The beginning of August means one thing, for families with school-aged kids: the beginning of back-to-school season. While it doesn’t necessarily set in for all of us immediately (my family, at least, was always a last-minute kind of family), with the big 0-9 sets in the beginning of the back-to-school tremors.

You’ll need binders, notebooks, pens, pencils … iPads, for some lucky, cutting-edge classrooms, and of course, a good backpack to carry it all in. Here are six picks for families and kids of all kinds!

The first few years

Bright, unique bags are a great pick for K-6 kids, like the JanSport Digital Digibreak 25L Backpack and the Burton Big Kettle 26L Backpack. Look to the JanSport for a bag that’ll carry your kids from Lunchables and freezies to their first cell phone and iPad, and opt for the Burton bag for a stylish tween with a large main component and a unique silhouette. Both bags are marketed as wonderfully non-gendered products, so they’re a great option for any pupil, no matter what they identify with!

Toughing it out through middle school

A new school often requires a new bag (if you ask the kids nowadays), and these picks from Swiss Gear and DC Shoes have you covered. I really like the Swiss Gear 15.6″ Laptop Backpack for its classic shape—it’s a timeless style, but still feels modern thanks to the contrasting colour-blocking.

For a slightly “cooler” (but no less practical) aesthetic, look to the DC Shoes Detension 29L Day Backpack in Grey/Black/Blue. Its fully insulated front pocket will keep your lunch warm or your beverages cold, and mesh on the back panel and straps will keep the bag feeling light and cool, even during walks home or to the skate park.

The last few years

If you’re buying a backpack for someone in the 11th or 12th grade, something to keep in mind is post-secondary: if the bag will hold up for that long (and it should), you might want to think about buying a bag that can handle both high school and post-secondary.

Two picks that caught my eye were the Roxy Drive Out 33L Day Backpack in Jagged Stripe and the High Sierra Loop 33L Backpack in Aquamarine/White/Ash. The Roxy bag is bright and patterned, making it perfect for both kids finishing high school and first/second year post-secondary students (think the Lollapalooza crowd), plus it comes with a neoprene tablet sleeve and a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve to help them keep up with their intro-level lectures.

The High Sierra bag, on the other hand, has a casual, sporty-but-driven aesthetic to take you from the library to the river. It comes with a hook for extra gear, S-shaped mesh shoulder straps, a media pocket, and a primary back panel, plus a dedicated “tech spot” sleeve and mesh beverage pockets.

No matter how old your kid is (or you are!), Best Buy has something to fulfill your backpack needs — even if you’ve been out of grade school for years and what you’re looking for is a high-tech designer bag for a business trip.



Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.