20 Modern Backpacks That Will Have You Doing Backflips
In the collective mindset, backpacks tend to be associated with outdoorsy, adventure-loving campers and hikers, Amazing Race contestants, and — above all else — smiling school children in checkered uniforms. But, this season, we’re being forced to reconsider and reassess the way we think about backpacks so that we no longer associate them with the mammoth Spongebob- and Hello-Kitty adorned bags donned by first and second graders and, instead, start to understand how this functional shape can be streamlined and reinvented in a way that’s modern, edgy, and all the way grown up. From pyramid studs and shimmering paillettes to floral and paisley prints, woven tribal patterns, and bleached or acid wash denim fabrics, these 20 backpacks will take you to school.
ASOS Studded Backpack, $63.18. Available at US.Asos.com
This bucket-like bag features a zippered closure running vertically along the center of the top surface, providing immediate access to the roomy inner compartment, a short grab handle and two adjustable shoulder straps, both extending from a single metal hoop located at the top and center of the bag. The leather-like shell’s top surface is adorned with round and square pyramid studs, along with hammered studs, in shades of grayish lilac, magenta, and aqua blue for a look that’s young without having too much of hard edge.
Street Level The Jagged Pill Backpack in Vibrant Yellow, $50. Available at Karmaloop.com
With its triangular shape, central zipper closure, and two woven chain link shoulder straps, this sunny yellow number reinvents the traditional backpack silhouette. Measuring 11″ in depth and 11″ in width at the base (the widest point), this faux leather bag also boasts two quilted exterior pockets with top flaps outlined with conical gold-toned studs.
Nasty Gal Denim Daze Backpack, $65. Available at NastyGal.com
Even too-cool-for-school types will appreciate the ’80s rad feel of this trendy backpack’s bleached denim shell. Measuring 16″ in height, 10.5″ in width, and 15″ in depth, the Denim Daze backpack features three exterior pockets with top flaps featuring edges shaped like half moons and secured in place with vertical straps and gold-toned buckles.
Roxy Drifter Casual Backpack, $62. Available at Roxy.com
Made of a 100% cotton fabric knit into a two-toned diamond pattern, this beachy backpack features a drawstring closure and a top flap trimmed in white canvas and secured with a white canvas strap boasting a silver-toned buckle closure, as well as a dainty pouch pocket along the front that also boasts white canvas trim and a matching strap and buckle closure.
Givenchy Olive Green Leather Trimmed Paisley Print Backpack, $1135. Available at Ssense.com
Though it has a rather traditional silhouette, this Givenchy backpack — measuring 18.5″ in height, 13.5″ in length, and 6″ in width — oozes sophistication thanks to the lush botanical color scheme of the print, which fuses together leafy motifs with paisley forms, and the large olive green leather zippered pocket along the front.
Topshop Floral Rave Stitch Backpack, $56. Available at US.Topshop.com
Measuring 30 cm in height and 32 cm in width, this miniature backpack features a vibrant violet, turquoise, and electric blue print against a black patent leather strap — and, for a rock ‘n’ roll twist, the stylish number includes two curved zippers on either side of the front area, each facing a different direction and located beneath a thick black patent band with stitched white “X” accents.
Stela 9 Diego Mini Backpack, $171. Available at RevolveClothing.com
Hand-woven by a team of artisans, this backpack — measuring 12.5″ in width, 11.5″ in height, and 5″ in depth — will have you screaming, “Que viva Mexico!” thanks to its blanket-like fabric shell, its brown suede top flap and matching exterior pocket, and its belt-like buckled closure strap.
Free People Liberty Backpack, $98. Available at FreePeople.com
Go for a Bohemian chic look with this distressed-looking, woven cotton backpack, which features two crochet shoulder straps, a drawstring closure concealed underneath the top flap pocket, and two utility pockets with flaps covered with colorful rhinestones and distressed-looking gold studs.
Kenzo Tiger Jungle Backpack, $610. Available at OpeningCeremony.us
Embrace your wild side with this red nylon backpack, measuring 13″ in length, 18,5″ in height, and 4.5″ in width, featuring a quirky tiger print. When you examine the print closely, you’ll notice that the tigers are arranged along the textile to spell out the word “Kenzo” for a clever design twist. A drawstring closure, meanwhile, gives the back a laid-back feel, while the two front pockets with smooth calfskin flaps add a sleek sophistication.
