The Best Back-to-School Backpacks for 2019
A student’s backpack goes through a lot. Rain, sleet, sports practice, being dramatically tossed to the ground and/or dragged through the hallways—and it has to hold a lot, too. Being a daily accessory, it’s also the one consistent part to every outfit, so not only does it have to survive through the above activities, it has to survive them again, and again, and again.
But that doesn’t mean you need some ugly military-grade bag to get through; the backpacks below are functional, fashionable and versatile enough to withstand whatever you do to them.
These are the packs that have got your back all year long:
Fjallraven is the new Herschel, the backpack to end all backpacks. While they come in a range of plain colors, why settle for one when you can have all the colors at once? Cut in a zesty, nature-inspired camo print, this bag is guaranteed to make your looks pop (emphasis on “looks,” because there will be many). With a laptop sleeve and all the pockets you could want, it’s also made of recycled materials, because everyone loves Mother Earth.
This list would be incomplete without something totally old-school, and by “old-school” I mean the one they tore down in the ’80s to build the school in the ’90s. And nothing achieves that more than a checkerboard backpack from Vans. Available in black, red, green or highlighter orange, this is the bag to pair with your preexisting street-cred, complete with Converse high-tops—or double Vans, if that’s your thing—and baggy pants. Of course, with a stricter dress-code, this bag is the perfect way to let everyone know your style even if you’re stuck in a uniform.
But if you think checkerboard is best kept within chess club, this patchwork backpack (also by Vans) is for you. Its sherbet tones evoke memories of long days at the beach, making it just the ray of light you need to get through these darkening days (hello, winter). Match any school supplies to it for a coherent look.
For ultimate feel-good fashion, this backpack is made from the vinyl of freeway billboards. What does that mean for you? A highly durable (read: weather-resistant), timeless, eco-friendly and unique bag that will stay with you through thick and thin. This one is big enough to carry a small dog—essentially 20 pounds-worth of stuff, so you don’t have to worry about your textbooks breaking your back. It’s also available in white and blueberry.
School doesn’t have to follow the no-white-after-Labor-Day rule, and this bright Nike backpack literally radiates, and you’ll be radiating with it, too. It has ultimate versatility and functionality—the roll-top closure protects your things, and you’ll have a lot of things, while the top grab handle makes it easy to pick up in a flash. It’s especially dreamy if paired with some chunky white Fila sneakers and wide-legged pants.
You’ve got nothing to hide (and if you do, you’ve hidden it well), and this bag shows it. Cut in a crystal clear polyester, it’s got mesh detailing giving it a sporty vibe that’s only emphasized by the iconic Champion logo on the back. Together, this distances it from all the clear ones from Coachella last year and carries it squarely into the streetwear territory of this year, keeping your outfit all the right kinds of cool.