Girls backpacks on amazon

Girls backpacks on amazon DEFAULT

A great school backpack for kids should be able to corral all the stuff they need for the school day. It should also be appropriately sized for smaller bodies and comfortable to lug around. And since kids will carry a backpack every day for a school year (or beyond), it should be durable and come in enough colors and designs to let kids express their sense of style.

Since , we’ve tested nearly 30 popular backpacks for kids, in some cases sending them to school with our own kids year after year. The backpacks we recommend suit a range of ages (from preschool through middle school), have been thoroughly evaluated for comfort and durability, and feature smart organization and high-quality construction. Whether you’re looking for an affordable classic that will last for years, a fun backpack that comes in multiple sizes and tons of designs (including a rolling option), a larger backpack with laptop storage for older students, or an artsy, super-organized backpack for all ages, these packs earn top marks from kids and parents alike.

Why you should trust us

Our guide draws from the collective wisdom of our parent staffers and contributors, six rounds of testing (stretching back to ), research into the ideal backpack for kids, and years of sending our top picks to school with our own kids for hands-on, real-world vetting.

I’m the parent of three kids (ages 5, 11, and 13), and I also wrote Wirecutter’s guides to the best kids water bottles and our favorite diaper bags. This guide builds on work by Wirecutter contributor Sonjia Hyon, former senior editor Dan Frakes, and former executive editor Michael Berk.

Who this is for

This guide covers backpacks for school-age kids, from preschool through middle school. We focused on backpacks designed for use during a typical school day, with space and organization for school supplies, books, lunch, a water bottle, and other light gear (including, in some cases, a laptop, smartphone, or other tech). The picks in this guide should stand up to the rigors of a full school year of daily wear and tear. And, in many cases, they should last through multiple years or be able to be handed down. The designs and styles are likely to appeal to kids ages 14 and younger. For older kids, or those ready for bigger, more grown-up styles, check out our favorite laptop backpacks. If you’re looking for kids backpacks for hiking, camping, and travel, check out our guide to the best camping and hiking backpacks for kids.

The best basic backpack for elementary-school students: L.L.Bean Original Book Pack

The L.L.Bean Original Book Pack, shown in red.

Why it’s great: L.L.Bean’s liter Junior Original and liter Original Book Pack rank among the highest-quality kids backpacks we’ve tested, and they’ve been our top pick for six years running. The backpacks last for years, are comfortable and appropriately sized for young kids, and are spacious enough to hold plenty of gear without kids getting overloaded.

L.L.Bean introduced its now-classic Book Pack in Virtually unchanged today, the Book Packs have a nostalgic, hipster appeal (they’re even big in Japan). The Junior and Original packs are identical in design; the only real difference between them is size. Both have water-bottle pockets made of the same durable nylon as the bag; our years of testing have shown that this type of water-bottle pocket fares far better over time than pockets made of mesh (since those often rip). A thick strip of elastic at the top of the L.L.Bean bags’ water-bottle pockets also securely holds your child’s water bottle in place. The bottle pouch on both the Original and the Junior Book Packs comfortably holds a to ounce kid-size water bottle.

The L.L. Bean backpack shown in its larger Original size, next to a smaller Junior version.

Both sizes include high-quality finishes, such as sturdy zipper pulls, a storm flap to protect the zipper, and a thick, 3M Scotchlite reflective strip on the front of the backpack (a safety plus for kids who walk or bike to school). Apart from noting the expected dirt and a few scratches on the reflective strip, our testers reported that the bag looked and functioned great after a year of use. The thickly padded shoulder straps on our Junior Original test bag showed no signs of breaking down or compressing.

The front pencil pocket of the L.L.Bean Original Book Pack.

A midsize zippered compartment on the L.L.Bean Original Book Pack has organization for school supplies, a lanyard for keys, and a pouch for change or small items. Photo: Michael Hession

The interior of a L.L.Bean Original Book Pack, shown filled with notebooks.

The backpack’s roomy main compartment can hold notebooks, textbooks, and a lunch box, but it doesn’t have a laptop sleeve. Photo: Michael Hession

The back straps of the L.L.Bean Original Book Pack.

Our kid testers found the L.L.Bean packs to be comfortable. But they don’t have a sternum strap, which can help keep the shoulder straps from sliding. Photo: Michael Hession

Overall, the L.L.Bean packs offer excellent value: They’re among the least expensive of the kids backpacks we looked at, and they’re the only packs in our top picks that offer a generous, one-year satisfaction guarantee. Although L.L.Bean’s updated warranty policy no longer offers a lifetime guarantee, our experience with L.L.Bean is that the company honors warranties quickly and easily, with few or no questions asked.

Pockets and organization: This bag has a roomy main compartment, a midsize zippered compartment, and one external water-bottle pocket. The midsize zippered compartment, which also has a zippered pocket sewn onto the front, is large enough to hold a pencil case or a hardcover book. The midsize compartment also contains an organizer panel with two open pouches, a zippered mesh pouch for money, two pencil/pen slots, and a lanyard with a clip for keys or tchotchkes.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Unlike our other picks, the L.L.Bean packs don’t come with a sternum strap to help keep the shoulder straps from sliding back and off the child’s shoulders. So this is a good reason to make sure you get the right size for your child, rather than a larger backpack to “grow into.” Though the back is padded, the L.L.Bean backpacks do not have mesh back panels like some of our other picks; that mesh fabric is meant to provide ventilation and prevent your child’s back from getting too sweaty (though its effectiveness is debatable). The Junior Original and Original packs also do not include a laptop sleeve; if your child needs to tote a laptop or tablet for school, you will have to purchase a separate laptop sleeve.

Key specs

More patterns, characters, and sizes: Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie

A small version of the Pottery Barn Kids MacKenzie, shown next to the larger version.

Who it’s for: The liter small backpack fits kids ages 4 to 6 (or 43 inches to 49 inches tall); the liter large and liter rolling versions fit kids ages 7 to 12 (or more than 48 inches tall). A 5-liter mini option, available in some patterns, is sized for toddlers.

The Mackenzie lineup has four size options, and it is the only slate of packs among our picks that includes a rolling bag (in certain patterns) sized correctly for younger, elementary-school kids. (L.L.Bean also makes a rolling backpack for kids, but at 35 liters, it’s too big for most elementary-schoolers and even middle-schoolers.)

The Pottery Barn Kids packs are roomy and durable, with convenient organizational pockets. They also have additional bells and whistles, such as a height-adjustable sternum strap, a laptop sleeve with Velcro closure for the small and large backpacks (though it’s not padded), mesh lining on the padded back, contoured shoulder straps, a clip to attach a lunchbox, and a daisy chain for attaching knickknacks (a feature kids ask for).

One parent noted that the top handle on poor-quality backpacks is always the first thing to break. The handle on the Pottery Barn Kids packs is notably reinforced with double stitching and is the only one among our picks (along with the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up backpack) that is padded for comfort.

The water bottle pocket on the Pottery Barn Kids MacKenzie.

Pottery Barn Mackenzie backpacks feature two water-bottle pouches. But some are made almost completely from mesh, which is less durable than the nylon pouch on the L.L.Bean backpacks. Photo: Michael Hession

The Pottery Barn Kids MacKenzie shown with its main compartment unzipped and filled with notebooks.

