The Best Backpacks for Teens Are Stylish, Colorful and Practical

best backpacks for teens
Product Photos Courtesy of Zapps, The North Face, Nordstrom
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Backpacks are the best sort of bag, both for fitting the maximum amount of things and for comfort in carrying. The same applies to backpacks for teens.

Whether they need a new one for back to school, for traveling or for outdoor activities, there are tons of cool backpacks that’ll satisfy any teen requirements. Since teens in particular like to look cool and keep up with the trends, it’s important that they don’t have to sacrifice style for function. All of the backpacks on this list look good, can hold whatever they need and won’t put too much strain on their back and shoulders no matter how long you’re carrying them around. Any high schooler or college kid will be excited to fill up one of these with their school supplies, clothes or other belongings and show it off around town.

Don’t stress if you’re afraid your taste in bags isn’t cool enough for the hip teenager in your life. These are the best backpacks for teens to take along on any and all of their life adventures.

Read More: The Best Travel Backpacks for Every Adventure


1. Herschel Classic Backpack


This is the kind of backpack that teens will love well into their adult lives. It’s cool, classic and functional, so there’s really no reason to age out of it. It doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, basically just a front storage pocket and main compartment, but the clean, simple silhouette is what makes it so timeless. There’s plenty of space to use for school or travel, and it’ll never go out of style.

Herschel Classic Backpack Courtesy of Amazon

Herschel Classic Backpack (Amazon)


Herschel Classic Backpack (Zappos)


2. Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack


If your teen needs a backpack for weekend getaways, this Dagne Dover option in their signature neoprene is the best option. It has that sleek, classic look with some sneaky additional features like an outer zipper laptop pocket and an inner slip tablet sleeve. It can fit a surprising amount, including clothes, shoes and electronics, and the premium high-tech neoprene is water-resistant shock absorbant and insulating to protect everything inside.

dagne dover backpack, best backpacks for teens Courtesy of Dagne Dover

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack


3. Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack


Fjallraven backpacks have remained on trend for many years now, especially in the world of backpacks for teens, and it’s easy to see why. The unique rectangular design sets this one apart, as does the Vinylon fabric that’s dirt-resistant, water-resistant and wipes clean. There’s a two-way zipper with a rain flap for protection, ergonomic shoulder straps for long-term comfort and plenty of storage space for everything you need.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few fake Fjallraven backpacks for sale online, so we recommend purchasing these backpacks through trusted retailers such as Nordstrom.

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack Courtesy of Amazon

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack


4. Stowaway Packable 30L Pack


This backpack somehow has 30 liters of cargo space and also folds down into its own pocket. It’s the perfect backpack for hiking and camping adventures that can be easily packed and opened up to hold everything you could possibly need. The durable, lightweight fabric has a StormRepel finish to shed moisture and lightly padded shoulder straps for all-day comfort. It also happens to look great, especially in the trendy neon citrus color, so your teen will get all the functionality and be excited about the appearance.

Stowaway Packable 30L Pack Courtesy of Eddie Bauer

Stowaway Packable 30L Pack


5. The North Face Tote Pack


The North Face was an iconic name in my schooling years, and they’ve managed to stay relevant and up to date with what’s cool. This tote pack is a great backpack for teens in high school or college who want something low profile but still functional. It has tons of fancy features, like a laptop sleeve, padded back and shoulders, a bike-light loop and flush secure-zip outer pockets, and you know you can trust the quality.

north face tote backpack for teens Courtesy of The North Face

The North Face Tote Pack


6. Waterproof Mochilas School Backpack


This waterproof backpack comes in four vibrant colors that teens will love if they want something that makes a bit of a statement. It’s simple yet stylish, a perfect size and versatile with extra front and side pockets. It also gets tons of 5-star reviews from very satisfied customers.

mochilas school backpack Courtesy of More Than A Backpack

Waterproof Mochilas School Backpack


7. L.L.Bean Original Book Pack


When you think of a classic backpack, this is probably what you envision. It’s truly the OG backpack for teens and kids of all ages. It’s made of extra-strong fabric that’s weatherproof, so it should hold up no matter what gets thrown at it. It comes in a variety of fun colors, has tons of storage space and easily folds down for stowing. You really can’t go wrong with this book pack.

Read More: Best Kids’ Backpacks

L.L. bean teen backpack Courtesy of L.L. Bean

L.L.Bean Original Book Pack


8. New Generation Backpack


Another classic silhouette with cool hidden features, this backpack for teens looks good and gets the job done. It has a large main compartment, a laptop sleeve, a tablet sleeve and an internal mesh accessory pocket. It’s water-resistant with Duraflex hardware, sturdy zippers, sliders and pullers. There’s also an internal key clip in the front pocket and padded shoulder straps for maximum comfort.

new generation backpack Courtesy of '73 Originals

New Generation Backpack


9. Himawari Laptop Backpack


Teens these days have lots of electronics that they like to have on them at all times, and keep fully charged. This backpack is perfect for that purpose. It’s made of eco-friendly waterproof canvas, can hold a computer, tablet, headphones, power bank, cell phone and more. It also has a built-in detachable USB cable for easy charging, and padded, breathable and adjustable straps.

