Mumsnet picks: best back-to-school backpacks

selection of backpacks

There's no better schoolbag than the trusty backpack. We know this, you know this, and – deep down – your kids know it too. However, that doesn't stop them trying to carry all of their school gear in a glorified carrier bag. So here's a list of the best backpacks around, to give you a fighting chance in that age-old battle of style vs practicality.

The bargain

Slazenger large logo backpack, £9

<h3><a href="">Slazenger large logo backpack, £9</a></h3>

This no-nonsense backpack has padded straps for comfort, split compartment storage, and a cable port for earbuds and headphones. It's also available in four colours.

Buy now from Sports Direct

NYY grey and black backpack, £12 (was £18)

<h3><a href="">NYY grey and black backpack, £12 (was £18)</a></h3>

The grey marl material and subtle logo on this backpack make it cool yet understated. It has fully adjustable padded straps and, with a third off, it's a real bargain.

Buy now from Tesco

Top tip: The move from primary to secondary school can lead to a drastic re-evaluation of tastes. If your year-seven-starter has said goodbye to their beloved Frozen backpack, but isn't sure what kind of bag will be in vogue at their new school, Mumsnetters suggest you “buy a cheap one first, then get another at Christmas when they know what they want.”

The plain one

Amazon Basic classic backpack, £13.89

<h3><a href="">Amazon Basic classic backpack, £13.89</a></h3>

This lightweight, durable backpack will pass muster even under the strictest uniform inspection – it is entirely plain, without a logo in sight. It has three zippered sections, including a padded section for laptops, and side pockets for storing water bottles.

Buy now from Amazon

Victoria's Secret PINK collegiate backpack, £80.21

<h3><a href="">Victoria's Secret PINK collegiate backpack, £80.21</a></h3>

This is definitely not a cheap option, but, if you're trying to reconcile a fashion-conscious teen with a strict uniform policy, you may well become desperate enough to shell out. This backpack combines serious style points with functional features such as adjustable side straps and a durable, reinforced bottom panel meaning everyone's a winner (for a price).

"My daughter has a PINK bag. It's probably the most practical bag she has ever had. It's plain black and fits our school's strict uniform requirements."

Buy now from Victoria's Secret

The indestructible

Under Armour Hustle backpack, from £22.94

<h3><a href="">Under Armour Hustle backpack, from £22.94</a></h3>

Even if your kids really put their school bags through the wringer, this highly durable backpack might stand a chance. Under Armour's Storm technology mean that this bag is water resistant, yet still breathable, and the bottom of the bag – the part that sees the most wear and tear – is reinforced with an abrasion-resistant panel.

Buy it now from Amazon

Eastpak padded backpack, from £18.99

<h3><a href="">Eastpak padded backpack, from £18.99</a></h3>

Eastpak backpacks are iconic – and rightly so. They've been around for 40 years and the classic style now comes in more than 2,000 different colours, prints and fabrics – so there's no way your DC will be short on choice.

"My daughter is moving to secondary in September and she'll be getting an Eastpak backpack of her choice. They really do stand up to a battering - her brother's has done for eight years."

Buy now from Amazon

The stylish one

Hype rucksack, £29.99

<h3><a href="">Hype rucksack, £29.99</a></h3>

Hype rucksacks come in every design under the sun, so there's bound to be one that will please even the fussiest fashion follower. The bags are spacious enough for plenty of school books and have adjustable straps for a comfy fit.

"Get a Hype backpack - cool but not massively expensive, and will also withstand daily use."

Buy it now from Amazon

Mi-Pac rucksack, from £21.95

<h3><a href="">Mi-Pac rucksack, from £21.95</a></h3>

Mi-pac also offers a huge range of colours, patterns, and even textures – though we would perhaps recommend steering kids away from the faux fur and transparent plastic options. The rucksacks are functional as well as on-trend, with padded laptop compartments and sturdy straps.

Buy it now from Amazon

The last resort

If you have reached an impasse with your DC on this contentious issue, just do as one wise Mumsnetter advises: “Go and take that £20 out of your purse, open your front door and throw it outside. That's exactly the feeling you get when your teenage daughter refuses to use the bag that was perfectly acceptable the week before.”