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Send Your Kids to School in Style With the Best Children’s Backpacks
Last updated: 8 Jan 2024
Children’s backpacks are one of the hardest items to shop for, because backpack requirements might be as diverse as children themselves. A new backpack can be one of the primary motivations for young students to return to school in a new grade. Kids use it to express their sense of style and individuality and rely on their parents for its functioning and endurance.
In this guide, you’ll find the most impressive children’s backpacks of 2024. If our top choices don't meet your child's requirements, our buying guide will help you get the one that fits the bill.
When buying a children’s backpack, parents are usually most concerned about finding the one that is the right size while also roomy enough to stock all the important items a child needs for a productive day. A children’s backpack themed based on the child’s interests is a close second. The weight of the empty backpack, intelligent design with dedicated pockets, durable materials, padded straps, and soft lining are all important features. On top of all that, it must withstand the damage that children throw at them through their careless handling.
These requirements can make it difficult to find a children’s backpack that your child can carry comfortably to school and on trips. In this buying guide, we will discuss all these factors so you can ensure that your child’s backpacking experience is both comfortable and enjoyable year after year.
How To Find the Right Size and Comfortable Fit
A right-sized children’s backpack should look appropriate on the child’s back while also providing sufficient storage space. Here’s how to strike the right balance between the two:
The backpack’s width mainly depends on the child’s weight and body type. Adult backpacks are generally 13 inches wide, while children’s backpacks are around 10 inches wide. You can try a few backpacks on your child and determine the right width for them.
You can determine the proper height for your children’s backpack using a tape measure. Start measuring a few inches below your child’s shoulder blade and end at the waistline. You’ll have the ideal height for your children’s backpack with a one-inch margin. This should be about 15 inches for preschoolers and around 17 inches for elementary school kids.
Smartly designed pockets
Dedicated pockets for laptops, tablets, stationery, lunch box, and a water bottle are fairly common in modern children’s backpacks. They help organize the backpack’s contents and keep the space clean. A good design cleverly generates more space inside the backpack by preventing unnecessary clutter in limited space.
What Makes Children’s Backpacks More Durable?
A backpack should be well-made using a long-lasting material. Nylon is the gold standard as a material for backpacks, because it makes the bag lightweight, waterproof, heatproof, and wear-resistant. A 600 denier polyester is almost equally good, but weighs slightly more than nylon and is less wear resistant.
A durable build is not all about the materials; firm and neat stitching, covered zippers, and closed edges of the fabric are equally important. Here are a few checks to ensure the durability of the children’s backpack:
Fabric or waterproof flaps over the zippers to prevent water damage to the metal of the zippers.
Make sure no loose threads come from the edges and stitched pieces. Over time, they can cause the bag to lose its integrity and structure.
The stitching should be even and firm.
The better the quality, the higher the price you will have to pay. Many budget-friendly options are available, including our top picks that also rank high in quality. Cheap children’s backpacks last only a few months and are usually preferred for a short trip.
How To Find a Comfortable Children’s Backpack
You can enhance your child’s comfort level by opting for better straps and keeping the bag’s weight within the limit. Here’s how you can achieve it.
Broad, adjustable, and padded straps
Broad straps assist in distributing the weight of the bag across the shoulders. Thin straps, on the other hand, are more likely to strain the shoulders, because the weight is concentrated on a small area of the shoulder muscles.
A good children’s backpack has adjustable straps that do not affect the child’s standing posture. After you’ve adjusted the straps to the optimal settings, make sure that the locks stay in place when the child runs or jumps. Tape the straps just below the locks if necessary to prevent them from coming loose.
The cushioning in the padded straps reduces the impact on the muscles. A mesh fabric over this cushioning prevents sweating and makes the wearing experience more comfortable.
As a general rule, a children’s backpack full of items should not exceed 15% of the child’s body weight. When you try to practically implement this limit, you’ll notice that it is critical to keep the backpack’s own weight at a bare minimum for your younger children. As a result, a children’s backpack weighing less than one pound is ideal.
How To Choose the Right Children’s Backpack
Kids enjoy personalizing their backpacks in an effort to stand out from the crowd. Children’s backpacks are available in various designs and colors, but a little styling space allows kids to customize them to their taste. Kids love to paint or draw something of their own on their backpack. This is why minimalist designs are also popular among kids, because the whole bag is like a canvas to them. Most kindergartners love basic colors, rainbow patterns, and fantasy animal designs. Designs like these might not appeal to an older child, so it is important to consider the age of the child that you are buying the backpack for.
