The school year is almost here – do you need to shop for a new backpack for your teenage son? There are tons of options, so I’ve made up a list of the BEST backpacks for teen boys to make it easier (from experience)!
Are you in need of a backpack for your teenage boy? A new school year is about to start, so it’s time to do some shopping.
I have 2 teen boys and a tween (almost teen) boy. My oldest son’s backpack started falling apart last year, but we were able to make it through the end of the year since most of it was remote learning.
But with a new school year just around the corner, it was time to start looking for a new backpack.
Criteria For Backpacks For Teen Boys
Our criteria for a cool new backpack for teen boys were:
- Looks cool
- Holds A LOT
- Is comfortable
- Laptop/Chromebook storage
- Excellent durability (my criteria)
Backpacks these days need to hold much more than just school books and lunch. They need to hold books, lunch, laptops/Chromebooks, cell phones, sunglasses, headphones/AirPods, and more.
And said backpack needs to have the ability to keep all that organized.
Our search took tons of time because we wanted to be thorough and pick the best, most affordable pack that we could find.
NOTE: I should mention now that my personal favorite brands for backpacks are LL Bean, Jansport, and The Northface. I just have found these backpacks to be VERY durable and well-made. So, I feel they are worth the higher cost. I would rather spend a little extra to save the cost and hassle of buying a new backpack before long.
But never fear, this list will include other brands of great backpacks too!
Working to get ready for school? Make packing school lunch easy with this list of ideas!
25 Top Backpacks For Teen Boys
After LOTS of searching, research, reading reviews, and testing packs ourselves, here is our list of finalists: the BEST backpacks for teenage guys! What’s more, I should mention that there’s something for everyone and their budget on this list!
NOTE: Prices are current as of publication, but are subject to change at ANY time. So, use them as a reference point.
1. JanSport Main Campus Student Backpack
This pack really appealed to my middle son (who doesn’t happen to need a new pack at the moment). It features one big main compartment, an organizer compartment, a designated laptop compartment, two front organizer compartments, and a water bottle pocket on the side.
- Pros: affordable and durable.
- Cons: lack of padding in the bottom of the pack – probably not ideal for kids who carry a laptop and like to just toss their backpack down anywhere.
- My fav feature: minimalistic design that holds a LOT.
- Cost: $50
2. SwissGear 5977 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
I had this same backpack several years ago and it lasted for years. I only replaced it a couple of years ago, and it took a lot of abuse from me! SwissGear is an excellent bag and luggage maker, known for its quality products and thoughtful designs.
- Pros: very durable and comfortable.
- Cons: designed more for travel than school, but will work well for school.
- My fav feature: lay-flat tech compartment equipped with a padded 17” laptop sleeve and floating tablet pocket
- Cost: $79.99
3. High Sierra Swerve Laptop Backpack
This backpack was my son’s backpack that just broke. But he’s used it for the past 3 years through middle school. Given the price, the size, and how well it lasted, I would totally buy it again except that he wanted a change. Who can blame him? 3 years of his life is a long time!
- Pros: has great storage, is well made, and lots of pockets to keep everything organized.
- Cons: I’m reaching here because I really like this pack, but it’s slightly on a the large side so it might not be ideal for smaller kids
- My fav feature: the padded laptop sleeve and comes in a large variety of colors and patterns.
- Cost: $50
4. JanSport Agave Backpack White Storm
Like to keep things close to the vest? This backpack has a terrific simplistic design that’s perfect for teen boys who want tons of storage without the distraction (or accessibility) of tons of pockets. It’s got all the bells and whistles without the visual distractions.
- Pros: tons of storage and built to last.
- Cons: not waterproof, but supposed to be water resistant and can buy a poncho for the pack if needed.
- My fav feature: simple design and lifetime warranty from JanSport.
- Cost: $69.99
5. Under Armour Adult Hustle 4.0 Backpack
Built for your athlete, this pack is highly water-resistant, made with wicking, breathable fabric, has special water-resistant pockets for valuables like a phone and headphones, and a 15” laptop sleeve.
- Pros: well-made and branded with a brand that middle school boys like, plus available in lots of colors.
- Cons: not expandable and not as large as some bags so storage might be an issue depending on what your son needs to carry.
- My fav feature: the separate laundry/shoe pocket at the bottom of the bag.
- Cost: $49.99
6. Adidas Foundation Backpack
This lightweight, classic-looking back has plenty of bells and whistles while also being well-made and the perfect size to carry everything a teenager needs to carry. Adidas makes great backpacks for teen boys!
- Pros: appealing design and color selection for teens; built for comfort.
- Cons: some reviews say that it’s not well made, but 86% of reviewers give it 5 stars.
