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Best Backpacks for Kids—From Tots To Teens

  • Backpack Buying Tips
    How do you pick the best backpack for your child when you're facing a full aisle in the store? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're shopping.
    Two straps: This will distribute the weight evenly and is safer for the carrier's back, neck and shoulders.
    Reflective: If children will be walking home from school or out at night, their backpack should have pieces of reflective material on the bag.
    Fit: Have your child try on the bag before you purchase it. The bottom of the bag should meet the lower back, but should not be more than 4 inches below the waistline. The point at which the bag and straps meet should be 1 to 2 inches below the top of the shoulders.
    Weight: When you've selected the right backpack, make sure you don't overload it. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that a backpack should not exceed 15 to 20 percent of a child's body weight, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not exceeding 10 percent.

    Check out more back-to-school shopping advice here!

  • From toysrus.com

    Stephen Joseph Quilted Backpack
    Even tots toting toys need a fun backpack! This quilted rucksack is the perfect starter bag for little ones wanting to carry their toys and snacks around. They'll love the six fun patterns; you'll love that it's machine washable.
    Price: $25

  • From SkipHop.com

    Skip Hop Zoo Packs
    This small, durable pack is perfect for carrying all of those childhood essentials like toys, crayons and special snacks. It's available in 20 animal designs, including fox (pictured), hippo and penguin. Your little one will be the most stylish kid at daycare or preschool!
    Price: $20

  • From toysrus.com

    Wildkin Pack 'n Snack Backpack
    Let your child carry her own snacks on your next day trip. This cute and functional backpack features an easy-to-clean, insulated front pocket that is safe for carrying food. Kids love the 19 patterns; parents love the reflective edges on the front of the bag.
    Price: $28

  • From Amazon.com

    O3 Kid's All-in-One Pre-School Backpacks
    Make everyone's day easier with a backpack that keeps track of lunch, too. The front pocket of this school bag is also an insulated lunch holder—no extra bags necessary. It has padded shoulder straps with an adjustable chest strap and comes in 15 cool designs.
    Price: $30

  • From MadPax.com

    Spiketus Rex Half Pack
    Mini-rock stars can't carry just any bag, so get them a backpack that shows off their spunky personality! The Spiketus Rex Half Pack comes in five colors. You can also get this bag in a full-pack size or in Bubble and Blok patterns.
    Price: $48

  • From PotteryBarnKids.com

    Star Wars Darth Vader Backpack
    Let The Force be with your child on the first day of school with this printed Star Wars backpack. Since it's available in five sizes, ranging from small/preschool to rolling backpack, this bag is perfect for Sith acolytes of all ages. This pack features reflective piping and the option to personalize it with a name or monogram.
    Price: $26.50 to $69.50

  • From Amazon.com

    Reflective Backpack
    Maybe your child loves neon colors. Maybe you're a stickler for safety when your child walks or rides a bicycle home. Either way, this reflective backpack is perfect for you. The color helps the bag stand out at all times, while the reflective strips on the back and sides increase visibility at night.
    Price: $23

  • From Amazon.com

    Dakine Girls Prom Pack
    Disregard the "girls" in the name. This Dakine backpack is a perfect option for all students, and gender has nothing to do with it (unsurprisingly). The bag comes in four bold patterns and features a padded laptop sleeve, insulated cooler pocket and lined sunglass pocket.
    Price: $55

  • From DeMarini.com

    DeMarini Vexxum Backpack
    This is a school bag that doubles as a gym pack. It may not be able to hold a full bag of equipment for your athlete, but the DeMarini Vexxum's vented shoe pocket at the bottom of the bag is a dream for those dealing with spare running shoes or gym clothes. The pack also features a front organizer and a large main compartment.
    Price: $50

  • From Amazon.com

    Osprey Talon 22-Litre Backpack
    Here is another bag designed with adventures in mind. The Osprey is a fantastic option for students who need a functional and sturdy backpack. They don't have to be climbing mountains for this to be a good fit for them. In any of its five colors, it features a lifetime warranty, ventilated foam back and adjustable harness and hipbelt, which has pockets.
    Price: $100

  • From Amazon.com

    Herschel Supply Co. Little America Backpack
    This modern and stylish Herschel backpack is a student's best friend. The well-padded back and shoulder straps make it comfortable, while the sleek facade makes sure your kid doesn't look like he's carrying his life on his back, even if he is. A drawstring and magnetic straps allow for easy access while still keeping the contents safe.
    Price: $90

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