Backpacks have successfully made the leap from grade school necessity to grown up must-have (maybe the Trapper Keeper is next?), and we couldn’t be more excited about it. The convenient two-strap carryall has seen its fair share of chic makeovers since it’s been plucked from the locker-filled hallways, making modern backpacks an accessory appropriate for nearly any real life situation and easy to pair with any outfit. So whether you’re headed to a DIY class or a job interview, take our advice: sling on a backpack!
1. Cactus Color Block Backpack ($37): How could we not kick things off with a color block backpack? Baggu has nailed this wild ‘90s-inspired color palette that’s updated by the bag’s silver matte hardware and modern bucket shape.
2. Nellie Studded Backpack ($50): Circular studs add a mix of edge and elegance to this black bucket backpack. A knotted drawstring and dual snaps along its curved flap pair up to provide double closure.
3. Sacagawea Carryall ($400): We’ve been swooning over this backpack for years, and you know what they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. Lucky for us, the vegetable tanned leather bag is made right here in SF, so we know what we’re doing with our next paycheck :)
4. Kastrup Backpack in Blue ($595): We never thought we’d say this, but this camouflage print is way chic. To be fair, it looks a lot more like an abstract landscape painting than your average army print, and its price tag matches its masterpiece vibe.
5. Black & Grey Oaxaca Backpack ($375): Over tribal print? (That’s kind of a trick question…). Then the more subtle Southwestern-inspired pattern on this bucket backpack might strike your fancy. We’re taken with its contrasting geometric panel, which really ties the look together.
6. The Cambridge Satchel Company Cambridge Satchel Portrait Backpack ($305): Whatever gets you going: the bag’s now signature structured look, its polished satchel design, or the fact that this portrait-style backpack comes in a handful of bright colors, one thing’s for sure—it’s a stunner.
7. Cyclades Backpack ($209): The clean design of this white and tan patent leather backpack is eye-catching alone, but you just wait till you open that sucker up: it’s the pop of color you’ve been waiting for!
8. Herschel Sydney Backpack Mid Volume ($93): Carry a mid-sized load in this chipper orange backpack. Its button closure gives this durable bag a whimsical touch.
9. Ride West Backpack ($328): Made of royal blue leather, this thin-strapped backpack is one of our favorites in this roundup. Its simple shape allows killer details like raw edges and tassel embellishments to stand out.
10. Belar Black Backpack ($75): Black and white rugby stripes are a perfect contrast to the soft tan leather straps on this mini backpack. It’s going on our “Want” Pin-board now.
11. MiPac Tonal Backpack ($37): A hot pink backpack? Oh yeah, our inner 8th grader just squealed a bit. Trust us, the right kind of lady could totally pull off toting this vibrant bag around town, but we get it reads a little young.
12. MiPac Star Print Backpack ($41): To make this same bag look a bit more age-appropriate, MiPac traded in the color blocking for stars, and we’re way into the trade off. Who’s with us?
13. Lietmotif Backpack ($198): Sure, it’s on the small side, but what this petite bag lacks in size it makes up for with its hypnotizing pattern. Who was it that said blue and black don’t work together? They’re way wrong!
14. Asos Quilted Boysy Backpack ($50): This is one seriously blingin’ backpack! The quilted front panel adds a bit of charm to this ultra glitzy bag.
15. Baggu Backpack ($42): Baggu knows that patterns are just as important as bold colors, and that’s why we love them so much. The end ;)
16. Take Me Away Mini Backpack ($88): Even though we’re obsessed with color, this is hands down our fave all-black backpack we’ve seen. We love that this small tote still looks sleek and stylish even with two satchel-inspired side pockets.
17. Lazy Oaf Splat Backpack ($72): This bucket-style backpack hops on the abstract pattern trend and we have to say, we kind of love it. It’s way fun and funky fresh for sure!
Do you own a backpack? Is it mostly for outdoorsy-type activities or do you tote yours around town? What brands do you love? Link us to your faves in the comments below.