10 Best Kids & Toddlers Backpacks in 2018

If you have a little one starting school or even day school, a good way to get them excited for their new adventure is by purchasing their own little backpack for them to carry. You will get your little one excited about school with one of these top-notch stylish backpacks and it’s their very own. Not only are these bags functional and kid friendly but we have a style to match your spunky child’s needs.

Your child will love to show off their newest accessory to all of their new school friends. Some of the options on our list even provide insulated pouches where they’ll be able to store lunchboxes or extra snacks. With family-friendly companies, each company is sure to continue to make life a little easier for you and your darling little ones.

Last Updated:
By Lyndsey Fosher:

For this update we added a bit more information regarding the safety of the weight of your childs backpack. We also made sure each bag was still available in today's market.

Our Top 3 Picks

Olive Kids Trains, Planes and Trucks
  • Olive Kids Trains, Planes and Trucks
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • One Year Warranty
  • Price: See Here
Skip Hop Zoo Backpack
  • Skip Hop Zoo Backpack
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Insulated Food Pocket
  • Price: See Here
Amazonbasics Classic Backpack
  • Amazonbasics Classic Backpack
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight & Durable
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Top Kids Backpacks 

The right backpack for your child is so important for them to have especially for their overall physical health. Doctors and chiropractors stress the need for a structurally sound and well-made bag for your children to carry. As your children grow older, not only will their backpacks grow but the back to school shopping lists will as well. Having a well-made, proportional bag can help the added weight evenly and make it so it’s not only easy but also 100% safe for your child to use. When it comes to purchasing the right bag comes teaching your child how to fill these bags and lift them properly which in the end will help your child from injury and any long-term back pain.

When it comes to the weight of the backpack, your child’s bag should not hold anymore then 10 percent of your child’s current weight. That means that if your child weighs 70 pounds, the bag should not be heavier than 7 pounds. Most laptops range from 2 to 6 pounds and a textbook weight roughly 5 pounds. This number is to prevent damage to your child’s back and shoulders. They should be made of lighter materials as well so that they aren’t heavy before filling them up with supplies. Canvas made or similar options are much better materials to look for than things like leather.

Your child’s bag also will need to fit your child well enough so that they’re comfortable. You can’t purchase a large bag for a growing child because they wouldn’t be overloaded until they grow. It is much safer for parents to purchase the correct size and just know you need to replace it. This is the same kind of logic that works for shoes, you wouldn’t put larger shoes on a toddle and wait for them to grow into them. You’d end up simply throwing them in storage until they’re forgotten and too small and buy the ones that fit.

Parents should also try and avoid careless stitching and seams. Things that are frayed and also falling apart will just end up getting worse. It pays to get the quality not only for your wallet but also for a peace of mind. The cheaper backpacks won’t last very long and will cost you in the long run. Your kind and your wallet will be happy if you put down more up front and get a ton more use.

Parents should also make sure that their children are wearing both their shoulder straps when they’re wearing their backpack. Constantly bearing weight all on one shoulder puts unnecessary strain on the spine and can sometimes cause long-term damage. Buckles and other features can help distribute the weight of the bag evenly and help take the strain off other parts of the body as well.

What Determined the Top Kids’ Backpacks on Our List

When we came up with our list of the ten most amazing stylish backpacks for children, we knew that it would be a tedious task. After all, we weren’t simply looking for a replacement – we were looking for the types of bags that your children will adore even as they grow older.

The first thing that we took into consideration was the construction or the overall integrity of the design of the bag. Unfortunately, we can only rely on certain parameters that will help determine the quality workmanship of a backpack. For starters, it would be virtually impossible to physically subject each bag to rigorous testing of its strength and durability because there are clearly thousands of them in today’s market. Overall, we had to rely on some forms of quality indicators like the reputation of a company. A trustworthy backpack manufacturer, we believe, won’t sacrifice the integrity of their brand image by producing bags that are of mediocre quality.

Clearly, they don’t want to throw away what they have worked for all these years just by producing a backpack of the highest quality. Secondly, we had to confirm this by comparing these results with consumer reviews and their feedbacks whether they were positive or negative. At the very least, our assumptions of quality workmanship must be completely satisfied as it would if we were purchasing the bag for our own children.

