Next up in our Back to School Shopping Guide series are the coolest backpacks and bags for big kids. And you may know that’s no easy task, especially when kids suddenly have an opinion (or two or 27) about what they’re carrying. Here, you’ll find the coolest styles from preppy to funky to everything in between, all big enough all those books and homework folders (ack!) and snacks and even laptops they’ll be toting around. Plus as moms, we’re aiming for packs that will still look pretty great in May, too.
We’re thrilled to bring you all these cool picks courtesy of our awesome sponsor HP, whose HP Instant Ink replacement service really helps you save time and money, two things we really like saving. Not only will you save up to 50% a year off original HP Ink, but because it auto-ships, you never worry about running out of ink. (Scrambling for cyan the night before the big social studies project is due sound familiar?)
And don’t miss our big $1000 BTS giveaway below, in which one winner will bring home a cool HP Printer (and HP Instant Ink subscription) plus a slew of other seriously awesome prizes for your kid – and for you. Whoo!
All of our picks have been editorially selected by our staff. There has been no compensation in exchange for picks. Cool Mom Picks is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate and some picks may include affiliate links which you can click to help support what we do.
Wonder Woman Backpack and Superman Backpack ($44.50+ at PBK)
Our own grade-schoolers are so thrilled with PBK’s entire new Marvel collection, which all feature the colorful icons popping out from against a black-and-white comic strip panel. Have it personalized, monogrammed, or if you want to be extra cool, just put Diana or Clark on yours. We’ll all get it.
Fjällräven Kanken backpack ($75, Zappos)
Also a pick in our best backpacks for preschoolers, Fjällräven makes spectacular full-sized backpacks for the miminalist. In other words, you get all the compartments you need but none of the crazy features you don’t. And ooh, amazing color choices.
Monogram canvas backpack ($43, Medium Control)
Recently featured on our site, this cool company has an incredible range of durable designs for kids too cool for cute designs but who still want to show some style.
Drop the needle messenger bag ($46, Medium Control)
From the same company, big props for their messenger bag styles which feature cool designs like this retro reference to turntables. Currently referred to as “DJ culture.” Whatever. We just like it.
– Keep reading for a chance to win our $1000 back to school giveaway. Entering is easy! –
MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack ($80, MadPax)
We are so in love with this big, space-themed, glow-y backpack that we’re even giving one away in our back to school giveaway. All their Bubble Backpacks are terrific (including the solid red one at top) but this one should get some extra special attention on the first day of school.
60s Starlet Backpack by Miquelrius ($37.99 on sale at eBags)
For big girls turning into little ladies, we love Jordi Labanda Cameron’s medium sized poly backpack with a nod to some of the most enduring classic film stars of our time. In light of Lauren Bacall’s recent passing this week, we only wish her name were here too.
OAK Old School Backpack ($60, OAK Lifestyle)
OAK actually stands for Ordinary Acts of Kindness, and when you purchase one of these durable, comfy canvas laptop backpacks, you not only get an awesome bag for back to school, but the company donates a backpack to a child in need. Hooray for school supplies that give back.
Fjällräven Rucksack ($150, Zappos)
Also from Fjällräven (oh, those clever Swedes) comes this fantastic rucksack style backpack for kids who are going to be carrying more than a few composition journals each day – including a 15″ laptop. (And for more of the best laptop backpack ideas, check out our 2013 back to school tech guide. Also, aren’t you just dying to say, “Please to help me with my rucksack?”
Jansport Superbreak Backpack ($34.90, eBags)
For an affordable option that still has style, we’re liking this gender-neutral, sophisticated striped print from Jansport. Stripes of all kind are always in style; the dark color will keep it looking newer, longer; and for under $35, hard to beat the price.
Granite Gear Misquah Backpack and Granite Granite Gear Saunders Backpack ($34.99, 39.99, Granite Gear)
This rugged backpack from the cult favorite Minnesota company Granite Gear, has the DNA of a serious camping pack but with a lightweight design and cool styling that makes it perfect for school days. A.K.A. the times kids probably wish they were outdoors jumping streams instead.
Minecraft Backpack ($39.99, Think Geek)
No one – no one – can tell our own kids that this isn’t THE backpack to own for fall. Ask your own, and tell us what they say.
EXTRA COOL: WIN IT!