The Mackenzie (shown here in small) can fit as much gear in its main compartment as the smaller L.L.Bean pack can. It has a reinforced, padded handle for more convenient carrying. Photo: Michael Hession

The interior pocket of the Pottery Barn Kids MacKenzie.

A sleeve with a Velcro closure can hold a laptop (up to a inch laptop for the small; the large can hold a inch laptop), though it’s not padded. Photo: Michael Hession

The pencil pocket on the front of the Pottery Barn Kids MacKenzie, shown unzipped.

The smaller zippered pouch has organization for school supplies and a lanyard. Compression straps can help keep the backpack compact when full. Photo: Michael Hession

The back straps of the Pottery Barn Kids MacKenzie.

Both the small and large Pottery Barn Mackenzie packs have sternum straps, which can help keep the shoulder straps from slipping. The straps are padded for comfort, and the back features mesh, which may help keep kids cool and comfortable. Photo: Michael Hession

The L.L.Bean packs do have a very loyal following, due to their functional design and overall quality; parents who’d used both the Pottery Barn packs and the L.L.Bean packs told us the L.L.Bean packs’ design and quality were better than that of the Pottery Barn packs. But those same parents reported that kids preferred the patterns on the Pottery Barn Kids packs. And even though the Pottery Barn Kids packs generally cost a bit more than the L.L.Bean packs, with a back-to-school or other promotion, the Pottery Barn packs can be just as affordable.

Pockets and organization: The small, large, and rolling bags feature a roomy main compartment with a non-padded laptop sleeve, a midsize zippered compartment, a small zippered compartment at the top (near the handle), and two external water-bottle pockets. The midsize zippered compartment contains an organizer panel with three open pouches, four pencil/pen slots, and a lanyard with a clip for keys or tchotchkes. The small top pocket near the handle is designed to store a phone or small electronic device and has a headphone port.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Parents on our staff have reported that these packs typically last at least two school years (which is not as long as L.L.Bean packs generally last). The patterns for the Pottery Barn Mackenzie line are best for elementary-schoolers; older elementary-school and middle-school kids may find them childish. (Case in point: The children in our family outgrew their chosen designs before the backpacks showed much wear and tear.) Depending on the design, the two external bottle pockets have a combination of mesh, woven nylon, and elastic tops. The weaker mesh leaves the pockets susceptible to catching on something and tearing; although our water-bottle pockets did not rip after more than a year of use, other parents have complained about this. In addition, the laptop sleeve (with a small Velcro closure) is flimsy, so you’ll likely want additional protection if your child needs to carry a laptop. Pottery Barn does not offer a warranty on its backpacks.

Key specs

Materials: water-resistant, denier polyester
Water-bottle holder: two
Laptop sleeve: yes, unpadded; fits up to a inch laptop for the small and a inch laptop for the large (no laptop sleeve on the mini and rolling packs)
Warranty: none
Colors and patterns: more than 70 prints and designs

The best backpack for middle-school students: Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack

The Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack shown in a black polka dotted variant.

Who it’s for: kids around age 12 and up

Why it’s great: For older kids who need to tote more stuff, Pottery Barn Teen’s Gear-Up Backpack (28 liters for the large and rolling, and 30 liters for the extra-large sizes) offers many of the same features as Pottery Barn Kids’ younger, Mackenzie collection. But this line also comes with more-appealing designs for tweens and teens, as well as additional ways to carry and organize all the gear that older students need to pack.

Available in or liter sizes, including a rolling option, the Gear-Up backpacks are roomy and durable, and they have a padded back with mesh lining and padded contoured shoulder straps. This pack’s top handle (like those on the Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie packs) is reinforced with double stitching and is padded for comfort (which is handy, considering the heavier loads older students have to carry).

Though the Gear-Up line does include a few characters such as Harry Potter and Black Panther, the designs mostly skew toward more grown-up-but-still-whimsical looks, such as vibrant swirls of color, neon patterns, and geometric prints. The liter backpack provided plenty of space for our 6th-grade tester’s lunch, three notebooks, and school-issued, inch Chromebook. For kids who need to carry multiple textbooks or sports clothing or other gear, the liter size offers even more room.

The Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack, shown with its main compartment unzipped.

The Gear-Up (shown here in the liter size) has a large main compartment with plenty of space for notebooks, some textbooks, a laptop, and lunch. Photo: Michael Hession

The water bottle pocket on the side of the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack.

The Gear-Up has two water-bottle pouches, but they’re made from mesh, which tends to be less durable than woven nylon. An elastic bungee cord can wrangle extra gear like a sweatshirt or gym sneakers. Photo: Michael Hession

The front pencil pocket on the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack

A small zippered compartment fits school supplies like pens, pencils, and a calculator. Photo: Michael Hession

The cell phone compartment on the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack.

Certain models of the Gear-Up have a small zippered pouch near the top; it is just the right size for stashing a smartphone. Like the Pottery Barn Mackenzie’s top handle, the Gear-Up’s is padded and has reinforced stitching for durability. Photo: Michael Hession

A laptop shown inside of the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack.

The Gear-Up has a padded sleeve that fits up to a inch laptop. Photo: Michael Hession

The back straps of the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack.

The padded shoulder straps and mesh-lined padded back panel add comfort (though there’s no sternum strap). Two metal D-rings (seen here on the shoulder strap; another is on the front of the backpack) can be used for keys or tchotchkes. Photo: Michael Hession

With three cascading tiers of pockets, the Gear-Up backpack lets students easily stash and organize their belongings. We could slip a inch MacBook completely into the padded sleeve in the main compartment (it holds up to a inch laptop), and an open pouch inside the small zippered compartment can fit a smartphone. Two metal D-rings and a cinching bungee cord (which aren’t found on the Mackenzie backpacks) can hold extra gear, like a sweatshirt.

Pockets and organization: The Gear-Up has a spacious main compartment with a padded laptop sleeve, a midsize zippered compartment, a small zippered compartment, and two external bottle pockets. The small zippered compartment contains an organizer panel with three open pouches, three pencil/pen slots, and a lanyard with a clip for keys or tchotchkes. A D-ring on the outside of the midsize compartment and a second D-ring on the shoulder strap offer a place to clip things, and a cinching bungee cord on the front of the small compartment can hold outerwear or shoes. Some Gear-Up backpacks also have a small zippered pocket near the top handle that can also be used to stash a smartphone.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Though they’re reinforced at the bottom, the all-mesh external water-bottle pockets have large holes and are vulnerable to catching on something and ripping, or simply tearing from the sheer weight of the bottle. Also, unlike the Mackenzie packs, Gear-Up backpacks do not come with a sternum strap, which seems impractical given that they’re carrying a heavier load. Pottery Barn does not offer a warranty on its backpacks, and monogrammed bags cannot be returned.

Key Specs

Materials: water-resistant denier polyester
Water-bottle holder: two
Laptop sleeve: yes, padded; fits up to a inch laptop
Warranty: no
Colors and patterns: more than 80 prints

A stylish, sophisticated backpack: State Bags Kane Kids

The State Kane Kids, shown in a coral and light blue variant.

Who it’s for: State Bags’s liter Kane Kids pack fits kids ages 5 to 9; the liter Kane Kids Large fits kids ages 10 to 14; and the 6-liter Mini Kane fits kids ages 3 to 4.

