Best school bags: Your guide to the best backpacks

We've scoured the high street so you don't have to


Kids are back to school and aside from homework and uniform, the biggest challenge for anyone with children is backpacks. They have to look cool, they have to be functional, and as summer turns to winter, they have to withstand the weather. When primary school kids move up to secondary school, the issue of heavy books hits, making back safety a real consideration. With so many options at so many different price points available the choices can seem overwhelming. We've scoured the high street to find the best school bags, whatever your need or budget:

The colourful school bag

hype backpack

Got a child who knows what they want? Pink? Green? Gold? Silver? Shiny? Sparkly? Hype have got you covered! A dazzling array of designs, there’s literally no limit to the choices your child can have. From Mint Holographic to Blue Acid Denim and Gold Glitter, these roomy backpacks have become a popular, yet, thanks to the multitude of different styles, individual choice for style-savvy kids up and down the country. From £24.99.

SEE: Where the celebs get their children's school uniforms from

The anti-theft backpack


If public transport travel is part of your child’s school commute, having a secure backpack will be high on your list of priorities. The Bobby Pro is the new release from this high-tech kickstarter bag manufacturer and not only does it look super sleek and cool, it's also really spacious, so there's no excuse not to bring that large maths book home! This backpack really is super ingenious, so will appeal to any budding inventors. The zip is lockable, there are detachable bottle and phone holders on the arm strap. Keys can always be found thanks to the extendable key chain. It's made from thick, waterproof, cutproof material so contents are as safe as can be, and it has an in-built charger for phones. It’s ergonomically designed, and comes in three different colourways, not to mention the array of different hidden pockets for laptops, kindles, books or travel passes. From £129.95

The bag for big books and healthy backs


With an Osprey backpack you instantly know a few things; this backpack will be well made, durable and built to work with your body. What you might not know is that not only are these backpacks pleasing aesthetically, they're also really perfect for school bags. Everyone knows waist straps are the best way to distribute weight, but a school bag with a waist strap could be considered distinctly uncool by your teen. The Apogee allows the perfect compromise: a lightweight strap that can be neatly clipped away when not in use, but is also perfect for supporting sore shoulders when books are particularly heavy. Inside it's jam-packed with ingenious compartments. A laptop sleeve doubles as a crease-free area for A4 homework, mini pokets are perfect for a wallet, keys or phone. There's a middle compartment to allow for some serious organising plus a small top compartment up top by the handle, for things that need to be grabbed at speed. Available in green, blue, grey and black, it's understated in appearance and overperforming in features and design. The hidden waterbottle holders are very cool. £75

The bag for little adventurers


Wipe-clean is the only way to go when your little darlings are mini adventurers and this Mini Joules Backpack is spot on. With plenty of room for lunch boxes and school supplies, they'll always have what they need, and the waterbottle pocket means they'll stay hydrated too. The cute dino design should please them too. From £34.95.

The one for sporty types


Sporty students will appreciate the multitude of pockets of the Under Armour Storm Contendor Backpack. The tough, abrasion-resistant bottom panel won't fall foul of being dumped on a football pitch while the water-repellent front pockets are designed to keep valuables safe. Perhaps one of the best features though is the adjustable, padded, HeatGear shoulder straps, just the thing for post-cross-country. From £65.

The stylish rucksack


Older students will love the minimalism of style of this Fiorelli Zip Top Backpack, which puts a cooler spin on the traditional rucksack shape. It's stylish as well as practical, as it opens fully (so easy to reach for those pens) but includes a small zipped pocket for valuables plus a slip slot for tablets. From £69.

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The one for the glitterati


You can't beat a bag to put a smile on their faces and this cheap and cheerful number from Paperchase is just the ticket for those grey, autumnal days. The rainbow design carries through to the zip too, and with a large compartment and smaller one at the front, it's an ideal choice for those that travel light. On sale now for just £9!

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