We’re so excited to give away one massive Back to School prize pack valued at more than $1000, filled with back-to-school essentials for both kids…and moms. Because let’s be honest, we’re going to be working hard too, this school year. We deserve a designer handbag, right?
1 Mad Pax Warp Speed Bubble backpack | 2. Superga sneakers for kids | 3. Big white box of Back to School essentials from Yoobi | 4. Late July snack pack | 5. Griffin Kazoo MyPhones kids’ headphones | 6. HP ENVY 5530 e-All-in-One Printer + 6 months ink subscription from our sponsor HP | 7. Fanny Wang 1000 series on ear headphones for women | 8. Target gift card for the kids and a Sephora gift card for you | 9. momAgenda personal organizer | 10. Superga sneakers for moms | 11. Rebecca Minkoff ‘MAB’ Leather Tote. Because we love you.
Thanks to all that entered and congrats to the winner! THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED
Thank you so so much to our wonderful sponsor HP, the makers of the HP ENVY 5530 e-All-in-One which is perfect for students and families. It features the innovative HP Instant Ink replacement service that makes printing easier and more affordable than ever, starting as low as $2.99/month.
Other 2014 Back to School Guide posts to check out:
The coolest preschool backpacks
The coolest lunch boxes and lunch bags
The coolest lunch box accessories
The coolest back to school printables
The coolest school supplies
My so would flip for the minecraft backpack!
Swooning (in a ‘cool’, hipster way, of course) over the Medium control backpack in this house right now!
Glow in the dark and bubbles?! SOLD. My son would go nuts over the MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack.
I think the Drop the Needle messenger bag is the COOLEST! However, my 5 year old son would absolutely love the Mad Pax Space Themed bubble one.
Tweeted – https://twitter.com/dmarie824/status/499625245196578816
The red rucksack is pretty cool. Never seen a long backpack- looks it would fit a laptop with plenty of room.
KanKan backpack! How cool is that!
I think the rucksack is the coolest but I know my sons would go crazy for the minecraft backpack.
That minecraft backpack is by far the coolest!
Love the misquah backpack for my boy!
Torn between the drop the needle messenger bag and the jansport.
My favorite is the Fjällräven Rucksack.
Love the MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack! How super cool is that?
L would flip his lid for the Minecraft one!
I love the Minecraft backpack!
It’s so hard to pick just one! Loved the space one with the bubbles, the super heros that are personalized and the minecraft! I have 3 boys so any of these would be a win
My kids think the Minecraft backpack is coolest, of course, but I might just buy that Wonder Woman pack for myself!
Dabawalla – monkey!
Minecraft for sure. Saw it on your twitter feed and bought it!
I love the monogrammed canvas backpack. My daughter, however, would flip for the minecraft one.
The MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack is the coolest, by far!
Fjällräven Kanken backpack is my fave!
Love the minecraft backpack
LOVE the MadPax Bubble schoolbag!
Loving the Fjällräven Kånken Mini in Brick! My little guy would look adorable wearing this one when school starts again!
Superman one, hands down!
My son would love the superman backpack. I like the fjallraven backpacks.
Monogram canvas bag
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Follow on twitter @gjprasad
Love the oak backpack!
Love the old school rucksack but all of them are actually pretty cool.
The Wonder Woman PBK bag!
The Minecraft backpack is amazing!
Love the Fjällräven Rucksack!
Well, my son would love the Minecraft backpack, but I’m totally digging the WW one!
Drop the needle messenger bag…it’s just too cool!
The space one!
I would love the Wonder Woman for myself, teachers count, right?? ☺️
Tweet tweet! https://twitter.com/ajrivers/status/499728585876590593
I vote for the Fjällräven rucksack. Laptop room is a must have!
Drop the needle!
My daughter and I ❤️ the PBK superhero backpacks!
The Wonder Woman Backpack…strong bag for strong girls :))
The fjalkraven (?) rucksack for sure is the coolest!
Love the Granite Gear Mosque backpack!
I love the mad pax glowy backpack- so cool!
I love the monogram canvas backpack (though I wonder how well it will do in the rain…).
Holy FRUGGIN’ frittatas! That MadPax bag is sa-weeter than sangria! My wee lad would swoon for such. But I’m personally smitten by that nifty canvas monogrammed job- that cutie is the bees knees, and makes my current diaper bag/pursemajig laden with spoiled milk and such, which smells like a skunk that crawled out of the butt of another skunk, look like burnt Spam.
