As students and their families prepare for the beginning of a new school year in the coming weeks, many are shopping for supplies like lunch boxes and planners. Backpacks are a school staple kids need no matter the age — they help transport items to and from school, and they’re an accessory kids can pick out to express their sense of style. Backpacks are also one of the most commonly purchased items before the beginning of a new school year — RetailMeNot said 72% of the over 1,000 U.S. adults they recently surveyed plan to buy a backpack this season.
This year especially, Americans are thinking about how to save money on back-to-school supplies in part due to concerns about inflation. RetailMeNot said 40% of parents are worried about how much money they’ll have to spend on supplies and many are looking for discounts or lower priced products compared to previous years. For example, parents expect to spend about $69 on backpacks in 2022, down from $96 in 2021, RetailMeNot’s survey showed.
With this information in mind, we rounded up a handful of backpacks across a range of price points so you can choose the best option for your budget. We included backpacks for students in all grades and highlighted options that come in a variety colors and patterns.
Highly rated kids backpacks for school
To recommend the below backpacks, we chose highly rated options that offer sections or pockets to keep students organized as well as a zipper closure to ensure everything stays inside. We broke up our list into sections based on price points to help guide your shopping.
Kids backpacks under $75
This backpack from L.L.Bean is made from weatherproof ripstop nylon fabric, according to the brand. It’s designed with a padded back panel that L.L. Bean says offers lumbar support, as well as padded adjustable straps and a waist belt that tucks away when not in use. The backpack is built with dual main compartments and an organizer pane and comes with an internal file divider. There are also two water bottle pockets on the outside of the bag and an interior tech pocket with a built-in cord port. The backpack is available in nine colors like red, balck and vintage lavender, and you can add a monogram to it for an additional fee. It has a 4.6-star average rating from 973 reviews on L.L. Bean.
The Athleta Limitless Backpack is made from recycled polyester and has a large main compartment, interior laptop sleeve, front zipper pocket and side water bottle pocket. The backpack’s side panel is padded and the bag comes with adjustable shoulder straps. You can purchase the backpack in three colors: Daisy Purple, Reef Green and Black. It has a 4.8-star average rating from 23 reviews on Athleta.
Fjallraven says its Kanken Mini Classic Backpack is constructed from vinylon, a water- and dirt-resistant material. It has a main compartment, front zippered pocket and two side pockets to store water bottles. The backpack has dual top handles that snap together so you can carry or hang it from the top. It comes with adjustable shoulder straps, too. You purchase the backpack in a range of colors and patterns like clay, acorn, deep red and more. The backpack has a 4.6-star average rating from 7,621 reviews on Amazon.
Kids backpacks under $50
The JanSport SuperBreak has a large main compartment to store books, tablets, a lunch box and more, and a front zippered pocket to keep smaller items like writing utensils and headphones. The backpack is also designed with a padded back panel, padded adjustable shoulder straps and a water bottle pocket. You can purchase the backpack in over a dozen colors and patterns, like Russet Red, Different Strokes, Blue Dust and more. It has a 4.7-star average rating from 30,208 reviews on Amazon.
Herschel says its Kids Heritage Backpack is made for children ages 3 to 7. It has a spacious main compartment for larger supplies and a front zippered pocket to hold smaller items. The backpack’s shoulder straps are adjustable and they’re connected to a removable sternum strap your child can use if they need extra support while wearing the bag. There’s also a name label inside in case your child misplaces their bag. This Herschel backpack is available in 16 designs ranging from a Savanna Spots print to an Ash Rose shade, and it has a 4.3-star average rating from 184 reviews on Herschel. The Heritage Backpack also comes in Youth and Youth XL sizes.
In addition to its roomy main compartment, the Adidas Classic 3S Backpack has an insulated zipper front pocket that you can store snacks inside. The backpack has padded adjustable shoulder straps and two water bottle pockets. It also comes with an internal woven label you can write students’ names on. The backpack has a 4.8-star average rating from 4,669 reviews on Amazon.
Kids backpacks under $25
The Everest Basic Backpack comes with one main compartment and a front zippered pocket. It’s designed with adjustable straps and you can choose from 16 different colors, like olive, pink, white and more. The backpack has a 4.5-star average rating from 4,201 reviews on Amazon.
Cat & Jack’s backpack is built with an internal laptop pocket to store computers or tablets, as well as a main compartment, front zipper pocket and side pockets. The backpack has adjustable straps and comes with a removable plush toy that attaches to zippers. You can purchase the backpack in six styles like Butterfly, Rainbow Dino and Skateboard. It has a 4.8-star average rating from 61 reviews on Target.
Nike says this kids backpack is made with a durable woven polyester material that can stand up against being tossed around in the car or on the playground. It has a main compartment and an inside pocket to store smaller items, as well as water bottle pockets on the sides of the bag. The backpack also comes with padded shoulder straps. You can purchase the backpack in 10 colors like navy, mint green, pink, black and more. It has a 4.8-star average rating from 78 reviews on Nike.
If you’re in need of a backpack for younger kids, Skip Hop makes options shaped like animals from unicorns to sharks. The backpack has a main compartment, front zippered pocket and mesh side pocket to hold water bottles. It also comes with padded shoulder straps and an internal label you can write students’ names on. The backpack has a 4.8-star average rating from 21,314 reviews on Amazon.