As kids head to middle school or high school—some of them for the first time, after a whole year at home—they need bigger, sturdier backpacks and better shoulder straps than their elementary bags. We also think about laptop protection, and of course…totally cool exteriors.

Tall order? Perhaps. But we love the backpacks for teens we’re seeing this year.

Today’s trendy backpacks for teenagers reflect every kind of taste, from sporty to sophisticated, silly to chic, and everything in between.

Also be sure to check out some of our favorite backpacks for little kids, which might include some styles teens would want to wear ironically too.

Pro tip: Be sure to check the sizes; we didn’t include toddler sizes, but some teens are toting more books to and from school than others, and you want to make sure that a backpack is big enough for all their needs.

This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission from certain purchases to help support the work we do at no additional cost to you.

Related: 5 messages about your relationship that high school students need to know

Cool backpacks for teenagers in 2019: Basquiat Citypack Backpack from Herschel

Basquiat Citypack Backpack ($89.99, Herschel Supply Co)
Wow, we want one for us, too.

Backpacks for teens: NBA settlement backpack at Herschel

Herschel 15″ NBA Settlement Laptop Backpack ($51 on sale, Herschel Supply Co)
Grab your own favorite team.

Cool backpacks for teens: all-black Comfort Carry bag by LL Bean

Comfort Carry backpack ($70, LL Bean at Nordstrom)
If your teen wants a backpack that’s simple, no-fuss, and really durable, this is a winner.


"I can do anything" backpacks from Blended Designs featuring boys and girls of color

Blended Designs backpacks 1954 Collection ($30+, Blended Designs)
Named for the year that Brown v. Board of Education was decided, these dozen or so styles are all beautifully illustrated with kids in whole range of brown and black skin tones.

Related: How to make a home study space your kids will actually use

Riverdale Backpack: Cool birthday gifts for tweens

Riverdale backpack ($31, Hot Topic)
#Bughead forever, sniff.

Cool backpacks for teenagers in 2019: Kipling 15” laptop backpack (

Kipling 15” Seoul Go laptop backpack ($89.99 on sale, Kipling)
Love the contrast of the rainbow logo over the minimalist black and white. These bags hold up forever, too.


Cool backpacks for teenagers in 2019

Mondrian #38 backpack  ($47 on sale, Society 6)
By Rockett Graphics, the perfect backpack for any teen pursuing fine art.


Cool backpacks for teens: Fjällräven by Kånken

Fjällräven Laptop Backpack ($80, Kånken at Nordstrom)
The classic Swedish school bag  is so durable, it will probably outlast the 13″ laptop inside. It comes in every color imaginable, including this style with the rainbow straps too.

Related: 7 time-saving hacks that are back-to-school lifesavers for parents

Cool backpacks for teenagers in 2019

Dragonball Z Kakarot backpack ($31 on sale, Hot Topic)
Cool in that ironic kinda way.

Cool backpacks for teens: A rainbow checkerboard "Off the Wall" bag by Vans

“Off the Wall” Checkerboard backpack ($36, Vans at Journeys)
The classic checkerboard pattern … with a cool rainbow update.

Cool backpacks for teens: Classic "Jumpman Logo" Air Jordan bag

Jumpman Air Jordan backpack ($45, Nordstrom)
Since teens are raiding their Gen X parents’ closets these days, we think this retro 90s Jumpman Logo bag will be a hit with sports fans.

Cool backpacks for teens: Tie Dye Kane Kids bag at State

Tie Dye Kane Kids bag ($90, State)
Perfectly on trend this year.

Related: 7 cool tie-dye pattern tutorials to help you DIY your own trendy tee

Cool backpacks for teens: Star Wars bag at Herschel Supply Co

Star Wars Classic XL Backpack ($80, Herschel Supply Co at Nordstrom)
If binging on The Mandalorian got you through the quarantine, this bag from one of our very favorite brands is the one.

Cool backpacks for teens: Hunter x Hunter "Gon" backpack

Hunter x Hunter Gon backpack ($40, Hot Topic)
Superfans…or kids with an ironic sense of humor…can have Gon’s very own backpack for this school year.

Cool backpacks for teens: Adaptive wheelchair backpack at Target

Adaptive Backpack for Wheelchairs ($40, Target)
Yay, yay, yay! Finding adaptive gear for teens can be tricky, but this bag looks cool and is highly functional for kids who need to strap their bags to their chairs instead of their shoulders.

Cool backpacks for teens: Basketball backpack at State Bags

Basketball Kane Kids backpack ($85, State Bags)
For the ultimate baller.

Related: The best school year planners for every type of parent

Cool backpacks for teens: Pastel Ombre at Jansport

Pastel Ombre Backpack ($40, Jansport)
These bags last so long, we still have our own from high school. And this pastel ombre pattern is exactly on trend this year.

Cool backpacks for teens: Naruto sling bag at Hot Topic

Naruto Shippuden Kakashi sling bag ($39, Hot Topic)
This unusual sling style bag is big enough for notebooks and an iPad, so if your kid travels light it’s a good fit. But they’ll have to make do with last year’s bag for a little while, because this one is on preorder at the moment.

Cool backpacks for teens: Adidas classic trefoil backpack

Adidas Trefoil Backpack ($50, Journeys)
This classic sporty-look bag has plenty of room for books, tech, water bottles, and a uniform for practice after school.

Cool backpacks for teens: Deadpool at Hot Topic

Deadpool Built-Up Backpack ($60, Hot Topic)
This bag is killer.

Cool backpacks for teens: Fuzzy Boho bag at State

Fuzzy Kane Kids backpack ($90, State Bags)
If you’re looking for Boho chic, we found it.

Cool backpacks for teens: My Hero Academia backpack

My Hero Academia backpack ($39, Hot Topic)
For the kid who wishes they were enrolled at U.A. High School this year.

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