Heading back to school? Here’s some of the best school backpacks that money can buy
Everyone remembers their school backpack. Day after day, carrying it up and down long locker-filled corridors – stuffed to bursting point with exercise books, PE kits, and your squashed packed lunch. With all the back to school adverts starting to properly kick in now, we’ve compiled a list of the best backpacks for school that money can buy.
To help you select the best school backpack / rucksack for you, here’s a quick guide on what to consider when you’re buying one.
How To Buy The Best Backpack For You
Size – It’s super important to think about the capacity when choosing the best backpack for you. The backpacks in this list range between 15 – 33 litres, so consider what you need to carry around from day to day. Some have compression straps so it’s easier to size up if you’re stuck between two sizes.
Comfort – Each backpack essentially does the same job in the end; however, some are far more comfortable than others. Check to see if there is padding on the straps and back panel, this is going to feel much nicer when the bag is heavy.
Pockets – You can never have too many pockets. Pockets are a great way to organise items and prevent you losing them. It’s always handy to have external pockets that are quick to get to, and internal pockets which are more secure.
Laptop compartment – If you want to carry a laptop / tablet in your backpack, its best to buy a bag which has a specific laptop compartment. This can be a fabric sleeve to prevent scratches or a padded sleeve for extra protection.
Design – There are so many different coloured rucksacks and prints, so make sure you pick something that is easily recognisable and that you’re going to like for a long period of time. Prints are super fun, but it’s easier to match a solid colour with clothing.
Eastpak – Padded Pak’r Backpack
Price – £39
Capacity – 24L
The Padded Pak’r backpack is the type of school bag you won’t need to replace anytime soon. That’s because Eastpak are so confident in the quality of the product, they actually provide a 30-year warranty with the bag.
The Padded Pak’r has all of the typical features you need from a casual school backpack. It has a large 24 litres capacity giving the wearer plenty of room for books and other essentials. For additional storage, there’s also a deep front pocket that has a secure zip closure. The long pull loops on the zips make it easy to open and close if you’re in a rush or wearing gloves in winter.
This pack doesn’t just look great, its feel great when you’re wearing it. Thanks to the wide shoulder straps with thick padding, your bag will feel comfortable all day long. The kind of pack you won’t want to take off, it comes in various different shades.
- Large capacity in the main compartment
- Simple design
- Thick padding on the shoulder for increased comfort
Eastpak – Floid Laptop Backpack
Price – £42
Capacity – 16L
The Floid laptop backpack has a narrow and long fit in the body, and with a capacity of 16L it’s got one of the lowest capacities on this list. This means that it fits in all of your essentials and doesn’t leave you with wasted space. The Floid has been selected here as it packs lots of storage into a small pack and provides protection for your laptop in a secure compartment.
The Floid backpack works well with most 15” laptops. There is a padded sleeve within the main compartment, which is padded on both sides and fastens down with a strap. This keeps your laptop in place and protected even if your bag falls over. Plus, the addition of side compression straps stabilises the bag and prevents the gear from moving around. Finally, to keep your laptop as safe as possible there’s mesh side pockets to store your water. This prevents any leakages from coming into contact with your valuables, and makes it easy to rehydrate when you’re on the go,
Considering the Floid is narrow, it manages to contain lots of additional storage. On the front you have a horizontal short pocket which stores small items. There is a large panel pocket at the front which has zipped access from either side, making it quick and easy to get to the items. There is even a hidden pocket on the outside of the back panel. This one’s extra secure as it lays against your back, making it the perfect place for bankcards and ID.
For a comfortable fit, the Floid has an adjustable chest straps which takes the pressure off of your shoulders. The padded back panel, meanwhile, protects you from any hard or sharp content from jabbing at you from inside the bag. The straps have been ergonomically shaped to create an S curve that sits more comfortable across the chest.
- Lots of storage, including a hidden pocket
- Secure padded sleeve for a laptop
- Slim and sleek fit
Douchebags – The Scholar Backpack
Price – £80
Capacity – 15L
The Scholar backpack by Douchebag is a compact bag that is designed to carry all of your essentials to the campus. It also works as a skate backpack or a gym bag. We have chosen to feature The Scholar in our list because we love the simple no frills design, and its durable water-resistant fabric.
With a capacity of 15 litres, it’s a low volume pack that works really well as a study pack (it fits A4 sized books and paperwork easily). The lower volume means that your gear isn’t rattling around in unused space and if you do want to carry some extra items, there are two hooks a and loop adjustment straps at the front (ideal for carrying a skateboard, yoga mat or waterproof jacket).
The main compartment has lots of room, but most importantly it contains a sleeve for a laptop. The sleeve keeps the laptop in place and prevents it from getting scratched. The sleeve is compatible with tablets or laptops up to 15”. Aside from the main compartment there are two extra pockets externally which are easy to access. One vertical pocket on the front and a short pocket on the top, these are great for small items like phones, keys and bank cards.
No one likes standing around in the rain and getting wet, but at least with the Scholar you know that you have extra protection for your valuables. The TPE + Polyester fabric is highly water resistant and encourages water to bead off. This coating also makes the bag easy to wipe down if it gets dirty. With a high denier its face fabric is highly durable and abrasion resistant.
