Online retailer eBags typically sells more than 200,000 backpacks during back-to-school season. The Colorado-based company that launched 17 years ago as a luggage liquidator has more than 7,000 packs from 250 brands in its inventory (most are drop-shipped directly from manufacturers). I talked to eBags backpack expert Krista Paul about what’s new, what’s selling and which bags the cool kids are craving.
What’s trending this year with school bags?
More pockets and better organization. Everybody wants compartments for all the devices they carry so the best-selling bags are loaded with places to stash gadgets and gear: big water bottles, laptops, phones, eyeglass cases, whatever. It’s the reason SwissGear Scansmart is out number one selling pack. It’s black and gray and super-simple but it’s got a million places to store things. It’s all about the pockets.
More stuff to lug means bigger, heavier bags, right?
It does but there’s a big emphasis on support for the back and making sure shoulder straps are comfortable and molded to the body and have a padded back. A few seasons ago, school bags didn’t have as much functional support. Now they’re built more like hiking packs. It got to the point where kids were loading up their bags and it was causing numbness and tingling in the arms because the straps were hindering circulation. The wider padded shoulder straps we see with the Scansmart and bags like Jansport Big Student don’t do that…
More on good college backpacks at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhochman/2016/08/02/best-backpacks-for-back-to-school-2016-2017/#3682ebe329f9