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The Best Cheap School Book Bags

Updated on June 11, 2011

School Book Bags

High durability, cheap and elegant school book bags are hard to come by. As college rapidly approaches once more, I've gone out and done some homework regarding the purchase of a new bag I desperately need. Rather than just throw out my search, I've decided to publish a brief concise list of the bags (save one -- but I had to add it anyway!) I found to be the most promising.

Without wasting anymore of your time -- let's get cracking!

Available in other colors as well! (I like the black and white variant)
Available in other colors as well! (I like the black and white variant)

JanSport Classic SuperBreak Backpack

My first pick is the JanSport Classic. A stylish, utilitarian approach that is perfect for those who are looking for an enduring bag that is elegant, comfortable and tough-as-nails. This particular model has been tailored for school use, including handy integrated features such as an organizer and a compartments built to house books and sketch-books.

Construction: 600 denier polyester, one main large compartment that can store up to 3 large textbooks comfortably, front pocket with organizer and comfortable straight-cut leather shoulder straps.


  • Capacity: 1,551.2 cubic inches / 25.42 liters
  • Dimensions: 13 by 16.7 by 8.5 inches (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 12 ounces

The Bottomline: The classical ever-green model is popular because of how durable and cheap it is. Despite the fact that it is offered in a plethora of different colors and motifs, it may not be striking enough for those that wish to make a fashion statement.

The only problem that I can see with this model is that is has no laptop sleeve, which may be a problem for some. For those that prefer using their own sleeve, or who don't have a laptop, this obviously isn't much of an issue.

Heavyweight Classic Messenger Bag

Although I prefer traditional twin should strap models (I find them more comfortable) no review would be complete without a school messenger bag.

This olive drab messenger bag is a triumph of utilitarian minimalism. The main reason I added this bag is because of the amazing reviews it has received going above and beyond expectations.

What you expect:

  • High degree of durability
  • Spaciousness
  • Comfort (snug adjustable strap)

What you didn't expect but got anyway:

  • Just how spacious this thing is! Reviews point out that the front pockets can contain 32 oz. Gatorade bottles each. The main compartment can also hold anything from a laptop to an umbrella!
  • Cunning workmanship with the bonus of an interior zipped compartment (for smaller objects such as pencils.
  • Very long adjustable strap.
  • All for the incredible price of less than $40!

The Bottomline: On a total of 222 reviews this model received 142 5 star reviews and 53 4 stars (6 1 star reviews). There really seems to be little to moan about. Some reviews complain that the side pockets are a little restrictive, but that's about all I could find!

DAKINE Girl's Prom Pack

Alright -- I'm not a girl -- but I adore this bag and had to include it. I simply had to. The Dakine is Amazon's highest rate school bag for a reason. And here's why:

Features: This model comes in various colors. The picture to the right is my favorite, but there are darker models -- and when I say various -- I mean an army of choices. To the bottom of this capsule I have added a few more variants, so take a peek at some of these cool designs! (click on the picture to enlarge it!).

Amazon lists its integrated features as follows:

  • Deployable water bottle pocket
  • Fleece lined sunglass pocket
  • Insulated cooler pocket
  • Organizer pocket
  • Padded laptop sleeve

But what it omits is even cooler, and what superficially sound like bland and "pretty nice" features are in fact the best in its range. This bag is extremely spacious and is littered with pockets and pouches. On top of all this, unlike the JanSport, this model is laptop ready.

The design is also pretty neat. Reviewers unanimously agree that they have received quite a few compliments on how cool it looks. Makes me want to be a girl -- well -- almost :)


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    • hanwillingham profile image

      hanwillingham 6 years ago

      Hansport are great brands.

    • profile image

      Artoflegendindia 7 years ago

      Nice hub. There are different types of bags.We like some bags of your collections.Your bags is best in looking.

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Kephrira: Thank you, sounds good!

      2patricias: Wow, they sound like a bunch of nice people. I had a fairly horrible experience with an Eastpack bag and received a slightly different response. Thanks so much for you feedback!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Pat writes: when my son started secondary school in 1992 I wanted an American book backpack for him. I couldn't find one here in England so had one shipped from LL Bean, with his name embroidered on it. He like it and used it from day one. He always rode his bike to school, and the back pack meant he could easily tote the books on his back.

      Towards the end of the school year (school here starts beginning Sept and finishes mid-July) the zipper broke. He was upset so I telephoned LL Bean to ask if I could have it repaired. I explained that i was willing to pay. Instead they insisted on sending a brand new bag - for no charge.

      I have been a fan of LL Bean ever since.

    • kephrira profile image

      kephrira 7 years ago from Birmingham

      Great hub, very useful. I am going to share this hub on

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      charm, thanks for you feedback. I do agree about sturdiness, which is why (with the exception of the last) the mphasis is on endurance

    • charmstotreasure profile image

      charmstotreasure 7 years ago

      Nice backpacks and idea here. Can't overstress the need for quality here with a bookbag. Needs to be sturdy, #1.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Before I go..something that you might enjoy...I love the percussion in this song...:-)

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Thoogun..indeed what a great question..

      Pretty soon I will not have much time to be in any Social network or hubpages..oohhh I will miss ALL of you...

      Keep doing your work. You are benefiting have great taste and practical too!!

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thanks msorensson, how do you find the time? :D

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Indeed. My Jansport backpack...which I love..has been with me since graduate school. My son uses it now every once in a while but it is as perfect as the day I first used it. First class in Physical Chemistry refresher. The book was heavy...:-)

      Great selections.