Why it’s great: Sleek and modern, State Bags’s liter Kane Kids and liter Kane Kids Large backpacks stand out for their artistic, eye-catching designs, for their durability and high-quality finishes, and for the many pockets that let kids organize and store their belongings.

From a silver metallic backpack—with large, colorful pieces of confetti embedded in the fabric—to a simple yet distinctive strawberry-and-mint colorblock pack, State Bags’s prints and designs feel more modern and sophisticated than those offered on typical kids backpacks. The Kane backpacks are the most expensive of our picks. But with unusual shades and patterns like indigo tie-dye, details such as bubble-like sequins and embroidery, and unique finishes including tassels on the zipper pulls, the packs have an out-of-the-ordinary look and feel that’s likely to appeal to kids and parents who want a special backpack to start a new school year.

Depending on the design, Kane packs have an exterior that’s made from durable canvas, coated cotton, or polyester. The interior is lined with a slick, tightly woven polyester that was the easiest among our picks to wipe clean. As with the zippers on the L.L.Bean packs, the zippers on the Kane packs are protected by a storm flap. And the Kanes have high-quality finishes, such as reinforced stitching along the top of the padded laptop sleeve (in the Kane Kids Large), which we didn’t find in the Pottery Barn backpacks. The Kane packs’ organizer panel is more elaborate than those on the Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie and L.L.Bean packs, with a combination of open sleeves (to slip in loose pieces of paper), a zippered pocket, and a mesh pocket to collect other small items.

Like the L.L.Bean packs, the Kane packs’ external bottle pockets are made from the same sturdy material as the rest of the backpack—though the Kane Kids’ water-bottle pockets don’t have the same elastic strip at the top to hold a bottle in securely.

The water bottle pocket on the State Kane Kids.

The Kane Kids packs (shown here in the liter size) have two water-bottle pouches made from the same durable material as the body of the backpack. Photo: Michael Hession

The main compartment of the State Kane Kids, shown filled with notebooks.

The Kane Kids packs’ main compartment can easily fit notebooks, textbooks, and a lunchbox. Photo: Michael Hession

The laptop sleeve of the State Kane Kids.

A 12½-inch laptop fits in the back panel of the main compartments in the liter Kane Kids, but it’s not padded. The liter Kane Kids Large does feature a padded laptop sleeve, and it can fit up to a inch computer. Photo: Michael Hession

The back straps of the State Kane Kids.

Unique details like daisy chains running down the padded shoulder straps make the Kane Kids bags stand out. The backpacks don’t come with a sternum strap, but you can purchase one separately. Photo: Michael Hession

The Kane Kids backpacks have padded shoulder straps, and most designs feature daisy chains from top to bottom for attaching decorative charms or tchotchkes. The back of the backpack is padded and comfortable as well, though it doesn’t have a breathable mesh lining, like the Pottery Barn backpacks do. The Kane Kids Large pack has an open panel on the back so you can slip the pack over a luggage handle. State Bags offers a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects on its kids’ backpacks.

Pockets and organization: These bags feature one or two main compartments, depending on the size of the pack; a small zippered compartment; and two external water-bottle pockets. On all of the bags, the main compartment includes an organizer panel with two large open sleeves, a wide zippered pocket, two smaller open pockets (one made with mesh) that can hold a smartphone, four pencil/pen slots, and a lanyard with a clip for keys. The main compartment of the Kane Kids Large is divided into two sections. One section has a padded laptop sleeve and enough space for one or two notebooks. And the second section, meant to carry the bulk of a student’s binders, books, and lunch, has the same organizer panel as the one in the smaller Kane Kids backpacks.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The smaller, liter Kane Kids backpack may feel snug if your child carries a large lunchbox, notebooks, and folders. Even though it has a big open sleeve in the organizer panel that can fit a 12½-inch laptop, it’s not meant as a dedicated laptop sleeve, so you can’t necessarily count on it to provide adequate cushioning and protection. The main compartment of the Kane Kids backpack could fit up to a inch laptop, but it also has no extra cushioning. State Bags’s backpacks are the most expensive of our picks, and monogrammed backpacks are not returnable. Despite the cost, the backpack does not come with a sternum strap; you must separately purchase the company’s detachable chest strap ($15 as of this writing). The inside lining of our backpack also features repeated rows of the “State” brand, as well as the message “This lining used to be plastic bottles," which one of our tween testers found to be pretentious.

Key specs

Materials: coated cotton, canvas, water repellent denier polyester
Water-bottle holder: two
Laptop sleeve: yes (for the the Kane Kids Large pack only); padded, fits up to a inch laptop
Warranty: one-year warranty for manufacturing defects
Colors and patterns: 27 prints for the Mini Kane; more than 40 prints for the Kane Kids; six colors and patterns for the Kane Kids Large

Other good kids school backpacks

A child wearing a yellow backpack.

Backpack needs can be as individual as kids are. If our main picks don’t suit your child’s needs, here are some other well-performing options we’ve tested—and in some cases recommended—over the past six years.

Preschool and elementary school

TwelveLittle’s Adventure Backpack is a sturdy pack that’s the right size for kids between the ages of 4 and 7 (preschool and early elementary school). The main compartment—lined with an assortment of cute patterns, such as the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac—includes a (non-padded) mesh pocket that can hold a inch laptop, as well as two elastic interior pockets, and it’s roomy enough to fit a lunch bag, standard school folders, and a sweatshirt. The external mesh water-bottle pocket is reinforced with extra lining, making it less likely to snag or rip, and a chest clip is built into the padded shoulder straps. But while the backpack comes in several fun patterns, such as a space-themed design with flippy sequins, TwelveLittle doesn’t offer as many options as Pottery Barn Kids or State Bags.

We previously recommended the liter Lands’ End ClassMate Small Backpack and the liter Medium because they have plenty of space to pack essentials, an adjustable sternum strap, daisy chains for attaching trinkets, and, in the Medium, an (unpadded, non-elastic) interior sleeve that fits a inch laptop. But compared with our current picks, these packs have backs that aren’t quite as padded, their interior organization is not as usable, and their material feels flimsier. And we’ve found that their all-mesh water-bottle pockets are likely to tear within the first year of use. We think the similarly priced and more durable L.L.Bean backpacks are a better value, but the Lands’ End pack may be worth considering if you find it on sale.

We tested the liter Deuter Junior for our guide to the best hiking and camping backpacks for kids. Although we didn’t think it was the most functional hiking pack, Wirecutter senior editor Kalee Thompson’s year-old son has since used this pack for three school years, as well as for stints at summer camp. It has held up well to daily abuse. And with its nicely padded shoulder straps, an ergonomically padded back, and an adjustable sternum strap, this bag was comfortable for daily half-mile walks to his after-school program. But the Deuter’s main compartment has a drawstring opening rather than a zipper, which means it’s not ideal for accessing school items throughout the day. The 8-liter Deuter Kikki, which we also tested, is cute and well made. But it’s suitable only for preschoolers, and it fits, at most, lunch.

Middle school

The Burton liter Kids’ Day Hiker Backpack comes with both an adjustable sternum strap and a hip belt, making it comfortable and sturdy when a kid is carrying even the heaviest loads (the bag’s nicely padded back with ridges for ventilation helps, too). The roomy backpack has two zippered compartments and plenty of pockets, including a padded sleeve that holds a inch laptop, as well as organizational features, like a clip for keys. Bonus: Two buckled straps on the front of the bag are meant for kids to carry their skateboards. The Burton Day Hiker is also the only backpack we tested that offers a lifetime warranty. It comes in only four patterns, and we think most kids will prefer one of our main picks for school. But this bag is worth considering if your kid needs a durable, ergonomic backpack for both school and outdoor activities.

