Back-to-School

Start the School Year Right with the Best Backpacks on the Market

Shop the best backpacks on the market this year.

By Alexia Partouche

The products listed here were independently selected by a member of the editorial staff. Should you choose to purchase a product through a link on this page, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Shop select Walmart, Pottery Barn Kids, and JanSport backpacks. 

Summer is officially winding down, but for parents, back-to-school season is in full swing. While you might be excited to have them out of the house, make sure you send your kiddos off to school fully prepared—starting with the best backpacks on the market.

For your preschooler’s first-ever day of school, set them up with an adorable animal backpack, or grab a bag outfitted with a laptop sleeve for your rising high schooler. Whether your student is dragging their feet or meeting their new teacher with open arms, they’ll be equipped to take on the year.


Eastsport Core Excel Backpack

$19

Image: Walmart

Sleek, stylish, and spacious, Eastsport’s Core Excel backpack is a back-to-school must-have. Padded straps will keep your favorite student’s shoulders comfortable when it's on their back, while the water-resistant bottom protects its contents when they put it down.

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Cat & Jack Novelty Fashion Kids’ Backpack

$23

Image: Target

If your kid is a bit of a fashionista, set them up with this Cat & Jack backpack, sold at Target. The adorable print and fuzzy zipper charm on the outside are nearly as important as the roomy main compartment and laptop pocket on the inside.

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Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

$23

Image: Amazon

Preschoolers and parents alike will love Skip Hop’s toddler backpack. Designed to look like children’s favorite creatures, these durable little bags are the perfect size for students on the smaller end, with enough space for their books, plushies, and snacks.

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Stephen Joseph Rainbow Quilted Backpack Local

$30

Image: Magpies Gifts

Magpies Gifts might be winning the award for cutest backpack with its Stephen Joseph rainbow quilted backpack. Kids will love the easy-to-open drawstring closure and charming embroidery, and parents will appreciate the bag’s durable build and magnetic snapping flap, so your kiddos’ things will stay safely inside.

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Pottery Barn Mackenzie Marvel’s Spiderman Backpack

$35

Prepare your favorite little web-slinger for school with Pottery Barn Kids’ Mackenzie backpack, complete with a glow-in-the-dark Spiderman design. Choose one of the three different sizes to fit your kiddo exactly, and have it monogrammed for that extra personal touch.

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Stephen Joseph All Over Shark Backpack Local

$36

Image: Magpies Gifts

Outfitted with three spacious compartments, two mesh water-bottle pockets, and strong adjustable straps, Stephen Joseph’s All Over Shark backpack from Magpies Gifts will quickly become a family favorite. Comfortable, cute, and long-lasting, it’s so durable it will probably outlast your kid’s shark phase.

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High Sierra Ollie Backpack

$40

Image: Office Depot

Don’t let the creepy-crawly design fool you—High Sierra’s Ollie backpack is a dream for parents. The included lunchbox fits perfectly into the front pocket, so the risk of your kiddo forgetting to bring their lunch to school is nearly eliminated. Plus, the bag has 360-degree reflectivity, so your kid will be visible even in low light.

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L.L. Bean Original Book Bag

$40

Image: L.L. Bean

Rated the best kids backpack of 2022, this backpack has waterproof fabric, padded straps, and extra-tough zippers. Top it off with a wide selection of fun patterns, and you have the perfect backpack to send your little one off to school with.

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JanSport SuperBreak Plus Laptop Backpack

$50

Image: Jansport

JanSport’s signature SuperBreak backpack has gotten an upgrade with the SuperBreak Plus laptop backpack. Outfitted with a new laptop sleeve and water bottle pocket, the bag is more functional than ever. Plus, it comes in 19 different colors, so it can be matched to your student’s personal style easily.

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Swissgear Laptop Backpack

$55

Image: Target

For high schoolers seeking something a little more grown-up, there’s Swissgear’s laptop backpack. Equipped with plenty of pockets, a padded laptop sleeve, and a tablet pouch, this durable bag will last them through their four years and beyond.

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