let’s shop!

1. Red Speedo Deluxe Ventilator Mesh Bag

Red Speedo Deluxe Ventilator Mesh Bag BACK TO SCHOOL

Want to stand out in a crowd? You need this red drawstring Speedo Deluxe Ventilator backpack!

  • It’s ideal for toting around your gym clothes and shoes, plus a few after-workout essentials.
  • If the red isn’t for you, it comes in a ton of other colors.
  • The price varies depending on the color, though, so I can’t guarantee your choice will be under $30.

2. Unionbay Owl Print Backpack

Unionbay Fashion Girls Women's Owl Fox Elephant Butterfly Print Canvas Travel Backpack Rucksack/Sling Backpack

How much do you love this Unionbay Owl Print backpack? SO cute, right? I am all about owls right now!

Features include:

  • Canvas material with stamped owl prints.
  • Cognac trim in faux leather.
  • Sturdy stitching so it will hold up!
  • Magnetic flap closure and cinch-sides
  • Side pockets, front flap pocket, and an interior pocket.

3. Cactus Print Backpack

Teecho Waterproof Cute Backpack for Girl Print School Bag Women Laptop Backpack

If you thought the owls were cute, wait until you see this one! Check it out here on Amazon.

I’ll be honest, I can’t keep a plant alive to save my life. Not even a cactus, which are supposed to be super hard to kill! I have to settle for adorable cactus designs! At least I don’t have to water this backpack, right?

Features include:

  • Waterproof lightweight anti-scratch material
  • Roomy main compartment with 1 zipper pocket, 1 laptop sleeve, 2 pen sleeves, 1 cellphone pocket,1 wallet pocket, 1 key ring
  • 2 side pockets and 1 front zipper pocket.
  • Adjustable mesh padded shoulder straps and breathable mesh back panel

4. BeautyWill Vintage Backpack

BeautyWill Vintage Canvas Backpack Rucksack Unisex for School Travel Hiking


Looking for something a little more sophisticated without breaking your back to school budget?

I love this BeautyWill Vintage Canvas Backpack. It’s stylish and fun without being too cutesy.

Features include:

  • Sturdy canvas material with adjustable leather straps
  • Main compartment holds up to a 25″ laptop.
  • 1 main pocket with an inner zipper pocket and 2 inner organizer pockets
  • 2 zipper side pouches

It comes in 6 different gorgeous colors, too!

5. LIZAIDA MENENDEZ Fashion Trend Backpack

Fashion Trend Backpack For Teen Girls Boys,LIQING Preppy Style Unisex Waterproof Oxford School Backpack Student Daypack Rucksack College School Bag Laptop Backpack

Another great choice for a more sophisticated look, the LIZAIDA MENENDEZ Fashion Trend Backpack comes in 6 stylish colors. I really like the light green, it’s minty, don’t you think?

Features of this backpack include:

  • High quality and lightweight oxford fabrics.
  • Dust-proof, durable, and water-resistant.
  • Adjustable padded shoulders to keep you more comfy. The straps are designed to ease pressure on your shoulder.
  • Padded laptop sleeve that holds up to a 15-inch laptop.
  • Two side pouches

All of these backpacks under $30 are perfect, but I personally love the Owl backpack the best! If I am looking for something a little less flashy, I would go with the Unionbay backpack.

If you have more wiggle room in your budget, you might like some of these next backpacks that range from $30-50!

Backpacks under $50

6. Harry Potter Knapsack


The Harry Potter Daily Prophet Knapsack is the perfect choice for those of us who are crazy for the Wizarding World but still want something a little more sophisticated than most of the offerings out there for fans.

Features  of this officially licensed backpack include:

  • Headlines, excerpts from articles, and a picture of Harry Potter printed on the polyester canvas material.
  • A large opening and magnetic snap closure.
  • Length-adjustable webbing shoulder straps
  • Inner zipper and outer pockets

7. Bluboon Canvas Backpack

Canvas Students Backpack Casual School Bookbag for Teens Girls Boys

I love the Bluboon canvas backpack because it comes with three pieces. That way, my makeup pouch and purse coordinates with my backpack! It’s also super stylish and available in about 10 different colors.

