Our back to school 2018 shopping guide continues, with our picks for super cool backpacks for tweens, teens and older kids. Whether they want to make a style statement or stand out with a backpack that’s minimally chic, we’ve got an incredible assortment of backpacks for big kids in every price range.

(There are some great bargains here! But some of these definitely cost more, because when your kid isn’t outgrowing a trend every minute, you are more likely to buy school gear that’s built to last more than one school year.)

Be sure to check the sizes — especially if your kid carries a laptop to school — and details like lined interiors, water bottle pouches, and zippered pockets. Oh, and be sure to buy these with your kid by your side. Guaranteed they’ll have some very strong opinions about the backpack that best represents them.

CMP is an rstyle affiliate
Top image: State Backpacks

There’s no compensation in exchange for inclusion in our guide — just the stuff our editors love!

Related: 25 way cool backpacks for preschool, kindergarten, or any young kid who wants to stand out Back to School Guide 2018

 

Statement Backpacks for Tweens, Teens and Big Kids

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Madpax Metallic Backpack

Madpax Full Scale Metallic Backpack $59.50-105
This gorgeous new metallic style is so hot, we’re seeing adults carrying it!

Cool backpacks for tweens + teens: Herschel Supply Cooperstown MLB Vintage Team backpacks

Herschel Supply MLB Heritage Collection Backpacks $79.99, Nordstrom
Astros, Phillies, Padres, Expos, Blue Jays, Cubs fans…you and a few others are in luck!

Cool backpacks for tweens + teens: Wu Tang Clan Backpack

Wu Tang Clan Backpack  $24.99 on sale, Spencer’s
It’s the 25th anniversary of 36 Chambers, and some kids are discovering it for the first time.
(Cue: “I’m feeling old” jokes.)

Cool backpacks for tweens + teens: Dickie's Color your own mandala backpack

DIckie’s DIY Color-Your-Own Mandala Backpack $24.99 on sale, Spencer’s
Your art-loving kid will go nuts for this!

Cool backpacks for tweens + teens: Harry Potter Gryffindor Backpack, with other houses available too

Harry Potter Gryffindor Backpack  $79.50, Pottery Barn Kids
And yes, you can get Syltherin too.

Blended Designs backpacks made specifically for kids of color

I Can Do Anything Backpack $34.95 and up, Blended Designs
Designed specifically to empower kids of color, 10 different backpack designs from this company each feature the same empowering phrase.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Moon phases backpack at Pottery Barn Kids with optional personalization

Moon Phases Backpack  $39.50 on sale, Pottery Barn Teen
STEM-loving, star-gazing tweens and teens: This is the backpack for you.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: New vintage dragon print large backpack from Parkland

Blue Dragon Print Vintage Backpack $39.99, Parkland
I’m so in love with this gorgeous new fantasy print, also available in grey and white.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Artone Blue Wave Backpack

Artone Blue Wave 14″ Backpack  $20.99 on sale, Amazon
Love everything about this print and the price is amazing.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Ombre Personalized backpack from Pottery Barn Teen

Gear Up Ombre Backpack for Big Kids $39.50 on sale, Pottery Barn Teen
Cool backpack for a tween or teen who’s outgrown rainbows…but not color.
(Then again, can you ever outgrow rainbows? Hope not.)

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: New fuzzy spiked backpacks from Madpax

Fuzzy Moppet Spiketus Rex Madpax Full Pack Backpack $85, MadPax
This is the new backpack style our own tweens and teens are clamoring for! Check out the other colors too.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Nirvana happy face backpack

Nirvana Smile Backpack  $24.99, Spencer’s
Haven’t you heard 90s style is  back?

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Large Star Wars Darth Vader laptop backpack from Kipling

Star Wars Darth Vader Extra-Large Laptop Backpack  $159, Kipling
Kipling bags are so sturdy and well-built and I love their new Star Wars collab!

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: The Floral print backpack from LeSportSac

Le Sportsac Essential Backpack in Roving Floral  $95, Le Sportsac
Love this gorgeous new print which is so on-trend for fall…and beyond.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Spiketus Rex backpacks from Madpax

Spiketus Rex Madpax Full Pack Backpack  $68, Madpax
We featured the half-pack in our guide to backpacks for little kids, but as a full-pack backpack for teens and tweens? Amazing.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Bob Ross Galaxy Backpack

Galaxy Bob Ross Backpack $34.99, Spencer’s
It’s a happy little backpack!

Cool Big Kid Backpacks with Miminalist Style

You don’t always have to go big to make a statement. These gorgeous, versatile, very sophisticated bags are perfect for older kids who are hooked on neutrals, unisex colors, or one favorite hue.

Bonus: They go with everything.

 

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Herschel backpack in heather grey

Herschel Retreat Backpack  $69.05 on sale, Nordstrom
Tough construction, cool vintage look, and can handle a 15″ laptop

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Danskin quilted backpacks in 3 colors

Danskin Quilted Backpack  $60, Kohl’s
Way more affordable than the “designer” backpacks with the same styling. 3 different cool colors.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Parkland Meadow Plus Lined Laptop Backpack in Blue Stone

Parkland Meadow Plus Lined Laptop Backpack in Blue Stone $59.99, Parkland
Reminds me of vintage team colors — great look for a solid backpack at a great price.

 

Cool backpacks for tweens, teens and big kids: State Rolltop Colby Backpack in Coated Canvas

State Colby Rolltop Coated Canvas Backpack $165 State Bags
A decidedly adult backpack with a cool urban edge, this is another give-back backpack we love.

 

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Fjallraven Kanken backpacks are classic, durable, and last forever

Fjallraven Kanken Big Kid Backpack $110, ebags
These bags are so hot every single year for good reason — they’re sturdy, they’re durable, and they really last forever. Especially if you go with a darker color. This 17×13″ size is nice for teens and big kids, but also check out the 15×11″ Fjallrvel Laptop Backpack ($110-115, Nordstrom)

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Large metallic waist-strap backpack from State Bags

Metallic Silver State Bags Backpack with Waist Strap  $140, State Bags
Metallic is totally a neutral, and this bag is deceptively solid and smart.
Plus, each purchase donates a backpack to a child in need.

Also check out their new tri-toned metallic Kane backpacks (shown at very top), $80

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Arya Large Laptop backpack in tons of colors

Kipling Arya Large Laptop backpack  $109.99 on sale, Kipling
I own this bag in black and my teen has coopted it so. Yes, it’s teen approved.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Mokuyobi Nilson Nylon Two-Toned Backpacks

Mokuyobi Nilson Coated Nylon Two-Toned Nilson Backpack  $138, Nordstrom
From the rad SoCal design shop known for their amazing colors and their lifetime warranty. Yep, it’s a splurge. But these durable  USA-made bags in four different shades are are just stellar.

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Air Jordan backpack on sale

Air Jordan Big Boys Skyline Backpack  $56.25 on sale, Macy’s
This one will go with his new sneakers — which he also swears will stay white.

 

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Vans backpack

Cool backpacks for tweens and teens: Vans backpack in black on black

Vans Realm Skateboard Backpacks $36, Nordstrom
Like I said, the 90s are back.

 

Cool backpacks for tweens, teens and older kids: Jansport Cool Student Backpack in heather grey

JanSport Cool Student Backpack in Letterman Grey $54.99 on sale, JCPenney
The classic, trustworthy, practical, mom-approved JanSport bag doesn’t have to be boring at all.
Especially in this handsome color combo, which will never get tired.

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