If you are looking for a backpack that can withstand the adventures of childhood, the place to start is a backpack that stands up to the task of traveling to and from school. Textbooks can be surprisingly heavy and no child should have to suffer neck and back pain due to a poorly designed bookbag.
School bags are also prone to all kinds of spillages. A backpack that is water-resistant and durable is necessary if it is even going to last the school year.
The following backpacks are not only suitable for school, but for camping and backpacking adventures too. After all, if a backpack can survive the school journey, it can survive anything!
These packs are suitable for a range of ages, starting from pre-school all the way up to middle school.
Best Backpack for Kids of 2020
VBIGER School Backpack for Girls and Boys
At the top of the list is the unisex school backpack from VBIGER. It’s specially designed to reduce the burden of lugging around heavy text books each day. The back panel is designed to fit the spine curve and relieve strain on the shoulders.
The straps are contoured, breathable, and padded – which is everything your child needs for maximum comfort when carrying a heavy load.
In terms of durability, this is a backpack that goes the extra mile. The nylon fabric is scratch-resistant, tear-resistant. and totally waterproof too. It can withstand hiking and camping just as well as it can withstand the school day.
To top it all off, there are plenty of compartments and multi-purpose pockets. This helps spread the weight across the backpack and gives your child plenty of options for organizing their things.
Ultimately, this is an excellent value backpack that offers everything you could want from a backpack. It’s too bad it’s not for grown-ups!
JiaYou Boy 20L Fashion School Bag Backpack
In a close second is the 20L school backpack from JiaYou. The bag utilizes the ergonomic S-shaped design and the shoulder pads are breathable. One thing we love about this model is that the urban graffiti design glows in the dark, keeping children visible to traffic at night.
There are plenty of pockets for organizing your child’s things and if there are lunchbox leaks, you can wash the bag in your machine. One of the models also boasts a USB charging port.
mommore Kids Backpack for Toddler School Bag
This kids backpack from mommore is an excellent choice for children between the ages of 3 and 7. It is appropriately sized for smaller children and has plenty of padding on the shoulders.
It also features a chest buckle to redistribute the weight of the bag’s contents and prevent the straps from slipping. The material is water-repellent and fairs well against spills and moderate rain.
The bag comes in a choice of colors depending on your child’s preference. If your child is on the younger side of the age range, there is an option to buy a smaller size.
Bseash Small Waterproof Sport Hiking Backpack
This hiking backpack by Bseash is a great choice for children under 4 ft. It is designed specifically for a child’s frame so they can carry their things on your camping trip without complaint.
The wide padded shoulders are super comfortable. The fabric coating is completely waterproof and even though the nylon polyester material is highly durable, the bag is lightweight too.
There are plenty of pockets for all your child’s camping gear and padded pockets for your devices. This is a wonderful choice for mini campers in the making.
Mountaintop Kids Toddler Backpack
Mountaintop has designed a fantastic backpack for toddlers. It best fits 2-3-year-olds but is suitable for kids up to the age of 7.
The bag boasts outstanding mesh and padding to keep air circulation flowing and maximize comfort on your child’s shoulders. There’s even a sternum strap to keep the bag secure and the weight of your child’s belongings balanced.
The fabric is water-resistant and highly durable. There are side mesh pockets for your child’s water bottle and plenty of additional pockets and compartments.
OuTrade School Backpack
This multipurpose backpack from OuTrade is great for high school students and teens. It is suitable for carrying a heavy load of textbooks and has additional compartments for your child’s electronic devices. The material is high quality and tear-resistant.
The entire bag is water-resistant and can thus be easily wiped down and cleaned. The shoulder straps are made from breathable fabric and are, of course, easily adjustable to fit your child’s back.
JanSport Superbreak Backpack
JanSport is one of the most trusted names in backpacks. The Superbreak backpack is an excellent choice for pre-teens and comes in an attractive selection of colors and patterns for all personalities.
It features a padded back panel and mesh shoulder straps although, on this model, the straps aren’t contoured. If you are having a hard time convincing your teen to trade style for comfort, this may be a good compromise.
TRENDYMAX Galaxy Backpack for School Girls & Boys
Similarly, Trendymax offers a wide variety of stylish designs. The polyester fabric is lightweight but durable and is reinforced with strong stitching. The shoulders are padded and the size is suitable for elementary kids and teens too.
This model features tonnes of compartments and pockets, including a handy utility phone pocket and hidden compartments for valuables.
Multi-Color Back Pack with Adjustable Padded Shoulder
This next backpack from Trail maker offers a lot of space and compartments for a very reasonable price. The material is sturdy and the smooth poly shell can be easily wiped down should any mysterious spillages appear.
It comes in a range of colors and has lots of zippered sections for easy access at the airport or between classes.
Everest Luggage Basic Backpack
This simple brightly-colored backpack from Everest is a great budget solution to your child’s backpack needs. It retails at just $10 and is surprisingly good quality.
The material is built to last and can support the weight of your child’s textbooks or travel equipment. There isn’t much padding and the straps aren’t contoured so this may not be the best choice for longterm carrying of a heavy load.
For a basic book bag or weekend pack, however, this is a great choice for a modest budget.
Best Kids Backpack Buying Guide
When it comes to backpacks for kids, your child may lean towards a bag that is stylish over one that is practical. This is all very well until six months later, they are asking for a new one as a result of wear and tear.
Fortunately, there are a great selection of great packs on the market that are fashionable and high quality too.
Realistically, the first priority when choosing a backpack for kids should be a comfort. This is particularly true when choosing a school bag as repeated carrying of heavy textbooks can result in serious strain on your child’s shoulders.
A sensible backpack features adjustable contoured wide straps with appropriate mesh and back padding.
If your child is under 10, choose a backpack that is specifically designed for kids as it is going to be tailored for smaller backs. If they are under 7, choosing a backpack with a sternum strap will help prevent the straps from falling down their shoulders. This feature also helps keep the weight off their shoulders.
Finally, kids backpacks should be made from a sturdy, water-resistant material. Backpacks that are water-resistant are much easier to clean and can be quickly wiped down in the case of a leaky pen or lunchbox. Be wary of backpacks that are not made from nylon or polyester as they may not be built to last.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size backpack does my child need?
Backpacks for kids come in a range of sizes and not all of them will be suitable for your child’s needs. If your child is in high school or college, they need a backpack that is at least 17” to fit their folders and A4 notepads.
For toddlers, a 12” backpack is more than suffice. Anything bigger will be difficult for them to carry.
How heavy should my child’s backpack be?
To protect your child’s back, they should not carry a backpack that weighs more than 10 to 15% of their body weight. For the average 80-pound child they should not be carrying a backpack that weighs more than 8 to 12 pounds.
Should I label my kid’s backpack?
Labeling your kid’s backpack seems like an obvious necessity. The trouble is, if you write directly on to the backpack, you can’t hand it down or sell it on when they’ve finished with it.
A good solution is to cut out a small white rectangle of an old shirt and write your child’s name in permanent marker. You can then stitch this to the inside of the backpack so it can be easily removed when your child moves onto a new bag.
What is a sternum strap for?
A sternum strap provides extra support and prevents the backpack from moving around too much. This particularly important for toddlers who have a habit of wiggling out of the shoulder straps.
Is it safe to carry a tablet in a kids backpack?
Many kids backpacks have a special padded section for carrying a tablet or laptop. This section is usually located at the back of the backpack for weight balance.
Even if your kids backpack has one of these compartments, we still recommend using an additional case for protection.