I like the Wonder Woman backpack or rucksack for myself, but I know my guys would love the Minecraft one!
Love both the Jansport and the Granite Gear.
My so would love MadPax but I’d love to see him with a messenger bag.
My son would love the MadPax but I love the messenger bag.
The one that’s hard to pronounce is my favorite one. Fjallroben or something like that?
Love the space bubble pack!
Seriously digging several of them, but I love a company that gives back. I think I am going to get an Oak for my middle schooler who told me to pick one for him.
I love the OAK pack. It’s cool in an understatedly confident way, and it gives to those less fortunate. Both of these qualities are character traits that I’d like my child to have as we’ll 🙂
Mad pax space themed bubble backpack
Love all the bags. Such great variety. My favorite is the Fjällräven Rucksack.
The space bubble one is rad! My kid would be thrilled!!
Fjällräven Kanken backpack is my favorite, and the color choices are fun….think I Love the sky blue or the violet. Really like the Frost green or peach pink too.
Love the MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack! =)
Tweeted about the giveaway.
Love the Fyallräven Rucksack. Very cool!
The MadPax space themed backpack is the coolest. My 2nd graders would LOVE that one.
The fjallraven all the way!!! Love the colors 🙂
The Granite Gear Misquah looks like the sort of backpack my teenage son and I could agree on! I think my 6th grader would love the Minecraft Creeper.
I tweeted! https://twitter.com/alisonkallstrom/status/499745270205145089
Fjällräven Kanken backpack for sure!
The coolest from this group is the monogrammed canvas backpack!
The coolest from this group is the monogrammed canvas backpack!
Fjällräven Kanken backpack is my fav!
The Granite Gear look awesome!
Drop The Needle Messenger Bag! I want it for myself, not my kid!
warp-speed-bubble pack is the coolest. My son saw the picture wants one
Monogram canvas backpack
I. Must. Have. The. Fjällräven. Navy with white!
Tweeted and Facebooked!
My kids would love the Wonder Woman & Superman backpacks b/c they love dressing up as super heroes, reading about super heroes, really anything that has to do with super heroes. 🙂
I’m loving the practicality of the Granite Gear Saunders.
Love the PBK superman backpack !
Love the Fjällräven Kanken backpack!!!
I think the MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack is the coolest!
My sons would flip over the minecraft one. Me, I don’t get it and it makes me feel old ;-).
I love the PBK Superman backpack.
The MadPax space themed bubble backpack is pretty cool looking. Definitely stands out from the crowd!
Love the OAK old school backpack.
The Fyallräven Rucksack rocks. Love the unique shape that sets it apart from so many backpacks and the leather straps. The only hard part would be picking a color. The navy looks so rich!
My son would love the Minecraft backpack!
Loving the OAK for me and the minecraft backpack for my daughter.
Glow in the dark & bubbles! LOVE the MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack. My daughter has a thing for this one!
My son would love the Spider-Man option (he is obsessed with all things superhero) but I am partial to the MadPax!
Shared on FB – http://shar.es/1n4bVu
I love the MadPax Space Bubble Backpack! I’ve never seen anything like it and my son would absolutely love it! Thanks for the chance to win! I love your posts!:)
I absolutely LOVE the superman backpack!
Fan on facebook and shared https://www.facebook.com/betty.baez.7/posts/960354570646524
love the granite gear ones. very cool!
Followed on twitter @angelgeniusjail and tweeted https://twitter.com/angelgeniusjail/status/499926253907222528
I want the Wonder Woman for myself!!
The Fyallraven Kanken backpack is perfect for the smaller set!
My son would love the space bubble backpack.
LOVE the Fjällräven Rucksack. I might just have to pick one up for myself.
Love the Miguelrius backpack. Just wish I had a girl for whom to buy it!
Love the OAK Old School!
Love love the space themed bubble pack. Who would not love that!
My daughter would love the Wonder Woman backpack!
Minecraft for sure!
I love the madpax bubbles one. Who wouldn’t?
The Fjällräven Rucksack.
Fjällräven Kanken backpack. So cool!
Wonder Woman backpack!
Wonder women and Super man. Fir the little hero’s in my life.