- My fav feature: excellent warranty
- Cost: $53.99
7. The North Face Vault Backpack
Simply put, I love the look of this backpack for teen boys. It’s simple yet fashionable, available in a wide variety of colors, and terrific unisex design so it appeals to both teen boys and girls.
- Pros: laptop sleeve.
- Cons: no small front pocket for keys, phone, sunglasses, etc and the front pocket is only the top half of the pack.
- My fav feature: organizer pocket with zippered pocket to keep valuables safe.
- Cost: $58.95
8. Swissdigital Pixel Travel Laptop Backpack
This is a cool backpack for teen boys that can also double as a great travel bag. With a padded laptop sleeve, USB charging port, TONS of storage space, and comfortable design, this pack is ideal for any teen boy. It has some cool features!
- Pros: well-made design, great features for both school and travel.
- Cons: price – I’ll be the first to admit I’m cheap. It’s higher cost than most on this list, but it’s worth it for the features, versatility, and well-made design.
- My fav feature: RFID protection – thieves will stop at nothing to steal from others. This pack protects against RFID scanners.
- Cost: $69.99
9. High Sierra Loop Backpack
I love the design of this bag. Since I’m all about staying organized and helping my boys learn how to be organized, this backpack really appeals to me. It’s available in a wide selection of colors so that it also appeals to teen boys!
- Pros: adjustable padded straps for comfort
- Cons: slightly on the narrow side. Some reviewers said they have 2 of these for their kids’ A/B school schedules. For the price, that’s a possibility.
- My fav feature: the suspension system to absorb shock when carrying heavier loads – great for kids who walk to or home from school (like my son).
- Cost: $34.99 – $50 (varies by color)
10. The North Face Recon School Laptop Backpack
Great-looking backpacks for teen boys look like this. This slick backpack is large and in charge with plenty of storage, multiple pockets for organization, and a padded laptop sleeve. It’s also got a good selection of colors so there’s something for everyone.
- Pros: built to last.
- Cons: expensive (but worth it)
- My fav feature: lifetime guarantee from The North Face.
- Cost: $98.95
11. High Sierra Access 2.0 Laptop Backpack
Simply put: this backpack is amazing. From everything from its design to storage space to the laptop sleeve and media pocket with headphone port, this pack is perfect for many reasons. If you’re looking for backpacks for teen boys, give this one a try.
- Pros: terrific design to cover everything teen boys need in a backpack.
- Cons: cost – it’s more on the expensive side, but totally worth it.
- My fav feature: all the pockets! (I love pockets)
- Cost: $59.99
12. AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack
I didn’t actually test this one myself, but I’ve been using more AmazonBasics items, and so far I’ve had food success with them. And based on reviews, this backpack is solid, large, and built for work. I think if you are looking for affordable backpacks for teen boys, this one will work well.
- Pros: cost
- Cons: newer product on the market so slightly unknown.
- My fav feature: large padded laptop sleeve.
- Cost: $41.50
13. Mogploff Laptop Backpack
Here’s the mac daddy of them all! This backpack is designed for travel, but that’s exactly why I think it’s one of the best backpacks for teen boys. There’s no question it’ll work well for school. It’s got a large padded laptop sleeve, tons of storage, water-resistant fabric, USB charge port, comfortable design, and RFID protection.
- Pros: has everything a teenage boy needs to go to school or on a trip.
- Cons: slightly heavier than some others on this list
- My fav feature: it’s a versatile backpack that seamlessly goes between school and travel.
- Cost: $53.99
14. RMS Travel Laptop Backpack
If you’re looking for backpacks for teen boys on the more frugal side, give this one a look. It’s well-constructed, roomy, and attractive.
- Pros: affordability
- Cons: not a brand name most people are familiar with
- My fav feature: classic design
- Cost: $39.99
15. LL Bean Comfort Carry Portable Locker Pack
After checking out SO many amazing options, my 14-year old finally chose this backpack. I purchased 2 LL Bean backpacks almost 10 years ago, and they are still going STRONG.
So, I’m a huge fan of LL Bean backpacks for teen boys! They really withstand the test of time! This pack is huge, has tons of storage, pockets, and great features.
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- Pros: rugged versatile design that’s built for performance and comfort.
- Cons: cost – it’s at the top of the range I’ve shared, but it’s 100% worth it if it lasts 4 years like I hope it will. (I’ll update in the future on how it’s doing)
- My fav feature: LL Bean’s reputation for high quality (which has proven true for me).
- Cost: $99
Final Thoughts On Shopping For Backpacks For Teen Boys
Backpack shopping can be a challenge, but it’s no where near as bad as swimsuit shopping (LOL)! Take it from a mom who has put in the time and work to find the best backpacks for teen boys and check out this list. It’s got a wide variety so there’s something for everyone.
Good luck and happy new school year!
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