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Best Backpacks from Grade School to College: Your Back to School Guide

Best Backpacks from Grade School to College: Your Back-to-School Guide

Students Seated Near Backpacks

There's so much that goes into prepping for a new school year. From pens and books to tablets and laptops, toting all your essentials doesn't have to be a burden. No matter the grade, there's a backpack designed to carry it all in style and comfort. Here's our list of top backpacks and features from grade school to college and beyond.

Types of Backpacks

Grade School Characters

Character designs get top marks in grade school, providing a fun way to show off beloved superheroes, movies and TV characters, princesses and more. Look for backpack designs with adjustable shoulder straps and padded backs; a more comfortable fit will ensure better posture when carrying books and supplies.

Look for:

  • Top carry tabs
  • Padded backs
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
Kids Backpack with Cartoon Characters

Backpack with Floral Pattern

Middle School Multitasking

Organization is key in middle school, when projects become more complex and students have more to bring to the classroom. Choose a backpack that features interior dividers and multiple pockets to coordinate any must-have items. Many backpacks offer dedicated space for pens, ID cards and money, as well as separate spaces for lunch bags or pencil cases.

Look For:

  • Divided interior
  • Mesh side pockets
  • Organizer pockets
  • Separate lunch bags or pencil cases

High School Tech

Style and function are a top priority in high school. A tech backpack is an ideal choice, providing dedicated areas for cellphones, media players and headphones, as well as separate padded laptop compartments or cases. Canvas bags are durable and attractive options that are sturdy enough to withstand years of use.

Look for:

  • Media pockets
  • Headphone slot
  • Padded laptop case or compartment
Backpack with Tech Pockets and Dividers

Rolling Backpack with Handle

College Maneuvering

The best way to keep up with the demands of college is with a rolling backpack. With retractable handles and a set of wheels, a rolling backpack can maneuver across a sprawling college campus with ease. Select a design that meets airline carry-on requirements, and you'll even be ready for vacationing over spring break.

Look for:

  • Telescoping handle
  • Multidirectional wheels
  • Meets airline carry-on requirements

Grad School Transitions

Life after college is complex, and requires a carryall that can pull double duty. Forego the backpack and opt for a sophisticated laptop bag. Stylish varieties are available in smooth synthetic leathers or canvas and are an affordable alternative for creating a professional look for either the classroom or the office. A padded top strap makes carrying the bag on long commutes more comfortable.

Look for:

  • Synthetic leather design
  • Padded top strap
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Laptop Bag