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Kids backpacks Reviews and Buyer's Guide (Jan 2019)

The quality of quite a few kids backpacks aren't that fantastic, so it's super important you spend some time comparing the different brands and models before your choose your kid's new pack.

Comparing the different packs in relation to both quality, size and features - and of course also the design, so you can make sure you choose a pack that your kid will like!

The 18 Best Kids Backpacks


RankKids BackpackRating
1Skip Hop ZooSkip Hop Zoo
Available on Amazon
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4.4511,844 reviews
2Gregory WanderGregory Wander
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
4.4335 reviews
3The North Face ReconThe North Face Recon
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
4.4114,042 reviews
4Jack Wolfskin MoabJack Wolfskin Moab4.3917 reviews
5Burton EmphasisBurton Emphasis4.3133 reviews
6Osprey PogoOsprey Pogo4.2161 reviews
7Deuter KikkiDeuter Kikki4.1889 reviews
8Deuter PicoDeuter Pico4.1892 reviews
9The North Face TerraThe North Face Terra4.13294 reviews
10Osprey KobyOsprey Koby4.0735 reviews
11Herschel SupplyHerschel Supply4.0310,867 reviews
12Trunki PaddlepakTrunki Paddlepak3.97163 reviews
13Herschel RetreatHerschel Retreat3.87549 reviews
14Fjallraven KankenFjallraven Kanken3.8411,098 reviews
15Nike CheyenneNike Cheyenne3.6713 reviews
16Bixbee SparkaliciousBixbee Sparkalicious3.60186 reviews
17Herschel SettlementHerschel Settlement3.471,608 reviews
18Herschel HeritageHerschel Heritage3.43843 reviews
How we rate the bags

We have checked 51,876 Kids backpack reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.


Buyers Guide to Kids Backpacks


If you have ever had to choose a kids backpack, you know that the process can be even more trying than choosing one for yourself. This is because there is so much at stake with this decision! You have to think about your child’s comfort, health, while also making sure that the necessary items can fit in there. It’s enough to make your head spin.

So, we decided to step in and show an easier way to do things. In this article, you will find the best way to start your search for a backpack. With the right information on hand, you will find that the whole process becomes a lot less taxing. Here is what you should be aware of:

Quick and Simple Guidelines for Finding the Ideal Kids Backpack

Kids’ backpacks are clearly a thriving business, considering just how many there are out there. You can often find rows and rows, wherever you go. So, with all of this selection to choose from, how are you supposed to narrow down what your little one actually needs? Well, this isn’t a question that you need to ponder any longer because there are now a set of guidelines that you can follow to help you out:

Types of Kids Backpacks

One of the first things that you need to know is the various types of children’s backpacks that are available. This will aid you in deciding which one your child actually requires:
  • Kids Laptop Backpack: this is a backpack that has a specialized compartment for laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices. This pocket keeps all important or delicate items safe.

  • Kids Rolling Backpack: kids rolling backpacks are essentially bags that have a frame that contains wheels. These backpacks are ideal for children that need to take heavy loads as they don’t need to be carried on their back.

  • Kids Travel Backpack: there isn’t too much difference between a traditional backpack and a kids travel backpack. However, these bags do tend to be a bit bigger and may come with wheels as well.

Wheels vs. No Wheels

One of the main questions that parents will ask themselves is wheels or no wheels when choosing a backpack. This is regardless of whether your little one needs a bag for school or for travel. There are a few things that you will need to think of before arriving at this decision.

First, just how much is your child expected to take on a daily basis? Ideally, your child should not be carrying more than 10 to 20 percent of their body weight on their back. If their filled backpacks weigh more than this, then wheels will save your child from a lot of back strain and discomfort.

Of course, backpacks with wheels tend to be quite a bit heavier than wheel-less options. This means that they are not ideal for schools or environments with a lot of stairs or uneven ground. Here, your child will need to carry their bag and a wheeled backpack can make it quite difficult to do this.

Does Your Child Need a Laptop Bag?

Typically, laptop bags are most popular among middle school and high school students. This allows them to carry their electronic devices more easily. However, these days, it is becoming more common for younger students to take tablets to school with them. So, if you want to keep your kid’s device safe, a laptop backpack may be the way to go.

Backpack Sizing

One of the steps to reducing back pain in children caused by too-heavy packs is to ensure that the bag is the right size. You will be able to find the best size for your little one by considering the length of your torso.

