As your kid heads to kindergarten, buying the best backpack is just one of the many duties you’d need to undertake. It is also one of the most crucial. This could be the first time your kid would be using a backpack and you wouldn’t want to get it wrong.
Research shows that when kids use the wrong backpack, they could be exposed to health risks and injuries such as fractures, strains, and even spinal curvature. That is why it is important you make getting the best backpack for your kindergarten kid an important task.
In the best case scenario, the smart move is to head to the mall with your kid to purchase one for them. For one reason or the other, your best and the most convenient option would be to order it online.
However, both online and offline buyers of backpacks for kids face similar challenges. The most common being which one to pick from so many. Fact is, there are so many competing brands making awesome-looking backpacks for kindergarten kids and picking one could be more frustrating than learning how to skate with one skating shoe.
This review takes away all that frustration. It is a collection of 12 of the best backpacks for Kindergarten kids. The review covers a wide range of the best backpacks in the market today.
Best Kindergarten Backpack Buying Tips for Parents
There are several factors to consider before you can get the best backpack for your kid. Always refer back to these tips especially if you want to go solo shopping offline. It could make all the difference.
Size of Backpack – Many parents make the mistake of buying big backpacks hoping their kids would grow into them thereby saving them a buck or two in future spending. That is the wrong attitude as far as backpacks are concerned.
For the sake of your kid’s health, you must buy a bag that fits your kid’s size. According to chiropractors, backpacks for kids should never go below a couple of inches below the waistline, and the width of the backpack should be proportionate to the width of your kid’s back.
If you are buying online, you must look carefully at the dimensions of the backpack on the website. Then it’s time to take out the ruler or a measuring tape and go to work on your kid’s back.
Take your kid’s measurement from the shoulder down to the waistline. Then add two inches to the figure to get the maximum length of the backpack you can buy. Ideally, the best height for the backpack should be at waist level or slightly above the waist.
Next, measure the width of your kid’s back from just below the armpits. A backpack with similar width, give or take ½ an inch would be the best fit for your kid.
Materials used – First of all, you must make sure the materials used in making the backpack are non-toxic and safe for your kid. Go for items made with materials that are free of BPA, lead, etc.
Also important is to choose a backpack made with lightweight, breathable material or fabric instead of leather. Backpacks made with heavy materials add unnecessary weight to what your kid would he logging to school daily. Remember that you still have to load the backpack with all the essential stuff to tone to school.
Design – A kid’s idea of the best backpack is something trendy. What looks good and trendy to you might seem old-fashioned to your kid. That is why it is smart to involve them in the decision making process.
Allow your kid to pick the design they want. Obviously, they would pick one that suits the style they want to project. But you have to restrict their choices to bags that tick all or most of the boxes of this buying guide.
What if your kid is dead set on a low-quality backpack because it has a favorite character from that favorite Kiddy TV show? Direct their attention to a high-quality bag with trendy patterns and colors. Then offer to buy some cool accessories to customize the bag to their taste. You bet they would snap at the offer.
The straps – Definitely go for backpacks with adjustable double shoulder straps. Also, make sure the straps are wide and have quality foam padding inside.
Adjustable straps would help you get the right fit and positioning of the backpack while the padding would ensure your kid doesn’t feel too much pressure on their shoulders and neck.
And don’t even entertain the idea of a single-strap backpack for your kid. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), backpacks with a single strap are bad for the kid’s spinal health, gait and comfort.
Padding – The best backpacks for Kindergarten have padded straps and back panel. The challenge is to know if quality materials were used in making them.
Obviously, if you are buying online, you can’t determine that until after the package had arrived.
That said, the best way to test if the padding is good is to press the foam. A quality foam would bounce back to its original position. While a bad one would crinkle or take a while to get back to its original position.
It is a good idea to look at reviews from buyers and look for remarks about the padding. You don’t have to worry about this though if you choose any of the products in this review. The straps and back panels are all padded with good, non-toxic, high-quality foam materials.
Zippers are important – Most parents would tell you that once the zippers get damaged, the backpack is practically useless.
The buying tip here is simple: test the zippers to make sure they open and close smoothly without catching on the fabric of the bag.
Another tip is to go for zippers with a bit of fabric protecting them. This is very important if your kid is going to be exposed to rain or moisture. Without a protector, the zipper would rust making it difficult to zip and unzip the bag. Fortunately, most waterproof backpacks come with protected zippers.
Like in the case of the foam padding above, use the reviews to find out the state of the zippers before finally making your choice. The backpacks in the review all have quality zippers though.
Extra compartments/pockets – Look for backpacks with extra pockets, slots, and compartments. While the adjustable shoulder straps ensure the backpack sits at the right height, these extra pockets, compartments and slots aid in distributing the weight of the bag evenly when you load them up with the items needed for school.