For tweens and teens who are close to adult size and are looking for a more grown-up backpack, the liter North Face Borealis is a durable and versatile backpack that we began testing recently. The material (a combination of ripstop nylon, denier polyester, and denier nylon) feels solid and durable, and we appreciate the overall craftsmanship, which includes reinforced stitching, a reflective strip on the shoulder straps, and handy zipper pulls. The back of the backpack is padded, ergonomically contoured, and lined with mesh. A chest strap and a hip belt not only help distribute the weight of the backpack but also make it more comfortable to carry. (An unexpected bonus: There’s a whistle on the buckle of the sternum strap.) With a starting weight of about 2 pounds, it’s the heaviest and largest backpack we recommend, with two additional inches in length compared with our next-largest pick, the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Backpack. This size fits most adults but can be noticeably too big or heavy for a still-growing tween or teen. Note: There is a women’s version of the Borealis—it’s 27 liters (versus 28 liters) and about one inch shorter than the original Borealis, and comes in different colors and prints—that we have not tested.

How we picked and tested

After considering nearly 30 backpacks over the past six years, we’ve determined that a good kids backpack should:

  • Be made from durable, cleanable materials: The material should be water-resistant, able to withstand the rigors of daily use, and easy to wipe clean.
  • Be comfortable to wear and carry: Padded shoulder straps and padded backs can help ease heavy loads. Adjustable shoulder straps are also important to ensure the backpack doesn’t fall more than four inches below the waistline, which can increase the weight on the child’s shoulders. A sternum clip keeps straps from slipping, but it isn’t necessary if the backpack fits well (or the load is fairly light). You can also purchase a sternum strap, usually for less than $
  • Be sized correctly for kids: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that a backpack “should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.” A backpack that’s too large simply won’t fit a younger child well. We’ve found that 15 liters is about right for second-graders and younger, and that 20 to 25 liters is a good size for older kids and tweens.
  • Offer good organization: It should include basic organization and pockets—including a laptop sleeve for older students—to help kids keep track of their belongings.
  • Come in colors and patterns that kids will get excited about: We looked for backpacks with a variety of colors, prints, and stylish details, since backpacks are personal for kids and can be a way for them to express themselves.
  • Offer good value: We looked for backpacks that not only were affordable but also would last at least a few school years (until a kid sized up to a bigger backpack or grew tired of the design), and that could even be passed down to a younger sibling.
  • Come from a reliable brand and/or offer warranty: We prioritized companies that had a history of offering quality construction and good customer support.

Over the past six years, we’ve tested nearly 30 backpacks for kids, in some cases for multiple school years, to see how they would hold up over time. A number of Wirecutter staffers have sent the backpacks to school with their kids, and they’ve shared their kids’ likes and dislikes, which we collected and incorporated into this guide.

In , I tested 11 backpacks with my kids (then ages 4, 10, and 12), pitting our previous top picks against a slate of five new backpacks: State Bags’s Kane Kids Large, the Kids’ Burton Day Hiker Backpack, the Jansport Super Lite (no longer available), the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up, and the Parkland Bayside. I examined each backpack carefully (repeatedly zipping and unzipping the bags, inspecting the seams, and comparing the touch and feel of the material), and I filled them with various combinations of kids’ stuff. In , my family tested five additional packs, the Light+Nine Student Foldable Backpack, TwelveLittle’s Adventure Backpack, the L.L. Bean Super Deluxe Book Pack, Columbia’s Mazama 26L Backpack, and the North Face Borealis, again pitting them against our current picks.

Elementary-school backpacks need to be roomy enough to hold, at minimum, a standard two-pocket folder, a book, lunch, and a sweatshirt. Older elementary- and middle-school students will likely also need to pack a binder, notebooks, and, increasingly, a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. My kids also packed the bags with their personal belongings (down to their favorite pens and pencils in the pen holders). For several weeks, they dragged, lugged, and carelessly tossed around the fully loaded backpacks and rated them for comfort and ease of use. They also ranked their favorite designs, noting the ones they most definitely would want to take to school.

The competition

The Light+Nine Student Foldable Backpack is an innovative bag that kids can customize with charms (similar to adding shoe charms on your Crocs, but easier). Instead of monogramming, you can attach (and remove) the letters of your child’s name as well as their favorite things, with options ranging from dinosaurs to unicorns. But while we were intrigued that the backpack unzips completely so that it lies flat, it is otherwise boxy and bulky, and we did not find the design practical for school. (Because of the angle of the zipper, it’s hard to zip and unzip the backpack quickly and easily.) And while the back is padded, the shoulder straps are not.

The L.L.Bean Super Deluxe Book Pack is a liter backpack designed for teens, with a padded laptop sleeve, a padded back, and plenty of organizational pockets. Like the Original Book Pack, it is sturdy and well made, with heavy-duty denier ripstop nylon. But when filled, its three cascading pockets expand outward, making the bag feel bulky and unbalanced. There is also no chest clip or hip belt to help distribute the weight.

Columbia’s Mazama 26L Backpack is a dependable, inexpensive backpack that is suitable for middle-schoolers and shares many of the key features of our picks: a padded back, padded shoulder straps (with a chest clip), and a padded, felt-lined laptop sleeve. But compared with our picks, it has fewer, and less practical, organizational pockets. Though it held up in our initial testing, we were concerned about the backpack’s top handle, which appears minimally reinforced. Also, the backpack comes in only two color options (black and grey), which felt uninspiring.

The 20L Parkland Bayside comes in nearly 50 fun patterns, such as rainbow, cactus, and outer-space versions. It includes a laptop sleeve and a water-bottle pocket, and has a limited lifetime warranty. But we thought its padded back was thinner and less supportive than those on our top picks, making the Parkland bag less comfortable to carry. And it didn’t have much in the way of internal organization.

The inch Wildkin backpack for preschoolers and the inch Wildkin backpack for kindergartners to second-graders also come in more than a few dozen popular patterns. But the mesh water-bottle pocket ripped within the first few months of use, and Wildkin offers only a day warranty.

The Fjällräven Kånken Mini is durable and beautiful. But at 7 liters, it’s too small for anything beyond preschool use, and it’s too expensive (around $85 as of this writing) for most to consider.

The Fjällräven Kånken original, at 16 liters, is more appropriately sized for smaller kids, but we dismissed it before testing because the shoulder straps are webbing only and unsupportive. The removable seat pad is a nice bonus, but the children we consulted found the convertible strap system more fiddly and difficult to adjust than useful.

According to a third-grader and fifth-grader at different schools, the Herschel Heritage XL Youth is a popular bag for its brand appeal and design. However, one parent described Herschel bags as “cute designs, shit product.” The third-grader also noted that the REI Workload Mini (now discontinued) was more comfortable than the Herschel.

The North Face Berkeley (25 liters) and Berkeley Mini (19 liters) are well constructed, but their single external pocket is wide and long without an organizing panel. Also, these bags lack a water-bottle pocket, which many parents and kids consider a required feature.

