Back To School - School Bags and Stationery For All Budgets (plus some bag buying tips)

Found 8th Aug
Back to School - School Bags and Stationery

Buying hard-wearing school bags and quality stationery for the new term can be a minefield for parents and carers. We’ll have a look at what’s on offer and some tips for choosing the perfect bag for your kids.

School Bags
The main point to factor in when choosing a school bag is the age of your children as this usually correlates with how much stuff they’re going to be expected to lug around on a daily basis. If your child is starting in reception, they are likely just going to need a bag for reading books and a homework diary (if a seperate reading book bag isn’t required), lunchbox, PE kit, a water bottle and weather related items like a waterproof coat or suncream. If your child is of older primary age they may need all of that too, but also more room will be needed for their homework, books and pencil cases. By secondary school, they will be expected to carry around a whole load of exercise and text books, plus A4 files and more.

Tips for choosing school bags
If you plan on the bag lasting the full school year (and hopefully longer), then there are some features to look out for while you’re shopping:

  • Waterproof fabrics. A very good idea to choose a bag that is waterproof to get them through the winter (and spring/summer/autumn!) without pulling out a soggy homework book. If the bag itself isn’t waterproof then you can always use a waterproofing spray such as this one to protect against the rain.
  • Reinforced straps. There’s a lot of chucking around that goes on in the life of a school bag. Make sure the straps are fixed really well to the bag itself and double stiched throughout to avoid a repeat buy after one term.
  • Padded straps. Those little shoulders will definitely benefit if you pick a bag with padding on the straps.
  • Extra pockets and compartments. Easier for your little angel to find their stuff, such as pencil cases, snacks or that toy they know they’re not really allowed in school but they snuck it in anyway!
  • External water bottle pockets. So much less risky to have the water bottle on the outside of the bag in case it leaks.
Types of school bags
Backpacks are, without doubt, the best style of school bag you can buy. The double straps help spread the load and your child can carry them handsfree. However, once they get to a certain age some children, especially girls, like to follow the fashion crowd and opt for different styles. I remember a fad for girls carrying around the tiniest handbags in the world before the school banned them! If they don’t want to go for a backpacks then the next practical solution would be a ‘messenger’ cross-body style bag. These are usually big enough to fit everything in and sometimes have zipped pockets on the front for smaller items.

School bag brands
There are so many brands of school bags out there. We’ll look at some of the most popular buys on the high street and online.

Smiggle, online and on the high street, are fast becoming the shop of dreams for many children (and their parents) and it’s not hard to see why. They have mid-priced, good quality school backpacks, stationary and accessories on offer, all in bright colours and snazzy designs. Check out their range of school bags here.
Currently they have an offer for saving up to 40% off back to school goodies, check out their offers here.
3007885.jpgSmiggle bunny backpack £26.50

Swedish brand Fjällräven is a popular choice amongst teenagers at the moment. Not the cheapest brand around but the quality is impeccable and should last a lot longer than a school year.

Their classic Kånken backpack comes in a huge variety of colours and now also comes in a waterproof variety so no soggy homework books in sight! Check them all out here.
3007885.jpgKånken 13” £90

Tog 24 are renowned for their long lasting outdoor wear and they also have a good sale on at the moment. Such as this backpack reduced from £50 to £15. See more offers here.
3007885.jpgTog24 backpack £15

Mountain Warehouse
Mountain warehouse stock a good amount of kids backpacks that tick lots of boxes for quality and durability. They also have a LOT of sales throughout the year. Such as this sleek grey backpack which is currently half price at £12.99. Look here for the full range.
Most famous for their outdoor and sports brands, Decathlon also have a great range of smaller backpacks ideal for school. Some of their prices are really cheap such as this Quechua backpack for only £5.99
See more of their children’s backpacks here.

Do believe the Hype! This brand is super popular with kids thanks to their funky designs and with parents for their reasonable prices. Check out all the designs here.
3007885.jpgHype cat backpack £24.99

Sports brands are huge right now and Adidas is one of the best. They have a range of back to school stuff on their website here.

Fashion forward teens might like this vintage looking messenger style bag.
3007885.jpgAdidas £42.95

This classic logo backpack comes in a range of colours from light pink through to black.
3007885.jpgTrefoil backpack £24.95

If you shop around you might find Adidas backpacks for less, like this one at Sports Direct for only £16.99.
Another sportswear giant, Nike have some great backpacks too. Check out the back-to-school section on Nike.comhere.

