10 Best Backpacks for Kids — From Tots to Teens

by Bethany Braun-Silva

10 Best Backpacks for Kids — From Tots to Teens
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It’s no surprise that backpacks come in every shape, size and color, making it tricky for parents and kids to choose just one. From character-covered and cute to simple and sophisticated, there are tons of backpacks to choose from. Of course, a backpack also has to be practical and safe for kids to wear to school everyday.


Be sure  keep in mind the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines on backpack safety when shopping as backpacks can cause strain on your child’s back and shoulders that may cause posture problems. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for a kid’s backpack:


  • Wide, padded shoulder straps
  • Padded back
  • Waist strap
  • Rolling function


We’ve rounded up the best backpacks for kids that are stylish, sturdy and safe for growing backs. Check them out below.


Best for Toddlers: Skip Hop Zoo Backpack

Best for Elementary Schoolers: State Kane Kids Backpack

Best for Middle Schoolers: Vaschy Classic Backpack

Best for High Schoolers: JanSport TDN7 Big Student Backpack

Best Rolling Backpack: J World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack

Best Clear Backpack: Trail Maker Clear Backpack With Reinforced Strap

Best Personalized Backpack: Pottery Barn Mackenzie Backpack

Best Mini Backpack: Hotstyle Bestie Mini Backpack

Best for Laptops: L.L. Bean Super Deluxe Book Pack

Best Affordable: Everest Basic Backpack


1 of 10 Image Credits: SkipHop

Best Backpack for Toddlers

Skip Hop Zoo Narwhal Backpack


When only a magical backpack will do for your little lady and this hot-selling Skip Hop Zoo Narwhal Backpack is just the trick. This adorable design made for kids ages 3 and up features front zip pocket, roomy main compartment and mesh side pocket for juice or water bottles. Padded, adjustable straps make it easier for your little one to carry comfortably.

2 of 10 Image Credits: State Bags

Best for Elementary Schoolers

State Kane Kids Backpack


With two water bottle pockets and soft, padded straps, this backpack is perfect for sending your little one off to school in style. It easily fits folders, books and a lunchbox, with room leftover.

3 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Backpack for Middle Schoolers

Vaschy Classic Backpack


This classic backpack packs tons of features. It's lightweight, water resistant and includes a main pocket, front zippered pocket and a side pocket for water bottles. Plus, it comes in 13 different colors.

4 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Backpack for High Schoolers

JanSport TDN7 Big Student Backpack


Tried and true, this classic JanSport TDN7 Big Student Backpack is made to carry everything your studious student needs to have handy. Built to last, this rugged style is made to hold everything from lunch to laptops. A JanSport quality guarantee gives parents ease of mind that if any part of the bag breaks, the company will repair or replace it. No need to worry about your kiddo carrying on while sporting this style! Available in over 20 color variations.

5 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Rolling Backpack

J World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack


The J World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack was designed for wheeling around, this convenient backpack style is also easy to carry with comfortable, padded cushion shoulder straps. The stylish bag features a large middle section with a front zippered pocket and two side mesh pockets. Great for the kid on the go!

6 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Clear Backpack

Trail Maker Clear Backpack With Reinforced Strap


This Trail Maker backpack would be a good choice for a durable bag designed to last throughout the school year. Easy to clean and made to carry a heavy load with reinforced padded straps for comfort. This style comes in several colors and features two zippered compartments for storing school supplies.

7 of 10 Image Credits: Pottery Barn

Best Personalized Backpack

Pottery Barn Mackenzie Backpack


When it comes to the best personalized backpack, the name of the game is a stylish customized bag that reflects your child's style like this adorable Mackenzie Backpack from Pottery Barn. Available in several sizes, including a rolling backpack, this bag is designed to hold all of your kid's must-haves and can be monogrammed with your little one's name or initials.

8 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Mini Backpack

hotstyle Bestie Mini Backpack


A great alternative to a bulky bag, this hotstyle Bestie Mini Backpack is perfect for storing small personal items. Available in 10 bold colors, this style can also be converted into a shoulder bag.

9 of 10 Image Credits: L.L. Bean

Best for Laptops

L.L. Bean Super Deluxe Book Pack


This backpack features a padded compartment for laptops up to 13-inches in size. It has two main compartments and two mesh side pockets for water bottles. This bag is perfect for long days studying and carrying a ton of books. The waist strap helps offset a heavy strain on the shoulders.

10 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Affordable

Everest Basic Backpack


This lightweight backpack costs under $10 and comes in over 25 solid colors. It features padded straps and a large main compartment perfect for books, clothes, lunch and more.