Jansport backpacks come with a lifetime warranty, but the well-made liter Jansport Half Pint is too small for school-age kids and best suited to preschoolers. The liter Jansport Right Pack is too large for elementary-school kids. The Jansport Superbreak (25 liters) is lightweight and appropriately sized for older students, but it does not provide as much padding and comfort as our picks. The now-discontinued, liter Jansport Super Lite felt durable and (as promised) lightweight, and came in bright, appealing colors. But even though it included a laptop sleeve, it lacked a water-bottle pocket, which, again, many parents and kids consider a required feature.

The AmazonBasics Classic Backpack is quite the value at its current price of $18, but it’s a bit too basic—even for kids. It has just two zippered pockets and no organizational features. This could be fine for younger kids, but it’s available only in a liter capacity. Our picks cost more but are a lot more functional. Note: As of this writing, this backpack was no longer available on Amazon, and we’re unsure whether it will be restocked.

The Garnet Hill Eco Kids backpacks is no longer available. It felt well made and durable, with high-end features such as a padded top handle, water-bottle pockets made from the same durable nylon fabric as the backpack, and an adjustable sternum strap. But the backpack was available only in patterns, not traditional solid colors, which we found somewhat unappealing.

The Osprey Pogo is no longer available. It had some of the best internal organization of any pack we tested and was well made, with mesh backing, compression straps, and sternum straps, plus tight-knit mesh water-bottle pockets. We count Osprey packs among the best hiking daypacks for kids and the best travel packs for adults, but we didn’t like that this more general backpack came only in blue or black.

We used to recommend the REI Workload Mini Pack, which is no longer available. After testing it for a full school year, we found it to be a well-made, durable backpack that’s comfortable to carry. With more thickly cushioned straps and back padding, as well as a supportive sternum strap, it was a good choice for a kid who walks or rides a bike to school and is looking for a better-fitting and better-feeling bag. The liter backpack was best suited to students who are between kindergarten and third grade, and it included a sleeve with an elastic strip at the top that holds a inch laptop. Like L.L.Bean, REI offers a one-year satisfaction guarantee. However, the backpack was available in only two nature-themed patterns and solid black, which didn’t give kids much choice.

About your guide

Ellen Lee

Ellen Lee is a Wirecutter contributor, reviewing baby and kid gear. Her writing has also appeared in Real Simple, Working Mother, and Family Circle magazines, and she was previously a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her three kids earn their keep by helping her test products.


Nothing says back-to-school more than shopping for a new backpack, but it’s hard to find one that checks off all the boxes for both parents and kids. You’ll need it to be durable so you won’t have to replace it and organized so it can hold all of the schoolwork and school supplies, all while having a fun and inviting appearance so students actually want to wear it.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests backpacks for durability features like tear strength, strap strength and abrasion resistance as well as comfort aspects like the amount of padding in the straps and weight when it's empty. We also look at the overall design and organizational components and make sure that the material is water-resistant. Lastly, we have standard packing loads for different age groups to make sure it’ll hold everything they need.

The picks ahead are winners from our test along with some new styles with unique features and rave reviews. Here are the best kids backpacks for the school year:

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Best Overall Kids Backpack

Original Book Pack



L.L.Bean's backpacks are consistently top performers in our test and stand out in particular for being durable, functional and kid-friendly thanks to the variety of fun prints. The fabric holds up to our abrasion and water repellency tests, so you can expect it to last for years. This version in particular is the brand's most popular (and most basic) style with one main compartment plus front pockets for organization.  

There's also good padding in the back and on the shoulder straps, plus reflective strips for safety. The one callout  is that there aren't straps at the waist and chest for added support. For even more space, the Deluxe Book Pack version has two large compartments.

  • Durable fabric
  • Padded straps and back panel
  • Available in solid colors and prints
  • No straps at the waist or chest

Best Value Kids Backpack

Junior Backpack


If you're looking to save, this basic backpack has over 2, five-star reviews ranging from toddler parents to college students.It's incredibly lightweight at just over half a pound, and though it's not as spacious as others, it also comes in a larger version for older kids and adults that's still under $ 

There’s one roomy main compartment with a small pocket in front, and the straps are both padded and adjustable. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles you'll get with pricier backpacks (like water bottle holders on the side or padding at the back), but the price can’t be beat.

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Fewer organizational compartments

Best Backpack for Elementary School

Mackenzie Backpack
Pottery Barn



The fun designs from PBK – from ballerinas to space themes to Disney prints – let any young kid’s personality shine through and make wearing the backpack that much more exciting. Each one can also be monogrammed for $10 to make it extra personal.

On top of looking cute, the bag is made to be fully functional thanks to the strong, water-resistant fabric, padded straps and back and organizing pockets and straps on the outside. Plus, it comes in lots of variations, including multiple sizes and matching lunch bags.

  • Designs and sizes for every kid's preference
  • Strong materials and good support
  • Larger sizes are pricier than others

Best Backpack for Middle School and High School

Northern Pass II Backpack



This style from Columbia earned the highest score for to year-olds in our Lab's test and it has features that make it versatile to use from middle school and high school through college and beyond. 

It held our packing load with room to spare, uses fabric that’s both durable and water-repellent and has excellent padding in the straps. Plus, it has lots of compartments to keep students organized, including a padded sleeve for laptops. And besides this green, it's available in other colors like black, blue and pink. The only downside is that it's missing extra support straps around the chest and waist. 

  • Durable, water-repellent fabric
  • Good storage, including laptop sleeve
  • Comfortable padding
  • No straps at the waist or chest

Best Backpack for Preschool

Zoo Toddler Backpack



Designed for toddlers to kindergarteners, this themed backpack comes in tons of animal and character options. It’s smaller than other backpacks so it’ll fit little bodies, yet still has compartments for snacks and supplies, plus a loop on top so kids can hang it on their hooks. 

Some of our product experts use this one at home with their young children and see just how much the toddlers love showing off the characters at school or on outings.

  • Sized well for young kids
  • Plenty of character options

Best Backpack for College

Laptop Backpack


Whether they’re heading to class, traveling on break, or going on job interviews, this versatile college backpack has everything a student needs: tons of pockets to stay organized (including a separate laptop compartment), a built-in USB port to add a battery and charge devices on the go, and lots of padding to make it comfortable. 

It also has a zippered pocket against the back for valuables and waterproof materials to help the contents stay safe. It’s an Amazon bestseller with over 42, reviews from users who swear it’s both useful and professional.

  • Laptop compartment with built-in USB port
  • Plenty of organizational compartments

Best Fashion Kids Backpack

Kane Kids Backpack



Whether your kid loves metallics, colorful sparkles, camo prints, sport designs or more, State stands out for having a wide assortment of truly unique styles for any preference. Besides the fun factor, it's also well-made with a large compartment for supplies, organizational pockets and padded straps for comfort. The brand has a give-back model and donates money to charities supporting children for every bag sold. 

Most Durable Kids Backpack

Borealis Backpack
The North



This super popular style from The North Face was a top performer in our tests over 10 years ago and still continues to impress both our experts and real users. It stood out especially for holding up during our Lab’s abrasion, water-resistance and durability drop testing. It also has tons of padding for comfort, a separate laptop compartment and reflective features for safety. Plus, it comes in tons of colors.

