Swears by: the best backpacks

selection of backpacks

They're on trend, comfortable and they leave you with both hands free: lots of Mumsnetters have been ditching their trusty handbags in favour of a more practical backpack – here are their top picks

Best backpacks for school

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. Hopefully, these bags should help you strike a compromise with your teen.

Just Hype rucksack, £29.99

Just Hype rucksack, £29.99

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.”

Save 30% on all Just Hype backpacks with code MUM30

Buy it now from Just Hype

Under Armour Hustle backpack, from £30.63

Under Armour Hustle backpack, from £30.63

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.

“Under Armour are very popular here – loads of colours and very practical.”

Buy it now from Amazon

Eastpak padded backpack, from £24.53

Eastpak padded backpack, from £24.53

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

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.”

Best cheap backpacks

Slazenger large logo backpack, £9

Slazenger large logo backpack, £9

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

Amazon Basic classic backpack, £13.89

Amazon Basic classic backpack, £13.89

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

Best backpacks for work

Jigsaw Stevie backpack, from £110

Jigsaw Stevie backpack, from £110

The Jigsaw Stevie backpack is a Swears By favourite for many reasons – it's classic, practical but still tres chic, to name but a few. It's big enough to carry all your everyday essentials, but small enough to discourage you from lugging around everything but the kitchen sink. Jigsaw tend to reinvent their Stevi backpack in new colours every season and, at the moment, we're quite taken with this snake print incarnation (now £110, was £220).

“I love it. It's beautiful leather, thick but soft, and not as heavy as I expected. Lovely to carry. Very roomy. Love the zip top, easy to find everything. Wish I could afford more than one colour.”

Buy now from Jigsaw

Dr Martens Kiev backpack, from £145

Dr Martens Kiev backpack, from £145

From its retro shape to sleek Dr Martens branding, this backpack is a style statement and a practical addition to your everyday look. Available in either cherry red or black leather, you'll struggle to pick a favourite – there's even a vegan option if you love the look of leather, but not the environmental impact.

“Love this bag, it's beautiful. The leather softens but the bag doesn’t lose its shape.”

Buy now from Dr Martens

Best backpacks for laptops

Sandqvist Hege Backpack, £199

Sandqvist Hege Backpack, £199

This spacious unisex rucksack has some big fans on our Style & Beauty boards thanks to its scandi-chic design and incredibly practical features. It can easily transport all your essentials (as well as some non-essentials too); it's big enough to accommodate a 15" laptop and has lots of handy pockets – including a hidden external zipper pocket for your need-it-now items.

“I have a Sandqvist Hege in navy /black and I absolutely love it – I cycle to work and it's coped well with rain so far. It's also really roomy, I can fit my laptop, papers, lunch, spare shoes etc in it with no problems. Also it has a ton of little pockets inside.”

Buy now from Sandqvist

RiutBag R10.3 backpack, £99

RiutBag R10.3 backpack, £99

Perfect if your commute involves people in your personal space spending time on busy public transport – but also ideal for travelling – the Riutbag has an innovative design with all zips and access points against your back – meaning no one can get into your bag while you're wearing it. This backpack opens suitcase-style so you can easily access all of your stuff, while the padded laptop compartment and mesh pockets keep all your tech organised and safe. As if that wasn't impressive enough, it's also vegan.

“The zips are all against your back so no one can get in your bag whilst your wearing it. I have one and I love it! I'm not sure how anyone can wear a regular rucksack on the tube or in the city.”

Buy it now from Riutbag

Best backpack for travel

The North Face Electra bag, from £40.62

The North Face Electra bag, from £40.62

Looking for a lightweight day sack rather than a hefty rucksack (that will promptly get filled with rubbish)? Then why not treat yourself to the sleek Electra bag from The North Face. Its women-specific back panel and shoulder straps, and breathable mesh fabric, make it a comfortable option for a day out and about – it's even got a fleece-lined sleeve big enough for a tablet inside, despite its small size.

“I recently bought this bag from North Face for days out with kids. It's small and light and it has been a revelation not having a heavy bag weighing down on one shoulder!”

Buy now from Amazon

Best backpack changing bag

Babymel Robyn convertible backpack, £60

Babymel Robyn convertible backpack, £60

Winner of the Mumsnet Best award in the 'Best Budget Changing Bag' category, this versatile bag can be worn as a rucksack, a cross body bag, or carried as a tote. It's got a secure double-zip fastening and pockets galore – including a special wipe-dispensing one that means you can easily grab a wipe without having to rummage through toys, snacks, nappies etc. Mumsnetters also love the fact that it can be easily attached to your buggy to save your back.

“The best thing about the Babymel bags though is the velcro straps which attach it to the pushchair handle really easily.”

You can read our full review of the Babymel convertible backpack here.

Buy now from John Lewis

If you want even more tips, check out Swears By a weekly roundup of the best shopping recommendations from Mumsnet users.

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