After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 8 best backpacks for teens among more than forty models for teenagers.
My favorite is undoubtedly the Eastpak Padded Pak’R, an iconic functional and ultra-resistant model, which inspires competition as well as counterfeits, but which remains for me unequaled.
You will also find at the end of this article a buying guide and checklist of important criteria to choose the right backpack for your teenager.
The Best Backpacks For Teenagers
In the range of first prices, hard to find a backpack that combines original design and strength. It will therefore often make a choice: bet on resistance or the look.
The good news is that it is still possible to customize a bag a little sad or strengthen a model with medium finishes. One rule: always use a high-density material that will withstand the load and moisture.
1. Kasqo: The Best Cheap Backpack For Teen
Kasqo offers a wide range of bags, from children’s accessories to women’s handbags. The brand is particularly distinguished by its school bags and backpacks: well designed and resistant, they stand out for their simple and effective design, like this two-color model very successful.
The Kasqo bag has a rather sober look, making it a unisex model. Available in several colors, it is also easy to customize if your teen has the creative fiber.
This featherweight weighs just 350 g. Its dimensions are nevertheless generous: 31 cm wide for 43 cm high and 13 cm deep.
It offers a nice capacity (a little more than 17L of volume), especially since it is equipped with 2 side pockets, one designed to accommodate one bottle of water and the other provided for an umbrella.
There are two features dear to Kasqo: the fully padded back panel and wide comfortable straps, which can vary in length from 45 to 90 cm. We also note the care given to finishes, and in particular, the strength of the seams.
As often, Kasqo put on the 600D polyester, light material and fine enough to be aesthetic, while being already very resistant. It is also a waterproof canvas, able to cope with small weather (we will avoid all the same to let it drag on a wet floor!).
This backpack will be very suitable for classes (from the college), but also for small hikes or for traveling. Admittedly, it consists only of a large compartment and a front pocket, but it is practical enough that it is possible to properly organize its business.
The zipper of the main compartment is particularly well thought out, since it allows to widely open the bag to access its contents, without risking to reverse everything.
The design of this bag is perhaps a little austere: it will not necessarily seduce all profiles. But it is robust, functional and very versatile.
With its padded structure, it’s an excellent choice for college students, who can have significant loads to wear.
2. Plambag: Nice Design
Plambag offers an interesting range of backpacks at a low price. The brand brings certain care to the design, but it often sins with small details.
This graphic bag, available in two colors, thus displays a very pretty look. But he suffers from some defects that can not be ignored.
This model is 30 cm wide for 43 cm high and 15 cm deep: it has a volume of more than 19L. Be careful, all the same, not to be impressed!
Because with its rounded top, it is not easy to take full advantage of its capacity. The canvas of this model is dense enough to face a small downpour. However, avoid placing it on wet ground.
It is very suitable for A4 notebooks and folders, for a tablet or laptop (15.7 “). To travel or for a small hike, it can be more complicated.
It must be said that the zipper of the main compartment goes down a little too low: unless you stick strictly to school affairs, the contents of the bag will quickly reverse.
It is not of exceptional quality. Another small reserve is the seams, which do not really inspire long-term confidence.
The Plambag is designed primarily for going to class or for an urban getaway and is rather well organized. In addition to a large main compartment, it has two inside pockets for small items, 2 side pockets, and a front pocket. It should be noted that only the shoulder straps are padded.
The look of this model is quite attractive. But with this backpack, Plambag plunges into one of its regular through: aesthetics takes precedence over quality.
It is not necessarily a model made to last several years unless you are able to perform minor repairs.
The Best Mid-Range Teen Backpacks
At mid-range prices, there are a number of famous brands – including Eastpak and Roxy – who have practiced the art of backpack design for several decades.
The mid-range teen backpacks offer a wide choice of designs, and they are often strong and ergonomic.
3. Eastpak Padded Pak’R: The Best Mid-Range
Eastpak has already accompanied several generations of teenagers, from college to college. If the brand constantly renews its designs to stay trendy, it continues to build on its flagship model: Padded Pak’r. More than a bestseller: a real icon!