When purchasing a surprise gift for a child, consider their interests and choose the theme accordingly. Make sure that the design is authentic and made by professional artists. Popular themes such as unicorns, dinosaurs, hearts, cars, and cartoon animals can be found easily. Whenever possible, involve the child in the selection process, because most backpack collections come in dozens of different themes.
Comparing Our Favorite Children’s Backpacks for 2024
The Trail Maker All Over Printed Backpack is a wonderful place to start when looking for a back-to-school bag for girls. It features vibrant designs, sturdy materials, soft lining, and reliable zipper closures at a reasonable price.
The size is perfect for your young child to carry to school with them. Its deep main compartment allows for storing several folders, notebooks, and other important school gear. The adjustable straps on this backpack ensure that it fits well. The straps have comfortable padding, so your little ones can wear them all day.
Because of its high-quality materials and workmanship, this children’s backpack will undoubtedly last for years in excellent condition. It ranks the best overall on our list as it combines comfort and style effectively.
The timeless, minimalist design of this Everest Basic Backpack complements every style, whether worn for travel or school. It’s constructed of 600 denier polyester, which resists moisture and makes it fairly waterproof. The main compartment is roomy and has a covered zipper that keeps papers dry even when it rains. It can also be utilized for occasional traveling and hiking. In all aspects, this pick is a high-quality backpack at an affordable price.
This children’s backpack is available in dozens of different colors so kids can select one according to their taste. The design-free space is ideal for kids to personalize it with stickers and drawings.
This children’s backpack is ideal for preschoolers. The Vaschy Preschool Backpack is available in a wide range of gender-specific designs to choose from, so we’re sure that you can find the right one for your kid. It is made using tough polyester material and has fabric flap zipper closures. The SBS zippers are smooth, so tiny fingers never have to struggle while opening and closing the bag. It comes with a spacious main compartment and two side pockets for holding the water bottle.
The designs are inspired by children’s fantasies, such as dinosaurs, unicorns, and space suits. These ingenious designs also make it one of the most giftable collections of children’s backpacks on the market.
Bluefairy’s collection of girls’ backpacks is an excellent place to browse for a premium school backpack for a tween girl. These lightweight, waterproof, and long-lasting children’s backpacks are crafted from high-quality polyester and nylon.
Folders and notebooks fit comfortably in the main compartment, and a 14-inch laptop fits in a separate, padded pocket. There are two further compartments, the smaller of which can fit an A4-sized book or a 10-inch tablet. The front pocket is great for storing stationery, while the side pockets can hold large water bottles.
This Wildkin Kids Backpack has matching accessories available for purchase. This pick is available in various themes, including dinosaurs, trucks, marine life, and space shuttles, allowing every child to proudly boast their passion. This award winning backpack is BPA and phthalates-free.
Its two spacious compartments, child-friendly zippers, padded shoulder straps, and top handle make it super convenient to use daily. Made with 600 denier polyester fabric, this waterproof children’s backpack can be repurposed on demand for sports and travel. You can easily clean it within a few minutes because of its smooth outer surface and nylon lining on the inside.
Q: Is a school backpack different from a travel backpack?
The majority of the requirements, such as spacious pockets, lightweight materials, and durable construction, are the same for both a school backpack and a travel backpack. A school backpack will likely have pockets for stationery items, a laptop, and a tablet, while a travel backpack has pockets designed for a phone and keys. School backpacks are also themed with academic interests, while travel backpacks are more often sporty.
Q: How can I find a good backpack for my school-going toddler?
A: Toddlers need a simple backpack with two pockets and a pouch for a water bottle. Getting them a backpack with more pockets will only add size and weight to the bag and make it inconvenient for them to use. A 14 inch backpack with one large pocket and half front pocket for a lunchbox is ideal for kindergartners.
Q: How can I help my child personalize their backpack?
A: Sticker packs, iron-on shapes, and permanent marker drawings are all excellent ways to personalize a child’s backpack. Let your child choose the colors, shapes, and themes, and follow their lead in the design process. Do not allow them to write their name on the outside, because a stranger can pose as someone they know using this information.
The Mighty Moms Reviews Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you tackle motherhood and everything that comes along with it. The content is created by The Mighty Moms Reviews Team. Mighty Moms’ editorial staff is not involved. Mighty Moms is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.