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Best Backpacks for Kids

  • Jon Whittle

    Jagged Edge

    The Spiketus Rex Fullpack is perfect for the kid who wants to stand out from the crowd—and the exterior is durable enough
    for even the rowdiest boy.

    Spiketus Rex Fullpack, available at madpax.com, $60

  • Jon Whittle

    Zip It

    The neon-bright Neff Daily Pack boasts a hidden pocket, two zipper packs, multiple organizing slots, and straps for her skateboard.

    Neff Daily Pack, available at zappos.com, $45

  • What a Hoot!

    When your little one is ready to leave the nest for preschool, send him off with this adorable and safe (it's BPA-Free, Phthalate-free, PVC Free) little Owl backpack from Skip Hop. The main compartment is big enough to fit his school supplies, plus there's an adjustable mesh bottle pocket and an insulated pouch to stash snacks.

    Owl Zoo Pack, available at skiphop.com, $20

    Plus:
    Check out all our Back-to -School coverage

  • Tutu Cute

    Your tiny dancer will flip over this girly pack featuring three ballerinas with sparkly, pop-out tutus. Personalize the bag with her name (up to eight characters) and fill it up with books for school -- or slippers and skirts for dance class.

    Personalized Ballet Backpack, available at Walmart.com, $28.88

  • ae.com

    Fang-tastic Fun

    The 77Kids Superfang backpack is more than just a funny face -- it has cushy straps for comfort, plus a roomy main compartment and smaller pockets throughout for all his random treasures.

    77Kids Superfang Backpack, available at ae.com, $29.50

  • llbean.com

    Go Fish

    Kids will love the vibrant colors; parents will love LL Bean's classic durable design. This backpack is big enough to fit notebooks and folders, but still compact enough for small bodies. The front is outfitted with reflective material to make sure your kiddo is visible even after the sun sets.

    Junior Orginal Book Pack, available at llbean.com, $24.95

  • gap.com

    Killer Style

    This cleverly-designed mini backpack from Gap has eyes, a toothy-grin and even fins! One large compartment carries all for pint-sized pupils who are packing light, plus there's an interior nametag and top loop for easy hanging.

    Killer Whale Backpack, available at gap.com, $34.50

  • Room It Up

    Go Dotty

    Trippy and fun, this pack is light and compact, with just enough pockets and space to tote your kiddo's stuff for her first day of school.

    Room It Up Dream Dot Mini Backpack, available at amazon.com, $16.22

  • thesillywagon.com

    Puppy Love

    Mini-fashionista Suri Cruise was photographed carrying this adorable doggy bag, which will be a kid favorite thanks to its floppy ears and straps that can be adjusted into a backpack or handbag. The best part: it's made of corduroy so you can throw it in the wash for easy cleaning.

    Green Dog Bag, available at thesillywagon.com, $47.95

  • JCPenney.com

    Girly Gear

    Hearts, bows, and rhinestones -- what else could a girly girl ask for? This bedazzled backpack from Skechers is glam but functional, with a small size that won't weigh your little diva down.

    Skechers Mini Backpack, available at jcpenney.com, $15

  • Going Green

    Your big kid won't mind hauling books in this mod forest-themed backpack from DwellStudio. The Owls Sky pack is made of coated canvas, and gets major points for being safe and green -- it's Phthalate- and PVC-free.

    Owls Sky Backpack, available at fawnandforest.com, $46

  • gymboree.com

    School of Rock

    This Gymboree backpack has pockets galore, but what she'll really love is that it was designed with the rocker girl in mind. With metallic electric guitars screenprinted on the outside, the backpack has an inside MP3 player pocket and earphones slot so she can rock out whenever wherever.

    Guitar Heart Backpack, available at gymboree.com, $24.75

  • beatrixny.com

    Dino-mite!

    The popular Percival dino bag comes in a smaller preschool version too, but we prefer the green big kid version, which doesn't show dirt as much. Made of durable nylon fabric, the large main compartment can hold textbooks, notebooks, a laptop, and more.

    Percival Big Kid Backpack, available at beatrixny.com, $52

  • oldnavy.com

    Peace of Mind

    This Old Navy pack is a great bag for your buck, with all the space she'll need for binders, books, folders, and more. A headphone opening at the top will keep her connected to her favorite songs, while multiple compartments and handy outside pockets make sure everything has its place.

    Blue Peace Printed Backpack, available at oldnavy.com, $14.50

  • ae.com

    Rock 'n' Roller

    The bigger they get, the heavier the school workload -- literally. He can wear this 77Kids Smarty Backpack as a regular schoolbag or use the extendable pulley handle and wheels when his back needs a break.

    77Kids Smarty Backpack, available at ae.com, $39.50

  • walmart.com

    Bionic Boy

    This affordable LEGO Bionicles backpack will be a hit with your sci-fi guy. Cool reflective eyes and shoulder straps keep him visible on dark days, while the fully water-repellent, molded material ensures that his precious cargo is protected too.

    LEGO Bionicles Mask Pack, available at Walmart.com, $24

  • Back for Good

    The modern mesh-and-foam design guarantees that the Osprey Jet Day Pack will be comfy to carry, even when it's crammed with textbooks. There's a pouch for a water bottle, and the stretchy front pocket holds frequently used items, or just those little treasures he always seems to find. 