Features include:

  • Durable and practical high quality canvasCanvas material
  • Backpack + shoulder bag + pouch.
  • Backpack can accommodate a 14-inch laptop.
  • The side pockets can hold a water bottle and umbrella.

8. Stop Animal Abuse Gym Bag

‘No Excuse For Animal Abuse’ Drawstring Bag by Dogvills

If you’re passionate about animals and want a backpack with a message, you need this Stop Animal Abuse gym bag.

It says “It’s about time we start taking animal abuse more seriously.” Simply stated, powerful message.

Features include:

  • 100% polyester woven fabric
  • Soft drawstring cord that’s easy on your shoulders
  • Durable metal grommets
  • Long-lasting printed design on both front and back

I have a few bags from Redbubble, and I can tell you that the designs don’t fade and the bag is super well-made.

9. Personalized Backpack


Active Gradient Backpack byShutterfly Personalize this one however you want! So cute!

Active Gradient Backpack byShutterfly


Want a backpack that is all you? Make your own on Shutterfly! While the designs they feature look more like they’re made for little kids, you can change the wording, personalization, and sometimes even the colors on most of them.

I love the gradient bag above. I’d probably get rid of the “Rad” and put something a little more me there. I would add my name, but again, you can change that to whatever you want (as long as you stick within character limits).

Features include:

  • Fully lined interior
  • Laptop pocket accommodates up to 15″
  • Adjustable, padded straps for comfort
  • Fully customizable

10. Reebok Style Foundation Backpack

The Reebok Style Foundation Active Graphic Backpack is oh-so pretty in pink! It’s not just cute, it has inspirational messages printed all over it!

Features include:

  • Front pocket organizer
  • Mesh side pockets for your water bottles
  • Hanger loop
  • Spacious main compartment for all your books
  • Two colors available: pink and blue

While these are all great bags, I personally LOVE the Harry Potter bag. I’m kind of a super fan! For my gym clothes, I would get the Stop Animal Abuse bag because I’m really passionate about protecting animals.

Still have plenty of room left in your budget? These next backpacks are for you! They’re all over $50, but worth every penny!

Backpacks over $50

11. Iconic Campus Backpack

Iconic Campus Backpack Classic Black

Okay, so this one is a bit pricey, but it’s totally worth it! The Iconic Campus Backpack features:

  • Lightweight microfiber and solid-colored polyester.
  • Two zip pockets and two slide slip pockets on the outside.
  • In the front zip compartment: A charger pocket, three more slip pockets, pen pockets and an ID window.
  • A special section for your laptop.
  • Made by Vera Bradley

12. EcoGear Rolling Dhole Backpack


I’m eco-friendly AND easy on your back!

EcoGear Rolling Dhole Backpack Heather Grey


Looking for an eco-friendly backpack that’s also easy on your back? The EcoGear Rolling Dhole Backpack is just what you need! It is made of REPREVE fabric, which comes from recycled water bottles.

Other awesome features include:

  • REPREVE supports environmental non-profit organizations
  • Large main compartment and padded laptop sleeve that fits up to 15″ laptops
  • Organizer pocket
  • Mesh pockets on both sides
  • Ergo-padded shoulder straps that you can easily tuck away and hide
  • Telescoping handle with a padded handle and in-line skate wheels
  • Water resistant material

13. Reebok Classic Snake Embossed Bag

Another stylish bag from Reebok, the Classic Snake Embossed Bag is both elegant and practical. Pack it full of school essentials, or fold down the top and use it as a purse.

Features include:

  • 100% Polyurethane sturdy faux leather material
  • Front invisible pocket for added storage
  • Foldable opening
  • Embossed graphic details

15. J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack

J World New York Sundance LAPTOP Rolling Backpack for Schooling & Travel, 20 inch

Want a rolling backpack with a little more color? The J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack comes in over 40 different styles! I had such a hard time picking a favorite!

