After a long and crazy summer, the new school year seems like a welcome treat, a first step back to the normal grind of everyday life. And as you pick up your supply list and start shopping for the best deals, remember that Eastbay is here for all your sport and style needs.
Whether you’re headed to the field for practice or strutting the halls to class, you need a bag to hold your stuff without clashing with your style. But with so many types of bags online, how do you find the perfect one for you? Easy! First find the type of bag that fits your needs, then shop for the brand and color you like, then personalize it to match your style.
Obviously, when it comes to school, the most popular type of bag is the classic backpack, but there are so many varieties within this category from basic to decked out. We’ve listed some common features that you’ll find on many backpacks so that you can identify the technology and know exactly what you’re getting.
POPULAR TECH FEATURES
- Water Bottle Pocket
It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day so that when you get to practice after school, you’re ready to sweat! This pocket keeps your water bottle within arm’s reach while keeping it away from inside items in case of leaks.
- Small Accessory Pocket
These keep valuable items (like your phone and wallet) from falling out, but close at hand for easy access.
- Laptop Sleeve
Sometimes there will be a separate zipper compartment, other times there will be a divider in the main compartment. Either way, this is important if you have a laptop or table that you want to protect from jostling or scratches. Backpack sizes change depending on style, so make sure you know how large your laptop is to ensure it fits.
- Support Straps
If you carry a full bag of books to and from school, you’ll want to make sure there’s extra support straps across the chest, waist, or hips. These adjustable buckles make sure the backpack fits snug on your back.
- Water Resistant/Repellant Fabric
Sometimes this will be the entire backpack and other times it’ll just be on the bottom, either way water-resistant fabric can protect your belongings from water damage.
- Ball Pocket
Nothing says athlete more than a backpack that can hold your soccer ball or basketball.
- Shoes/Clothes Storage
This may not be a feature you even think about, especially if you’re used to carrying both a gym back and a backpack. But if you shop smart, you can have one bag to do it all. Your books and laptop can go in the top and gym shoes or an extra set of clothes can fit in the bottom.
If you want the school aesthetic but a little more stylized, try a mini backpack. These look like regular backpacks, but as the title implies, they’re smaller so you won’t find as many tech features on them and you won’t be able to fit as much inside. So, if you normally carry all your textbooks to and from school, this pry isn’t the one you want.
Gymsacks are as simple as bags get. They’re super lightweight and easy to throw on, but they rarely have pockets or any other tech. Usually, it’s just a single pull string compartment to put everything in. If you like minimalist style and carry very few items, this could be an option for you. They’re bigger than a mini backpack, so you could probably fit a small laptop or tablet in it, but, because of the simplicity of design and material, you’ll want to make sure you put your electronics in a padded case before putting it in the bag.
The most purse-like fashion option is a tote bag. They’re big enough to fit everything you need and feature a few separate sections like a small accessory pocket and laptop sleeve. The biggest difference with this bag is that it’s not quite as hands-free. Since it doesn’t have dual shoulder straps, you can either put it on one shoulder or just carry it in your hand.
A small duffel bag can be a great option for student athletes. Most come with a long strap that you can wear crossbody to keep your hands free. When people picture duffels, they often think of big, bulky bags, but they actually come in many smaller sizes that can be perfect for athletes that don’t want to carry multiple bags. With a duffel, you’ll have enough room to store your school items as well as your gear for practice.
Once you’ve bought the bag that fits your needs, you can personalize it. Whether that’s adding keychains on the zippers, ironing on patches, or pinning on buttons. Or, if you’re really artsy, find some fabric markers at your local craft store and create your own masterpiece. Personalizing your bag is fun, but also can be helpful – when your bag is one of a kind, it’s easier to identify.
Looking for a fresh pair of kicks to start school off right? Check out our top picks and make this year the best one yet!