Next, we then looked at the functionality of the bag. Sure, it may look cute but if it cannot serve its fundamental purpose, then it will only serve as an accessory which a backpack is clearly not meant to be. Thus, we looked at how the manufacturer considered fulfilling the basic function of a bag. If it comes with a variety of pockets, are they useful? If these bags have a certain unique lock mechanism, then we’d make sure that it’s easy to operate and that it really serves its purpose.

We also considered the comfort that the backpack can provide to kids. The shoulder straps as well as carrying handles must be designed in such a way that they do not put a strain on the part of the body that will be bearing most of the weight. This is also related to the convenience of using the backpack. If it comes with a lot of features that only get in the way of optimally using the bag, then these features are mere nuisances and serve no meaningful purpose.

Lastly, we also looked at the style. Kids love film and TV characters as well as brightly colored designs. Of course, there are also those who like it plain and simple. Nevertheless, this did not prevent us from looking at the designs of these bags and enlisting the help of parents through their feedbacks to help us get an idea of the general perception of kids. At least we can say that we have the backing of parents in the making of our top 10 amazing backpacks for kids.

Tips to Choosing the Right Backpack for Our Kids

We have already shared with you how we chose the backpacks in our list. But if you would like to explore backpacks on your own, you might be interested in the following tips.

  • Understand your child’s developmental needs. Younger children require more fun learning features while older children will typically require versatility and functionality.
  • Make sure to check the product label of the backpack you’re buying. It must be made of kid-safe materials and should not contain BPA, PVC, lead, phthalate, and formaldehyde as well as other harmful chemicals.
  • Look for features that will provide optimum comfort for your child. Padded straps are a must. However, equally important is a padded back support as the weight of the bag can inadvertently push against the back of your child.
  • If the backpack comes with a variety of features, try to study each of these carefully. Determine how your child will benefit from these features. If there are no obvious benefits or the benefits are only minimal, try to look for another one.
The Bottom Line

Choosing a backpack for your kid is like choosing clothes for them. You have to know what “fits” and “suits” them. With our top 10 amazing backpacks for kids, we’re sure choosing has never been this easy.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can the Olive Kids Trains, Planes and Trucks Pack n’ Snack Backpack fit a standard-sized folder?

A: Unfortunately, it can not. This bag has the right height to fit a folder but the rounded corners would force it to bend. This size is best for toddlers and younger preschoolers. It does fit a composition book, coloring books and all sorts of other things you may need.

Q: What are the differences between zippers?

A: Ideally, both the pull tab and the teeth of the zipper should be made from metal or high quality, BPA-free plastic. This is to ensure that it doesn’t break or wear down. Flaps that cover the zipper also prevent different weather elements from getting into the bag through the zipper. You should consider these things when determining what bag is best for your individual needs.

Q: Why is the Coolwoo Kid Backpack made from neoprene?

A: The neoprene is commonly found in diving wet suits. It is breathable and durable making it incredibly comfortable and nice for children. This also makes it water resistant and stain resistant making the neoprene an exceptional option for messy toddlers and fickle weather.

Q: How do you recommend washing backpacks that aren’t machine washable?

A: Some bags have materials that need to be washed gently. If not, you could ruin the foam padding and the prints. We recommend looking at each product and see what the manufacturer recommends. Hand washing and line drying can be an option or maybe even dry cleaning. Thankfully a lot of the backpacks we mention can be more easily washed or contain material that is stain resistant.

Q: Why is it important for the backpacks to have padding?

A: Padding throughout the straps and the back panels add to the overall comfort of the bag. Having adjustable straps also makes it easier for your child to pack around whatever school supplies they need without the strain of thin, tight straps.

Q: Can I get my backpack monogrammed?

A: We actually don’t recommend getting your kid’s name monogrammed. This is because of the safety issue of putting your kids name is such a public place. Children are much more likely to trust a stranger who knows their name. Putting their name on the inside label is cheaper and easier. Your kid and their teachers can still figure out everyone’s bag without announcing it to every car that drives by.