Nasty Gal Take Me There Backpack, $58. Available at NastyGal.com
De L’Avion Studded Acid Wash Backpack. Available at Nordstrom.com
Acid wash is about to make a major comeback so, if you dare to revisit one of the ’80s most controversial trends, you can start by rocking this drawstring backpack, which features a top flap adorned with brassy hammered metal studs and two exterior flap pockets with matching studded embellishments.
Topshop Neoprene Backpack in Oxblood, $56. Available at US.Topshop.com
The material most closely associated with scuba diving wetsuits , neoprene, has been gaining popularity on dry land, and this oxblood red Topshop backpack is a prime example of this phenomenon. Measuring 34 cm in height and 35 cm in width, this neoprene backpack features black faux leather trim and multiple zippered pouches for a city slick feel.
The Row Drawstring Backpack, 3900. Available at SaksFifthAvenue.com
Minimalist and modern, this The Row backpack features a supple, nutmeg-colored leather exterior, slim adjustable shoulder straps, an open-top, bucket-like shape, and drawstring ties looped through a mirrored, rectangular, gold-toned bar.
Forever 21 Polka Dot Backpack, $34.80. Available at Forever21.com
Featuring a 100% cotton shell, this affordable backpack features oversize black polka dots against an eggshell-colored backdrop and a dark mahogany-colored patent leather top flap with two buckled straps that conceal a drawstring closure. The backpack boasts three exterior pockets: a rectangular one along the front and two smaller square pockets on either side, each featuring faux leather fringe dangling from its corresponding zipper tab.
Henry Beguelin Woven Leather Backpack Tote Bag, $1200. Available at NeimanMarcus.com
Boasting a basket-like woven look, this taupe-colored Henry Beguelin backpack bag features a deliciously slouchy silhouette, a dark brown drawstring belted top, and matching espresso brown shoulder straps. Made in Italy, the bag measures 13 1/2″ in height, 10″ in width, and 4″ in depth and features a lightweight linen lining.
Pierre Hardy Colorblock Suede Backpack, $1995. Available at KirnaZabete.com
Forget traditional color blocking! This rectangular-shaped backpack juxtaposes more than different colors, taking on a geometric approach to the allotment of hues, prints, and materials . Measuring 14″ in width and 14″ in height, this Pierre Hardy backpack features a suede orange backdrop with an embossed croc print, cobalt blue embossed ostrich print side pockets and a matching top flap, and a zebra print leather front pocket with tan leather trim.
Nila Anthony Floral Backpack, $43. Available at Karmaloop.com
Measuring 18″ in width, 13″ in height, and 5″ in depth, this Nila Anthony canvas backpack features a painterly floral print worthy of a Jan Brueghel the Elder masterpiece. In addition to the main zippered compartment, this backpack features a zippered exterior pocket that extends all the way to the bulging sides to create even more space for knickknacks.
Free People Alameda Embellished Backpack, $148. Available at FreePeople.com
This Middle Eastern-flavored number will have you shaking your hips like a bonafide belly dancer. Made of distressed leather strips sewn together to create a cobblestone-like look, this rounded backpack features ribbon-like strips lining the top zipper and covering the entire surface of the zippered exterior pocket. Embellishments range from multi-colored ribbons with geometric motifs to rows of shimmering paillettes for a bazaar-worthy feel.
Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack, $125. Available at Bloomingdales.com
Few things say summer like a crisp white bag — or, in this case, a backpack. This Longchamp backpack’s minimalist design is classic and timeless: a white nylon shell, a textured black leather top flap with accent stitching and a hidden magnetic closure, a leather top handle, and two matching brown nylon shoulder straps.
Forever 21 Chinle Backpack, $24.80. Available at Forever21.com
Celebrate the Southwest with this cotton and polyester backpack —measuring 11″ in height and12.75″ in width, and 5.25″ in depth —featuring two exterior patch pockets with buckled closures and a rounded top flap with a matching closure. The multi-colored, striped backpack nods to the Navajo textiles commonly seen in Chinle, Arizona.