  • Popular for high school and college
  • Durable materials for long-term use
  • Pricier than others
  • Not for younger kids

Best Lightweight Kids Backpack

ClassMate Medium Backpack



A backpack’s load can get heavy enough, so students don’t need the bag itself weighing them down. This one from Lands’ End was among the lightest in our test, but it still held our entire load for 7 to year-olds with room to spare. It comes in other colors and prints as well as larger sizes. Plus, you can choose to personalize it for an extra $8.

  • Light and spacious
  • Plenty of size and print options
  • Material wasn't as abrasion- or water-resistant in tests

Most Popular Kids Backpack

Superbreak One Backpack


It's an Amazon's bestseller and one of the most searched for kids backpack brands on the Internet. Though it's a more basic design with one main compartment and no chest strap, users love that it's roomy, lightweight and lasts for years. It comes in a variety of prints and solid colors for boys, girls and gender neutral styles.

  • Popular with great reviews
  • Lightweight and versatile
  • The brand isn't among the most durable in our tests

Best Basic Kids Backpack

Kids' Heritage Backpack



If you're looking for a simple design, Herschel's popular backpack for kids has one main roomy compartment with a smaller section in the front. It comes in three youth sizes to fit children of all ages, plus lots of prints to keep it kid-friendly. We also love that it has a durable material to protect the base of the bag, a chest clip for added support and a side bottle holder for convenience.

  • Three sizes to find the best fit
  • Ideal for those who prefer minimal designs
  • Less organization for older kids

Best Novelty Kids Backpack

Sequin School Backpack



If you’ve got a kid who loves to stand out, you need to check out this sparkly backpack. It comes several color combos and the sequins are all reversible so kids can create their own designs every day. On top of that, it also has some functional features: the large main compartment has a padded laptop sleeve, and there are smaller pockets on the outside. It has a near-perfect rating on Amazon from parents who say their girls are obsessed.

  • Reversible sequin design
  • Rave reviews
  • May be too flashy for some kids

Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping InstituteTextiles DirectorLexie Sachs earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Fiber Science from Cornell University, and she researches, tests and reports on fabric-based products ranging from sheets, mattresses and towels to bras, fitness apparel and other clothing.

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The 10 Best Backpacks for Kids of

Final Verdict

Choosing the right backpack for your child will depend a lot on their size and needs. However, the one that stands out the most to us is the L.L. Bean Original Book Pack (view at L.L. Bean) because of its overall ergonomic design, high-quality materials, versatility, and longevity.

What to Look for When Buying a Backpack for Kids


Your child’s backpack will take a beating over the course of a school year, so if you want one that will last them from the fall to the summer (and possibly beyond), look for one that’s made from quality materials. Check the zippers to make sure they’re securely sewn on and make sure the straps are thick and won’t flatten over time.

Also, since your child’s backpack will inevitably get dirty, especially if your child is younger, look for one that can be cleaned in the washing machine. 

Ergonomics and Size

Consider your child’s height and weight when choosing a backpack for them to ensure you’re getting one that is ergonomically appropriate for them. The National Safety Council says a child’s backpack should not be wider than their torso and should hang no lower than four inches below the waist. Additionally, an ideal backpack has adjustable padded straps that help to evenly distribute the weight whether your child is carrying a single book and a lunchbox or several books, a laptop, and notebooks.

Even better, look for a backpack with a padded bag, a waist and/or chest strap, and multiple pockets and compartments to help with weight distribution. 


Your child may be focused on the style of their backpack, but you should also pay attention to its general functionality. Make sure it has enough pockets and compartments that are large enough to hold all of their supplies and keep them organized. Also, if you plan to use the bag for more than just school, like for hiking or travel, check the materials it's made out of to ensure it can hold up to the additional activities.  

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Ashley Ziegler is a full-time parenting writer and mom to a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. She has personal experience in researching and purchasing a variety of children’s products and key considerations she used when selecting these recommendations include design, age appropriateness, and user reviews. 


22 best backpacks for back-to-school for kids and teens in

Back to school season is creeping up and while kids may not be excited to see summer end, there is one way to get them to look forward to heading back for the new school year: a brand new backpack.

New supplies is the perfect way to get them ready to start learning again (no matter where they're taking classes) and keep all of their school needs in one place. Ahead, find a list of backpacks for girls and boys with options for all grades, including preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school. They’re cute, fun, sporty and everything in between!

To shop this article by category, simply click on each link below:

Preschool backpacks

1. West Elm Astor Backpack

For a simple and affordable backpack that is as cute as they are, this navy and orange colorblocked style is perfect. It has two pockets with a section for pencils and other school must-haves, and adjustable straps so it can grow with them from the first day of school to the first day of summer.

2. Vaschy Little Kid Backpacks with Chest Strap

Your little one will love learning with this adorable dinosaur-themed backpack by their side. It features easy-to-open zipper tags, side pockets for beverages, a top loop for storage and a main pocket to hold every school essential. Plus, it comes in seven other patterns, including unicorns and astronauts.

3. Wildkin Kids Inch Backpack

The Wildkin Kids Inch Backpack is another great option that comes with plenty of storage to hold all of your child's belongings. While the purple butterfly pattern is bound to make your little one smile, it’s also available in 15 other fun designs.

4. Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

If he or she loves dogs, then you can’t go wrong with this adorable backpack from Skip Hop. It has a roomy main compartment with an easy-to-clean lining, an insulated pouch for snacks and an adjustable mesh pocket.

5. Camtop Backpack for Kids with Lunch Box

For those looking for more bang for their buck, consider this backpack and lunch box set from Camtop. It’s made with premium polyester that’s water-resistant and extra durable. This one has a fun unicorn headband print, but it’s also available in cool designs with sharks, dinosaurs and bunnies.

Elementary school backpacks

1. Lands' End Kids ClassMate Medium Backpack

This vibrant Lands' End backpack will certainly put a smile on your child’s face! It’s available in this bold pattern as well as 16 others, and can be totally customized with your choice of monogram or embroidery.

2. L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack

This L.L. Bean book bag is a classic option that will never go out of style! It's made with durable nylon and strong stitching to ensure many years of use. For a personalized touch, you can also add a monogram for an extra $8.

3. Le Vasty Sequin School Backpack

This Le Vasty sequin school backpack is the perfect bag for any little one who loves all things pink. The sequins can flip over to form different patterns, so your child can have fun swiping their hands on the material.

4. Bluefairy Bookbag

What elementary school student wouldn't love a camo backpack? It's water-resistant, easy to clean and comes with four separate pockets made with high-quality zippers to hold all of their necessities.

5. Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Critter Shark Backpack

This will definitely get your child excited to go to class. Made with a water-resistant polyester and padded back panel, this backpack is functional and durable. It has shark print to match the shark teeth on the front and a fin on top, and is available in small and large sizes.

Middle school backpacks

1. Vera Bradley Campus Backpack

The Vera Bradley Signature Cotton Campus Backpack is comfortable, lightweight and has tons of compartments to keep all of their things organized. The exterior features two zip pockets, two side slip pockets and even a grommet for headphones. Inside you'll find two mesh slip pockets and a cushy laptop section.

2. Fjällräven Kånken Water-Resistant Backpack

The Fjällräven Räven backpack is another durable option for your middle schooler. It has a simple design with heavy-duty construction for everyday use and comes in more than 20 different colors.

3. TrendyMax Galaxy Backpack

Take your son or daughter right into outer space with this colorful galaxy backpack from TrendyMax. It has comfortable straps and comes in 13 different patterns to suit all personalities.

