The best backpacks for school

27 June 2019

three 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 their school gear in a glorified carrier bag. Hopefully, these bags should help you strike a suitable compromise with your teen or primary schooler.

Eastpak Padded Backpack, from £48.92

Eastpak Padded Backpack, from £48.92

Eastpak backpacks are a household name – 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 children 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 brothers’ have done for eight years.”

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Under Armour Hustle Backpack, from £24.85

Under Armour Hustle Backpack, from £24.85

Even if your kids really put their school bags through the wringer, this highly durable backpack stands a good chance of survival. Under Armour's Storm Technology means 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."

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Fjallraven Kanken Backpack, from £56

Fjallraven Kanken Backpack, from £56

Launched in 1978, the Fjallraven Kanken backpack has become a staple among teens thanks to its stylish rectangular design, originally created to ease back strain. With over 28 colours to pick from – and the added benefit of being conveniently book-friendly in size – these simple, lightweight, and yet hard-wearing backpacks are now a common sight at schools and universities across the country.

“Our daughter got a Kanken last year and we have noticed them everywhere now. They are a rectangular shape so hold books better and she can also fit her PE kit in it.”

“Definitely Kanken bags. They’re really well made and don’t crumple books up.”

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Dakine Children's Grom Backpack £23.99

Dakine Children's Grom Backpack £23.99

Send your child to school looking fresh with a cooler than cool backpack from Dakine. Originally a surf brand, these school bags are made to stand up to anything and, as you would expect, come fully loaded with features. This style has an external bungee strap which can hold additional layers, while the mesh side pockets are perfect for storing water bottles.

“I recommend Dakine. They are sturdy and lightweight and include things like padded computer pockets, special pockets for phones or money, and you can get them with insulated lunch pockets too. Amazon and surf stores sell them – my son's 22L was £30 on Amazon.”

“Another shout for Dakine – really well made with a good range of sizes and colours.”

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Herschel Supply Co Kids Backpack, from £34.99

Herschel Supply Co Kids Backpack, from £34.99

Classic in design, very affordable, and durable to the last, this this chic Herschel Supply Co backpack features a front zipped pocket for extra storage and adjustable straps to ensure even weight distribution. In the last five years, this brand has really taken off, and Mumsnetters haven’t failed to notice that Herschel is a fail-safe brand capable of pleasing any teen, at any age.

“I got a Herschel backpack online at Amazon for my son. He wasn't at all fussy, but it is well made and carries an absolute tonne of stuff around quite easily. It is also well balanced on the back.”

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Quiksilver School Backpack, £19.99

Quiksilver School Backpack, £19.99

You don’t get much more tried and tested than Quiksilver. This brand knows how to make a solid yet sporty backpack. Ideal for teens who care about brands but also enjoy being physically active, this new-season style is functional and effortlessly up-to-the-minute. The main zip compartment comfortably fits A4 folders while the second one is ideal for stationery -and those other bits and bobs teens seem to collect-.

“Quiksilver backpacks have proven to be really good quality in our house. They have lasted and washed really well.”

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Kipling Seoul Go Children's Backpack, from £70.24

Kipling Seoul Go Children's Backpack, from £70.24

If your kid needs something more practical – and isn’t really fussed about making a huge fashion statement, give these ones from Kipling a go. They’re on the more expensive side but Mumsnetters say the quality is all there. Available in 14 colours and patterns, there is still plenty of choice to suit all tastes, while the rounded shape and style of the backpack make it look smart.

“My daughter has used a Kipling large backpack for the last two years. It's still in good condition.”

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Superdry Print Edition Montana Backpack, £40

Superdry Print Edition Montana Backpack, £40

This Print Edition Montana backpack from Superdry features twin side pockets, a zippered main compartment and a top grab handle. You’ll see them on buses, spot them in school yards and notice them flung over the shoulders of teenagers all over the UK. Superdry is having a major rebirth among trend conscious secondary schoolers – is yours going to be one of them?

“In the school I work in all the girls in the lower years have Superdry rucksacks.”

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Smiggle Hooray Junior Backpack, £27

Smiggle Hooray Junior Backpack, £27

Cute, colourful and playground-appropriate, Smiggle are the go-to backpacks for juniors. This smaller-sized rucksack is made for your younger ones to carry themselves, giving you one or two fewer things to worry about. Pick any one of the five cute Smiggle designs and your child will be eager as anything to show them off at the school gate.

“My boys are all about Smiggle.”

“My son got his bag from Smiggle when he started juniors and it’s lasted two years so far. He’s going into year five in September with the same bag and it is still in great condition. My younger son is starting year three in September and I’ll be going back to Smiggle. Most kids in their school have Smiggle too.”

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Prices correct at time of publication. Mumsnet carries some affiliate marketing links, so if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale (more details here).