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Best Back to School Backpacks

Backpacks are a necessity when it comes to back to school season. With so many brands and styles of packs it can be overwhelming to find what you are looking for. Keep reading to explore some of our favorite features and styles for the best back to school backpacks!

How to Choose the Right Backpack…

We have some tips when to keep in mind when you start looking for your back to school backpack. First, backpacks that are one shoulder or crossbody do not distribute the weight evenly. This could ultimately lead to back problems or more serious injuries. Second, the width of the pack should be no wider than your child. Child-specific packs have shorter torso lengths and are more narrow to accommodate a child’s frame. Women’s backpacks also have a shorter torso lengths and straps made to fit a woman’s figure. Lastly, and most importantly, is durability! You want this backpack to hold up throughout the school year. Most backpacks are made from nylon or polyester. When comparing the two, nylon is stronger than polyester, is more abrasion resistant, and smoother to the touch.  Polyester retains its color better than nylon and is more water resistant. 

Best-Selling Back to School Backpacks…

Simply Southern Hibiscus Backpack

Simply Southern Hibiscus Backpack

  • Two side pockets
  • Kid friendly size
  • Laptop or tablet pocket
  • Internal storage organizer
  • Padded back
  • Adjustable straps
Women's Recon Backpack

Women’s Recon

  • Two mesh water bottle pockets
  • 15″ laptop compartment
  • Sternum strap with whistle buckle
  • Removable waist belt
  • Fleece lined pocket for sunglasses or electronics
  • FlexVent suspension system
  • ACA endorsed
  • Men’s version available

Men's Vault Backpack

Men’s Vault

  • Large main compartment
  • floating, padded 15″ laptop sleeve
  • internal organization compartment
  • mesh side pockets
  • front loops for attaching items
Under Armour Hustle 3.0 Backpack

Under Armour Hustle 3.0

  • Highly water-resistant finish 
  • Tough, abrasion-resistant bottom panel 
  • Soft lined 15″ laptop sleeve
  • Adjustable HeatGear® shoulder straps  
  • Large, gusseted front laundry/shoe pocket placed at bottom of bag 
  • Two side water bottle pockets 
  • Top grab handle 

Other Important Backpack Features…

  • Bungee Cords- secure items like shoes or a rain jacket to save space in the backpack.
  • Waterproof- Getting caught in the rain is never fun especially when you have your backpack with you. Columbia has more information on the types of waterproofing.
  • Back Ventilation- carrying a pack can be hot, especially in the South Alabama heat! Back ventilation allows air to travel between your back and the pack to keep you cool.
  • Reflective Tape- Walking to and from work or school is a great way to stay in shape, this tapes helps you stay visible. 

How to Wear a Backpack…

The North Face Router Backpack
  • Always wear both shoulder straps
  • The backpack should sit high on your back aligned within inches of the bottom of your shoulder blades
  • The pack should not extend past your waist
  • The pack should not sway as you are walking
  • Waist and chest straps are beneficial in distributing the weight evenly, you should use them!
  • Help your child distribute the weight of their pack so the heaviest items are closest to the center

How can I clean my kid’s backpack?

For almost all of our backpacks, we recommend spot-cleaning the backpack as needed. In other words, do not machine wash the pack. Instead, you can remove excess dirt or mud with a dry brush. Try to avoid rubbing the exterior with harsh cloths or brushes in order to prevent damaging the material. Use a damp cloth or sponge to remove stains, after that you can let it air dry.

Our Osprey backpacks can be washed if needed! They have all the information you need to know about caring for your pack

Kids can be messy in general! Check out Patagonia’s product care tips for getting tough stains out of your kid’s clothes and backpacks.

What if the backpack smells and I can’t wash it?

The best way to combat smells is to keep them from happening in the first place! A helpful tip to keep the fresh smell longer is to place a fragrance sheet or dryer sheet in the bottom of the backpack. This will keep the fresh smell for a couple of weeks before it should need replacing. However, we know sometimes the smell is unavoidable. Wiping down the bag with disinfect wipes helps with any odors and sanitizes it! You can also hang the pack out in the fresh air to air out the strong odors.

Other practical ways to avoid these smells include clipping the lunchbox to the exterior loops and keeping snacks in outside pockets. Try to keep dirty clothing in sealed pockets of their own away from other items. And of course, remove all dirty clothes and food at the end of the day. 


In addition to our backpack best sellers, we have so many more options for you to choose from for your favorite back to school backpack. Check out more of our featured styles below, they include packs like Fjall Raven that you can decorate! You can also shop our entire backpack selection online!


More Backpack Product Demo Videos

Eagle Eye Outfitters is a family run small business offering outdoor and fashion apparel. Shop online or visit us in store at our location in Dothan, AL for all of your backpack and back to school needs.