12 Best School Bags 2021 | The Sun UK

BACK TO SCHOOL, when you're a kid, is all about the accessories and so we've rounded up the best school bags for kids from 6 to 16.

Since most children are wearing school uniforms every day, the best school bags offer an opportunity for self-expression.

School bags are a part of a child's everyday wardrobe from nursery onwards—after all, they're going to want to bring a favourite toy, snack and book along for the day.

As children get older, school bags need to be spacious enough to house packed lunches, books, homework folders and pencil cases, as well as water bottles, hand sanitiser and sunscreen in the warmer months.

Undoubtedly, backpacks are the most popular style of school bag for kids—they provide ample room for stuff as well as being comfortable.

Some brands are continual favourites when it comes to finding the best school bags.

For primary school kids, Smiggle, with its gamified backpacks, is always a winner. Fjällräven, Hype and Vans are all uber-popular with the older crowd.

1. Best Adidas school bag: Adidas Power 5 backpack

  • Adidas Power 5 backpack, £30 at JD Sports – buy here

A backpack that is suitable for school and extra-curricular activities.

It has a pocket for a laptop to be store and room for books, pencil cases, folders as well as having two external drinks holders. Its volume is 25.75 litres.

2. Best Nike school bag: Nike Elemental Backpack

  • Nike Elemental Backpack, £25 at JD Sports – buy here

You can't go wrong with a black backpack for school, and this design from Nike is perfect for getting all of your child's bits and bobs in.

It's made from a hardwearing poly fabric with zip-around fastening, mesh side pockets and front zip pockets, and is finished with the classic Nike branding. You can even get it personalised if you want to make it a special gift for someone.

3. Best for teenage girls school bag: Fjällräven Kånken Mini backpack

  • Fjällräven Kånken Mini backpack, £54.01 at Amazon – buy here

The Swedish brand has been crafting some of the world's most popular backpacks for the past 50 years, and the Kånken Mini has the same qualities you love in the signature Kånken, on a smaller scale.

It can be held as a bag or worn as a rucksack, is made from hardwearing nylon fabric and has adjustable straps (that can fit kids or their adults).

4. Best Smiggle school bag: Budz School Bundle

  • Budz Backpack School Bundle, now £57.75 at Smiggle – buy here

Smiggle is a popular kid's destination for statement pencil cases, spangly backpacks and outlandish lunch boxes. Everyone's kids are obsessed, because the retailer manages to create what every child dreams of: scented pencil cases and plush toy watches.

Smiggle's range also includes backpacks that light up, feature character hoods and can be coloured in.

This snappy version has multiple pockets for organisation, including a laptop pocket. The school bundle comes with one backpack, one double-decker lunchbox, one drink bottle, one pop out pencil case and one inkball scented pen pack.

5. Best black school bag: Havaianas Backpack

  • Havaianas Backpack, £25 at Havaianas – buy here

If you're looking for a black school bag, then this could be the one for you.

Popular brand Havaianas has created this stylish backpack. It's entirely monochromatic, made of polyester and, when folded up, fits nicely in its inner pocket. It has plenty of external and internal compartments so you can sort out your belongings.

6. Best personalised school bag: Pink Pineapple Retro Satchel

  • Pink Pineapple Retro Satchel, £20 at Not On The High Street – buy here

Not every child wants a backpack, which is where this messenger bag style comes in.

Choose from three colours – red, royal blue and black – and get it personalised for an extra-special touch.

The roomy bag can fit a large laptop, or works well for younger kids who need to carry their lunch and a couple of phonics books around.

7. Best Hype school bag: Rainbow space backpack

  • Rainbow space backpack, £24.99 at Hype – buy here

Before Hype became the brand selling some of the best kids' face masks, they were known for their wonderful array of printed rucksacks, to suit all styles and personalities.

Space print backpacks are always cool, especially among the Junior school/early secondary school crowd.

This design has it all: a front zip pocket, adjustable padded strap, signature Hype logo crest and a pom-pom key ring. It even includes a free pencil case.

8. Best tote bag: Sticky Lemon Freckles recycled backpack

  • Sticky Lemon Freckles recycled backpack, £41 at Smallable – buy here

Making a statement with a school bag isn't just about brand, print and colour – it's about what the bag stands for.

Dutch label Sticky Lemon is all about quirky, colourful accessories with a conscious bent: this bag is made from recycled polyester canvas.