The side pockets are especially important for storing water bottles, juice containers/cans, and packs of snacks.
Top 12 Best Backpacks For Kindergarten: Review
1. Obersee Kid’s All-in-one Pre-School Backpack
With its eye-catching and combination of soft colors, Obersee’s all-in-one backpack could just be one of the best backpacks in the market today.
This is a no-frills backpack that gets all the fundamentals just right. It is comfortable as well as very practical. It has two compartments secured by two sturdy zippers. The larger of the two compartments can hold standard-sized folders.
With the integrated lunchbox and small front and side pockets to fit items such as water bottles and other small items, the backpack is also very useful for camping and trips.
The shoulder straps and mesh lumbar section are both padded so your kid would never feel uncomfortable carrying the bag. The adjustable padded straps and the padded mesh lumbar section are both made from breathable material for temperature control and added comfort.
2. Skip Hop Unicorn Toddler Backpack
There is no compromise in the design of the Skip Hop Unicorn Toddler backpack to make sure kindergarten kids fall in love with it immediately.
The backpack reminds kids of the fun they can have while going to school. First, there is the unicorn-themed design complete with a purple horn to remind them of their favorite fantasy stories. It comes with a combination of bold and soft colors to attract their attention.
Made from durable, BPA-free materials, it features a side pocket to fit your kid’s water bottle or juice container; an insulated front pouch that is perfect for storing snacks; and small pockets to keep writing material and other small stuff the kid may need for school or on trips.
The main compartment is roomy enough to fit your kid’s stuff. The bag is supported by padded, adjustable straps to ensure kids enjoy the experience of carrying the backpack around.
3. American Tourister Kids’ Disney Children’s Backpack Frozen
The beautifully-designed and brightly-colored American Tourister Disney Frozen-themed backpack is exactly what your daughter needs to stand out as she heads to school.
The lightweight backpack is made from a durable and comfortable material. Your kid would surely fall in love with the colorful graphics featuring one of their favorite Disney princesses.
The backpack is a perfect size for your kindergarten girl. The front pocket is secured with a zipper for her to keep her pencils and other suppliers safely.
Regular folders and notebooks would comfortably fit in the main compartment and for water and snacks, the side pockets would do just nicely.
The quality of this backpack is such that you won’t need to buy a new backpack for a couple of years. It is sad though that color combination makes it a backpack for girls.
4. Mommore Different Size Kids Backpack
For a kid’s backpack, Mommore kids’ Backpack is designed simply with just two main colors. But it is beautiful because of the bold colors with yellow zipper-handles.
Made from durable water-repellent polyester, it features adjustable padded straps and padded adjustable chest straps to stop the bag from slipping off.
Other features include the mesh side pockets to hold a water bottle or juice cans secured with Velcro fasteners; a padded main compartment with two zippers big enough the store a folder and even a thin blanket; and a front pocket with a zip which would be nice for storing toys and other things kids love.
The bag can be cleaned easily in the machine and it doesn’t take long to dry naturally.
5. Wildkin 15 inch Backpack
Your kid would take to this backpack from Wildkin instantly. The colorful fun design and the color combination would ensure they stand out in a crowd of other kids in kindergarten. It is just the perfect size to comfortably pack things like snacks and drinks.
It features two adjustable padded shoulder straps for comfort. The back is also amply padded so your kid hardly feels the pressure of the bag on their back.
It is made from very durable 600-denier polyester fabric with a moisture-resistant nylon lining. The two main compartments are double-zippered and large enough to fit in all the essentials making organization and looking for items very easy.
However, the bag can only be spot cleaned. But that shouldn’t stop you from buying a backpack that comes with a 3 months warranty and has been rigorously tested to meet all safety standards.
6. Mayero Waterproof School Bag
The Mayero Backpack is a pear-shaped, waterproof school bag suitable for Kindergarten kids. It is made from high-quality, light nylon fabric that is durable and very resistant to wear.
The mainly navy-blue bag with light blue highlights features wide adjustable shoulder straps with 1cm cotton padding to make it one of the most comfortable kiddy backpacks.
Apart from the two mesh pockets for holding water bottles and snacks, it also has primary and secondary main pockets. There is also a vice-home bag and a prep bag.
With so many compartments, this is a very suitable backpack both for school and traveling as the compartments can hold as much as your kid needs for any occasion.
7. Mountaintop Toddler Kids Backpack for Kindergarten
At first glance, this Mountaintop’s backpack looks like an item suitable for only girls due to the color. But the clever design of deep pink with a dash of white and green colors along with grey side pockets makes it a beautiful backpack for both boys and girls.
The bag features a name tag to write your kid’s name on; strong smooth zippers in both front pocket and main compartment; and mesh side pockets to store their water bottle.
