The hum­ble knap­sack hasn’t had this kind of fash­ion mo­ment since 10 Things I Hate About You’s Bianca pro­fessed her love for her Prada back­pack all the way back in 1999 – good news for stu­dents who want to mix style and func­tion.


1 Toronto de­signer Hay­ley El­saesser’s eye-pop­ping prints have earned her fans from Queen West to Hol­ly­wood (Katy Perry and Mi­ley Cyrus dig her). Faux-leather back­pack, $88, avail­able at Hay­ley El­saesser, 695 Queen West, hayleyel­

2 Carry your es­sen­tials while show­ing every­one that you’re in mourn­ing for sum­mer va­ca­tion with this spa­cious palm-print num­ber. The leather ac­cents are stylish, but the mag­netic clo­sures, pad­ding and hid­den zip­pered pock­ets are plenty prac­ti­cal. Her­schel Daw­son back­pack, $69.99, avail­able at Te Koop, 421 Queen West,

3 Is the three-sides-and-a-domed-top look a little too Grade 5 for your lik­ing? Pick up some­thing with a bound­ary­push­ing shape, like this Adi­das num­ber that’s packed with func­tional de­tails (in­clud­ing side-carry straps and a wa­ter­proof pocket). Orig­i­nals Day Back­pack, $125, avail­able at Adi­das, 389 Queen West, adi­

4 With plenty of pock­ets and a 15-inch lap­top com­part­ment, this MEC pack mixes rugged prac­ti­cal­ity with a seam­less look. Bonus for the dis­as­ter-prone: MEC has a solid war­ranty pro­gram in place for its house prod­ucts. In­ter­city Day­pack, $85, avail­able at MEC, 400 King West,

5 We can safely as­sume most stu­dents won’t be reach­ing for a $500-plus buf­falo leather bag, but Toronto de­signer Sonya Lee’s ver­sion is the rare ruck­sack that will go smoothly from class­room to of­fice post-grad­u­a­tion. Think of it as an in­vest­ment in your fu­ture! Sonya Lee Basen back­pack, $570, avail­able at Zane, 753 Queen West,

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