10 Best Kids Backpacks in 2017

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best backpacks for kids

Kids today have to carry a lot of things when they go to school with books and other learning materials that are instrumental in their learning. Children today also love to travel often bringing with them their personal belongings that often include electronic gadgets and other stuff that enables them to explore their world. That is why this Christmas, one of the best and most functional presents you can ever give a child is a backpack. This is something that children will be able to use for several years especially if you are able to identify which ones are made of highly durable construction. To help you decide a lot better, we have made a list of the top 10 kids’ backpacks everyone is raving about in the run-up to the Black Friday madness. Hold on to your seats as we present to you 10 of the most amazing backpacks your kids will ever sling on their backs.

Top 10 Backpacks for Kids | Review

1Olive Kids Trains, Planes, and Trucks Pack ‘n Snack by Wildkin 

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Age Range: 3 to 6 years old

One of the cutest and most lovable backpacks we have seen which should be perfect for little kids like toddlers and preschoolers is the Olive Kids Trains, Planes, and Trucks Pack ‘n Snack. Actually, the Pack ‘n Snack has a variety of designs to choose from and not only limited to the traffic-crazed theme of the Trains, Planes, and Trucks. The Pack ‘n Snack remains true to the design inspiration of Wildkin which is the production of highly useful, safe, and fun gear for children of all ages. The Pack ‘n Snack has two main compartments: a central larger one perfect for bulkier and heavier things like notebooks and even tablets and a front compartment that is beautifully and ingeniously lined with a thermal insulation made of food-safe material. The front pocket is where the snacks go – your kid’s sandwich, fruits, and even whole meals placed in his or her favorite lunch box. It also comes with a side pocket for those bottles and even umbrellas your kid might want to bring along. The Pack ‘n Snack is made of highly durable materials and has been duly certified to be free from phthalates, lead, and BPA.

What We Like about It – With 16 designs to choose from, we are pretty sure you’ll have one fantastic design specifically for your kid. However, it’s the fully insulated front pocket that somehow captured our fancy.

2FreeTime Backpack for Kids by Amazon

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

Available in pink and blue variants for either girls or boys, respectively, the FreeTime Backpack for Kids is online retailer giant Amazon’s contribution to the growing need for high quality, truly functional, yet trendy and stylish backpacks for kids. The FreeTime was specifically designed and manufactured as a carrying bag for Amazon’s Kindle Fire although your child can technically place any electronic device inside its spacious compartment. It’s fully padded so any electronic gadget like tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, and headphones as well as other gadgets can be safely stored. The FreeTime also has two side mesh pockets which is convenient for storing bottles of water or fruit juice or even a folding umbrella for instant protection against the elements. The shoulder straps have been duly padded with thick cushiony material so it won’t sore your kid’s shoulders. The FreeTime also has a thin strip of carrying handle in between the shoulder straps at the top of the bag which is perfect for hanging the FreeTime behind your kid’s bedroom door. The materials used in the FreeTime’s construction is certified free from BPA and PVC. It’s also easy to clean and is deemed really kid-friendly.

What We Like about It – While Amazon is not really known as a bag-maker, its credibility in online commerce should help you feel confident about its FreeTime. We’re pretty sure Amazon won’t risk its brand image by producing and selling a mediocre product.

3Zoo Pack Little Kid and Toddler Backpack by Skip Hop

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Age Range: At least 3 months old

There are a total of 20 zoo animals in the Zoo Pack Little Kid and Toddler Backpack and Blossom Butterfly is just one of them. There’s also Marshal Monkey and Cheddar Cow as well as 17 other animal bag designs to collect, well that is if you would like to make this your kid’s own private collection. The Zoo Pack is designed in 20 different animal patterns all of which feature a very roomy central compartment which is great for storing baby’s essentials like change of clothes, diapers, bibs, face towels, and baby wet wipes. There’s a front compartment or pouch which is duly insulated to keep baby’s or your tot’s food staying fresh so when he or she is ready to feed, the food or drink is still in pristine condition. The Zoo Pack also features a mesh pocket which is fully adjustable to accommodate any size of bottle, be it the milk bottle of your baby or the fruit juice bottle of your toddler. The shoulder straps come fully padded so your little one will have no problems carrying it on his or her back. There’s also a nametag inside the bag which is easy to write on. At least, you can be sure that your Zoo Pack will be returned to you in case you lose it or misplace it. Like the rest in our list, the Zoo Pack is also made of BPA- and phthalate- free materials.

