It’s hard to believe, but back-to-school time is nearly here — which means it’s also time for back-to-school shopping. And while the list of things you need to pick up for your kid is undoubtedly a mile long, a backpack should be at the top. Not just any backpack, either. You need one that is functional and sturdy, of course, but also one that is affordable and your little star student will be stoked to tote around school.
With roughly one billion backpack options out there (we exaggerate, but it feels like that many, right?), it can be overwhelming trying to find one that doesn’t cost a small fortune. Here’s where we come in. If you’re looking for a great, mom-approved backpack that will help your kid stand out from the crowd and costs less than fifty bucks, we’ve got you covered. We sifted through countless backpacks to bring you a shortlist full of choices that put the fun in functional.
Here are a few stellar picks to help kick off your BTS shopping.
Eco Kids’ Sloth Backpack
Who doesn’t love sloths? Plus, Garnet Hill’s kids’ backpacks are known for their comfortable, durable, ergonomic design. And, bonus, this one comes with a free lunch pack!
Eco Kids’ Backpack Jr. in sloth print, $39.95 at Garnet Hill
Gold Kitty Backpack
Not only does this glamorous backpack boast Pottery Barn’s high quality, but it also features a chic gold kitty design sure to make your little student smile. It was imagined by fashion designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, so it’s perfect for the stylista in your fam.
The Emily & Meritt Gold Kitty backpack, $40 at Pottery Barn Kids
Mackenzie Aqua Unicorn Parade Backpack
Rainbow straps. Pink piping. Frolicking unicorns. What more could a whimsical kid want? Pottery Barn Kids’ Mackenzie backpack delivers all of those in a backpack that is also roomy and sturdy.
Mackenzie unicorn backpack, $41 at Pottery Barn Kids
Mackenzie Critter Shark Backpack
Open wide — this shark wants you to stuff all your books inside! Pottery Barn Kids hits it out of the park again with this oceanic-inspired design. Naturally, it’s water-resistant (what shark isn’t?), and you can have it personalized for an additional charge.
Mackenzie shark backpack, $48 at Pottery Barn Kids
Adidas Young Creator Backpack
Between the cool graphic print and the bright, punchy colors, Adidas Young Creator backpack is definitely an attention-grabber. It’s also streamlined enough to carry every day while still being spacious enough for your favorite student to stash all their stuff.
Adidas Young Creator backpack, $40 at Adidas
Dino Kids’ Backpack
Admittedly, this backpack is best-suited for kids who don’t yet have to lug around a veritable library of textbooks. But, like, seriously — how cute is the dino-face design? Little adventurers will be obsessed with this army green backpack’s toothy grin. And, to set your mind at ease, mom, it does have a magnetic closure so all your kid’s stuff won’t spill out.
Cat & Jack Dino Kids’ backpack, $12.99 at Target
Pineapple Cooler Backpack
This backpack’s pineapple design couldn’t be more festive if it tried. We love it because it’s actually a cooler inside! So, not only can your little one tote their schools book around, they can also keep their lunch cool.
Sun Squad pineapple cooler backpack, $20 at Target
LEGO Batman Backpack
Back-to-school nerves? Kapow! Bap! They don’t stand a chance when your little one gets to carry Lego Batman around all day.
LEGO Batman backpack, $26.24 at Kohls
Kids’ Metallic Unicorn Senior Backpack
You guys, it’s a rose-gold metallic unicorn backpack. It’s the stuff fancy little girls’ and boys’ dreams are made of. And, if we’re really being honest, ours too.
Rose gold metallic unicorn backpack, $35 at Gap
Minecraft Sword Adventure Backpack
This backpack checks all the boxes you’d want for your little one: it has laptop and tablet compartments, an integrated internal organizer for supplies and padded, moisture-wicking straps. Plus, it’s super-rad sword design will earn you cool cred with your Minecraft enthusiast.
Minecraft sword adventure backpack in Miner Grey, $29.99 at Staples
You’ll have no trouble picking your kid out of a sea of backpacks when they’re sporting this horned dino sack.
Dino backpack, $29.99 at Target
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