Minimalist Backpacks for Every Age

It’s weird that backpacks are associated most often with grade school aged kids when, in reality, the need for backpacks never seems to end.

College backpacks are essential because you have six times the number of books and twelves times larger word count requirements. Then, when you get out and land your first job, your commute becomes another backpack essential scenario. Carrying your lunch, reading materials, tablet or laptop, and any additional work requirements is a lot easier when you can put everything in the same, compact, fits-anywhere backpack. Now, I’m out of my 20s and enjoying road trips, hikes, and festivals…

Tell me again how backpacks are “just for kids?”

Herschel Supply Co City Mid Volume Backpack

Herschel Supply Co. is famous for their durable and exceptionally stylish backpacks. This one is the Herschel Supply Co. City Mid Volume Backpack, $50, it has adorable candy-striper lining and can hold pretty much everything someone on shared public transportation would need in their travels. They keep the profile nice and slim, though, so you won’t be bashing people’s shoulders in tight, crowded areas.

Nila Anthony Blue Quilted Backpack

The sheer softness of this backpack is what initially caught my attention, and only then did I notice that it was actually denim! I like how this Nila Anthony Quilted Denim Backpack, $39 (was $79 at MyHabit) keeps the accessorizing to a minimum. Dressing up denim like this can look tacky as hell in about two seconds, flat. The old-school shape and the contrast stitching make the denim seem like a way less scary option!

Volcom Tardy Canvas Backpack

For super-fans of the classic backpack shape, the Volcom Tardy Canvas Backpack, $44, is about as simple as it gets. This backpack has a padded sleeve inside that will fit up to a 17″ laptop, plus books and files on top. They call this color “vintage navy” though it does not look like either of those adjectives. Whatever, I dig it!

Herschel Supply Co Settlement Mid Volume Backpack

The Herschel Supply Co. Settlement Mid Volume Backpack, $32.98 (was $55), is a little bit on the preppy side. The clean, light colors and the rugged, cognac leather zipper pulls with the heavy duty plastic zipper make me think of Banana Republic: Mountaineering, which isn’t a sub-brand, but should be. If the preppy scheme isn’t for you, this also comes in a vibrant, ruby floral print that is definitely eye-catching!

Steve Madden Quilted Faux Leather Backpack

Back to the commuter favorites – the Steve Madden Quilted Faux Leather Backpack, $44.97 (was $88) is only 10″ tall and 10″ wide. This would also be awesome for cyclists! I love this taupe-blush color but it also comes in a standard black. The inside has a drawstring closure, and then a snapping flap that covers the opening, so your stuff is nice and safe. Plus, there are clearly tons of pockets, so no need to undo the whole thing just to get lip balm or your phone.

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Gone are the days of skinny-strapped backpacks that bounce off of your ass when you walk. They hold next to nothing and they make everyone look like a MadTV extra. These are, you know, actual functioning backpacks that will not only provide you with storage support throughout your day, but also provide you with cuteness.

Backpacks can also be used as a bitchin’ reward for taking public transportation to work and school. After all, everything is a little bit easier when you have a shiny new bag, right?