School bags get put to the test. They’re stepped on, tossed around and spilled inside of. With all that wear and tear, it’s likely your kid needs a new one for the start of the semester.
Here are 17 that make the grade, from a preschooler’s first bag up to a college kid’s laptop tote. These start at $9, and all come in under $50.
Backpacks for Preschoolers and Kindergartners
Emoji Everywhere Backpack (on sale for $32.99) at Shutterfly
Talk about totes adorable. The tiny emojis on this backpack are squee-worthy, and you can personalize it with your child’s name. For a limited time, Shutterfly is offering 48% off personalized back-to-school items.
Global Design Concepts Unicorn Backpack ($35) at Macy’s
Sashay into school with a mystical beast along for the ride.
Paw Patrol Backpack ($9.88) at Walmart
Fans of Marshall, Rubble and the rest of the pups can feel confident with their furry friends peering over their shoulders from this affordable pick.
Skip Hop Zoo Little Kid Backpack ($20) at Skip Hop
From a no-drama llama to a cheerful chameleon, the entire animal kingdom is represented on Skip Hop’s adorable backpacks. Let your wee one pick their favorite animal friend as a fun way to get them psyched for their first day of school.
Kids Marvel Black Panther Backpack & Lunchbox Set (on sale for $20.99) at Kohl’s
Wakanda forever all day long with a cool backpack and lunchbox set (it’s on sale, so get this cool duo before it sells out completely).
Raw Linen Backpack ($45) at SoYoung
The linen backpacks from SoYoung are so cool-looking, have plenty of pockets and are PVC-, phthalate-, lead- and BPA-free.
Backpacks for Elementary and Middle School Students
Adventure Buffalo Plaid Backpack (on sale for $32.99) at Shutterfly
Plaid is rad, and your student will love hitting the hallway with a bag customized with their name. Reminder: Shutterfly is offering 48% off personalized back-to-school items for a limited time.
Mossimo Supply Co. Square Top Handle Backpack ($29.99) at Target
A quirky shape and sleek nylon fabric make for a chic option that still has all the pockets (including one for a laptop) and room they need from their school bag.
Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests Backpack ($22.93) at Amazon
Sure, they’re not actually going to Hogwarts, but this awesome bag is the next best thing!
Shark Senior Backpack ($49.95) at Gap
Cue Jaws theme. This is hilarious and just a tiny bit scary!
DigiBreak Laptop Backpack ($42) at JanSport
For picky shoppers, JanSport has about 87 shapes and 9,000 patterns on its assorted bags and backpacks. It’s a reliable brand for the kid who requires a unique look.
DSG Youth Adventure Backpack ($9.99) at Dick’s Sporting Goods
You’ll discover excellent prices on Dick’s Sporting Goods’ exclusive line of backpacks, which has various playful patterns (flamingos! watermelons! astronauts!) and sturdy construction.
Backpacks for High School and College Students
Puma System Backpack (on sale for $35.99) at Target
The heather gray gives the classic athletic bag a stylish and modern look.
J World Thomas Messenger Bag ($40) at JCPenney
Not into a backpack? Messenger bags are the perfect, versatile alternative. We love the script styling on this one.
Dickies Campbell Backpack (on sale for $33.74) at Office Depot
If they like to carry their entire lives with them, this day bag holds it all, featuring special spots for a water bottle, laptop, pens, keys, plus room for almost every accessory they own.
Camp Director Zipped Tote ($49) at ModCloth
It’s impossible to feel down when you’re carrying your books in a bag with tiny black cats all over it.
Lifewit Vintage Laptop Bag ($39.99) at Amazon
Versatile as can be, this bag is laid-back enough for sneakers and sweats, but the classic style and construction means students can take it to an off-campus job or internship without feeling sloppy.
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