The silhouette of the Padded Pak’r is familiar: if you have not worn this backpack yourself, you have already crossed the street! This backpack is so popular that there are even many counterfeits.
The Padded Pak’r backpack consists of a main compartment and a generous front pocket. This bag is a featherweight (380 g), basic, but generous: 30 cm wide, 40 cm high and 18 cm deep, a volume of 24 L.
What to pack in many cases, including binders. It is equipped with relatively thin straps but well thought out and well padded. It is also padded at the back.
The Padded Pak’r has made a name for itself quickly – and for a long time – thanks to its characteristics: a canvas of excellent quality and robustness that is no longer to be proven, thanks to its sturdy seams and closures. flashes of excellent quality.
It is noted that even manhandled for years, it holds good so that it is common to keep it very long after the end of his schooling. It is also quite convenient to travel or to go on a mini-hike.
Let’s be honest: the Padded Pak’r is losing its luster over the years: it patinates and can even deform slightly when loaded daily. But the fact is that he resists!
If it does not bother with frills, it remains practical and versatile. The iconic Eastpak backpack remains one of the best value for money on the market.
4. HotStyle: More Compact Alternative
Hotstyle is a relatively recent American brand, which has quickly distinguished itself by its good quality products. The manufacturer has a special talent for school backpacks. It is once again proof of this model quite versatile.
The Hotstyle backpack is built to an American standard: the main compartment, two side pockets (for the water bottle and umbrella) and a front pocket. It has the particularity of having a “secret” compartment, where you can store your valuable belongings.
It is as convenient for lessons as for traveling or for a small hike. As always when it comes to design, the look of a backpack will please or not.
It should be noted that the quality is at the rendezvous, both with regard to the canvas (600 D polyester) and that with regard to printing. In fact, “galactic” lopsided impressions are quite common: here, it is very successful. It is also available in a wide variety of different prints.
With 29 cm wide by 42.5 cm high and 13 cm deep, the Hotstyle bag is quite honorable, without being exceptional. It remains spacious enough to accommodate many school affairs, and for a computer (up to 15 “).
The finishes are quite neat – solid seams, zippers quality – to ensure excellent resistance.
This model has a padded back and shoulder straps. It should be noted that the straps are a little shorter than most of its competitors (from 44 cm to 82 cm in length).
It must be said that it is also quite compact, which makes it also a model that can be adopted from primary school (CM1 / CM2 depending on the morphology of children).
The backpack comes with a matching kit, which could have been a great idea if it had come up with a better fit. It is indeed a little too small to carry pens and pencils essential.
If the Hotstyle backpack is small enough. But this compact size makes it an excellent choice for smaller or smaller sizes. It remains versatile and robust: a very good model!
5. Roxy Shadow Swell: Design First
Well known sportswear brand, Roxy dresses teenage girls since the 1990s. She also offers a choice of backpacks, especially school, very nice quality.
Its strong point is the design … provided you enjoy a very “girly” style! As for the functional aspect, it remains to be seen …
The Shadow Swell bag is a compromise very inspired sports backpacks. This model, made of 600 D polyester, is composed of two large compartments, one of which is padded because it is designed to accommodate a laptop (15 “).
It also has a top pocket and two mesh side pockets. The front pocket has special storage for smartphone, pen etc.
With a back and padded shoulder straps, the Shadow Swell is also equipped with a rubber bottom: the contents of the bag is therefore quite well protected when placed on the ground. With dimensions of 33 cm wide by 45.5 cm high and 14 cm deep, it has a capacity of about 20 L.
This backpack comes in different colors and prints. It should be noted that Roxy uses a specific printing technique, which means that each model may have some slight variations.
Shadow Swell is a bit of a frustrating model. Admittedly, it has plenty of storage space to organize business, and its main compartments are spacious.
Paradoxically, these multiple pockets, however, give a rather chaotic impression (which no doubt lies at their disposal). This backpack is quite solid, but its design remains special.
