Stylish School Bags Under $50

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


1 of 19

Cool Dude

BurtonMetalhead.jpg

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, burton.com


2 of 19

Flower Power

Olsenboye102-4104.jpg

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

Olsenboye, $48, jcpenney.com


3 of 19

Split Personality

Aero-Stripe-Tote-4.jpg

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, aeropostale.com


4 of 19

Slam Dunk

LandsEnd.jpg

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, landsend.com


5 of 19

Do-Gooder

FEED-0427_7510_900_f.jpg

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, ae.com


6 of 19

Monkey Business

Honeybee.jpg

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

Kipling, $49.99, kipling-usa.com


7 of 19

Brown Bag

mens-messenger-bag.jpg

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

Old Navy, $38, oldnavy.com


8 of 19

What a Hoot

079219-cola-36-comb.jpg

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, childrensplace.com


9 of 19

Classic Chic

Long-Tote264768_LandsEnd.jpg

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, landsend.com


10 of 19

Wise Guy

Aristotle_Red.jpg

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, swissarmy.com


11 of 19

Abbey Road

beatles.jpg

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

$49.99, jcpenney.com


12 of 19

Queen of Hearts

blue-hearts-girls-backpack.jpg

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, oldnavy.com


13 of 19

Under Cover

085402-infantry-26.jpg

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

The Children's Place, $17, childrensplace.com


14 of 19

Rainbow Bright

RainbowBackpack.jpg

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

PS from Aeropostale, $45, aeropostale.com


15 of 19

Bohemian Rhapsody

AE-Messenger-0427_7867_199_f.jpg

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

American Eagle, $30, ae.com


16 of 19

Rad Plaid

101608788.jpg

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

Payless Airwalk, $25, most Payless ShoeSource stores and payless.com


17 of 19

Mellow Yellow

101608801.jpg

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, eddiebauer.com


18 of 19

Thirst Quencher

101608784.jpg

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

Old Navy, $5, Old Navy stores


19 of 19

Wonder Bread

101608785.jpg

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.