If backpacks could talk, they’d tell stories of traveling the world. From the classroom to a nature-filled day hike to the telecommuter office, these canvas rucksacks have been toted by everyone from the kindergartener to the octogenarian.

Backpacks are a modern staple of daily life and these canvas shoulder bags been improved upon by adding everything from leather to electronics, not to mention the carrier’s favorite political button.

Time magazine has traced the history of the modern backpack, from its release in 1938 from Gerry Outdoors, to one handled satchels carried in the 60s, to the digitally savvy, durable yet lightweight tools we carry today.

The modern canvas backpack is now more than just a tool to carry around stuff. As ABCNews says, “It’s a statement of how cool you are.” The market for backpacks tops $2 billion around the world, and 58% of all consumers own one. But today’s backpacks aren’t your Grandma’s packs; last year Tumi offered a $695 limited edition pack with a charging station and solar panel for digital electronics.

Let’s look at some of the stores that sell these cool devices and some of the products they offer.


JanSport Rules

We have to start with the world’s largest seller of canvas backpacks, JanSport. Between JanSport and sister company The North Face, they’ve pretty much cornered the market on canvas backpacks. JanSport has been the proud maker of backpacks for 40 years.

They offer a no-strings-attached lifetime warranty; if a strap breaks ten years down the road, ship it over and they will fix it or give a replacement. That’s an unusual policy and important to anyone shopping around for the best value. Finding a company that stands behind a product is important and JanSport seems to deliver on the promise.

From backpacks for travel and work to hiking, rolling backpacks or bags designed to support digital devices, everything falls second to the coveted JanSport canvas backpack. Check out the “Our Picks” section of the website to find their most versatile bags for the pricing.

Urban Outfitters – Hip, Durable Function

Urban Outfitters has been known for cool yet rugged fashion for years. But this retailer offers a wide variety of functional backpacks for online visitors to peruse. Corduroy, neoprene, canvas, leather, faux fur — in every color and style imaginable. Many of the bags have laptop sleeves and a way to plug in a smartphone.

Prices range from $29.95 on up to more than a three hundred bucks a pop. Before selecting the backpack of your dreams, make sure to check for an Urban Outfitters promo code – there is usually a sale going on (as you can see in the image). Customers can get free shipping and other bargains.

Amazon for Selection and Value

  • Amazon has to make the list, simply because this retailer dominates the market for all online sales. A search for backpacks yields a wide selection from an even wider set of manufacturers:
    There’s the Goodhope G-tech Cyclone, which has an iPod side pocket with a universal connection point on the pack strap along with five touch controls to change channels or pump up the volume.
  • There’s also the Hynes Eagle Vintage Canvas Leather Backpack which is more of a rucksack, really. This pack makes the wearer look like they should be attending classes at Harvard Law — or somewhere in Great Britain. Forget high-tech, this bag features classic, classy styling the opposite of the Goodhope G-tech.
  • The High Sierra Loop Backpack is a pretty yet functional piece of equipment. It comes in colors ranging from cool mint to vibrant pink, and the price is affordable for an easy-to-carry tote.

While these are just some of the choices, Amazon is a great place to look for some of the best canvas backpacks on the market right now.

Superdry is Superfine

Superdry is superfine for all kinds of clothes. But their backpack selection is also pretty decent. The bags are sorted by male and female styles, but the truth is that these canvas backpacks are pretty gender-generic. The women’s tab on the website has a few in basic black and the men’s tab features several packs with the Superdry logo.

The prices are already super cheap, but there are often Superdry promo codes out there – you just have to look. These are go-anywhere packs that would feel at home at the feet of a student in a classroom or on the back of a day-tripper in Europe.

MyTheresa for High-End Bags

If you’re looking for a luxury backpack (at a luxury pricetag), check out Mytheresa for their understated, classy leather line. Mytheresa also has traditional backpacks from high-end designers like Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Burberry, and Marc Jacobs. These are high-end packs that will definitely turn heads – if not from the design, from the price. These backpacks aren’t accessories; they are the fashion. The good news is shoppers can save up to 70% with a Mytheresa coupon code, and be sure to check out their blog for fashion advice!

Backpacks R Us

Finding a backpack is easy. Finding the right backpack to compliment any look might be a bit harder. But that’s only because the selection is so high. Nike makes backpacks that will match sneakers. Target sells some cool looking, durable packs.

From Walgreens to Walmart, there are dozens of places to shop and hundreds of styles to choose from. That’s because retailers know backpacks are a sure bet to push sales figures up; JanSport reports they have sold 25 million of their SuperBreak pack since 1979. That’s one brand within one retailer, folks!

While the styles have changed over the years, the newest trend to hit backpack design is to be equipped to handle the tech gear we now carry. In 2018 look for more backpacks with cell phone pockets and iPod holders, padded sleeves and air cushions to protect electronic devices. Too, there are new green backpacks made with environmentally friendly materials featured on sites like TheUltimateGreenStore.

It seems backpacks are evolving with the times, but one thing remains the same; there is nothing better than a canvas rucksack for carrying books, computers, and all the supplies needed for a jam-packed day. Making a backpack a fashion statement is just the icing on the cake. These cool tools are designed to make life easier for the person on-the-go.

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