Read More: The Best Laptop Backpacks

himawari laptop bag Courtesy of Amazon

Himawari Laptop Backpack


10. adidas VFA Backpack


This adidas backpack is refined enough to wear to school or out on the town, but it’s also built to hold gym clothes and a water bottle. For those sporty teens who want to look cool and carry around any necessary equipment, it’s a great, good-looking backpack. It has a media pocket for phones, inner organizer pockets and it’s made from a polyester material that easily wipes clean.

adidas vfa backpack Courtesy of adidas

adidas VFA Backpack


11. Topo Designs Light Pack


Topo Designs is a new-ish outdoor gear brand, and it also makes some of the best backpacks for teens thanks to their unique designs, bold styles and variety of colorways. These backpacks are built to last and can really withstand some wear and tear, which is why they’re the perfect bag for adventurous teens looking to show off their unique style.

topo designs light pack Courtesy of Topo Designs

Topo Designs Light Pack


Topo Designs Light Pack (Zappos)


12. Baboon Go Bag Mini (32L)


Usually, when we’re talking about the best backpacks for teens, we’re looking for bags that can be used for school. However, for teens looking for a travel-ready backpack, it’s hard to beat the super-trendy Baboon Go-Bag, which comes in a range of stylish colors and limited-edition prints. These backpacks have a tendency to sell out quickly, and they’re in extremely high demand thanks to their fashionable aesthetic and durable construction. Plus, you know, they look really cool.

baboon go bag Courtesy of Baboon

Baboon Go Bag Mini


13. lululemon Everyday Backpack


For the teen whose teen years are flying by, this may be the perfect backpack for them to use well into adulthood. The best gifts are the ones that you can use for many years to come, and since this backpack is good for anything, from school to hiking to travel to the gym, and is made well enough to hold up over time, and it won’t go out of style, the late teen in your life will greatly appreciate it. It comes in a bunch of cool color combos, all in water-repellant fabrics.

lululemon everyday backpack Courtesy of lululemon

lululemon Everyday Backpack


14. The ReNew Transit Backpack


You may associate commuting with working adults, but plenty of teens have to do it as well. Whether they have to hop on a bus or train to get to school, work, a summer internship or head home from college, this backpack will make that commute a whole lot easier. It’s minimalist and masculine, which teen boys may appreciate, and also extremely functional. With an exterior laptop pocket, zip pockets, interior slip pockets, two water bottle holders and a handy magnetic closure for easy access, there’s nothing this backpack can’t do.

renew transit backpack Courtesy of Everlane

The ReNew Transit Backpack


15. Old Skool III Backpack


Vans is the ultimate skater brand. For any skater boy or girl, this Vans Old Skool backpack may be the way to go. It has everything you need for school or travel, including an interior laptop sleeve, zip pocket and pen loop. It’s also super affordable considering the quality, and simple enough that they won’t get tired of it any time soon.

vans backpack Courtesy of Nordstrom

Vans Old Skool III Backpack


16. Carhartt Essentials Backpack


Carhartt is mostly known for their beanies and overalls, but they also happen to make pretty cool backpacks for teens. They’re water repellant with a laptop sleeve, side pocket and front zippered compartment. There are multiple color options to choose from, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s affordable and available on Amazon Prime for super speedy delivery.

carhartt backpack Courtesy of Amazon

Carhartt Essentials Backpack


17. The (Re)sourced Backpack


Not only does this Madewell backpack look super cool, but it’s also made from durable recycled fabric for an eco-friendly touch. There’s tons of room inside and plenty of pockets, so your teen can fit anything they need. It’s also on sale, so now is the time to buy.

madewall resourced backpack Courtesy of Madewell

The Re(sourced) Backpack


18. Oakley Men’s Street Backpack


Know a teen who likes to blend into the background so that their parents can’t find them? They’d probably enjoy this camo print backpack. The camo trend has remained pretty consistent, and you know that you can trust Oakley for quality products. There’s an interior laptop compartment and two outside zip compartments for easy access, so it should have everything a teen needs in a backpack.

oakley camo backpack Courtesy of Amazon

Oakley Men's Street Backpack


19. DSG Mesh Backpack


Bet you didn’t know you could get a great backpack that teens will love for under $10, on sale that is. This one may not be as functional or durable as some of the others, but mesh is pretty trendy and this backpack is unique, so it’s perfect for teens who care less about function and more about fashion. It still has plenty of pockets to help them stay organized and comes in both minty green and navy blue colors.

DSG mesh backpack Courtesy of Dick's

DSG Mesh Backpack

$9.99 $19.99 50% OFF

20. Mokuyobi Color Block Atlas Backpack


While some teens may prefer to fit in and stay under the radar, others prefer to be bold and stand out. This is the backpack for the latter type. It comes in two fun color-blocked color combos, both incorporating some neon. It’s also super functional given that it’s mid-range size, but can still fit a whole lot of school supplies, gym clothes, electronics or anything else they may need.

mokuyobi color block backpack Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Mokuyobi Color Block Atlas Backpack


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