I've discovered exactly how difficult it is to find what I'm looking for. I've looked at ebay and have a possibility, but before I buy it, I'd like to know if there's a website I don't know about that has backpacks for less than $25 that don't suck. A bing search yields gigantic results and nowhere near what I'm looking for.

Just some features I'd like if it helps:

- big enough for letter notebooks
- something that won't break my back (I'm kind of little and have a weak back)
- attractive, not cutesie, not Vera Bradley-like
- plenty of pockets

I have a pattern for making one, but I'm still a sewing uber-novice and such a project is rather beyond my (and my ancient sewing machine's) capabilities. After I learn a bit more, I'm going to make one, but I need one before that.

Thanks in advance, y'all.

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When I have criteria like that, I start with Google products..

Link to search

I see an entry at the Army Navy store that looks interesting. As far as killing your back, well, I dunno whether that's a function of design or the weight of the gear you need to haul.. But strengthening the back as part of your fitness routine can only help.