Last Updated: Jun 7, 2023 @ 1:44 pm.

What's the best clear backpack? We tried out 9 top brands to see what worked the best. Then we surveyed our parent readers for their favorites. Which bags worked best for kids for school? For adults at the office? Here are the ones we think are best.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Budget-Friendly

Great for sporting events, concerts
Easy to clean and durable, this reader favorite clear backpack works well for most adults. The padded straps are comfy. Caveat: no water bottle pocket.
$12.99

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Best Budget-Friendly: Clear Backpack with Reinforced Straps

Let’s talk clear backpacks!

Transparent or see-through backpacks are increasingly popular, as some schools and offices are mandating them for security reasons. Some public venues like stadiums and concert venues are also insisting bags be transparent.

Yes, these backpacks are made of plastic (most are PVC). And even though we only chose the better quality bags to be recommended in this article (based on reader recommendations from real-world use), we should point out an obvious caveat: plastic is prone to ripping and cracking with use.

A well-made clear backpack still won’t last as long as one made from woven fabric or even mesh. (On the plus side, if it rains, your stuff stays dry in a clear plastic backpack unlike those mesh ones!)

The take-home message: clear backpacks will probably need to be replaced at least once and maybe more during a school year (or every six months if you take it to the office).

For the best budget-friendly clear backpack, we’re going to give the crown to this one from Trail Maker. It is a reader favorite for its durability and comfy padded straps. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy to clean.

• Variety of colors.

• Affordable.

• Durable PVC.

• Decent size (17″ x 12″ x 5.5″ would work for bigger kids or adults).

What Needs Work

• No water bottle pocket (no side pockets at all).

• Probably not as ideal for school given lack of pockets.

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Best Tried & True Brand

Stylish and durable
The star features here are the decent size and the PVC-free construction (it is made from TPU). Yes, it is a bit pricey, but the thicker material is impressive.
$89.99

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Best Tried & True Brand: Adidas Backpack

If you’d prefer a name brand for a clear backpack, we think Adidas’ Backpack is the best bet.

Why?

Our readers told us this one has the best real-world durability. We tried it out and have to agree—the construction is a notch above others in this arena.

Example: this backpack is PVC-free. Instead, it is made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

Why is that good? TPU is more resistant to scratches and chemicals, compared to PVC (based on our research).

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Thick material.

• Great for stadiums or other public venues that require transparent bags.

• Holds a good amount of stuff. 

• Padded shoulder straps are comfy.

• Made with TPU.

What Needs Work

• No side pockets—probably not ideal for school.

• Pricey.

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Best For School

Lightweight and comfortable
Loved this bag for school, but also works well for theme parks, stadiums or the office. Best feature: side water bottle pockets, front mesh pocket and reinforced bottom. Caveat: a bit on the small side.
$12.99

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Best For School: AGDSON Clear Backpack

When it comes to clear backpacks for school, we look for several key features: water bottle pockets are a must. We also like front mesh pockets to hold smaller items.

Finally, we like clear backpacks that are weather resistant, to survive the cold of a January bus stop, for example.

We asked our parent readers for suggestions on which bags work best in the real world and this one rose to the top: AGDSON’s clear backpack. It hits all the right notes . . . and the price is easy on the wallet to boot.

What We Liked

• Sturdy.

• Lightweight.

• Sized right for most kids (16″ x 12″ x 6″).

• Cold weather resistant plastic.

• Reinforced bottom.

• Comfy padded straps are easy to adjust.

• Great for theme parks, stadiums or work.

What Needs Work

• Too small for larger adults. This backpack is about 2″ shorter and 3″ narrower than the Adidas bag recommended above. That is a deal breaker for folks who need to carry more stuff.

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Best For Work

Very roomy main compartment
Excellent design has little features that make it stand out from the pack: note the extra inside mesh pocket. And yes, there are water bottle pockets. Sturdy PVC plastic.
$19.79

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Best For Work: Vorspack Clear Backpack

If you work in an environment that requires a clear backpack, you probably need a backpack that can carry a good amount of stuff. And since it gets used every day, durability is key.

This one would be a great choice: Vorspack’s Clear Backpack.

It ticks all the right boxes: we loved the 2 water bottle pockets. And yes, there is an inside pocket to keep small items from getting lost.

What We Liked

• Large main compartment.

• Sturdy.

• Extra storage pockets (two water bottle pockets, mesh insert) are most helpful.

• Affordable.

• Durable PVC.

What Needs Work

• Mesh side pocket can rip if not careful.

About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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