What We Like about It – If you get to see a little child walking down the street with a big colorful and smiling butterfly behind his or her back, wouldn’t you be amazed, too? That’s exactly what the Zoo Pack brings. More importantly, there are 20 zoo animals to choose from.

4Classic Backpack by Amazon Basics

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Age Range: At least 12 years old

If you’re looking for a cool and inexpensive backpack for your preteen, then the Amazon Basics Classic Backpack is the answer. Just look at the Amazon Classic as a JanSport equivalent sans the logo of JanSport. It is available in 7 cool colors so you’ll get one for either your boy or your girl. It has a capacity of 21 liters which is perfect for carrying your kid’s everyday things to school like books, notebooks, laptops, and other school items. Inside the main compartment is a secret zippered pocket with is perfect for storing your kid’s more valuable items. It also has a separate compartment for laptops, the walls of which have been duly padded for optimum protection of your kid’s electronic gadgets. The main compartment comes with a double zipper closure to allow for easier closing and opening. There’s also a front zippered compartment which is ideal for storing ballpens and other writing instruments as well as other smaller items. The sides of the Amazon Classic is designed with pocket compartments that can be easily closed with a Velcro system. The side pocket is large enough to contain a full-sized water bottle. The padded shoulder straps can be fully adjusted so your kid will not complain about sore back.

What We Like about It – If you love JanSport but is put off by the pricetag or even the large logo emblazoned in front, then the Amazon Classic is an excellent alternative. Actually, if you’d ask us we’d definitely recommend the Amazon Classic over the JanSport. You get two for the price of one and you get almost the same quality, functionality, and style. But, don’t take our word for it. It’s just us.

5T501 SuperBreak Backpack by JanSport

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Age Range: At least 12 years old

One of the most iconic backpacks in the world is JanSport, a brand that has been making high quality, simple designed backpacks for the past 3 decades. Its T501 SuperBreak boasts of a 600-denier polyester fabric construction giving it superb durability and strength and a very simple single main compartment design which is spacious enough to hold many of your pre-teen’s school items. The SuperBreak has a much larger capacity than the Amazon Classic, 25.42 liters versus 21 liter. The only difference is that the SuperBreak does not have a separate padded interior compartment for a laptop nor a secret inner zippered compartment. Nevertheless, the SuperBreak is one exciting and multi-functional backpack that kids are surely going to enjoy using. The front pocket comes with an easy-zip closure keeping all the trinkets and writing instruments safe and secure inside. There’s an interior open pocket inside the front compartment which can serve to separate the different items contained inside. The T501 comes with a back panel that has been 2/3-padded to provide cushion comfort to the back of your child. The SuperBreak comes in 34 different designs and styles. There are those that come in solid colors while some come in printed patterns.

What We Like about It – With a name like JanSport, it is rather difficult finding something in the SuperBreak that we don’t love. However, it’s the 2/3 padded back support that we really love about the backpack.

6Coolwoo Kid Backpack by Coolwoo 

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Age Range: 2 to 7 years old

There’s a reason why the Coolwoo Kid Backpack is called as such. The back material of this toddler to preschooler backpack is made of safe, high quality, very soft, and highly breathable mesh or net. This allows air to naturally flow and keep the back of your young child as cool as possible, reducing the incidence of irritation as well as tightness of the back. The design of the Coolwoo is also pretty cool. It’s available in 2 fun styles: a dog and a tiger. Both of these designs are beautifully integrated into the bag complete with the facial features of the 2 animals. Here’s the best part about the Coolwoo. It is made of high quality neoprene making it water-proof and water-resistant. The same material also renders it ultra-lightweight so that, when coupled with its fully-padded shoulder straps, the Coolwoo can be really convenient and comfortable to sling on the shoulders of your kids. The main compartment is unusually roomy for such a type of backpack. It also comes with a front compartment great for storing kids’ usual trinkets. The Colwoo also features a side pocket for storing your kid’s bottled drinks.

