11 Best Back-to-School Bags

Find your favorite carryall for the upcoming school year.

From utilitarian to shamelessly chic, here is a great mix bags for everyone in a range of prices and a rainbow of colors. When the excitement of new school supplies wears off, these bags will delight day after day and for semesters afterwards.


Tough cotton in a forgiving print means this cute bag can stand up to a rough day of spills and thrills. Sloane Ranger tote, $70, EJ Mirage, Lake Forest



The always original 1154 Lill is an awesome alternative to Vera and Lilly prints. Lilliset tote, $169, Lill Studio, Chicago



The basic backpack gets an upgrade with a boxy shape and a plethora of cool colors to choose from. I Love My Kånken Classic Backpack, $75, Uncle Dan’s, Evanston



This durable vinyl bag has plenty of space for notebooks and folders, as well as smaller front pockets so calculators and pencils won’t get lost in the shuffle. Bakker Made with Love Vinyl Schoolbag, $55, Lollie, Evanston



This trendy color-block bag is made of tarpaulin with sturdy leather handles and can easily be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Orla Kiely Punched Stem Willow Bag, $128, Notice, Evanston



Made from vintage fabric, this bag is roomy, sensible and stylish with two zip pockets and a push-lock flap over the drawstring closure. Stela 9 Santiago Patchwork Backpack, $84, Shopbop


This sturdy leather backpack is rugged-cool, and it will fit all of your school stuff with room to spare. Transport Rucksack, $248, Madewell, Skokie



This colorful, spacious tote is anything but plain Jane—and it’s available in a variety of color combos. All for Color tote, $30, EJ Mirage, Lake Forest



This high-shine, high-fashion bag is a real stunner in a silvery pink-gray weave. Botkier Wanderlust EW Shopper in Anthracite, $220, The Lake Forest Shop, Lake Forest



With tons of space for books, slots for water bottles on either side, and a plethora of pockets, this bag will serve you for years to come. North Face Jester backpack in Peak, $65, Lad and Lassie, Wilmette



This messenger bag is bright and artsy, with plenty of space for all of the necessities. Iscream messenger bag, $26, Lad and Lassie, Wilmette