Putting together a comprehensive list of the best backpacks can be tough. Once upon a time, all you needed was a simple bag for carrying a few textbooks and a sack lunch. But these days, you need one that can capably hold an entire locker's worth of items, AND a laptop or tablet, AND still easily fit under a standard airline seat (assuming you have at least one family vacay planned). Impossible? Maybe! But that didn't stop us from mining through our site to find the best backpacks we could, just in time for back-to-school season.
Don't let the techie name fool you: this bag was made to lug books. Lots and lots of books. Sure, the functional compartments—including separate laptop and tablet holders—inside are awesome, but it's the roominess and durability of this bag that makes it one of our top picks. One customer even remarked that it held 50 pounds of books without breaking. Maybe this is the summer you tackle War and Peace?
Don't call it a fad. The über-trendy Fjallraven backpack first started taking over our social media feeds more than a year ago and its popularity shows no signs of waning. Maybe it's because—with multiple zippered pockets, ergonomic straps, and a water-resistent material that can be easily wiped clean—it's just as practical as it is stylish.
All those heavy books can really do a number on a growing kid's posture. If you're concerned by how much your child is lugging home from school, consider this backpack, which converts to a rolling bag courtesy of recessed wheels and a telescopic handle.
The colorful patterns on these compact, 16.5" bags mean you'll never have trouble spotting your kid in a crowd. The separate key and water bottle holders, meanwhile, mean they'll never have to dig around for important items that have fallen to the bottom. Everybody wins!
Nobody ever said an ultra-functional backpack can't also look super cool. For proof, look to this backpack, which boasts a sleek, minimalist design, but also has tons of interior pockets making it ideal for school, travel, hiking, and pretty much any other activity you can think of.
Your kid will be the envy of the school bus when her schoolmates get a load of this amazing LeSac backpack, which comes with removable emoji patches that she can move around as she pleases. Who knows: she may just become interested in that old patch-covered denim jacket gathering dust in your closet (but we can't make promises).
As awesome as backpacks are, they can be a drag to lug around if you aren't actively using all the space inside. Instead, shove one of these foldable backpacks into your purse or briefcase and just take it out when you need it. We especially like using it as an emergency extra-carry-on bag when those trip souvenirs prove extra irresistable.
If we were giving out an award for "best backpack all-around", this guy would clearly win. Not only does it sport a super-stylish streamlined design (with leather-like accents to boot), but it boasts separate compartments for laptops and books AND has a built-in USB charger to ensure there's never any good excuse for not-doing homework. You're welcome, kids. You're welcome.