We love the funky polka dot printed lining, and the fact it can be carried in your hands as well as on your back.

9. Best Vans school bag: Vans New Skool backpack

  • Vans New Skool backpack, £28 at Vans – buy here

This backpack has that incredible gift of being rather lightweight (to the point that purchasers worry it's too flimsy at first) yet having impressive durability: not only do people use it as a school bag year after year, it's also a gym kit holder and travelling companion on long journeys.

There are also padded straps and organisational features in the front zip compartment, as well as a laptop sleeve.

Will work well for secondary and beyond.

10. Best school bag for teenage boys: Classic Batchel in Oxblood

  • 15" Classic Batchel in Oxblood, £200 at The Cambridge Satchel Company – buy here

This is a pricier investment piece, sure, but for sixth formers or those en route to uni, it's well worth it because this is one of those great quality, bag-for-life purchases.

Called a "batchel," it's a satchel-backpack hybrid which can be personalised with initials or a symbol and can house the older-student essentials: a laptop, headphones and a smartphone.

11. Best Minecraft school bag: Next grey Minecraft backpack

  • Grey Minecraft backpack, £23 from Next — buy now 

Perfect for Minecraft lovers—this backpack has enough room for the average school day and looks fantastic.

It has a secure zipped compartment, adjustable straps and a handy zip front pocket. A great bag for carrying school books and a lunchbox.

One reviewer said: "Really good-sized backpack. Lots of room inside and also has a pocket on the inside. Seems good quality, my son loved it for his first day of school."

12. Best Fortnite school bag: DJ Marshmallow Music Rucksack

  • DJ Marshmallow Music Rucksack, £16.85 from Amazon — buy now

Imagine having a rucksack that does everything you need it to. Well, meet the DJ Marshmallow Music rucksack.

The bag is big enough to hold a laptop, put your iPad in, clothes, books and daily belongings. It comes with a charging port, headphone jack, and built-in USB cable, allowing you to connect your phone or power bank. The headphone jack means you can listen to music on the go.

It is made from durable polyester fabric with smooth metal zippers. It has a breathable mesh design on the back with comfortable straps.

What to put in your school bag

Ensuring that you have the right equipment in a school bag is important — you never want to be without your pen when you have a test.

As well as a backpack, packing pencils, pens, coloured pencils/pens, erasers and a pencil case is essential. Make sure to have a spare of everything in case something goes missing.

A drinks bottle is also important to stay hydrated during the day, especially in the summer months.

Other things you can pack, but are not necessary, are gel pens, highlighters, notebooks, a maths set and a lunchbox.

Where can I buy school bags?

Nowadays, school bags are available from most major supermarkets and high street stores. Brands such as Smiggle have their own stores, while places such as JD Sports sell brands such as Adidas and Nike.

Some schools have their own book bags, which you will have to buy directly from them or at school supplier stores.

Amazon also has a range of school bags. Want to save on delivery? Here's how to get Amazon Prime Student for free.

What to look for in a school bag

School bags are used all day, five days a week. When buying a backpack for school, make sure it's comfortable on your shoulders and back. Look at the straps to see if there is any padding.

You also want a school bag that has plenty of room and organisation. Check for pockets for laptops, sleeves for iPads, front pockets for smaller items and a drinks holder. A bag should be able to hold an A4-sized book without bending it.

Are Hype bags good for school?

Hype bags are a great option for a school bag. They have plenty of room, pockets to keep things organised and have great designs.

The price tag is also nothing to be sniffed at — around the £20 to £30 mark, these bags are great value for money.

How to clean a school bag

It's probably best not to chuck your backpack into the washing machine—some materials might fray and the quality of the bag could decrease. Many, if not all, brands advise on how to clean their own bags.

One of the easiest to clean a plastic backpack is to use a damp cloth and run it over the material.

Leather bags will need a special polish that keeps leather looking good as new.

What school bag should I get?

When there's so many to choose from, it's hard to know which bag is best for your child.

In terms of the best value for money, the Smiggle school bundle is great for kids who need all the essentials for going back to school in September. You can also get some great designs, meaning there is something for every child.

We also like the Adidas Power 5 backpack for children who do extra-curricular activities.

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We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so follow the link if you want to check out more of Sun Selects’ recommendations.

Anyone off to uni should read more about Amazon Prime Student UK – there's a six-month free trial period.

Looking for a lunch box too? Check out our round-up of the best kids lunch boxes around.

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