IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

From Nike to L.L. Bean, 21 budget-friendly backpacks for every student

Whatever their interest or aesthetic, these finds are durable enough to last the whole school year — and beyond.
FatCamera / Getty Images

Back to school season is creeping up and while kids may not be excited to see summer end, there is one way to get them to look forward to heading back for the new school year: a brand new backpack.

New school supplies is the perfect way to get them ready to start learning again (no matter where they're taking classes) and keep all of their essentials in one place. Ahead, find a list of backpacks for every student in every grade, ranging from preschool all the way up to high school. They’re cute, fun, sporty and everything in between!

To shop this article by category, simply click on each link below:

Best preschool backpacks

Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Mini Backpack

With buckles on the front to strap in a lunchbox, stuffed animal or water bottle, your mini me will have everything they need for the day with this mini backpack from Pottery Barn Kids. Available in a number of colors, characters and designs, find one that suits their personality or has their favorite characters on it.

L.L. Bean Original Book Pack

Available in a variety of colors including lilac, camp green and bold orange, find the color that suits your student best with this original backpack from L.L. Bean. Durable enough for even the most "active" of kids, this pack is outfitted with a weatherproof exterior and stitching that won't suffer.

Vaschy Little Kid Backpacks with Chest Strap

Your little one will love learning with this adorable dinosaur-themed backpack by their side. It features easy-to-open zipper tags, side pockets for beverages, a top loop for storage and a main pocket to hold every school essential. Plus, it comes in a dozen other patterns, including unicorns and astronauts.

Wildkin Kids 15-Inch Backpack

Wildkin Kids's 15-inch backpack is another great option that comes with plenty of storage to hold all of your child's belongings. While the purple butterfly pattern is bound to make your little one smile, it’s also available in over a dozen other fun designs.

Camtop Backpack for Kids with Lunch Box

For those looking for more bang for their buck, consider this backpack and lunchbox set from Camtop. It’s made with premium polyester that’s water-resistant and extra durable. This one has a fun unicorn headband print, but it’s also available in cool designs with sharks, dinosaurs and bunnies.

Best elementary school backpacks

Nike Elemental Kids Backpack

This Nike backpack is "worth the price," according to one reviewer. With two zipper pouches and padded straps, your child will have enough room to store their snacks, books and everything else they need for school.

Lands' End Kids ClassMate Medium Backpack

This vibrant Lands' End backpack will certainly put a smile on your child’s face! It’s available in this bold pattern as well as 11 others, and can be totally customized with your choice of monogram or embroidery.

Bluefairy Camo Bookbag

What elementary school student wouldn't love a camo backpack? It's water-resistant, easy to clean and comes with four separate pockets made with high-quality zippers to hold all of their necessities.

L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack

This L.L. Bean book bag is a classic option that will never go out of style! It's made with durable nylon and strong stitching to ensure many years of use. For a personalized touch, you can also add a monogram for an extra $8.

Kipling Seoul Small Backpack

This nylon option has padded straps, easing shoulders into carrying a pack with everything they need for the day. A separate tablet pouch allows them to commute electronics necessary for at-home or in-person schooling.

Best middle school backpacks

Adidas Hermosa II Mesh backpack

You heard it here first: mesh backpacks are trending right now! And what better brand to sport than Adidas? One reviewer loves this backpack for her children because it is of "very good quality" and has "lots of pockets," perfect for pencil pouches, laptop, folders, notebooks and more needed for the school day.

TrendyMax Galaxy Backpack

Take your child right into outer space with this colorful galaxy backpack. It has comfortable straps and comes in over a dozen different patterns to suit all personalities.

Under Armour Hustle Sport Backpack

This Under Armour sport backpack will easily transition your child from the classroom to the field, court or bus for after school activities — plus it's on sale! Lightweight and waterproof are just two words used to describe it, and "it fits everything I need plus it has deep side pockets," one reviewer said. Perfect for large water bottles, cleats or anything else one may need.

Fjällräven Kånken Water-Resistant Backpack

This Fjällräven backpack is another durable option for your middle schooler. It has a simple design with heavy-duty construction for everyday use and comes in more than 20 different colors.

Vera Bradley Campus Backpack

Vera Bradley's cotton backpack is comfortable, lightweight and has tons of compartments to keep all of their things organized. The exterior features two zip pockets, two side slip pockets and even a grommet for headphones. Inside you'll find two mesh slip pockets and a cushy section for their laptop.

Best high school backpacks

Adidas Prime VI Backpack

With enough space to take your high schooler from early study sessions to the classroom, lunch and extracurriculars right up until dinner, this "sturdy" Adidas backpack has just enough pockets for everything according to one reviewer, and after a school year of use, has "no rips, tears or zipper issues."

Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

It's hard to contest the popularity of this travel-style backpack — after all, it currently has a near-perfect average and 55,000+ five-star ratings. Many reviewers love this bag for its size, durability, water-resistant material and convenient USB charging port.

JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack

When in doubt, go with a classic JanSport backpack. They're durable, budget-friendly and sure to last them all year while they lug heavy textbooks to and from the library.

Herschel Classic Backpack

If your high schooler wants a simple and resistant design, they'll love Hershel's Classic Backpack. It has an extra-large interior to hold a laptop, books, clothes and more. It also includes a zip compartment in the front to hold all of those everyday essentials.

Nike Hayward Backpack

With a large pouch big enough to hold up to a 15-inch laptop, this backpack is perfect for the high schooler who doesn't require much. With a large zipper pouch and a laptop sleeve, this bag is "just the right size," said one reviewer who is a parent of a high schooler.

The North Face Borealis Backpack

You can't go wrong with a sleek design like The North Face's Borealis Backpack. It's available in over several different hues, including neutral shades like gray, black, maroon and white.

For more stories like this, check out:

Subscribe to our Stuff We Love and One Great Find newsletters, and download our TODAY app to discover deals, shopping tips, budget-friendly product recommendations and more!