As often with Roxy, the design is neat, the quality is at the rendezvous, but the practical aspect passes a little in the background. In this case, it seems that the storage is fancy (including the front pocket, with locations for pens useless enough).
It is a choice that is above all a favor.
6. Herschel Heritage: Good Basic
Hershel designs different models of backpacks that have established themselves as classics, such as the road trip inspired Little America, or the Heritage, which we are talking about here. This very urban backpack is designed to carry a computer.
This very good basic can of course also be used as a classic school bag.
With 31.21 cm wide by 45.72 cm high and about 14 cm deep, the Heritage offers a classic 20L capacity. If it is not an exceptional volume, the ergonomic shape of this backpack allows you to fully exploit it. It is equipped with comfortable padded shoulder straps.
Side storage, this model has a main compartment for a computer and a front pocket with a keychain. It also has a pocket with cable gland for an MP3 player.
The vintage design of the Heritage will not appeal to all teens. This model, however, comes in a wide variety of colors.
Unlike Eastpak, who has not hesitated to make some changes to optimize the quality of its iconic Padded Pak’R, Hershel still has not decided to address the flaws of this model.
Whether you opt for a printed or plain model, it may wash out quickly enough, especially if your teen tends to abuse his bag (or just to ask the ground frequently!).
The imitation leather remains of rather mediocre quality. And if this bag is equipped with flaps that protect the zippers in case of rain, they are poorly thought out and hinder the opening of the bag.
The Heritage is not necessarily perfect, and it lacks versatility. But if its design seduces your teen, it’s still a pretty good basic, comfortable enough to wear (just make sure not to leave it lying on the floor!).
The Best High-End Teen Backpacks
The high-end models are directly inspired by sports models. We find in particular high-tech materials, ultra-resistant, like the Kanken.
These models are investments, but they enjoy such a life that it is more than likely that your teen will enjoy it throughout the end of his schooling … or even after!
Originally, the Swedish brand Fjallraven – Kanken specializes in hiking equipment. It has diversified by offering a choice of backpacks leisure very good quality.
The Kanken Laptop 17 is a model designed to carry a laptop. But despite atypical dimensions, it offers enough space to be diverted into a school backpack.
With 36 cm wide by 45 cm high and 24 cm deep, the Kanken Laptop 17 “is supposed to carry a 17-inch computer. And it’s 17 inches and not a millimeter more! This rigidity is the main defect of this backpack.
This ergonomic design features a main compartment, a front pocket, and two side pockets. It also has a handle, which can be worn easily by hand, when necessary.
He is as comfortable in class as in public transport, traveling or even in nature.
Its adjustable straps can worry: thin, and without padding, they do not really inspire confidence. They are very well thought out since they are arranged in X: a system that is surprisingly comfortable!
This bag has a special feature Fjallraven – Kanken signature: Vinylon F. This synthetic fiber has made the reputation of the backpacks of the brand.
It has the property of offering exceptional weather resistance. Under the effect of moisture, the fibers of Vinylon F swell and shrink, making the fabric impermeable.
Ultra-resistant, this material is also easy to clean. In short: the Kanken Laptop 17 is made to last!
The very contemporary design of this bag will not please all teens. Moreover, its dimensions do not correspond to all the templates either.
But in terms of quality and durability, there is absolutely nothing to complain about: this model is definitely an excellent investment.
8. Dakine Detail: Playful XL Model
The American brand DaKine is known for its extreme sports equipment. She also signs a range of backpack leisure very high quality.
At the base, the Detail 27 L has been designed for adults. But he is versatile enough (and generous!) To be diverted into a school bag.
The DaKine Detail 27 L has an exceptional capacity. It must be said that it displays XL dimensions: 33 cm wide for 46 cm high and 24 cm deep.
It will not correspond to all templates. With a timeless basic design, it comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors.
The Detail 27 L is made of quality materials (90% polyester and 10% polyurethane). It also benefits from very neat finishes. Everything gives it excellent strength, and this is the type of bag that can be used for years.
This model is designed to carry a laptop (15 “), so it has a padded compartment. It is also equipped with interior storage for small objects (smartphone, pens etc) and a front pocket.
