Backpack & School Bag Buy Guide

School bags are essential for carrying books and valuables, and they also allow students to make a style statement. This backpack and school bag buy guide outlines your best options.

Backpacks & School Bags 101

Every student needs a good-quality bag to carry books, supplies and personal items. Backpacks are best if you're looking for a general purpose school bag. College students may prefer a laptop bag, which provides a safe, padded compartment for storing a laptop, plus additional compartments and pockets to hold a notebook, cell phone, wallet or keys. High school students seeking to make a style statement can opt for messenger bags, which are ideal for carrying textbooks, notebooks and other items. Kids' bags with bright graphic designs can hold lunches and lots of artsy-crafty things, and will help get young sages in the mood for school. 

Types of School Bags



Backpacks are a popular choice because they can generally hold everything your child needs for a day at school. In addition to the main storage area, which may be divided into two or more compartments, many backpack come with side pockets for easy access to water bottles, pens and other smaller items. Most backpacks intended for use as school bags feature padded backs, making it easier for budding scholars to lug around their heavy textbooks. Waterproof school backpacks will keep papers and textbooks safe and dry during wet weather conditions.   

Messenger Bags

For a school bag that’s stylish and comfortable but still offers ample room for storage, look no further than a traditional messenger bag. These bags feature a single shoulder strap that makes them easy to grab and go. Messenger bags come with multiple inside compartments for storing books and documents in an organized manner. This means less time spent rifling through chaos before class. Some messenger bags also have exterior pouches for packing pens, cell phones, beauty kits and other necessities of school life.

Laptop Bags

A laptop bag imparts a sharp and professional look while keeping files, laptop and other valuables secure. Laptop bags have a padded compartment to protect the delicate cargo from other items in the bag, and from general rough and tumble treatment. They come in backpack or messenger bag styles, each with plenty of storage pouches and pockets for laptop accessories, pens, cell phones etc. You can also use your laptop bag to carry notebooks, papers and files even if you’re not packing your laptop. 

Tote Bags

A tote bag offers a more casual look, while still keeping all the items you need for the day at the ready. If you’re going to school or the library, you might prefer a tote bag with zippered pockets and compartments to store your valuables. If you’re off to a coffee or lunch with friends, you can opt for a simple zipperless tote bag that’s open at the top for easy access to things like water bottles or sunglasses. Tote bags are also a convenient way to keep your small valuables with you at all times.

Kids' Bags

Put your mind at ease when sending your kids to school or daycare by packing all the things they need in a kids’ backpack, wristlet bag or trolley bag. These bags also come in handy when you're out and about with your kids: they can do their part by carrying their own small items, and feel a sense of pride for helping out. Many kids' bags are brightly coloured and decorated with fun images of animals, insects or cartoon characters. Wristlets can be used as coin purses to hold money for school lunches or after-school treats. Trolley bags make it easier for kids to transport heavier loads, and, of course, they're also great for traveling. 

Travel & Safety Tips:

  • Always keep an eye on your bags when taking any kind of public transportation
  • Overloading your bag can cause straps to weaken or break
  • Backpacks are best if you have a history of shoulder or back pain, since they distribute weight evenly across your back

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Backpack & School Bag Maintenance Tips:

  • Follow the care and cleaning instructions provided with your bag
  • It's better to hand-wash most backpacks and other bags with zippers as machine washing them could affect the function of the zippers
  • Most backpacks should not be submerged in water to clean them; instead, wipe with a damp sponge and a detergent for fine washables
  • Use a dry cloth to clean oil and grease stains from a leather bag
  • For general cleaning of leather bags, blend distilled water and gentle liquid detergent, spray the surface, then wipe clean with a dry cloth
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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