How To Choose A Kid’s Backpack

Kid's backpacks have to strike the optimal balance between cute and practical, lightweight and utilitarian. Fortunately, we're here to help you pick out just the right one, so your kid is happy with their new pack!

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What materials are best for a kids' backpack?

When perusing materials for kids' backpacks, you should think about how they will likely be used - and the situations your children will drag them through! Backpacks will be tossed around, they'll get wet, and they'll be trampled either at home or at school. Heavy-duty, waterproof selections are going to be your best bet.

  • Polyester: This thinner fabric might be more economical and will generally come in the widest array of prints for maximum fun for your child. However, it may not be as durable as other options.

  • Duck Canvas: Duck canvas is incredibly strong and will last your child for years. If you get a version that is treated to be water-resistant, this backpack may be well-nigh indestructible.

  • Mesh: Mesh packs are lightweight and handy in that they are see-through, which can be an asset as your child uses them. However, they can be ripped easily and may not stand up to everyday wear and tear.

  • Vinyl: Vinyl is one of the most durable fabrics, and it's naturally water-resistant. Because it's a less natural option than duck fabric, it can also come in a variety of prints.

Polyester Kids Backpack with Cooler
Polyester Canvas Grey Kids Backpack
Blue Polyester Canvas Kids Backpack
Canvas with Mesh Red Kids Backpack
Cotton Canvas Kids Backpack in Black
Polyester Kids Backpack in Black

What styles do kids' backpacks come in?

The short answer is - almost any style imaginable! As your child's backpack is going to be one of their main accessories, you can think about making your kid's day by choosing a backpack branded by one of their favorite movies or books.

You can also choose to go more classic with a houndstooth or plaid, striped or plain backpack. These may be less fun, but they will stand the test of time and be classic for several years, if you believe your child will be using a backpack for that length of time.

Kids' backpacks can also come in several differing forms - here are the most popular:

  • One-Shoulder Sling: A one-shoulder sling will be smaller than most other backpack choices, but if your child doesn't need much room to carry his belongings, it can be an economical choice.
One Shoulder Backpack for Kid
One Shoulder Black Sling Bag
Colorful One Shoulder Backpack
Rope Shoulder Backpack for Teens
Purple Kids Shoulder Backpack with Cats
Floral One Shoulder Backpack for Kids
  • Messenger Bag: A messenger bag is very popular with young adults, which can make this seem like a fun, grown-up choice for children. They're easy to access while walking, which is good, and they can come in a number of sizes.
Black and Grey Messenger Bag
Messenger Bag Set for Two
Small Black Messenger Bag
Fabric Canvas Messenger Bag
Canvas Messenger Bag for Students
Black and Blue Classic Messenger Bag
  • Two-Handled Backpack: The most classic shape of backpack yet, the two-handled pack is best for ergonomics and even weight distribution. It's also the most similar to what other students at your child's school will likely be carrying; and it will be best suited to carry around the largest amount of stuff - definitely an asset as your child grows.

Backpacks also come in numerous sizes! An adult's college or work backpack comes in at a standard measurement of 18.5" long, whereas a standard backpack is slightly smaller at 17".

For children, you can expect their packs to measure 12" for students 2-4 years of age, and 5" for students between PreK and 2nd Grade.

Two Handled Black Backpack
Mesh Grey Two Handled Backpack
Two Handled Daypack School Backpack
Light Grey Two Handled Backpack
Pink and Grey Two Handled Backpack
Brown Two Handled School Backpack

What features should you look for in a kids' backpack?

  • Expandable: Your child is growing by the minute! If you can ensure that you don't have to buy them a new backpack every year, that's definitely worth some consideration. Look for packs that expand so your kid's backpack can grow alongside your child.

  • Ergonomics: Think about what a backpack is for: Toting heavy things around on a daily basis. Set your child up for a lifetime of spinal success by opting for a backpack that will distribute the load well instead of forcing your kid to hunch over.

Giving your child a great backpack can be a sign of giving them responsibility and independence! It's one of the tools they will need to navigate their school life successfully, so picking one that fits them, their school, and their personality well is key.