    Osprey Jet Day Pack, available at rei.com, $45

  • llbean.com

    Leader of the Pack

    With a wide, adjustable strap that fits snugly across the body, the Heatwave Messenger Bag is the ultimate in big-kid cool. The main compartment is huge; the front panel has slots for a calculator, pens, and more, so your guy will be organized this fall. Okay, more organized than he was last year. 

    Heatwave Messenger Bag, available at llbean.com, $29.99

  • Jon Whittle

    Bag, You're It!

    Just the right size for the early-elementary crowd, this globally inspired Kid's Messenger Bag can be worn across the body, or on the back, with the attached straps. It also comes with a removable insulated lunch bag and reflective tape for extra visibility on those short, dark December days. 

    Kid's Messenger Bag, available at amazon.com, $36

  • hottopic.com

    Super Bag

    Spiderman, Wolverine, The Hulk -- all of your comic book fan's favorite Marvel superheroes are here. There's a large main section, a front pouch and two side mesh pockets, plus a padded back and straps to prevent sore shoulders. Every hero has a weakness, right?

    Marvel Superhero Backpack, available at hottopic.com, $28

  • shopjustice.com

    Diva Duds

    For the girl who wants to make a fashion statement, check out this chic option from Justice. She'll love the Chanel-inspired quilted design that proudly showcases her initial. Even the back view is stylish, with blue, white and pink stripes and heart-shaped embroidery.

    Quilted Initial Backpack, available at shopjustice.com, $42.90

  • JCPenney.com

    Sling It

    Fuel's fashion sling combines the one-shoulder style of a messenger bag with the comfort of a regular backpack. An array of pockets and padded shoulder strap make this unique bag a great budget buy.

    Fuel Fashion Sling, available at jcpenney.com, $14.99

  • JanSport

    DIY Design

    The Super G Color Me backpack is a classic JanSport -- with a twist. The white and black geometric pattern acts as a blank canvas for your budding artist to customize his bag.

    Color Me JanSport Super G Backpack, available at amazon.com, $47.50

  • hottopic.com

    Wearable Art

    The black-and-white design and edgy print (brass knuckles, roses, stars) of the Yak Pak Tattoo backpack give it a grown-up feel, just the thing for tweens who want the opposite of what their little sib is toting. Water-resistant fabric and reinforced straps and seams make this a bang-up budget bag. 

    Yak Pak Tattoo Backpack, available at hottopic.com, $19.99

  • Jon Whittle

    Haul Monitor

    The Keen Skyline backpack is a classic that'll last for years: perfect for holding an early reader when your kid is just starting out, yet big enough for all the binders she'll be lugging down the road. The crisscross bungee cord on the front is ideal for stashing jackets and hats, too. 

    Skyline Backpack, available at keenfootwear.com, $50

  • hadakishop.com

    Sunny Delight

    The psychedelic pattern on the Hadaki Santa Fe Cool Backpack will earn your young fashionista plenty of compliments at the bus stop. The soft, shiny vinyl is easy to wipe clean and made from earth-friendly, phthalate-free material. It has two net grab-all pockets on the sides, too. 

    Hadaki Santa Fe Cool Backpack, available at hadakishop.com, $60

  • taecco.etsy.com

    Monkeying Around

    Made in Japan, this cotton drawstring backpack is a rare find. With an easy-open front pouch, the size is just right for preschoolers with light loads to carry. We absolutely love the charming pattern -- jumping monkeys with colorful balloons.

    Drawstring Backpack from taecco.etsy.com, $18

  • ae.com

    Rad Bag

    Your skater will love to ride with this awesome skateboard-print messenger bag from 77Kids. Made of lightweight fabric, the bag's front flap clips close to keep notebooks in place and has adjustable cross-body strap to fit comfortably when it's time to hit the pavement.

    77Kids Messenger Bag, available at ae.com, $26.50

  • potterybarnkids.com

    All-Star Gear

    This backpack pulls double duty, making it easy for your athlete to go from class to the field. There's space for textbooks, cleats, a water bottle -- even a soccer or basketball thanks to the large mesh ball pocket. The bag exterior is made of water-resistant material and includes mesh pockets to air out sweaty gear.

    Boys' Mackenzie Sports Backpack, available at potterybarnkids.com, $49

     

  • roxy.com

    Shabby Chic

    Roxy's Meander backpack has that weathered I've-been-backpacking-through-Europe vibe your teen covets. The adjustable straps can be converted from a backpack to a shoulder bag, and the two front pockets are perfect for storing small trinkets. Don't worry about keeping it squeaky clean -- the wear and tear will only add to its rustic appeal.

    Meader Backpack, available at roxy.com, $52

  • pbteen.com

    Hot Wheels

    PB Teens' Bejewel Gear-Up Rolling Backpack is a safe (and stylish!) option for hauling heavy textbooks. It boosts plenty of pockets, a MP3 holder and headphone port, and a padded laptop pocket. Made of rugged polyester, this backpack doubles as a great travel carry-on too.

    Bejewel Gear-Up Rolling Backpack, available at pbteen.com, $75

    Plus:
    Check out all our Back-to -School coverage

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