A sturdy backpack is a must-have for school, but there are plenty of other situations where your child will need a backpack. They might need one for traveling, sleepovers, camp, after-school activities, or an afternoon at the park.

A good backpack should be one that goes along with your child’s style, but there are a few features to consider:

  • Size. The backpack’s size and capacity should correspond to your child’s height and the items they need to carry. Depending on your child’s size these should also be lightweight.
  • Straps. Look for a backpack with padded straps you can adjust.
  • Closure. Quality zippers will make a backpack last longer. Snaps are another interesting option to open a compartment with ease. 
  • Padding. A good backpack should have plenty of padding in the back panels, straps, and handle.
  • Seams. A durable backpack should have reinforced seams, especially if you have an older child who needs to carry heavy textbooks.
  • Compartments. Your child will need a backpack with a large main compartment and additional pockets to stay organized. Consider a backpack with a laptop pocket for an older kid.
  • Budget. Ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend on a backpack and consider how durable the backpack is and whether your child will outgrow it quickly.


Our quick reference list:

Best Backpack for Toddlers: Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

Best Backpack for Preschoolers: Obersee Kid’s All-in-One Pre-School Backpack

Best Backpack for Children 5-7 Years Old: BLUEFAIRY Kids School Bag

Best Backpack for Children 8-10 Years Old: Nike Kids’ Backpack

Best Backpack for Tween & Teens 11-13 Years Old: SHRRADOO Backpack

Best Backpack for Athletics: Under Armour Backpack

Best Rolling Backpack: Targus Rolling Backpack

Best Budget Conscious Backpack: OuTrade School Backpack

Best Overall Backpack for Value: JanSport SuperBreak Backpack

Best Backpack for Toddlers: Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

This backpack features a fun and colorful design. It looks like the face of a dog, and your child is quickly going to adopt this backpack as a comfort item. The original dog design makes the backpack easy to recognize in a group setting.

The 12” size is ideal for a toddler, and the backpack weighs under one ounce. The canvas material is durable and easy to clean.

The adjustable straps are ideal since toddlers can go through growth spurts. There is a main compartment and an insulated front compartment so your child can pack some snacks.

Check out current pricing here: Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

Another notable choice: Orezi Todddler Backpack

Best Backpack for Preschoolers: Obersee Kid’s All-in-One Pre-School Backpack

Starting preschool is a huge step, and your child will like this backpack that looks like a big kids’ backpack. The polyester fabric is durable, and the zipper closure system is ideal for securing your child’s belongings.

There are 12 different colors with some fun designs like pandas, dinosaurs, or unicorns. Finding a print your child likes should be easy.

Your child can use the main compartment to store some school supplies and a change of clothes, and the insulated front pocket to bring a school lunch. There is a convenient side pocket to store a water bottle.

The sturdy construction, 14-ounce weight, and 10x5x15” measurements make this backpack ideal for a three or four-year-old child.

 Shop this item here: Obersee Kids Backpack

Another notable option: NICE CHOICE preschool backpack

Best Backpack for Children 5-7 Years Old: BLUEFAIRY Kids School Bag

This backpack for elementary school features plenty of room for school supplies. It’s fashionable, and there are different compartments to help your child organize their books and school supplies.

The polyester exterior and nylon lining make this backpack a durable option. These materials are water-resistant and easy to clean. The quality of the zipper closure system is worth mentioning as well.

Your child can use the two main compartments, two front pockets, and the two mesh side pockets to organize as needed. The comfortable shoulder straps will reduce pressure, and your child can use the padded handle to carry the backpack.

There are five different colors, including blue, pink, purple, red, or black with camo or flower prints.

Check out current pricing here: Bluefairy Kids School Backpack

We also like this notable option: MIFULGOO elementary school backpack

Best Backpack for Children 8-10 Years Old: Nike Kids’ Backpack

Grade school is typically when kids start caring about fashion and brands. This Nike backpack is going to be an instant favorite for your nine to eleven-year-old child. It features a large Nike logo on the back and the Just Do It slogan wrapped around the top of the backpack. The Nike keychain is a fun addition to the backpack.

There is a large main compartment that is perfect for carrying school books. The backpack features two side pockets and a front pocket for smaller items like a pencil case.

We like the quality zippers and durable seams of this backpack. The adjustable straps have plenty of padding, and being able to adjust their length will help your child get more use out of the backpack as they grow.

We recommend this backpack for grade school-age children because it’s the perfect combination of fashion and practical features.

