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39 ways to wear a backpack at any age (adults, too!)

by Rachel Greenberg / / Source: TODAY

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Backpacks are synonymous with heading back to school, but nowadays, these cute carryalls go beyond the classroom. While they’re still the most practical way for your tots and teens, a new crop of backpacks are cool enough for stylish adults, too! From quirky and cute to understated and chic, we’ve rounded up our favorites — whether you’re toting textbooks and lunch bags or lipsticks and car keys.

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For young kids

For kids heading off to nursery and elementary school, a backpack is a great way to learn about ownership and responsibility. Pack their precious belongings in something that’s impossible to forget, whether it’s a too-cute shape, image from their favorite film or festive print. Here are some of our playground-ready picks.

Rampage Customizable Backpack with stickers, $40, Macy's

 Rampage customizable backpack with stickers Rampage

Fashion Accessory Bazaar LED Light-Up Backpack, $48, Nordstrom

 Fashion Accessory Bazaar 'Mojo Galaxy' LED light up backpack Fashion Accessory Bazaar

Skip Hop Zoo Backpack, $22, Zappos

 Skip Hop Zoo Pack Skip Hop

MadPax Tickle Me Pink Gator Luxe, $60, Spring

 Tickle Me Pink Gator Luxe Backpack MadPax

Star Wars Backpack, $20, Old Navy

 Old Navy Star Wars Backpack Old Navy

Neff Daily Backpack, $23, PacSun

 Neff Daily Backpack Neff

Star Backpack, $26, Zara

 Zara Star Backpack Zara

STATE Mini Kane Backpack, $45, Shopbop

 State Mini Kane Backpack State

Girls’ Tulle Backpack, $60, J.Crew

 J. Crew Girls Tulle Backpack J.Crew

Patterned Backpack, $18, H&M

  H&M

High Sierra Curve Backpack, $25, Zappos

 High Sierra Curve Backpack High Sierra

Survey Backpack Kids, $50, Herschel Supply Co

 Herschel Survey Backpack Herschel Supply Co.

SoYoung Linen & Cotton Backpack, $40, Nordstrom

 SoYoung Linen & Cotton Backpack SoYoung

For teens

At this age, your teen (or tween’s) style provides a peek into their personality. Don’t be afraid to encourage individuality, while offering a friendly reminder that comfort can be important, too. After all, these packs will likely go beyond classroom hallways to after-school activities and more.

Vans Old Skool II Backpack, $35, Urban Outfitters

 Vans Old Skool II Backpack Vans

Maje Perforated Neoprene Backpack, $98, The Outnet

 Maje Perforated Neoprene Backpack Maje

Patterned Backpack, $30, H&M

 H&M Patterned Backpack H&M

Embroidered Patch Backpack, $25, Forever 21

 Embroidered Patch Backpack FOREVER 21

Asos Metallic High Shine Backpack, $49, ASOS

 ASOS Metallic High Shine Backpack ASOS

Skinny Dip Pink Velvet Backpack, $68, Topshop

 Skinny Dip Pink Velvet Backpack Skinny Dip

Bayside Acid Wash Backpack, $58, Nasty Gal

 Nasty Gal Bayside Acid Wash Backpack Nasty Gal

Alexandra Mini Backpack, $88, French Connection

 Alexandra Mini Backpack Alexandra

STATE Kane Backpack, $60, Shopbop

 STATE Kane Backpack STATE

Circus by Sam Edelman Clear “Eyes” Backpack, $85, Macy's

 Circus by Sam Edelman Clear 'Eyes' Backpack Circus by Sam Edelman

Canvas Backpack, $38, BAGGU

 Baggu Canvas Backpack BAGGU

Donught Macaroon Backpack, $80, Shopbop

 Doughnut Macaroon Backpack Doughnut

For grown-ups

Adult backpacks are not only acceptable — they’re seriously fashionable! Sleek, chic styles rule the runways and infuse a youthful spirit into any modern wardrobe. Whether you’re running errands around town or trekking a laptop to and from work, a grownup backpack is a great choice for on-the-go adults. And you can't go wrong with a bag that leaves you hands-free.

Silence + Noise Sloane Simple Backpack, $54, Urban Outfitters

 Silence + Noise Sloane Simple Backpack Silence + Noise

Asos Laser Cut Backpack, $45, ASOS

 ASOS Laser Cut Backpack ASOS

STATE Liberty Backpack, $65, Shopbop

 STATE Liberty Backpack STATE

Black Leather Look Zip Around Backpack, $60, River Island

 River Island Black Leather Look Backpack River Island

Minimal Effort Vegan Leather Backpack, $58, Nasty Gal

 Nasty Gal Minimal Effort Vegan Leather Backpack Nasty Gal

Reid Backpack, $48, Herschel Supply Co.

 Herschel Supply Co. Reid Backpack Herschel Supply Co.

BDG Velma Leather Mini Backpack, $69, Urban Outfitters

 BDG Velma Leather Mini Backpack BDG

Deux Lux NYC Backpack, $40, Bloomingdale's

 Deux Lux NYC Backpack Deux Lux

LOVE BRAVERY Mini Backpack, $24, Macy's

 LOVE BRAVERY Mini Backpack LOVE BRAVERY

New Look Mini Faux Shearling Backpack, $31, ASOS

 New Look Mini faux shearling backpack New Look

Rigid Backpack, $40, Zara

 Zara Rigid Backpack Zara

The Dipped Mini Zip Backpack, $70, Everlane

 Everlane The Dipped Mini Zip Backpack Everlane

Kyllie Small Vegan Backpack, $50, Sole Society

 Sole Society Kyllie Small Vegan Backpack Sole Society

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