Best Backpacks for Kids — From Tots to Teens

by Kelley Crosbie and Samantha McIntyre

Best Backpacks for Kids — From Tots to Teens
Shop Story

A backpack can tell a lot about a kid, whether she’s showing off her favorite cartoon character as she heads off to grade school or expressing her personal style as she enters freshman year. So 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, we’ve rounded up the best backpacks for kids that are stylish, sturdy and safe for growing backs. No matter which style you choose, remember to keep in mind the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines on backpack safety when shopping.


1. Best for Toddler Boys


2. Best for Toddler Girls


3. Best for Girls


4. Best for Boys


5. Best for Teen Boys


6. Best for Teen Girls


7. Best Rolling Backpack


8. Best Clear Backpack


9. Best Personalized Backpack


10. Best Mini Backpack


1 of 10 Image Credits: Walmart

Best for Toddler Boys

Wildkin Wild Animals Pack 'n Snack Backpack


If your toddler or preschooler is constantly telling you, “I want to carry it myself,” they will delight in doing just that with the Wildkin Wild Animals Pack 'n Snack Backpack. Whether you’re walking hand-in-hand to preschool or heading on the next adventurous trip to the zoo, this 12-inch backpack is large enough to store a few snacks and drink but small enough for petite shoulders and backs. The front of the Wildkin Snack Backpack even features an easy-to-clean, insulated pocket as well as reflective material for increased visibility.

2 of 10 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Backpack for Toddler Girls

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.

3 of 10 Image Credits: Target

Best Backpack for Girls

L.O.L. Surprise! Let Me Out Kids' Backpack


Perfect for your favorite L.O.L. Surprise! fan, this trendy backpack is designed for mini fashionistas who love the collectible dolls. The sparkly style features fun graphics of L.O.L. Surprise dolls and comes with a spacious zippered main compartment, adjustable shoulder straps and small front pocket which is perfect for keys and a cell phone. It also comes with a laptop sleeve. Designed for girls ages 3 to 9 years old.

4 of 10 Image Credits: Target

Best Backpack for Boys

Fortnite Kids Multiplier Backpack


Fortnite fanatics are sure to flip for this cool camo print Fortnite Kids Multiplier Backpack. The 18-inch carryall style features a zippered front pocket, large main compartment and interior laptop pouch with adjustable straps for comfort. Designed with durable fabrics made for long-lasting use. Recommended for kids ages 10 and up.

5 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Backpack for Teen Boys

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.

6 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Backpack for Teen Girls

Vaschy Water-resistant Travel Bookbag


Pretty and practical, this vintage style Vaschy Water-resistant Travel Bookbag is the best bet for back to school necessities. The durable design features a large zippered main compartment with double-zipper closure, zippered front pocket and a handy top loop. Available in 14 fun colors.

7 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Rolling Backpack

J World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack


Your kid is on a roll thanks to this cool J World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack. 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!

8 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Clear Backpack

Trail Maker Clear Backpack With Reinforced Strap


It's pretty clear why 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.

9 of 10 Image Credits: Pottery Barn

Best Personalized Backpack

Mackenzie Aqua Disney Princess 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 Aqua Disney Princess 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.

10 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.