Best Clear Backpacks

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
210 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best clear backpacks

Last Updated December 2019

Carrying a backpack is one of the most effective ways to tote your items, but it’s not always practical. Areas with heightened security often require bags to be opened and even searched, which can be time-consuming when a bag has several pockets. Additionally, security-enforced locations such as schools, government and federal buildings, and large event venues like stadiums and concert arenas often have clear bag policies that only allow transparent bags inside. Fortunately, there are clear backpacks for high-security events and locations.

While clear backpacks have features like multiple compartments, straps, and handles like their opaque counterparts, they’re made of see-through plastic material so the contents are visible. Shopping for a clear model is no different than buying a regular backpack — you’ll need to consider size, space, and straps before you buy.

Our informative shopping guide and recommendations can assist you in finding a clear backpack to accommodate your needs.

Just because you have to carry a clear backpack doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Many models have trim and handles in various colors, so you can choose the one that goes well with your other accessories.

Considerations

Materials

It’s the transparency of clear backpacks that makes them useful in highly secure situations, but they also have to be strong enough to withstand basic wear and tear. That’s why a plastic polymer called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is used to make these practical bags. PVC is reasonably durable under most conditions, yet it has a flexible texture that makes it comfortable to carry on the back.

Care

Keep in mind that PVC isn’t as tough as other materials, such as leather, canvas, nylon, and polyester, which are used to make standard backpacks, so following a few care tips will increase the longevity of your clear backpack.

  • Don’t expose your clear backpack to extreme temperatures. Frequent exposure to hot temperatures and direct sunlight for long periods can weaken the PVC, and cold or freezing temperatures can make it stiff and prone to cracking.

  • Avoid placing sharp objects in your clear backpack. These items can poke through the plastic and result in damage that can’t be repaired.

  • Keep your clear backpack clean and dry. Remove dirt and debris frequently, and dry the material if it gets wet.

  • Steer clear of harsh chemicals. PVC can be damaged by some substances. Direct contact with certain paints, nail polish remover, and some alcohol-based solutions can cause it to deteriorate.
EXPERT TIP

If you frequently carry a backpack by the top handle, look for one that’s padded for optimal comfort and a secure grip.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Discretion is an issue when it comes to carrying some personal care and hygiene items in a clear backpack. Stashing them behind other items is a good way to keep them concealed.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features of clear backpacks

Compartments: Just like backpacks made of other materials, clear backpacks are configured with compartments for stowing different items. In addition to a large main compartment, most models have at least one additional front pocket. However, some have side mesh compartments for items like water bottles and smaller interior pockets for phone, keys, pens, calculator, and more. Although some pockets are open for easy access, most have zippered closures.

Straps: A bag wouldn’t be a backpack without straps for carrying. Clear backpack shoulder straps are made of strong nylon or polyester and are adjustable for a secure fit. Some models have padding for added comfort.

Handles: When you don’t feel like slinging your backpack on your shoulders, handles are useful. And yes, Most clear backpacks have them, too.

Standard backpacks can cost as much as $100 and up, but clear backpacks are quite inexpensive, priced between $10 and $30. Lower priced models may be less durable and have fewer compartments than pricier options. In addition, smaller backpacks that are made for kids also fall on the lower end of the price scale.

Clear backpacks are lightweight and affordable, two selling points to keep in mind if you need to carry one to school, a concert, or a sporting event.

FAQ about clear backpacks

Q. Can I carry any clear backpack into a venue that has a clear bag policy?

A. Not necessarily. Some venues that require clear bags also have specific size limitations. To be on the safe side, check with the venue to be certain about the specifics before you choose a clear backpack.

Q. How do I clean a clear backpack?

A. Use a wet wipe or cloth with mild soap and water to wipe down the exterior and interior of your bag. Dry it thoroughly with paper towels, or keep the compartments open to allow it to air-dry.

Q. My child’s elementary school has a clear bag policy, but he’s not enthusiastic about carrying a clear backpack. How can I ease his concerns and get him interested in choosing one that he’ll be happy to carry?

A. Explain to your child that carrying a clear backpack is a safety rule, and that his classmates will be carrying them, too. Ask him which model he prefers, and encourage him to choose the design, features, and trim colors he likes best.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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