Totally needing a rucksack.
https://twitter.com/klochelkluckle/status/500105151009411072 Shared on twitter!
Love, love, love the Fjällräven Rucksack! I saw one in an airport a few months ago & have wanted it ever since!
The mine craft backpack is my favorite.
The OAK backpack was the first to stick out to me – plus I love that they share the wealth!
Drop the needle messenger bag!
I love the PBK but I know my son would pick the minecraft.
Jansport is classic!
the madpax bubble light up back pack is off the charts….both my son and daughter would love this. cathy
Love the Fjällräven rucksack – all the colors, especially Navy.
I really like the old school backpack! My son of course would love the minecraft one! lol
I tweeted 🙂 and follow on twitter! https://twitter.com/monstersmom0212/status/500274722865950720
My son would LOVE the glowy space backpack!!
Fjällräven Kanken backpack!!
I like the granite gear backpacks.
I like the OAK Old School backpack.
MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack! so cool!
I’d have to say the PBK Superman backpack is the best. I’m a fan of all the PBK backpacks.
The Minecraft backpack is the coolest. Confirmed by my 9 year old son.
the minecraft backpack!
I love the Fjällräven rucksack! So would use that for myself!
MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack for the win!
I really like the Granite Gear bags. Sturdy yet cool.
No contest…wonder woman!
The MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack is the winner, hands down, for me!!! So. Much. Fun! I’m going to have to arm-wrestle my son for it! Maybe we’ll have to have two of them!!!
I like the navy kanken backpack, but my boys like the minecraft one best.
The Bubble backpack! So awesome!
I love the Wonder Woman backpack!
Shared on FB: https://www.facebook.com/amanda.alvarado17/posts/753611211364683
Shared on twitter: https://twitter.com/Dolphin4176/status/500494248878149632
The Fjallraven tote is amazing!
Fjällräven Kanken backpack love the parent handles!
My son would like the Minecraft Backpack
Love the Wonder Woman!!
My daughter would want the mindcraft. I love the colors of Fjällräven. Thanks!
My kids would flip for the Minecraft Backpack!
I would have LOVED the Wonder Woman Backpack as a kid!
Love the colors on Granite Gear’s bags.
Oh, yes, the Minecraft Backpack for the win!
MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack or the PBK backpacks are awesome. I personally want the wonder woman!
I like the granite gear backpacks!
The Minecraft backpack is very cool! Love it!
Love the Fjällräven Rucksack!
https://www.facebook.com/mel.maringer/posts/689663337783174 Shared on FB
The Fjällräven Rucksack! Looks like it would last long enough for the kids to use and then for me to get as a hand-me-down!
Loving the Superman backpack!
I like the jeans port. It’s boy or girl, pattern won’t show everyday grime. Shape will hold books well.
I love the stripes on the Jansport, but I know my son would go nuts for the Minecraft one!
PBK stuff is always great, but I love the bubble pak! I’m going to have a hard time talking my son out of the Minecraft however, although I think it will get dirty really quickly!
Wonder Woman, of course!
The Minecraft backpack!
The Wonder Woman backpack!
I really like the Fjällräven Kanken backpack!
The Medium Control bags are minimalistic and look like they could withstand rugged use.
I love both the Fjällräven backpacks
Love the Jansport Superbreak.
I like Fjällräven Kanken backpack
I like the minecraft one
These are all great backpack designs but the MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack is the coolest. Can I go back to school?
Love the OAK OldSchool backpack — for me! Thanks for the chance to win.
The MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack is so awesome. Both my kids would love it!
I love, love, love the Wonder Woman backpack!
OAK Old School backpack
I think the Drop the needle messenger bag is really cool.
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Twitter follower @hofken and tweeted
Our daughter would like MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack because of it neat coloration
Minecraft without a doubt!
I think the coolest backpack is the MadPax space-themed Bubble Backpack.
Thanks for the contest.
Twitter follow you: slehan
should be: FB like you: Slehan
Twitter follow you: slehan
The coolest one is obviously the Wonder Woman Backpack!
Thanks for the giveaway… we like the Fjällräven Kanken backpack; lots of cool colors from which to choose that will satisfy any kid.
Shared on FB: https://www.facebook.com/bryan.eason.77/posts/10204062436748902