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Back to School Shopping Guide: 25 Backpacks Under $50


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As we all embrace what’s left of summer, college is drawing closer and closer, which means it’s time to get packed up and ready for school. One of the best parts about heading back to campus is school shopping. From clothes to notebooks and dorm accessories, nothing is more exciting than picking out the pieces that you will rely on for the next year.

Backpacks are arguably the most important aspect of a college girl’s wardrobe. They’re the perfect carry-all for your books, laptop, and school essentials. To give you some ideas, we’ve rounded up 25 backpacks which, at under $50 each, won’t put a huge dent in your wallet:


Solid color backpack
Product Information: 1 – Tilly’s ($31.99), 2 – Victoria’s Secret ($39.50), 3 – Swell ($38.00), 4 – Tilly’s ($34.99), 5 – Tilly’s ($34.99)

One of the biggest perks of choosing a solid-colored backpack is that it will go with just about everything. In addition, solid-colored backpacks are less likely to go out of style than printed ones.

If you want to amp up the fashion factor, added touches of lace or interesting fabrics create interest. Another cute variation on the solid-colored backpack is one with colorblock aspects, like #1 and #5 shown above, with brown fabric on the bottom.


Stripe backpacks
Product Information: 1 – Nordstrom ($49.50), 2 – Aeropostale ($30.00), 3 – Forever 21 ($24.80), 4 – Forever 21 ($24.80), 5 – Pacsun ($34.65)

If you’re a fan of nautical inspiration or just live in stripes, a backpack with horizontal lines may be right up your alley!

There are so many different styles and colors to choose from. A mixture of thick and thin stripes make the accessory look less busy, but if you’re looking for a funky one, try #1 or #4 from above. They stand out due to their bright colors and unique patterns.


Printed backpacks
Product Information: 1 – Target ($29.99), 2 – Target ($29.99), 3 – Victoria’s Secret ($44.50), 4 – Charlotte Russe ($20.00), 5 – Pacsun ($41.65)

If you’re shopping for a satchel that’s funky and unique, try to find an interesting pattern. Prints and patterns are having a serious moment right now, so they won’t be difficult to find! We are particularly fond of #3’s super-trendy galaxy pattern.

Polka Dots

Polka dot backpacks
Product Information: 1 – Forever 21 ($24.80), 2 – Charlotte Russe ($26.99), 3 – Kohl’s ($29.99), 4 – Forever 21 ($32.80), 5 – Aeropostale ($30.00)

Who doesn’t love polka dots? If you’re looking for a darling accessory, we suggest going with a spunky dotted bag. Some are bright, bold and retro-inspired (like #4 above), while others (#3 and #5) are great classics to add to your wardrobe.


Studded backpacks
Product Information: 1 – Pacsun ($46.86), 2 – Lulu’s ($47.00), 3 – Delia’s ($39.90), 4 – Wet Seal ($32.90), 5 – Victoria’s Secret ($44.50)

No bones about it: If you’re going to rock one of these studded bags on campus, you are one cool girl with a great sense of style.  Not everyone can pull off the utilitarian-bag-with-bling, but we give you a thumbs-up for it! There are a variety of sizes, colors, and stud patterns, so get your hands on one and rock it.

What is your backpack look like this year?

What are your favorite backpack trends? What style above is your favorite? Where are you shopping for bags? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Posted on on August 12, 2013 / Filed Under: Shopping / Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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8 Responses to “Back to School Shopping Guide: 25 Backpacks Under $50”

  1. 1
    August 12th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Like 99% of the time these backpacks are super flimsy and you’ll be lucky if they last a month. Save up for for a nicer backpack because you’ll need one for years to come. Timbuk2, Herschel, Patagonia, or North Face clearance is honestly the way to go.

  2. 2
    August 12th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I second the vote for a Timbuk2 pack. Customizable, durable, and built to fit and protect your laptop. Most of these bags look purses you wear on your back, not actual school-ready bags.

  3. 3
    August 12th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Also – ALDO has really cute backpacks out right now. Worth a look :)

  4. 4
    August 12th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Third the vote, the North Face all the way. Durable, roomy & large enough for my laptop, books, etc. I need functionable over cute!

  5. 5
    August 13th, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Agree with the first comment- don’t trust your laptop to be safe in these bags

    But I will say the printed and studded ones and really nice…I love the faux leather back with studs…..if these were cheaper I would consider them
    I found a nice leopard printed backpack for $10 and a clearance sale…since I don’t take my laptop to class or have many books that bag was perfect for me

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