Now, there are a few points on your child’s torso that you need to know about. The first is where the backpack straps need to sit. This is a spot that is halfway between your child’s neck and their shoulder joint. Then, you will need to consider where the backpack should end while your child is wearing it. This is their waistline which is somewhere around their navel. This means that the ideal size of the backpack would be one that rests between these two spots.

So, the first thing you will need to do is to measure the length from your child’s shoulders to their waistline. You should also measure the width of their shoulders. When choosing a backpack, the bag should not exceed these dimensions by more than two inches in any direction.

There are guides that will give you a rough idea of the size of the backpack that you should get, in relation to your child’s age. If your little one is taller or shorter than the average height of children their age though, it is best to use your own measurements.

Suspension System

Apart from the weight of a full backpack, the other thing that contributes to kids back pain is the way that the bag sits on their back. Once you have found a bag that meets your kid’s dimensions, the suspension system on the bag is the next thing to look at. The suspension system on backpacks consists of shoulder straps, sternum or chest straps, and hip belts. Due to the size of most kids’ backpacks, there is usually only shoulder straps present and sometimes, a chest strap.

The shoulder straps should be wide enough to help spread the weight evenly but not so wide that they are falling off your child’s shoulders. In addition to the width, the straps should be well-padded, preferably with foam. This means that when you pinch the material of the straps between your fingers, it pops back up.

If your child tends to carry heavier loads, a chest strap can be quite useful. This helps to pull the bag, towards their back, so that it is closer to their center of gravity. Not only does this evenly distribute the weight, it also makes walking a lot easier. This way, your child will not have to bend forward to compensate for the weight of the bag.

Materials

The most common types of materials that kids’ backpacks are made from are polyester and nylon. If you want to lessen the load of how much your child has to carry, polyester bags, on average tend to weigh a bit less. While nylon may bring in a few more ounces, it also has the benefit of being quite durable. So, it is more likely to last the school year. It is a good idea to check that the materials that the bag are made from are at least water resistant. This way, your child’s belongings will have a bit more protection, in the event that it gets wet.

Does your child have to keep his or her backpack on for a long period of time? In this situation, you should look for bags that have back panels made from mesh or moisture wicking material. This will make it easier to keep this area cooler. Also, it will prevent any moisture from being absorbed by the bag.

Another thing to think about when settling on a particular fabric or material is how easy it is to clean. Keep in mind that your child’s bag is going to get quite dirty and will need frequent cleanings. It is best to opt for materials that are machine washable so that it is much easier for you to manage.

Organization Features and Storage

Another important thing to consider is just how many pockets and compartments a bag has. Now, there should be a main compartment closest to your child’s back. This is so that the heavier items such as books or laptops can be stored here. Such a placement allows for a better distribution of weight across your child’s back.

It is up to you how many more storage compartments there should be in the bag. It is often best to have lots of compartments for little children so that they can find their things more easily. Older children may benefit from having small pouches to store their stationery.

You should probably look for external water bottle holders. This way, if there is a leak then there will be less damage done to your child’s things inside of the bag. Pockets that are higher are better at holding the bottles in place.

Backpacks for Boys and Girls – Is There a Difference?

For younger children, there isn’t really a difference between boys’ backpacks and girls’ backpacks in regards to design. At this age, both girls and boys tend to be of similar heights and there isn’t much variation in their physique. As such, you don’t need bags specific to each gender. The only real disparity is colors, patterns, and logos.

Girls over the age of sixteen, however, may benefit from a women-specific backpack, depending on their size. These backpacks have been designed to better suit the average female form – shorter torso, narrower shoulders, and wider hips.

Backpack Style

Let’s face it, there is only one reason that children are excited to get a backpack and that is to do with what the backpack looks like. The most commonly found ones are those sporting popular TV and movie characters. However, there are many preschoolers that prefer backpacks that look like stuffed toys, have wings, or look like toys in any other way.

The older that your child will get, the less likely that they will want such novelty items. Instead, they will move towards cool and personalized options, complete with their favorite color and perhaps, even their name. Some of them may also prefer to sport popular brands.

Of course, you should remember that fads are fleeting. So, if you want your child to use a backpack for a long time, you may want to stay away from items that are trendy for short periods of time.

These are all of the guidelines that you should follow if you want to find the best kids backpack for your little one.

1 More Kids Backpacks


Classic kids backpacks and models that haven't yet got enough reviews to be ranked.

RankKids BackpackRating
Mountainsmith PursuitMountainsmith Pursuit

Last updated on January 22, 2019

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