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7 Best Backpacks for Kids (2022 Reviews)

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If you’re ready to start back to school shopping, the first thing you’re going to want to buy for your child is a new backpack. After all, this is what they’ll use to carry around the rest of their school supplies. When you’re shopping for a backpack, you’ll need to find one that’s large enough to hold everything your child will need, without being too big, bulky, and heavy for them to carry.

With thousands of options on the market, it may seem impossible to find the right one for your child. That’s why I’ve gathered the 7 best kids’ backpacks, with something for every age, to help you choose the perfect bag for your little one.

The Best Backpacks for Kids

  • 1.

    (Best for teens — $$)

    Why it’s great: JanSport is one of the original backpack brands, and the Superbreak offers a durable and classic design. It’s built to last and has padded shoulder straps, making it much more comfortable for your child to carry around. It has a built-in organizer in the front panel for smaller school supplies and a large main compartment that’ll hold books, folders, and notebooks. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, making it easy to find one that your child will love. At 25 liters, it’s plenty big enough for junior high and high schoolers to haul all their textbooks, and it’s super lightweight when it’s empty.

    Keep in mind: The zippers may be a little tough for younger kids to use, and it may be a little big for them as well.

    Good for: Older kids and teens who need a large, durable backpack.

  • 2.

    (Most organized — $$)

    Why it’s great: Your child will never lose a thing with all the pockets and storage compartments available in this backpack. The main compartment is generously sized, and, in total, the bag capacity is 33 liters. There’s also a tablet pocket, two small accessory pockets, a front panel with organization for smaller items, and two side mesh pockets for water bottles. It also has a front attachment clip and bottom compression straps that allow your child to carry extra gear. The S-shaped shoulder straps are padded for extra comfort while lugging everything around. This backpack comes in a variety of patterns and styles, with options for both girls and boys.

    Keep in mind: This backpack might be more than young kids need and is best for kids in third grade or higher.

    Good for: Kids who like to be extra organized and have a dedicated spot for everything.

  • 3.

    (Most durable — $$$)

    Why it’s great: The Wildkin brand creates all kinds of matching accessories for kids. Whether you choose the 15in or 17in size, this backpack is made with super durable material with a moisture-resistant inner lining. These bags are built to handle the rough wear and tear that kids put their backpacks through and will last your child for as long as it fits. There are three zippered compartments that allow your little one to stay organized, including the front panel pocket, which features organization for small supplies. It also has two side pockets for water bottles. This backpack comes in a variety of patterns for both girls and boys, and you can find matching lunchboxes and other accessories available from Wildkin.

    Keep in mind: This backpack is pretty pricey compared to most of the others, but its quality ensures that it’ll last your child for at least a few years.

    Good for: Kids who need a durable backpack with fun designs to choose from.

  • 4.

    (Best value — $)

    Why it’s great: This backpack holds 28 liters, comes with a matching lunchbox, and is still affordably priced. The backpack has a spacious main compartment, small pocket for supplies, two side mesh pockets for water bottles, and a mesh pocket at the front to hold the lunchbox. The back and shoulder straps are padded for maximum comfort. It’s made of durable polyester that’s also water-resistant. The lunchbox is insulated and has a front pocket to hold utensils. It comes in a variety of prints, so it should be easy to find something that your child loves, whether they’re a girl or boy.

    Keep in mind: The lunchbox is smaller than a standard lunchbox, so inserts like a Bento box won’t fit.

    Good for: Kids who want a matching backpack and lunchbox.

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  • 5.

    (Best for young kids — $)

    Why it’s great: This adorable backpack comes with your child’s favorite Marvel characters all over it. If that’s not your little one’s style, you can also choose from Rugrats, Friends, or Disney’s Stitch. It has a large main pocket and a smaller front pocket for organization. The straps are lightly padded for comfort, and this one is only 16in tall, making it a good choice for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and younger elementary kids. It’s the perfect bag for sleepovers, vacations, and light school use.

    Keep in mind: This is thin and won’t hold up to carrying a heavy load.

    Good for: Kids who want their favorite characters on their backpack.

  • 6.

    (Best rolling backpack — $$$)

    Why it’s great: If you’re looking for a rolling backpack, so your child doesn’t have to carry all the weight of their school books on their back, this is a great choice. The sturdy inline wheels make it easy for your child to roll, and the handle adjusts in height for added comfort. It also stores away when your child is ready to wear the bag on their back. There’s a large main compartment to hold all your child’s notebooks, textbooks, and folders. There are also two smaller pockets to organize small school supplies. The mesh side pockets are perfect for water bottles. It comes in a variety of prints and patterns, with something for everyone.

    Keep in mind: Different colors and patterns have different prices, so this could be pretty costly depending on your preference.

    Good for: Kids who want a backpack they can roll when it gets too heavy.

  • 7.

    (Most fun — $)

    Why it’s great: This backpack offers the most fun and adorable designs, from galaxy to unicorns to aliens. Your child is sure to find something that they love. It’s 18 liters, which is a good size for elementary and junior high kids. It has a large main compartment with a laptop sleeve and a small zippered pocket at the top. It also has a front pocket, two side water bottle pockets, and a utility phone pocket on the back. The straps are padded and adjustable for comfort, and it’s durable enough to last for at least a couple of years.

    Keep in mind: This is sized for kids in elementary school and higher.

    Good for: Older kids who want a backpack with a fun design.

Best Overall

The JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..

FAQs about Kids’ Backpacks

  • 1. What size backpack should I get for my child?

    The size of the backpack you choose will depend on your child’s age and grade level. Toddlers and preschoolers won’t need a huge bag, just something that will fit water bottles, extra clothes, etc. Once kids reach kindergarten, they’ll need something a little bigger. 15 to 17 liters is good for younger elementary kids, up to about 5th grade or so. 18 to 30 liters are better for junior high kids to adults.

  • 2. What should I look for in a kids’ backpack?

    When you’re hunting around for the perfect backpack for your child, the first thing you need to pay attention to is the size. You’ll want something that won’t weigh your child down but is big enough to hold all their essentials. It also needs to be comfortable and durable, so your child can use it for years to come. Kids also love picking out bags in bright colors or cool designs so they can express their sense of style.

  • 3. What are the most important features to consider when buying a kids’ backpack?

    Some things that are often overlooked when shopping for a backpack are padded straps. Not only are padded straps way more comfortable for your child, but they’re usually more durable as well. You’ll also want to look at how many pockets/organization that the bag offers. Younger kids may not need many pockets, but high schoolers may want to be able to separate books and folders and other school supplies.

  • 4. Should I look for a backpack set with a matching lunchbox?

    Backpacks that come with matching accessories like a lunchbox or pencil box are great. However, they’re not essential. Finding a separate lunchbox and accessories may be more fun for your child, and nothing says that everything has to match.

  • 5. Are there safety concerns with kids’ backpacks?

    The only thing you really need to be careful of is how heavy the backpack is. Make sure that your child isn’t overloading it, or they could end up injuring their shoulders or back.

Conclusion

Backpacks are something your child is going to be using for the majority of their childhood, so it pays to find one that your child loves and can use for years before replacing it. After you’ve figured out the right size for your little one, have them help you pick out their backpack. This will ensure that they love it and are happy to use it for as long as possible.

The choices on this list come in a variety of sizes and styles, with something for everyone, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that both you and your child can agree on.