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School Bags for Boys

Updated on July 28, 2013

Getting Ready for Back to School

School bags are an essential part of modern back to school supply lists. Backpacks, messenger bags, and tote bags, are all great examples of organizational tools, and these tools, incorporated into your child's school routine early on, can help in developing good habits for future years. As a middle school teacher, I found that many of my students didn't have as much trouble understanding what I taught, as they did keeping track of their work. Poor grades, more often than not, were a result of lost work, ignored work, and not studying.

My middle school students tended to be poorly organized, but then, if I re-visit my own middle school days (it was called junior high, then), I recognize that I was just as organizationally challenged as my students. School bags were rarely used in those days, and papers often found their way out of my binder. Fortunately, school bags are more prominently incorporated in school culture.

There are many designs in school bags for boys, and knowing your son's age level, and how the students at that age tend to behave, may help you in your selection of a book bag or backpack. There are lots of choices, that's for sure!


Help your son to establish school bag routines at the start of the year. For example, when he arrives home from school, it's time to empty the book bag, and get rid of any trash, unneeded papers, and so on. Next, review the contents, and go over work that needs to be done for tomorrow. When he's done with his work, everything that needs to be in the school bag is put in place, and the bag is stored in a designated place, for easy retrieval in the morning.

Early Elementary and Pre-School Book Bags

At the pre-school and early elementary school stage, boys love all sorts of characters. There are favorite cartoon characters, as well as favorite movie characters. There are also those boys who absolutely love dinosaurs, and other creatures. Your son's tastes will change, as he gets older, as will those of his peers.

There will be some transitioning in maturity, along the way, and moving beyond what boys may perceive as childish. I would say that by third grade, you will want to be especially cognizant of these issues in purchasing back to school supplies, as well as clothing, avoiding any characters that might draw unwanted attention from peers.

Pre-school Character School Bags for Boys

Although more advanced characters featured in my elementary recommendations may work well, preschoolers can also be overwhelmed with the size of bigger backpacks. These preschool options tend to be a bit smaller and more manageable for younger kids.

Go Diego is a fun theme for youngsters, and the rolling pack is easy to manage as your child pulls the bag along behind or carries it. This is also great for kids on overnight trips or as a carry on bag. Handy Manny is fun for the tactile kid. One of my kids prefers the real thing, but he's happy to imagine himself fixing things the way Manny does.

Crocodile Creek Classic Backpack - Dino Kingdom  11.5"W x 14"H
Crocodile Creek Classic Backpack - Dino Kingdom 11.5"W x 14"H

I like the appealing shapes, characters and colors of Crocodile Creek bags. You'll find this and many related designs and products as you explore the product page, great if you want to coordinate lunch kits and hydration bottles.

Disney Toy Story Backpack W/ Lunch Bag (2 pcs Set) - Full Size Woody Buzz Backpack
Disney Toy Story Backpack W/ Lunch Bag (2 pcs Set) - Full Size Woody Buzz Backpack

Toy Story and Buzz are timeless themes in kids' school bags and lunch packs. This two-piece set has both covered!


Early Elementary Favorites in School Bags for Boys

Cartoon heroes tend to be high on the popularity list with boys! There are some great options in the coming back to school season that range from television cartoon characters to movie faves like the Minions. Don't miss the Lego backpack themes out there for your devoted Lego fan. My boys are absolute devotees of all things Lego, and the related designs are perfect for my sons this year!

Phineas and Ferb Large Rolling BackPack
Phineas and Ferb Large Rolling BackPack

If your youngsters are fans of this fun series, then you'll appreciate a pack that provides the theme of creativity, innovation and a hint of mischief. I like the creative thinking of Phineas and Ferb, and this would be another ideal option for my sons.

LEGO "Mini Figures" 3D Lenticular 16" Children's School Backpack
LEGO "Mini Figures" 3D Lenticular 16" Children's School Backpack

My sons will be wild about the Lego bookbags for boys. In addition to this minifigure option, look for themes like Lego Chima.


Transitioning into Upper Elementary

Star Wars is a favorite theme, one which seems to last a little longer with kids.

As your son approaches the tween years, the ages of 9-12, there will be much more concern for peer perception. By that point, it's better to avoid cartoonish school bags.

School Bags for Tween Boys

While your tween will probably avoid character book bags, there are still some fun designs, with colorful fabric. Simple is good! Look for simple graphics or geometric designs in subtle tones for the youngster who doesn't want too much attention placed on his backpack. There are some great designs from QuickSilver, High Sierra, Jansport and more. Make sure that your son likes the bag.

Fox Men's Rachet Backpack, Black, One Size
Fox Men's Rachet Backpack, Black, One Size

Subtle graphics are cool, perfect for the middle school setting.


Sports Book Bags for Tweens

Some tween boys become especially interested in a specific sports team, and this is a great choice in school bag selections, particularly if your son is also involved in sports. While a few popular teams are represented here, you'll find that each product page provides related items. Check for your team from that point, especially if you see a bag style that you like.

It's important to watch for:

Sturdy straps - carrying a bag with weak or poorly constructed straps can be disastrous

Multiple compartments - middle school boys need lots of organizational help, and many pouches make that process easier

Hydration storage - if your child needs to keep a hydration bottle with him during school, you may want to consider a model with a hydration pocket on the side

Sturdy bottom - boys at middle school levels are often rough on their book bags, and a reinforced bottom is helpful for ensuring that the bag lasts through and beyond the coming year

MLB San Francisco Giants SouthPaw Backpack
MLB San Francisco Giants SouthPaw Backpack

Great for the Giants fan, this option includes sturdy straps and a number of pockets. Side hydration storage included.


School Bags for High School

As your son approaches high school, his interests may be more defined, whether he will pursue advanced placement classes, sports, or other areas of interest. Simple is best, and you may become equally concerned with school bags for sports, or for gym class.

Jansport Backpacks

When you need a more mature school bag for your son, Jansport is a longtime favorite, with quality backpacks in wild or simple design. Many college bookstores make Jansport school bags available for sale in student bookstores, and these are very good for the college prep high school student.

JanSport Boost Backpack (Black)
JanSport Boost Backpack (Black)

Soundly fabricated for sturdy carrying and longlasting use. Jansport designs are excellent in craftsmanship and organizational structure.


Duffle and Sports Bags for Boys

If your son is involved in sports, a duffle may be useful for keeping workout gear and shoes ready for after school practice times. Depending on the sport, and individual circumstance, a medium or large duffle may come in handy. Some students find that they manage school supplies better with a duffle bag than with a traditional backpack.

adidas Defender Duffel Medium Duffel Bag Cobalt/Black
adidas Defender Duffel Medium Duffel Bag Cobalt/Black

You can't go wrong with brands like Adidas and Nike. Look for good structure, especially in bag bottoms and handles. You want a strong zipper as well.


School bag faves?

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    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      7 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Great ideas for keeping boys in style for school! You should move this over to the backpack section. Squid Blessing :)


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