Features of these backpacks include:

  • Comfortable air mesh padded shoulder straps that tuck away for convenience
  • Reflective tape to keep you safer at night
  • Durable water-resistant polyester material
  • Rust-free padded handle
  • A room main compartment and a separate padded laptop section
  • Two mesh side pockets and a front pocket organizer

Out of this group of back to school backpacks, I would have to go with one of the rolling bags. It seems like the higher your grade level, the heavier your books get! Rolling backpacks are great for saving your back.

Which backpack do you have your eye on? Let us know in the comments which bag you want as you head back to school!

Original Article Posted in 2008, Updated 2020

49 thoughts on “15 Killer Backpacks You Need For Back To School

  1. Hi Ellen,

    Love these picks! My daughter is off to college in the fall and we’ve been looking for backpacks. I’m going to show this to her. 🙂

    Passing it on so other moms can check out! Hope you’re having a great week!


  2. They are all cute! love the colors i will recommend this to my niece thank you for sharing this.

  3. WOW and I love all the backpacks you highlighted! I love the fringe one, but sense over a period of time, it would not stay looking so neat and tidy! I like backpacks like these that expresses one’s personality!

  4. So many cute backpacks! That’s probably the thing I miss most about school, all the cute supplies (luckily I can still buy cute supplies for my work desk.) <3

  5. Those are all so cute. And thank you for the reminder that I need to take my boys to Target to get their backpacks for school.

  6. I chose #6 and #9. I love geometric/aztec designs. #6 also had those lovely colorful butterflies. It is amazing that all these backpacks are all less than $30!

  7. I love how backpacks are so stylish now. I remember when I was in school it was solid colors! They were not cute like they are now! Love your affordable choices.

  8. I love the polkadot backpacks. I am ALWAYS shopping in the school supply section at Target when July/August rolls around. Even though I’ve been out of school over a decade, I can’t help it – I’m a huge fan of stationary and back to school stuff haha.

  9. I still need to get backpacks for my teens. My daughter was a string backpack. The ones in your blog post are really cute. I wonder if I could sway her to chose one of these.

  10. These are all so cute! I love fun backpacks that aren’t just the plain old colors! I’d love a number of these!

  11. Omg now these really are some killer backpacks! My daughter starts school this fall. I will have to check these out

  12. those are all super cute and fun . . . right now all my kids need is durable and functional. They have so much homework to carry around – they need super strong backpacks

  13. Ah the Madden Girl is my fave. I wasn’t surprised when I saw the namebrand, I have a thing for Madden.

  14. These are all cute backpacks. There are so many optioms today compared to when I went to school. Number 6 is my favorite. I need to invest in a laptop bag for my computer.

  15. These are all awesome backpacks for back to school. I love the Fringe Ivory backpack. This list I will have to share with my sister. Thanks for sharing.,

  16. It’s hard to pick a favorite! Backpacks have come a long way. I love #4 and #15, but actually I like them all.

  17. My son wears a uniform so the only way to really express his style is with his backpack. I love designs that are outside of the box.

  18. We are actually going to shop for a backpack for our son, but I don’t think he will like any of those. I would love to have one though and I’ll definitely pick the polka dots because I love polka dots. 🙂

  19. I love all of these and love the colors. i will recommend this to my sister who’s get back in to schooling thank you for sharing this.

  20. Those are some great looking backpacks! I can’t believe School is just around the corner! Thanks for this list.

  21. Those backpacks are gorgeous, I love the shape of them all. I especially like numbers 2 and 10, really pretty!

  22. I personally like the design of Dakine Oceanic Backpack. Looks cool! Hope I can get one of that soon.

  23. I love these backpacks. Number 12 if my favorite. I would buy one for myself and my Daughter.

  24. Wonderful choices! It almost makes me wish I was in school again. It’s hard to find quality (and stylish) backpacks in that price range anymore.

  25. Those backpacks are so cute! I never had anything stylish or fancy when I was in grade school – just plain. So it’s fun to shop with my daughter and see all the fun stuff they have nowadays.

  26. These are adorable. My daughter has been looking for a new backpack for this year. I love when I can a cute one that I don’t have to pay a fortune for.

  27. Numbers 2, 6 and 14 are the style’s of backpacks we have been looking for Bella this year.
    This year I am ordering Bella a durable backpack online no more of the cheepy stuff you find a wallmart.

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