Featured Parenting

Back to School ~ Our Top Picks for Backpacks!

As Summer winds down it’s time to start collection up all the gear my kids will need to head back to school.

This year my youngest son will be at nursery school a couple days a week.  Because he won’t need to carry a lunch he will only need a backpack that will hold the crafts he makes and possibly a change of clothes.

On weekends it can also double as a bag he can bring to grandmas and somewhere he can store his stuff when we are traveling.

We have found 8 backpacks that are perfect for a little one who is starting school.
Backtoschool - pre-schoolers2

  1. CBHstudio backpack($35) – the littlepackrats backpack is not only full of personality but it is the perfect size for young kids.  It has a hanging loop that is handy for preschool cubbies and it is Made in the USA from durable easy-care vinyl.
  2. Angel Street Kids Backpack($27) – This deluxe school-sized backpack that is large enough to fit a full size three ring binder and it is adorned with molded bug zipper pulls. It features four large pockets, adjustable straps, and breathable specialty fabric under straps for quality and comfort.
  3. Dwell Transportation Backpack ($46) – This functional backpack is the perfect size for books and a snack or anything else for school or play. Plus it comes in 4 cute patterns!
  4. The Skip*Hop Zoo Pack($20) is the little kid backpack where “fun meets function!” Whimsical details and durable materials make this the perfect on-the-go pack for kids on-the-go!


  1. dabbawalla back pack($40) – These adorable backpacks are the perfect size for taking to pre-school, on daily excursions and overnight outings. It features cushioned, flexible straps that adjust from the inside, sturdy grip handle on top, outside back pocket, three inside mesh pockets
  2. Littlelife animal daysack – The Animal Daysack adds a touch of fun to any day out. It holds a surprising amount of stuff and the removable safety rein gives crucial parental control when you’re out and about. The Animal Daysack also has a weatherproof hood that stows away in a top pocket.
  3. Olive kids($30) – Olive kids’ adorable themed backpack’s roomy interior and zippered pockets are perfect for little ones to carry around their books, art supplies, toys, snacks and more! Their packs are specially sized for preschoolers (ages 3+), and feature adjustable padded shoulder straps and two simple zipper closures.
  4. Crocodile Creek Backpack($27) -This line of sturdy backpacks are just the right size for children aged 3-8. Great for school, camp, or travel. Backpacks are 11.5″W X 14″ H.

School Aged Kids

Now that my oldest son is in grade 1 he will need a backpack that is easy to carry, but will hold his lunch, home reading, school papers and homework.  Because this backpack is going to need to last for a few years it should be more mature and also should be able to grow with him as gets older.

Below, I’ve found 6 packs that are both practical and easy to carry.


  1. Osprey Jet Daypack($30) – This functional daypack  incorporates Osprey’s famous technical design and quality into an everyday pack that bridges the gap between hauling school books and after-school play.
  2. Pottery Barn Mackenzie Backpacks ($34, $50 & $58) – This functional and fashionable backpack comes in 3 sizes, pre-school, small and large for kids over 4′ tall. It is rugged, water-resistant 600-denier polyester and it holds 1 full size binder or laptop, 2 large books, 2 medium notebooks. The Mackenzie comes in 13 patterns for girls and 6 patterns for boys.
  3. Coleman KIDS Backpack ($20)- Designed specifically for a child’s frame this practical pack features 2 pockets for generous storage, 1 main pocket, external side pocket, Water bottle pockets and reflective tape on the shoulder straps for safety (17inch shoulder straps).
  4. Kelty Grommet($32) – The Grommet is known for comfort on the backs of kids everywhere. This go-anywhere pack carries a standard notebook, has an organizer and mesh water bottle pockets. Ideal for ages 5-10. ($32)
  5. DAKINE Scooler Pack – ($25) This backpack conveniently comes with a removable insulated lunch box, ID label, mesh side pockets and it has reflective details so you child can be seen at night.
  6. Littlelife Adventurer Daysack ($25)- The 2011 version of the Adventurer Kids Daysack is aimed at slightly older children and will hold everything they need for school, a sleepover or a day in the park. Its spacious main compartment with circular zipped entry provides a good level of storage with quick and easy access. Reflective panels increase visibility when it starts getting dark.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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