The back panel is a mesh affair with padding to enhance comfort and adequate circulation of air along the back. The main compartment can conveniently hold your kid’s books. It can also serve as temporary storage for wet laundry or smelly clothes.
And like most of the best backpack for Kindergarten, it comes with adjustable, padded shoulder straps and quality zips in the main compartment and front pocket.
8. Lusqik Waterproof Kindergarten School Backpack
Lusqik’s pink backpack is an awesome school bag to get for your kindergarten-age daughter. It is so beautifully-designed she would fall in love with it instantly.
It is made from high-density polyester and with inner nylon lining making it water-resistant to protect your kid’s book from liquids. An additional advantage of using polyester is that it makes the bag easy to clean.
The sturdy and very durable backpack comes with two generously padded S-shaped shoulder straps for making it easy and comfortable to carry. There is also a strong padded handle added to the top for hanging the backpack.
Most importantly for kids going to school, the main compartment is large enough to hold all their stuff without being bulky. There is also a front shield bag and front eye bag that can be used as a launch box bag depending on the size of the lunch box.
9. Kasqo Kids Backpack
Kasqo backpack is a unique and cute children’s bag with a quiet understated elegance. The square-shaped backpack has vibrant look and even adults wouldn’t mind having one.
The bag is made from soft, durable polyester that is water-resistant to protect your kid’s items from water and other liquids that might spill on the bag.
The shoulder straps are padded and adjustable. This makes the bag comfortable to move around with. For added comfort, the back panel is also padded.
The main compartment can hold books, small folders, and other school supplies. There is a smaller compartment on inside which can comfortably hold a small tablet.
Your kid would surely love this backpack with its lovely and unique print design.
10. Bluefairy Hearts Printed Kids School Backpack
The purple-colored Bluefairy backpack with its stylish design, sweethearts pattern print would be an awesome school bag to get for your little girl.
It is made from non-toxic polyester with a nylon lining making it both water-resistant and easy to clean.
The 15″ tall backpack has 3 separate pockets of different sizes each with a high-quality zipper for your kid to secure her things and keep them safe.
The pockets and compartments provide roomy space to fit and organize her things easily. It also comes with two meshed side pockets to conveniently hold a water bottle and snacks.
It also features an adjustable S-shaped, padded shoulder strap ensuring your kid feels comfortable while carrying the bag.
11. Fuel Backpack & Lunch Bag Bundle
The Fuel Backpack and Lunch bag combo backpack is perfect if you don’t want to purchase another backpack when your kid starts grade school. It is certainly big and durable enough to go the distance.
The backpack has adjustable shoulder straps which are padded ensuring it is easy to carry around and keep your kid cool. Attached to the side are meshed pockets to keep a decent-sized water bottle.
As to be expected from this relatively big backpack, the main storage compartment is spacious. The interior pockets come with a zip making it easy to organize items into separate compartments. And of course, there is a spacious front pocket for more storage options.
The water-resistant bag is made from polyester. But the webbing handle at the top is made polypropylene.
12. ArcEnCiel Kid’s Backpack
The first thing you would notice about this backpack is the rugged look. This is a very dependable backpack kids would love mainly because of the unique robot design.
The bag has one main compartment and 4 extra pockets for holding your kid’s items. The main storage compartment is spacious and would easily hold the kid’s books and other school items. The two front and two side pockets provide additional storage compartments and are all zippered to secure what is inside.
Kids would enjoy carrying the backpack due to the padded back panel, and padded shoulder straps which can be adjusted.
ArcEnCiel’s kids’ backpack is easy to clean and is made from non-toxic polyester.
How to load your kid’s Backpack
You have now found the best backpack money can buy for your kid and it’s time to head to school with it. But you just don’t dump your kid’s stuff haphazardly in the bag, strap it on them and send them on their way.
There is a proper way to this. At least, if you want your kid to be comfortable and prolong the life the backpack, simply follow this short guide:
As far as backpacks are concerned, the first consideration is not to overload it. Experts recommend that the weight of the bag should be about 10% of your child’s body weight. If you want to stretch it, it should never be more than 15% of the kid’s body weight.
This is the point you need to bring out the scales and weigh your kid. Whatever their weight is, 10% of that is what the bag should weigh. That means, you also have to weigh the bag with all the stuff inside to get the weight just right.
It doesn’t mean you would have to do this every time. Once is enough to give you a pretty good idea how much items you need to load in the backpack in subsequent days.
If the weight of the bag is above the upper limit, you have to consider removing a few items. This is kindergarten remember, your kid probably doesn’t need to carry all the items you think are important.
You can reduce the weight by removing one book and giving them to hold.