3007885.jpgNike air backpack £23.95

Footie fans might like this Nike Neymar backpack at Sports Direct. See all Nike bag deals they have here.
3007885.jpgNike Neymar backpack £22

Argos have a really good range of school bags that will appeal to all ages and budgets, check out the full range here. Free next day click and collect in-store is available too.

@pinkcamelia found this really cool backpack for all your Harry Potter fans out there. See the deal here.

3007885.jpgHarry Potter @ Argos £12.99

Check out this great offer on a fab looking luminous water-resistant backpack with USB Port for only £10.33 delivered.

(Thanks @goonertillidie )

School bags for girls
Some of our darlings have their own style and won’t be swayed away from fashion-led school bags. Try your best to reason with them if they’re demanding a completely impractical bag though! Here’s a few of the better options on the high street that combine style with roominess.

Argos are selling the ever-popular Mi Pac brand, with lots of girly options such as this unicorn backpack. Free C&C too.

3007885.jpgMi Pac - Unicorn backpack - £26.99
Claire’s Accessories
Lots of sparkle going on at Claire's as usual! Full range here. Claire's also currently have a buy one get one free offer running (on most of their styles) and a 10% discount for students or apprentices over 16, see how to apply here. Free C&C to store or free delivery over £40.
3007885.jpgReversible Sequin Heart Backpack - Fuchsia £35

As cute as their stationery, Paperchase have a selection of school bags and fab water bottles, see here. Free delivery over £25 too.
3007885.jpgTie dye backpack £30

Some high street fashion stores have a good range of tote bags for your teenager and plenty of room to fit files and heavy text books too. Here's a few of the top picks:

New Look
Mustard side zip tote £22.99

Burgundy tote bag £22.99

3007885.jpgOversized Faux Leather Tote £25.00


real leather drawstring tote £46

Personalised School Bags
There’s lots of shops on Ebay selling personalised backpacks for your kids. A nice touch if you want to stand out from the crowd.
Fortnite Personalised Backpack £14.99

3007885.jpgUnicorn Personalised Backpack £17.99

School Stationery Supplies
Now you’ve sorted the bag it’s time to fill it up! So much lovely stationery around online and on the high street, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ll look at where to grab some staples ready for that first day back at school.

Paperchase always come through on design-led pencil cases such as this map design one for £7.
They’re also currently running a 3 for 2 offer on their stationery, see the range here.

Lots of cute pencil cases and other stationery to be had at Smiggle, including this pencil case with built in calculator now reduced to £10

WH Smith
WH Smith currently have an offer to save up to half-price on back-to-school stationery, check it out here.

Check out these offers at Ryman:

Bargain BiC Pens, Felt tips & Crayons, see here.

STABILO BOSS Pastel Wallet Pack of 6 £3.89 / STABILO Boss Highlighters Pack of 8 £4.89 + More, see here.

(Thanks @goonertillidie )

Back to School Staedtler 31 Piece Stationery Set was £22 now £8, see here.
(Thanks @Taboona )

Sharpie Lizard Eye Box 30Pk £10 @ Tesco online & in stores, see here.
(Thanks @yahoo007)

The Works
Lots of bargains to be had at The Works, both in store and online such as 20 A4 file dividers for £1.50, check there full range out here.

Other threads you might like...

Check out the school uniform thread.

School holidays days out guide.

School lunch bag/box deals and packed lunch ideas

Cheap eating out guide for families in the school holidays.

Off to university - What You'll Need to Take Plus a Few Tips & Offers on Home Essentials, Tech & More

Free Eye Tests and how to get them

Pregnancy / new parent / new baby - how to survive and save money thread
Community Updates
I would give heat, but not in deals
Lots of info that might help parents
Superdry instore have 70% off sale coats at the moment and bags are half price with any coat purchased - even sale ones .. so you can pick up a bag for £10 instead of £40
Great post OP but you forgot to mention, Herschel. I've had a herschel bag for 3 years and last me most of uni and has been abused on about 10 holidays too. Think I paid £35 off amazon and still looks brand new.
Post a comment

    Top Discussions