Grab Your Backpack
Whether you’re sending your child back to school or venturing out for a day hike, the right backpack is essential. Check out some of our favorites—we’ve listed their full price, but be sure to shop around. Many local retailers are having back-to-school sales this time of year.
In addition to climbing, ski, and multiday packs, Eastern Mountain Sports offers a variety of backpacks perfect for school or a hike. Books, gym gear, traveling—the Feel Free Daypack swallows it all. It features a comfortable padded back panel and shoulder straps and a fleece-lined top pocket, perfect for sunglasses and electronics. $65
The Girls’ Print ClassMate StudyHaul Backpack from Land’s End is sized for kids ages 8 to 14. It features a double-strength base for extra durability, a removable organizer pouch to keep school supplies straight, and 360-degree reflective trim to help keep kids visible. Also available in solids and boys’ prints. $34.50
A favorite of kids and parents alike, the L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack features time-tested details like ergonomic shoulder straps plus modern additions like an integrated audio cord port for easy access to headphones. Two main compartments and an organizer panel make it easy to keep schoolwork handy, and the sturdy design is built to last—as they say, it “endures sun, rain, and K through 12.” $39.95
The North Face Borealis Backpack boasts two large zip pockets so you can stash gear quickly and hit the road. The main compartment features a padded laptop sleeve and a large secondary zip pocket with built-in organizational sleeves. Bungee cord on face of pack lets you store additional gear or cinch down contents inside. $79
Patagonia’s Half Mass messenger bag is perfectly sized for work, school, or play. It’s padded on the backside and along the contoured base to protect contents. Inside, a padded sleeve cradles a 17-inch laptop off the ground and can be paired with the bag’s removable waist strap to create an independent laptop sling. A large elastic stuff pocket holds a jacket or sweater. $99