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Back-to-School Organization: Backpacks

August is officially here, which means that school is right around the corner. The lucky ones among us may have a month until they head back to class, but for those of us who are heading back this month, the hunt is on for school supplies to start the new year off on the right foot. Backpacks are, of course, an essential part of every student's life, and finding the right one is a hugely important and often tricky process. Today, I thought I'd offer some recommendations from my own search for my next backpack!
If you prioritize function over form, I have a few recommendations for you! Mind you, this doesn't mean that any of these bags are unattractive per say (I actually think all of them are pretty cute), but they definitely provide more in terms of performance than they do fashion. Personally, this is what I lean towards when I'm looking at backpacks. I need my backpack to function in a way that meets all my needs more than I need it to be an accessory.

1. The North Face "Borealis"

Maybe it's just a thing where I live, but this has got to be one of the most popular backpacks on the market. I know so many people who have this bag and absolutely love it. Based on their recommendations, I chose this bag for my next school year. It has all the features I look for: a laptop sleeve, smaller pockets to keep track of all those easily-lost items like pens and pencils, and a water bottle sleeve. The Borealis also has excellent padding on the shoulder straps, which is a godsend if you're lugging heavy textbooks to and from class. I picked an older all-navy color combo, but they have so many different options that make this style one of the best balances between form and function.

2. L.L.Bean "Super Deluxe Book Bag"

This is a runner-up for my favorite functional bag. I've always been a huge fan of the L.L.Bean styles, and I love that they're so customizable - they have something like three or four different size variations, and all of their bags are available in many different shades that can each be monogrammed for a personal touch.

3. Eddie Bauer "Adventurer"

I had this backpack for all of my junior and senior year of high school. It definitely has its pros - one of the major ones being just how comfortable it is, even when you've got what seems like 10 textbooks stuffed into it - but overall I think it's not the most functional bag for school if you tend to carry around a lot of small items. There aren't a lot of pockets to organize everything, so it can kind of turn into a black hole at times where things just seem to disappear into the main compartments. That being said, it got me through the two busiest years of high school and held up beautifully!
If you're someone who is willing to sacrifice a bit of function for a really adorable bag, the following recommendations are for you! There are a whole host of adorable bags available on the market, but these are some of my favorites from a few different brands.

4. PB Teen "Gear-up Backpack"

I didn't realize that PB Teen made backpacks until I was shopping for dorm items and this bag came up in my recommended-product section. I was immediately drawn in by the adorable gingham pattern and the option to monogram (a no-brainer!). Upon further investigation, it really seems like PB Teen's bag line are actually fairly functional as well as just looking great. They also have several other patterns including a pinstripe that was so tempting when I was shopping for bags this year!

5. Madeline and Co. "Classic Backpack" 

Madeline and Co. is a small, student-run business that's become really popular in the blogging community. I've seen so many student bloggers with her bags, and I love her attention to detail in the designs and how unique her bags look. Out of all my recommendations, Madeline's backpacks definitely look the closest to a real accessory while still maintaining most of the functionality of a traditional backpack. The price tag is a little high for these, but they are adorable and handmade, so if you really want to invest in a bag that will look amazing, this is the place to go for them!

6. Scout "Big Draw"

Scout as a company seems to be known for its bags. I love their pattern options; surprisingly, they only have three backpacks available in their range, but this style seems to be the most geared towards students (rather than travel backpacks, for example). If stripes aren't your thing, you can pick from several other patterns that are all equally adorable!

I hope these recommendations gave you a starting point if you're on the hunt for a new backpack! Keep an eye out for more posts in this back-to-school organization series coming to the blog soon.



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