While loading the bag, make sure all the heaviest items are resting on the back panel which is closest to the kid’s back. Water bottles should be in the side pockets to avoid unnecessary accidents if they were to accidentally open and spill their content.
Also putting water bottles there means your kid doesn’t have to unstrap the bag and open it if they want to rehydrate themselves. Also, make sure to distribute the items so that the cumulative weight is spread evenly across the backpack.
Some Backpack Pro-tips for Parents
- If you bought a backpack with the intention your kid would it for a couple of years or more, it is recommended that you check it every summer before the school year starts to make it still fits.
- Always adjust the shoulder straps until the backpack fits snugly to your kid’s back. A bouncing backpack, the result of loose straps, would make walking uncomfortable and push your kid towards adopting a weird gait to compensate.
- For your kid’s safety, you can purchase a backpack accessory such as a reflector. This would make it easier for your kid to be spotted from a distance by, for instance, the school bus if your kid has to wait by the side of the road.
Another option is a reflective tape which serves a similar purpose. They can be easily sewn to the kid’s backpack. Sporting goods stores, and sewing and craft stores are places you can get backpack reflectors and reflective tapes respectively
- If you feel the need to have your kid’s name on the backpack, don’t display it outside for every stranger to see. It is recommended that nametags for kids’ backpack be placed inside. Some backpacks even have a small recess where you can put the nametag.
- Intermittently, you would have to clean the bag because it would definitely get dirty. This is where it could get dicey for parents.
If the bag came with a reflector and reflecting tapes, or you added them as accessories, running the backpack through a washing machine could damage them. Apart from that, if it is not a waterproof backpack, machine wash could also damage the foam padding.
The ideal way to wash a backpack is to soak it in a warm water solution of dish detergent. Then use a brush or a medium strength sponge to scrub it clean.
Dry cleaning is also an option for all types of backpacks. When you are done cleaning it, simply line dry it until it is ready for use again. That shouldn’t take long.
Some common Kindergarten backpack Questions and Answers
- Are waist and chest straps important?
Some backpacks for kids come with chest and waist straps or just one of the two.
Their most important function is to better secure the backpack to the kid’s body. The secondary function of these straps is to help the bag sit properly on your kid and help distribute weight.
- Here are some are some tips on these extra straps:
- The chest strap should be placed where it is most comfortable for the kid. Therefore, it is best if the chest strap can be adjusted up or down.
- In adjusting the chest strap, make sure it doesn’t interfere with the free movement of your kid’s arms. To achieve this, adjust it to bring the shoulder straps in.
- The hip or waist strap should be wrapped only around your kid’s waist or hip.
- What are the essential supplies to put in a backpack for my kindergarten kid?
It is understandable that some parents are anxious they send their kids off to school with the right supplies. If the school is not forthcoming on what your kid needs to take to school, the following items should be okay:
- Art supplies like crayons, markers, colored pencils, kid-friendly scissors, dry-erase markers, and glue
- Writing supplies such as pencils, erasers, paper, folders, and pencil sharpener
- A pencil box made from a plastic material to hold all the writing and art supplies.
- Spill-proof water bottle made from BPA-free material
Remember to check the weight of the bag before strapping it on your kid. As earlier stated, it must be between 10 – 15% of your kid’s body weight.
- What are breathable materials?
Many parents come across that phrase while researching backpacks to buy for their kids and wonder what it means. Without making it too complicated, these are materials that allow air to circulate freely.
One advantage they have is reducing the amount of sweat on the skin where the backpack comes into contact with it.
The most frequently used breathable materials are polyester, nylon, and neoprene. However, neoprene, the material used in most diving wetsuits is the best.
The combination of durability, water, and stain-resistant qualities of neoprene makes it a better material for making backpacks for kids.
- How can I know the best Zipper in a backpack?
The best zippers should be made from metal. The teeth and pull tab must be of sufficient quality to prevent rust from distorting its movement. If the zipper and pull tab are made from plastic, it should be BPA-free and durable.
Unfortunately, most manufacturers give out little information on the quality and make of their zippers. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and hope for best.
That is why it is important to read the reviews carefully before choosing a bag. Many of these reviews would mention a zipper problem of there is one. The backpacks in this review have been tested to ensure all the zippers are made from high-quality material.
By now, you must have realized that getting the best backpack for your kindergarten kid is similar to shopping for personal items like clothes. Basically, the backpack you choose must be trendy and cute. Crucially though, your kid must like it; so it is essentially they are part of the buying process.
In the buying guide above, the cost of the backpacks as a factor wasn’t mentioned for a reason. The best backpacks are not necessarily the most expensive and vice versa. We went to great lengths to balance price and quality.
The result of that balancing act is that all the backpacks in the review are the best at that price range. We are confident that anyone you and your kid choose would be worth it in the long run.