You can see the latest pricing here: Nike Kids Backpack

This other notable option is also a good choice: FENRICI backpack for boys or girls

Best Backpack for Tweens and Teens: SHRRADOO Backpack

This affordable and versatile backpack is a great option for tweens and teens who want a backpack for school and other activities. This backpack will quickly become their go-to bag for traveling, sleepovers, camp, and more.

There are five different colors to choose from. The backpack uses a simple design that your child won’t outgrow or mind using as they get older, which makes this backpack a more durable investment than other options.

We recommend this backpack for the 11 to 14 years old age group because teens often start using electronics around that age. This backpack has a special pocket that can protect a laptop or tablet from shocks and a built-in USB charging port.

Additional features include padded adjustable straps, a luggage strap for travel, a front pocket, a key fob holder, and a pen pocket to stay organized.

Shop this item here: SHRRADOO Backpack

Another notable choice: Hotstyle SIMPLAY backpack

Best Backpack for Athletics: Under Armour Backpack

This backpack is ideal for carrying athletic gear or even for school if your child likes the sporty look and large Under Armour logo of this backpack.

It comes in four colors, and the polyester construction is ideal if you’re looking for a long-term investment. The sturdy zippers can withstand a lot of wear-and-tear, and the water-repellent finish will protect your child’s belongings.

The 26-liter capacity makes this backpack suitable for a wide range of after-school activities. Your child can pack a change of clothes, their sports equipment, and still have some room.

The 13” shoulder drop makes the backpack comfortable. There is a laptop sleeve to protect electronics, a padded back panel, a front pocket, and some mesh water bottle pockets on both sides.

Check out current pricing here: Under Armour Backpack

We also like this notable choice: The NORTH FACE Youth sport backpack

Best Rolling Backpack: Targus Rolling Backpack

A rolling backpack is a convenient option for traveling and even for school if your child has a long commute or has a hard time carrying heavy textbooks.

We like this rolling backpack because of its sturdy construction. The backpack uses a sturdy frame and some reliable seams for durability. It’s a great investment that your child can keep using as they get older.

There are padded straps and a reinforced back panel, so your child can use this item as a regular backpack. Your child can use the retractable handle when they need the rolling mode.

This 16” backpack has plenty of space. There is a main compartment, some side pockets, and a front pocket. The interior pocket is a convenient feature for storing a laptop or tablet. Your child can use the elastic straps inside of the main compartment to secure some items.

You can tuck the straps in to keep them out of the way when using the rolling mode, and there is a wheel cover that makes carrying the backpack on your back more comfortable.

Click here for current pricing: Targus Rolling Backpack

Another great option: J World New York rolling backpack

Best Budget Conscious Backpack: OuTrade School Backpack

There’s no need to break the bank to buy a stylish and convenient backpack for school. This nylon backpack won’t tear easily and is water-resistant.

Your child can organize their school supplies thanks to the three different compartments and the two side pockets. The zippers are durable, given the price point of the backpack.

It’s a 17” backpack with plenty of room for books and school supplies. It weighs a little over a pound, and there is plenty of padding on the straps.

The size and design are ideal for a child anywhere between nine and 14, but older kids might not like the limited color selection that mostly features pink color schemes.

Shop this item here: OuTrade School Backpack

An under $10 notable option: Everest basic backpack

Best Overall Backpack for Value: JanSport SuperBreak Backpack

This backpack is your best bet if you’re looking for value. It’s a durable backpack with a recognizable brand, and it’s suitable for school, travel, and other activities. The 600-denier fabric is a standout feature that will ensure this backpack lasts for years.

The timeless design means your child will get plenty of use out of this JanSport backpack. They might decide to keep using it all the way through high school.

This backpack features a simple design. There is a 25-liter main compartment, a front pocket with an organizer, and a side pocket.

The quality of the seams is excellent. It’s an important feature for carrying heavy textbooks. The zippers are another quality feature that makes the backpack more durable.

Your child will be able to choose between 19 different colors, with some original options like a galaxy print.

For the latest pricing, click here: JanSport SuperBreak Backpack

We also like this  notable option: Champion Kids Youth Supersize Backpack

It’s important to pick the right backpack for your child. You should consider your child’s age, height, and what they’ll carry in their backpack. Involve your child in the selection process to make sure they’ll like their new backpack, but set a few ground rules about choosing a backpack with durable zippers, sturdy seams, and plenty of padding.