Student & Teacher Carry Hacks: Backpack Alternatives

Student & Teacher Carry Hacks: Backpack Alternatives

Struggling to cram all those textbooks, lunch items, and school essentials into a single backpack? Perhaps you're a teacher who’s tired of spreading stacks of graded papers, stationary, and other school supplies between half a dozen bags that aren’t fit for purpose. Backpacks might be practical and comfortable enough, but most designs fall short when it comes to storage space and durability. 

Looking to increase your carrying capacity? Let’s take a look at some nifty alternatives for teachers and students looking to ditch the backpack and say hello to something more functional. 

Who Might Need an Alternative to a Backpack? 

The average backpack might be spacious enough to house a few textbooks and essential school supplies, but there’s rarely room left over for much else. Overstuff a backpack and you run the risk of damaging linings, stressing seams, and compromising comfort. 

For most teachers, backpacks are simply too small to store and haul the things they need to bring to the office every day. A few stacks of graded papers can easily fill a backpack twice over. Factor in work schedules and diaries, laptops, and other classroom essentials, and the need for more storage space becomes obvious. 

On occasion, students too will need something far larger than a backpack to bring to school. Have you just helped your kindergartner complete a project for show and tell? A backpack really isn’t going to cut it when getting their creations from A to B in one piece. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to backpacks on the market you can consider. 

Alternative Carrying Options for Students

Searching for some backpack alternatives? We’ve picked a handful of stylish swaps you should consider for your kids ahead of a new school semester. 

Messenger Bags

For older kids looking for something more stylish than an everyday backpack, there’s the messenger. Perfect for keeping textbooks and homework assignments stored and organized, these accessories score top marks in the style stakes. The best messengers come with separate compartments for things like tablets and laptops, with protective cushioning on hand to keep those expensive electronics in one piece. 

Trapper Keepers

Trapper Keepers might have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but this retro accessory is a good choice for students who like to stay organized. These innovative ringed binders are ideal for keeping different school documents and assignments separate, while an eclectic range of colors and printed designs make them one of the more eye-catching alternatives to backpacks. 

Rolling Totes 

Work bag on wheels

Sometimes, kids need to go big when looking for a backpack replacement. Whether it’s show-and-tell day or time to deliver a diorama, rolling totes are one the best choices around. A tote like the Hulken is a great option, with generous proportions making it ideal for big items and bulky loads. What’s more, unbreakable grab handles, rotating wheels, and a user-friendly pull handle make it a kid-friendly carry-all solution

Carrying Options for Teachers

Is your current backpack barely getting you through the morning commute? If you’re looking to upscale your carrying capacity and make getting from A to B easier, why not try one of these practical alternatives? 


A longtime faculty favorite, briefcases are just the thing for teachers who prefer something formal. Briefcases might be a little bit limited when it comes to storage capacity, but they’re generally one of the better options when it comes to staying organized. You’ll readily find larger briefcase designs on the market, offering additional compartments and pouches to house all those little extras. Some even boast padded laptop compartments for storing must-have electronics.  

Rolling Totes

If you’re a teacher, you’ll understand the importance of a bag that offers ample storage and plenty of flexibility. Rolling totes are a great solution for teachers who need to carry hefty loads from A to B, without breaking a sweat. Take the Hulken for example. 

This stylish tote is big enough to house everything you could ever need for a day in the classroom, while an array of 360-degree swivel wheels make it one of the most mobile totes on the market. Quick turns around tight school corridors are a breeze, while industrial-grade materials and a reinforced base board mean that durability isn’t something you’re going to have to worry about



The open-top design and generous interior provide you with a flexible way to store your must-haves. Fill it with packing cubes to group smaller items, or add dividers to create organized compartments to keep essentials separate. 

Teacher Totes 

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to rolling totes, there’s always their basic counterpart. The humble teacher tote might be simple, but this classic carrying accessory provides you with plenty of room for hauling everyday essentials from your home to the classroom. The best designs are made from hard-wearing canvas or polyester material, which should hold up well to repeated use. What’s more, grab handles ensure comfortable carrying. 

Looking for “Anything But a Backpack Day” Ideas?

Since it was first celebrated in 2021, Anything But a Backpack Day has become a beloved trend enjoyed at schools across the US. If you’ve somehow never heard of it, the event sees students ditch their usual backpacks and opt for something more creative to cart their books, lunch bags, and other essentials to the classroom. Provided it’s not a backpack, anything goes. Trash cans, strollers, wheelbarrows, and more have all made an appearance in school hallways across the country in recent years. 

Don’t like the idea of getting too quirky with your backpack alternatives? Why not keep it functional and fashionable with a trendy rolling tote like the Hulken? It’s not a backpack, so fits the brief, while its roomy interior and user-friendly features make it ideal for navigating around busy school hallways and packed-out classrooms. 

The Hulken: Your New Classroom Companion

Whether you’re on the hunt for bigger alternatives to a standard backpack or you’re a teacher looking to turbo-charge your storage potential, it’s time to take a closer look at the Hulken. Available in a range of slick colors, this tote doesn’t disappoint when it comes to designer-level details. With a huge interior, you’ll never have to make compromises when packing for the day ahead, while a selection of heavy-duty handles and swivel wheels make it one of the most user-friendly totes around. 

Ready to get your hands on a Hulken? Head to the official Hulken website to explore the range or order yours via Amazon

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