4. FitMyFavo Pineapple Backpack

If your kid's favorite fruit is a pineapple, get them this trendy backpack from FitMyFavo. It will instantly bring on tropical vibes and is made of high-performance canvas for a comfortable feel.

5. Vbiger School Backpack

For a simple and budget-friendly option, go for the Vbiger school backpack that has over verified Amazon reviews. It's made with a waterproof, tear-resistant, scratch-resistant and extra-durable material that guarantees to keep your kid's school essentials protected and organized.

6. Nike Hayward

For the sporty tween, this backpack boasts plenty of room to put their gear – as well as their books. With a bungee strap detail on the front, your child can store their shoes or cleats post-practice so nothing messes up the lining, or their schoolwork.

High school backpacks

1. UA Undeniable Backpack

This backpack will last your teenager throughout their four years of high school. This backpack from Under Armour is made with water-repellant material and an abrasion-resistant bottom to keep all of their possessions safe. Plus, it has ergonomic padding and HeatGear shoulder straps for a comfortable wear.

2. The North Face Borealis Backpack

You can't go wrong with a sleek design like The North Face Borealis Backpack. It's available in over 30 different colors, including neutral shades like gray, black, maroon and white.

3. JanSport SuperBreak One Backpack

When in doubt, go with a classic JanSport backpack. They're durable, budget-friendly and sure to last them all year while they lug heavy textbooks to and from the library.

4. Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack

The Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack has become quite the popular bag over the years — and for good reason. It's made of % premium neoprene that’s water-resistant and hand-washable. It has enough room for most inch laptops, a change of clothes, a packed lunch and more. It even has a dedicated spot for items like lip balm, keys and a phone.

5. Herschel Classic Backpack

If your high school student wants a simple and durable design, they'll love the Hershel Classic Backpack. It has an extra-large interior to hold a laptop, books, clothes and more. It also includes a zip compartment in the front to hold all of those everyday essentials.

6. Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

The Matein Travel Laptop Backpack has almost 8, verified Amazon reviews and an impressive star rating. Many reviewers love this bag for its size, durability, water-resistant material and convenient USB charging port.

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Backpacks amazon girls on

Out of all of the school supplies you purchase at the start of the school year, your kid's backpack is probably the one item put through the wringer the most. From lugging heavy textbooks to and from school to enduring leaky lunchboxes, your little student’s backpack has to be durable if it's going to last until the end of the school year. Strong, durable backpacks that evenly cut the weight and ease the pressure of heavy loads is essential, as flimsy book bags filled to the brim can cause neck and shoulder issues over time.

While the backpack's style and color might be more important to your kid, you want to also prioritize getting a backpack that's designed to be as gentle on their neck, shoulders, and back as possible. It's also not a bad idea to keep an eye on what your kid is carrying back and forth to school to ensure there aren't heavy books or binders on board that don't need to be there. Lightening up their load can really help!

Ready to choose the perfect backpack for your kid? From pre-K to high school and beyond, here are the top kids' backpacks that are full of personality and designed to take on all of the rough-and-tumble fun along the way.

1Wildkin Kids Backpack



The Wildkin brand is all about long-lasting durability and irresistible cuteness. Your little monster will feel right at home with this friendly sea creature-inspired backpack. The outer fabric shell of the backpack is designed to last through a whole lot of wear.

You can also say “So long!” to cleaning up a ruined, liquid-stained backpack, thanks to Wildkin’s moisture-resistant nylon inner lining.

More: Kids Lunch Boxes Your Littles Will Love

2High Sierra Fatboy Backpack




Designed to be as comfortable and durable as it is cute and stylish, the High Sierra Curve Backpack is made of anti-rip material that can resist sudden, after-school rain showers from ruining your kid's notepads and textbooks. 

With a pocket to keep them organized all year long, you'll hear fewer frantic, last-minute whines as your kid searches for their homework and pencils.

The front pocket can store smaller items and even has a USB port to keep your kid's electronics all charged up.

3Mackenzie Navy Solar System Glow-in-the-Dark Backpacks

Pottery Barn



With sizes available for pre-K all the way up to incoming high schoolers, you can choose the version of the Mackenzie bag that best fits your kid's workload. 

Constructed of denier, water-resistant polyester, the bag includes ample storage options, plus external straps for attaching their lunch box to it. Your kid will be delightfully surprised when they turn off the lights and see that their solar system backpack is glow-in-the-dark and looks like an illuminated night sky.

More: Tiny Backpacks That Are Just as Cute as Your Pre-K Tot

4Deuter Kikki Backpack


Your little one could hike through the Adirondacks or just over to soccer practice with this adorable green backpack with its puppy-faced flap. 

Made with eco-friendly fabrics and designed with internal and external pockets for maximum moisture protection, this backpack can take a lot of damage from your kid and keep on holding on. And the safety of your little one is paramount with this setup. 

Not only are the eyes of the dog reflective, but the straps are ergonomically designed to keep your child's posture upright and comfortable, even when it is loaded down with books and equipment. 

5NIKE Youth Brasilia Backpack


When your kid gets a little old for palm trees and video game prints, you're going to want to get your kid something that's still the right size, but with enough space to house all their things — especially with so many kids taking all their books around all day. 

This Nike bag will have your kid looking cool while you're sure that they have all they need for the day, and then some.

6Marmot Root 12L Backpack



If you think you need to spend a fortune to get your kids a quality backpack that will last for more than one school year, you're not alone. Thankfully, that couldn't be further from the truth. Your kids can be fashionable and have a durable, well-made backpack for under $40 — this Marmot bag proves it. 

With cool retro styling and tons of pockets, there isn't anything that your kids will be missing out on with this genuine bargain.

7Under Armour Hustle Backpack




Between classes, massive homework loads, and bouncing from one school activity to another, your kid's backpack takes a beating. The Under Armour Hustle Backpack is designed to keep up with your kid's day. 

The entire exterior is waterproof to protect their tablets and notes from getting drenched on rainy days. There are front pockets, side pockets, and interior pockets to make sure there is a place for everything, including a D-ring on the front to hook their keys to. 

8Madpax Neon Bubble Full Backpack


The parenting editor at Best Products bought a version of this backpack for her son when he was in pre-K. He used it for the next 3 school years until it finally was deemed “no longer cool enough” for the third graders who all had Fortnite bags that year. It still gets used as a tote for the beach, many years later. 

The design is so much fun for younger kids, and the basic interior and exterior are absolutely perfect for little hands that might struggle with many zippers and compartments. 

9L.L.Bean Explorer Backpack



Somewhere between a hiking pack and an everyday school bag, this backpack will be able to rough it with your kiddo all school year long. With a pocket, pouch, and slot to accommodate and organize all of your little one's needs, searching high and low for a writing utensil will be a thing of the past. 

10School Uniform Kids ClassMate Large Backpack




This heavy-duty backpack is crafted to last for years to come. Lightweight and durable, this backpack features sturdy side mesh pockets to hold water bottles of any size, and there’s a reinforced grab handle that won’t snap off. The double compartments help your kiddo stay organized, while the front zipper pouch keeps their small essentials in one spot.

11L.L.Bean Deluxe Book Pack



Between nightly homework, school projects, and those super heavy textbooks, your kid needs a durable backpack that will take them through the entire school year. 

