Backpacks That are Actually Chic

Yes, Mother, I’m well aware that schlepping an overstuffed tote across one shoulder from dawn till dusk is terrorrr on my back. But all those evenly-weighted backpacks are soooo hideous, and give me instant middle school flashbacks. Nobody needs that, least of all when they’re trying to look 🔥!

Blessedly, the sartorial gods have put their well-coiffed heads together to come up with backpacks that are surprisingly stylish. These beauties, as recommended by SwearBy’s community, will always have your back—literally.

Prada Vela Backpack

From nada backpack to a Prada backpack? Why not! Life is short. And this gem has normcore 90s vibes that are giving us all the feels. (Honestly, I could totally see Cher Horowitz rocking it circa 2020). “Now that I’m a mom, I’m all about ease and convenience,” says professional matchmaker Carly Spindel. “This Prada backpack is my diaper bag for my son, but it’s also great for me. Whenever I’m out with my son, I like to be hands free so I can focus on him. The inside bag is for his things, and the outside pockets are for my things, so it’s a win win.”

Tumi Carson Backpack

This “feels less backpack-y than most,” says Michelle Sulcov of this treasure, which has an easy-access phone pocket and is water-resistant (i.e.: don’t fret about being out in the rain). “I carry this bag almost everyday- it fits everything AND my laptop!” Sulcov says. Jennifer Joseph is equally besotted. “Awesome, high-quality, well-made backpack, great for travel or tossing in a bunch of stuff for kids, that still looks polished.” Sign me up.

Knomo London Leather Laptop Backpack

“Maybe I’m just getting old, but commuting to work and around New York City with a handbag that has my laptop and other essentials has been wreaking havoc on my back and shoulders,” says Sonali D. (Girl no, it’s not you getting old. I’ve been there.) Sonali has deemed this buttery soft backpack the perfect solution. “It fits everything and is amazingly comfortable. The leather feels expensive even though it’s pretty reasonably priced compared to other designer backpacks I’ve considered. I also love this blue color – has a Hermes feel to it.” [*adds to wish list*]

State Bags Kent

You could call this the LBD of backpacks, could you not? “I’ve had this bag for so long and it’s my favorite work/fitness/everything bag,” says Katherine Kitfield. “It has super comfortable straps, and enough space for my laptop, workout gear, sneakers, and reading book. It’s high-quality construction and will last you for years! Plus, I love the black version—easy to pair and either dress up or dress down.” 

Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack

No less than three SwearBy fashionistas don this glamazonian option. “Backpacks are a must for me; I show up for every business meeting with one,” says Katia Pryce. “I especially love this neoprene one because the fabric keeps clean from sweat and New York air. I haven’t used it in the summer yet, but I’m sure it would be great after breaking a sweat in the heat. This is my go to bag for going from the gym to the conference room.” Margaret Flores uses it as her go-to travel bag. “It’s super durable, holds everything I need (lots of pockets) and I get a ton of compliments,” she says. But Sarah Holdeman has the best reasoning for tossing this over her shoulders: “Because it’s cool.”

Hi! [Insert waving blonde emoji here] I'm a Colorado-based freelance writer, and I'm Niles Crane-level picky about everyyyyything.