What We Like about It – The animal feature design is amazing. But, it’s the breathable netting and the neoprene construction that we really admire about the Coolwoo.

7Kids Insulated Toddler Backpack with Safety Harness by Yodo

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

The Yodo Kids Insulated Toddler Backpack comes in 4 different animal color designs: navy shark, blue cow, brown dog, and green dinosaur. The Yodo is a 3-in-1 gadget specifically design for toddlers and preschoolers. It can serve as a fully functional toddler backpack, a beautiful lunch bag, and a secure safety harness. The Yodo also comes in vivid zoo animal faces adding an extra element of fun to the bag. It also comes with a 50-inch fully detachable tether so traveling will be more secure for the rest of the family. Once your kid has already grown up, he or she can just use the Yodo as a normal lunch bag. The inner lining is made of FDA-approved materials that keeps foods and beverages cold for a few hours. The Yodo is also very easy to clean.

What We Like about It – The idea of a toddler backpack that will grow with your child surely appeals to many parents. Plus, the versatility of the Yodo is simply spectacular.

8Lightweight Canvas Cute Pattern Kids School Backpack by Ropper

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Age Range: At least 12 years old

Tired of the same usual design of backpack for your teen? Why not try giving him or her the Ropper Lightweight Canvas Cute Pattern Kids school Backpack instead? It’s made of premium quality, lightweight, and durable canvas complete with adjustable and comfortable padded straps. It has 2 main compartments plus a front zippered pocket so your kid will have plenty of storage space.

What We Like about It – The Ropper has many interesting designs that are not found in similar backpacks. Plus, the use of canvas instead of the usual polyester is something quite intriguing.

9Hot Wheels Backpack for Kids by Mattel

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

Designed specifically for the hot-wheeling preschooler, the Hot Wheels Backpack comes with a beautiful print of Hot Wheel’s most iconic rides. Measuring 16 x 12 x 5 inches, the Hot Wheels is just right to hold most of your kid’s miniature toys or even his or her other personal belongings. It also has a zippered front pocket and two mesh side pockets. The backpack already comes with a Hot Wheels mini car, the model of which varies with your purchase.

What We Like about It – The design of the Hot Wheels should help enhance your kid’s imaginative potential. Its spacious compartment is admirable, too.

10Casual Lightweight Canvas Laptop and Shoulder Bag and School Backpack by Leaper 

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Age Range: At least 12 years old

The Leaper set of school bags and backpack is one of the most comprehensive we have in our list. The set features a canvas laptop bag, a fashionable shoulder bag, and a lovable pencil case all embroidered in fabulous and classic Bohemian designs. The canvas backpack has a spacious main compartment with plenty of pockets for your kid’s things. There’s padding on almost every conceivable part of the Leaper bag including the compartment for the laptop, the straps, and even the back of the bag. There is a built-in eyeglass-holder on the shoulder straps plus a metal ring on the bag’s front panel.

What We Like about It – The Bohemian embroidery is very fashionable, indeed. Unfortunately, is it possible for a pre-teenage boy to use the shoulder bag?

How We Chose the Top Kids’ Backpacks in Our List

When we decided to do a list of the most amazing backpacks for kids, we knew it would be challenging. After all, we are not simply looking for a replacement of Dora’s famous backpack. What we are looking for a types of bags that our kids will definitely adore as they grow older.

As such, the very first thing we had to look for is the construction or the overall integrity of the design. Unfortunately, we can only rely on certain parameters that can help us determine the quality workmanship of a particular bag. 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. So, we had to rely on some forms of quality indicators such as the overall reputation of a company. A trustworthy backpack manufacturer, we believe, won’t sacrifice the integrity of its brand image by producing bags that are of mediocre quality. This is especially true among companies that have been in the business for many years, some even decades. They clearly don’t want to throw away what they have worked for all these years just by producing a backpack of highly questionable quality. Secondly, we had to confirm this by comparing it with consumer reviews and feedbacks. At the very least, our assumptions of quality workmanship must be fully satisfied.

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 enlisted 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 is 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.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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