Stylish School Bags Under $50

Get your kids back-to-school ready with these awesome (and affordable) backpacks, messenger bags and lunch totes.

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Cool Dude


This sporty backpack is a multitasker with special places for a laptop, music player and skateboard—plus a built-in cooler for keeping lunches fresh. Cool!

Burton, $49.95,

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Flower Power


Leather-like detailing toughens up the Olsen Twins' sweet but spunky take on the knapsack. A peace sign applique seals the deal.

Olsenboye, $48,

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Split Personality


Preppy tote or laid-back messenger? No need to pick—go crossbody with the adjustable strap or switch to the short handles to shoulder lighter loads.

Aeropostale, $22,

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Slam Dunk


Personalization makes a functional backpack fun, but what really gives this bag MVP status is Lands' End's sizing system. There are four sizes for growing kids, so your child's back will never be overtaxed.

Lands' End, $28,

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Your kid can wear her heart on her shoulder. For every one of these trendy totes sold, FEED donates $10.50 to UNICEF—enough to supply three Guatemalan children with nutrients for a year.

FEED, $30,

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Monkey Business


Carry books in comfort with this water-resistant classic, accompanied by Kipling's signature furry monkey key ring.

Kipling, $49.99,

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Brown Bag


This manly messenger is made of hard-wearing cotton, and the top folds completely over so nothing unwanted can get in.

Old Navy, $38,

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What a Hoot


Reflective safety piping complements the fun owl print on this bag, with a main compartment roomy enough to hold the matching lunchbox.

The Children's Place, $13,

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Classic Chic


This timeless tote has longer handles so she can sling it over her shoulder. Color choices and monogramming options make classic canvas unique.

Lands' End, $29,

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Wise Guy


In addition to its two huge main compartments, this smart bag—named the "Aristotle"—has not one, but three front-zip pockets to hold gadgets.

Victorinox, $40,

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Abbey Road


This rocking messenger bag can convert to a backpack, so your kids can tote The Beatles however they choose.


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Queen of Hearts


This canvas book bag is perfect for the girly girl who's not into pink. A headphone port lets her groove without worry.

Old Navy, $10,

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Under Cover


This sturdy messenger bag has fun patches for a lived-in look, perfect for your tough guy.

The Children's Place, $17,

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Rainbow Bright


A rainbow-striped zipper brings cool color to this glossy black backpack.

PS from Aeropostale, $45,

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Bohemian Rhapsody


Embellished with a beaded zipper pull, this sateen messenger is super lightweight so your earthy girl can be a free spirit.

American Eagle, $30,

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Rad Plaid


This messenger bag will take her straight from school work to play time.

Payless Airwalk, $25, most Payless ShoeSource stores and

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Mellow Yellow


The Trailhead Pack has room for everything—a 15.4-inch padded laptop compartment, a cell phone pouch on the strap, a front "stuff-it" pocket—plus a chest strap to help support the weight of all that gear.

Eddie Bauer, $29.50,

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Thirst Quencher


Tuck this reusable water bottle in his book bag and he can refill it at the drinking fountain.

Old Navy, $5, Old Navy stores

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Wonder Bread


For the price of a box of sandwich bags, you won't need to worry about crushed lunches.

Old Navy, $3, Old Navy stores

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and styles are subject to change.