The construction of the pack has been carefully thought-out to give you maximum comfort. Douchebag have used an EVA back panel; this panel is tough to prevent you feeling any of the bags content. Although it’s tough, it feels comfortable against your back. The flexible and adjustable shoulder straps have been ergonomically shaped to make a curve, this sits more comfortably over your shoulders and across your chest.
- Sleek and clean design
- Multi-functional day backpack
- Tough and water-resistant fabric
- Skateboard carry
Carhartt – Kickflip backpack
Price – £58
Capacity – 25L
This is a pack that will take you from studying indoors to the skate park. With a 24.8 litres capacity, it’s a great size for carrying all your essentials (and moe) for a day of working and relaxing. We have chosen the Carhartt Kickflip backpack to feature on this list as it’s extremely versatile, and works for all day to day uses.
The fabric on this pack is robust and abrasion resistant, making it ideal for using as a crossover bag between studying and skating. One of the most obvious features is the double buckle strap which holds a skateboard in place. If skateboarding’s not your thing, these straps can also be used to hold additional items if you’re going on a walk. Plus, the Kickflip has bungee webbing on the front which is great for stashing an extra layer of wet gear that you don’t want to place inside the pack.
The face fabric has a water repellent coating to encourage beading, this adds protection for your items stored inside. The mesh pocket on the side makes it easy to grab your drink and stops leaks from coming into contact with your work and valuables.
The Kickflip backpack has a padded back panel which prevents you feeling any hard or sharp contents inside. The back panel is flexible due to the deep grooves, for increased comfort, that work with the natural movement of your back. The shoulder straps also have flexible padding for increased comfort. The adjustable webbing chest strap also gives you extra support and takes the pressure off of your shoulders.
- Skate carry
- Bungee cord webbing to stash items
- Medium sized bag
- Lightweight fabric
Vans – Realm backpack
Price – £30
Capacity – 22L
This is an iconic bag that returns season after season, its simple design and plain black fabric make it an understated backpack for everyday use, not just the trip to school. The Vans “Off The Wall” patch on the front adds some skate style to your school backpack.
The Realm backpack is made with hardwearing woven polyester, which is abrasion resistant giving you a longer lasting backpack for both school and street wear.
The large main compartment features a padded laptop sleeve to keep your tech protected, suitable for holding a full-sized laptop. In the front, the Realm backpack has a short accessory pocket containing organisation slots to separate pens and important items. This feature makes it much easier to find your small important items without having to rummage through the bottom of your bag.
To keep you feeling comfortable when the pack is full loaded with books, laptop and lunch the Realm backpack has a padded back panel, protecting both you and your items. Padded adjustable shoulder straps improve your fit and comfort for all day wear.
- Suitable for carrying a full-sized laptop
- Organisation featuring in the front pocket
- Simple design for school, street and skate
RipCurl – Dome Palm Bay Womens Backpack
Price – £22
Capacity – 18L
This women’s specific backpack is perfect for carrying all your school essentials Monday to Friday, and then on the weekends for a trip down to the beach. The bold palm leaf print stands out from the crowd and adds a beachy fun vibe to the backpack.
The classic dome shape is easy to pack and opens up wide thanks to a duel zip. With an 18-litre capacity, the Dome Palm Bay backpack is a medium size bag to carry your books and essentials for the school day. Any small essentials can be stored in the short front accessory pocket, making them quick and easy to access.
The contrasting base panel protects the backpack from showing dirt whilst placing it down on the ground. Your backpack, in other words, will look newer for longer before needing a wash.
When your backpack is filled to the brim it can be very heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Luckily the Dome Palm backpack comes with padded shoulder straps that are adjustable to reduce the pressure on your shoulders and increase your comfort on your school journey
- Fun bold print
- Traditional dome shape
- Accessory pocket on the front
Herschel Supply Co – Classic Backpack
Price – £36
Capacity – 24L
This backpack has a classic shape and size to carry all your school essentials. It’s a super simple design that you can use every day and pair with any outfit. As a timeless piece you won’t get bored of it after one term and you can even hand it down to a little sister or brother.
The woven fabric not only adds a textured look but it’s also hardwearing for a longer lasting backpack. Whilst the exterior is plain the interior features Herschel’s signature stripe lining, this lining is fun and light in colour making it easier to see your items. Store your small accessories in the front pocket, making them quicker and easier to grab.
Long string pulls on the zips make the bag easy to open even in winter months, when you might be wearing gloves on the way to school. The shoulder straps are adjustable to improve the fit, plus extra padding increases your comfort when the bag is filled to the maximum.
- Large capacity
- Light internal lining
- Large zip pulls
- Plain exterior
Eastpak – Padded Sling’r Backpack
Price – £45
Capacity – 18L
This backpack from Eastpak is the perfect capacity and shape for carrying your school essentials. The single padded shoulder shape makes this pack easy to swing over your shoulder and get on the move quickly between classes. The hardwearing face fabric is water resistant, so your items have extra protection when heading to school on a grey wet drizzly day.
You can easily access your items in the main compartment with a large side zip that runs down to the base. Within the main compartment, against the back panel, is a padded laptop / tablet sleeve suitable for a 13” laptop / tablet. Internal straps secure the tech in place and prevent it moving around to increase the stability of a backpack.
Small items can be easily stored in the accessory pocket on the front. This short pocket makes it easier to find small items without rummaging through the base of the main compartment. The front pocket also displays the Eastpak fabric logo on the front.
- Laptop / tablet padded sleeve
- Single shoulder strap
- Water resistant fabric