With well-padded adjustable straps and a chest strap, it offers real comfort even when full. It is also as practical for traveling or for a short hike as for going to class.
With the Detail 27 L, Dakota signs a spacious, comfortable and very versatile model. And not to spoil anything, it is also of excellent quality.
Given its dimensions a little larger than those of its competitors, it may not necessarily be suitable for younger, who are entering college. But from the moment your teenager is big enough, this bag is definitely a very good investment.
How To Choose Your Teen’s Backpack?
Choosing a backpack for a teenager can be quite complicated. Unlike children, they do indeed have strong tastes, and they can work at the stroke of the heart.
It’s not surprising that they are cracking for a trendy model, forgetting a bit of practicality. However, some criteria are very important to ensure the durability of a backpack! follow the guide
Most of the time, the students give up the traditional binder from the entrance to the college: they all adopt the backpack. However, this is not an option exclusively for teens.
It is possible to adopt the school backpack as early as primary school. It depends primarily on the morphology of a child.
For the youngest, we will take care to choose a backpack specifically designed for the school. For older adults (who are often less likely to carry), it is possible to be more flexible by opting for a model of leisure and/or designed for adults.
Child, teen or adult, there is an absolute rule to choose a backpack: adopt a width less than or equal to the width of the back. The dimensions of a backpack also determine its capacity, which is measured in liters.
If the manufacturer fails to indicate the volume of a bag, a simple calculation is sufficient: Height x Width x Depth.
If your teen has a lot of school business to carry, it is essential to opt for a model of 20 L at least. The depth must be sufficient for your teen to store several books and notebooks, possibly a binder.
Attention, therefore, models less than 15 cm deep!
It is considered that to preserve the back of a child, his bag should not weigh more than 10% of its weight. This is also true for a teenager, who is still growing.
The ideal is, therefore, to opt for an ultra-light backpack empty.
The Density Of The Canvas
A backpack must be sturdy, lightweight and waterproof. Features specific to polyester.
It is one of the most commonly used materials for making school backpacks. There are different types of polyester whose density (and therefore resistance) is denier (D).
A 210 D will be particularly thin, and tight. A lining is then essential to protect the contents of the bag.
A 900 D will be very robust, but a bit “stiff”.
The idea is to opt for an intermediate material (420 or 600 D), which remains aesthetic while already enjoying good resistance. Be aware that this measure does not only apply to polyester, but to all types of canvas.
Suspenders and Reinforcements
Teenagers are still growing and it is especially important to preserve their backs. The width and positioning of the straps is an important choice criterion.
It is important that they distribute the load well. If your teenager has a lot of school stuff to carry, choose a bag with padding in the back.
Also, remember to check that there is reinforcement at the bottom of the bag. Its primary function is to isolate the contents of the soil bag when it is placed on the ground.
However, it also helps to strengthen the structure of the bag and ensure the proper balance of the load.
When choosing a backpack, do not forget that teens’ lives are not limited to going to class. Short trip, shopping outings, hikes or excursions during the holidays … the more versatile a backpack is, the better!
Especially since it is not excluded that they get tired of their current backpack: as much can use it for something else.
The classic structure of a teen backpack is a large compartment with a front pocket. It is also common that it is equipped with two side pockets. Then there are optional storage more or less practical: complementary kit, organizer …
An inside zip pocket is always handy for storing valuables. As for other pockets, the choice is primarily your teenager.
Teenagers’ backpacks are all equipped with zippers: this is the best way to ensure effective closure when the bag is loaded with books and notebooks. They will be handled several times a day (and not necessarily smoothly!).
It is therefore essential that they be of very good quality. It must be easy to store things – and therefore offer a wide opening – without the risk of spilling the contents of the bag: it is necessary to avoid the zip that goes too low laterally.
Difficult to ignore the practical aspects and security. But it is also difficult to force a teenager’s hand!
Even if it may seem superfluous, take into account his tastes: there are plenty of excellent models available on the market to find one that suits his desires!