This L.L.Bean Deluxe pick is a crowd favorite because it has room to fit every school supply on that endless list (Trapper Keeper, we see you), and it's made of premium materials to make sure that it won't fall apart.

12Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack



If your tween or teen is social media-obsessed, they are likely fiending for this backpack. The TikTok-viral book bag is super on-trend, but it's also practical option that your high schooler will actually want to carry. The innovative material, vinylon F, is resistant to dirt, water, and your teen's rough handling. 

13Junior Original Book Pack




When your tiny tot is headed to big-kid school, it's time to upgrade them from the cutesy but flimsy backpacks to the sturdy but equally adorable options.

We absolutely love this fun, watercolor paisley print. Designed to be as durable and reliable as the larger backpacks from L.L.Bean, this tiny version is lightweight for your smallest scholar but strong enough to carry home all of their preschool art projects to adorn the fridge.

14Bluefairy Web Backpack



Perfect for swinging into the next school year, this webby backpack features three roomy compartments and a fun spider design. The large front pouch can hold everything from their folders to their calculator, while the mesh side pockets are perfect for water bottles. 

15adidas Kids Young Creator Backpack


This bag is a standout choice for your younger kids who are just reaching the age when they actually have stuff to cart back and forth to school every day. It comes in ten colorways, has a sturdy lining, multiple pockets, and easy mesh sides that are meant to hold water bottles.

16Bluefairy Backpack



Your kiddo is juggling several classes, after-school activities, and a robust social life, all while trying to keep their room clean at the same time. Get your budding scholar a backpack that can keep up with their busy schedule — like this Bluefairy Backpack. 

With four different compartments to accommodate everything from their laptop to their heavy books, you'll marvel at how organized they become. The unique, S-shaped straps make lugging around all of their daily must-haves a lot more comfortable.

The durable zippers and material mean that this backpack will carry your kiddo all the way to finals. 

17Mountaintop Kids Backpack for School



Getting stuck in a sudden rain shower won’t ruin your kid’s homework, thanks to this backpack’s water-resistant material. The adjustable bungee straps on the front of the backpack give your kiddo a spot to hold their lightweight jacket or lunchbox.

18OuTrade School Backpack


When your rough-and-tumble kiddo goes through three backpacks a school year, it's time to upgrade to an option that'll actually hold up. Made from super durable material that is resistant against rips and tears, your kiddo will meet their match with the OuTrade Backpack. 

Whether your kid is the type to bring their entire locker home every single day or just tote around what they need, this backpack's endless compartments can handle it. 

19Carhartt Legacy Classic Work Backpack



Carhartt is known for their tough workman clothes, jackets, and vests. People know that when they see Carhartt, the person wearing it means business. Their backpacks are no exception. The Carhartt Legacy Classic is water-resistant with an abrasion-resistant base. If your older kids are ready to saddle up with a no-games backpack that will actually last, this is the one. 

20JanSport Cool Student Backpack



If the super classic, plain black JanSport backpack is a bit too blah for your kid's taste, but they also are far past the glitter and superhero-design phase, this sturdy JanSport suede-detail backpack is perfect.

The reinforced suede bottom and zipper closures make for a backpack that can hold up to locker tosses, tumbles down the bleachers, and a week in the lost and found.

21PUMA Little Backpack


Not all elementary school-aged kids want a backpack with characters strewn all across it. For your kiddo who isn’t a die-hard superhero fan, this simple PUMA Little Backpack is the perfect choice.

Made of super sturdy material, the size isn't too overwhelming for your child's back but can handle carrying all of their school supplies.

22Gear-Up Circuit Neon Yellow Reflective Backpack




After a certain age, your little one will want to explore the world on their own a bit more as each day passes, whether that means walking to the neighbor's house on their own or riding their bike to school on their own. 

The Gear-Up Circuit Reflective backpack from Pottery Barn Teen is made of fabric that glows and shines in the dark to keep your independent kid safe. 

With durable bond stitching, your kid's backpack won't fall apart halfway through the school year. There is a compartment for just about every type of school supply — even their headphones!

23Fortnite Big Multiplier Backpack


One of the reasons your kiddo is still obsessed with Fortnite is the cool dance moves. This colorful backpack uses those groovy moves in the design, and your pint-sized gamer will love it. When it comes to durability, the inner padded pocket nestles your kiddo's tech supplies, while the bottom panels keep this backpack in tip-top shape.

24The North Face Jester Backpack

The North



Your high-school-aged kid is bouncing between class, yearbook club, sports, and so much more. The North Face Jester Luxe Backpack can keep up with them from morning to night.

With a roomy main compartment, water bottle pouches, and sleeves for your kid's laptop and tablet, they'll have space for everything they need. Plus, the gel-infused, padded straps and lumbar panel help ensure that the backpack is as supportive as it is comfortable.

25Everest Luggage Backpack



Your little scholar will be organized from the first day of school to the last with this Everest Backpack. With an organizing pocket in the front, they can store and easily access essentials like pens, calculators, and markers. Made of high-quality canvas material, mildew-causing moisture doesn't stand a chance. 

26Eastsport Multi-Purpose Pro Scholar Backpack



Designed to keep up with your kid's busy student life, this heavy-duty backpack won't give out halfway through the school year. With built-in pockets to house everything from notebooks and pens to water bottles and tech devices, they will be able to pack everything that they need for a successful day at school.

27L.O.L. Surprise! Gold Mini Backpack

L.O.L. Surprise!


It’s a L.O.L. Surprise! world, and we’re just living in it. Hopefully, whatever surprises you pull out of your kid’s L.O.L. Surprise! backpack won’t be of the week-old cheese sandwich variety, but if we’re being honest, it probably will be.

This is meant for little kids, toddlers, and preschoolers just starting out who need just enough space for their snacks and folder, and maybe a sweatshirt. It's designed to be cute and useful without being too much of a burden for little hands. 

28Hurley Kids' One and Only Backpack


Your kids can take a bite out of their homework with this fun shark-mouthed backpack. From skate brand Hurley, this backpack is simple and streamlined, with just two reinforced pockets, making it one of the more basic bags on the market — but wholly useful because the entire thing is mesh-reinforced for durability. (Skaters are notoriously hard on bags.)

Cat BowenAssociate Parenting EditorCat Bowen is the Associate Parenting Editor at where she researches all of the best products for families from pre-conception through their teen years, focusing on matching scientific evidence with real life needs; Previously, she was a health and lifestyle writer at

Latifah MilesParenting EditorLatifah is the former parenting editor at where she spent her time researching and testing the latest, greatest, and coolest products created to make parenting a breeze; her work has been featured on Cosmopolitan, Romper, and Elite Daily.

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After pausing for a moment, she charged him with a golden bullet, of course, it was very, very expensive to shoot. Such bullets, but against a dragon this is exactly what you need, like silver against undead or cold iron against fairies. And, again hanging the musket on her shoulder, the huntress lit the torch and entered the dragon's lair. It was dark in the cave, but the hunter's eyes were accustomed to the semi-darkness (thanks to the elven blood in her veins), and flashes of fire, visible in.

The depths of the cave, showed her the way.

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The hard side seat on every bump hurt Svetka in the ass, and every time she frowned in displeasure. There will be a bruise by the end of the road, she thought. Opposite was a man of about forty, wearing dark glasses. His face was motionless, but Sveta could vouch that he was looking either at the chest or at the legs.

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