Last-Minute Back to School Shopping: Best Backpacks to Shop Now
By Danica Creahan
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Many kids are back in class but some don't start until next week and they're finishing up back-to-school shopping. As kids return to the classroom for in-person learning this fall, from kindergarteners to college students, the time-honored ritual of back-to-school shopping is back in full swing. With school supplies, clothing, the latest technology and perhaps a few school-friendly face masks, chances are your back-to-school shopping list is pretty long! But with all the shopping fanfare, make sure to prioritize the thing that will keep all the other supplies together: the perfect backpack.
Whether it's you or a loved one headed back to school in-person, a reliable, comfortable and convenient backpack is most definitely a must-have to carry all the school essentials for the best possible classroom comeback this fall. From thin and lightweight bags that can be worn as a tote or backpack, to a heavier, more durable backpack with padded shoulder straps that’s travel-ready, to a stylish backpack with charging capabilities, there’s a school bag out there that’s just right for you or your student this school year.
Ahead, shop ET's picks for the best backpacks for going back to school.
This lightweight and machine-washable backpack has a front zip pocket with built-in organization to keep school supplies and an ID safely stored. It also has a luggage sleeve on the back that will attach to any suitcase to make traveling with this pack that much easier.
This stylish, vintage inspired bag has a built-in USB charging port and is made with lightweight and tear-resistant materials, so you know both your bag and your phone battery will last. This bag comes with six individual compartments for storing all your essentials.
For anyone facing a hefty commute to school, the Luka backpack is designed for travel. With multiple storage compartments including a separate laptop sleeve and a space to store your shoes that has its own exterior access, this lightweight backpack will help you stay organized on the go.
Made with water-repellent fabric, this backpack was practically made for student athletes. A separate built-in pocket can fit all your sweaty gym clothes, while an exterior padded laptop sleeve will keep your tech dry and protected.
This travel laptop backpack has multiple pockets and a special large laptop compartment to make traveling with all your tech a much smoother experience. It contains multiple hidden anti-theft pockets and has a luggage strap for added convenience. It also features a built-in USB port on the outside of the bag, so you can plug-in anywhere, even on the go.
This bold canvas everyday backpack is straightforward in its structure, but certainly not simple with its bright floral design. The large main compartment can fit a 15-inch laptop and the bag features a front-zippered pocket and two side pockets. You can also pick up a Ban.Do lunch box featuring the same design.
If there's no such thing as a cool backpack in your house, your child might prefer the convenience of a messenger bag. You can't go wrong with Timbuktu's Classic Messenger Bag with a crossbody chest strap instead of a shoulder strap to keep books and gear secure even when riding a bike.
The Tokyo Tote backpack is made from recycled, water-resistant ripstop fabric. Along with the standard backpack storage to fit things like a lunch bag, it has an interior pocket to fit a water bottle and two internal Pop Pockets-- compartments that can be popped out for extra storage, and tucked away when necessary. Wear it as a backpack when you’re on the go and then easily transition to a tote bag when the time comes.
Made from recycled plastic bottles, this sleek and simple yet trendy backpack is good for the planet and great for storing everything you need. It has an external laptop pocket for easy tech access and a slot on either side for a water bottle to help you stay extra hydrated throughout class.
The Ultralight packable backpack can be carried tote-style or by wearing the breathable straps in the traditional backpack style for hands-free travel. The separate zippered compartment inside gives it plenty of storage space -- it can hold anything from your school supplies to those extra-sweaty gym clothes.