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Best Kids Backpacks for All Kids

Another year means the best kids backpacks round up. This is my 4th year rounding these up my favorite backpacks, and I am SO EXCITED about the options I found this year!

This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated in August 2021

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Kids with their backpacks and lunch boxes

Best Kids Backpacks

I am a mama to 4 kids – this year I am sending kids to 3rd grade, 1st grade, and pre-k. I have gotten the kids so many different backpacks over the years, and feel like I have learned through trial and error what is the best and what is needed.

So what constitutes the best kids backpacks?

There are a few things I look at when it comes to backpacks for kids. One of them is Size – For younger kids – a smaller size that is both big enough to be useful, while also being small enough for them to handle on their own is HUGE.

As kids get into older grades (think first grade and up) a larger size that can hold books, folders, and such is more helpful. They can typically handle the backpack being larger. I will talk through what ages I find each one in todays round up to be best for.

I also ALWAYS look for at least one outside water bottle pocket. I feel like that is of HUGE importance for kids of all ages, and I basically won’t consider a backpack without it. I tend to think the backpacks that have those pockets with elastic on them tend to be the best.

Pockets – I also am a huge fan of at least 2 pockets in a backpack. I love to have the small front pocket for things like my sons epi-pen that I don’t want in his larger pocket.

Last – there are other features that can be helpful but you have to weigh your situation – IE – some allow you to hook your lunchbox to the outside. That is incredibly helpful for some, and for other kids they will never use the feature. Some backpacks also have a tablet or laptop sleeve inside – pending your kids situation that might be very helpful.

Fashion with Function

Honestly – how they look and how they function matter a ton to me.  I LOVE my kids backpacks to both be cute and functional. I have to look at them daily, so I try to work with my kids to find an option that they will love and will fit their personality, while also not hating it myself.

This years round ups were PERFECT for suiting both aspects of things, and I think as a mom you are going to love what I found.

girl with kindergarten backpack

Biggest Things to Pay Attention To

As moms we all have different wants and needs.  We all handle school differently – IE – do you send cold lunch, or do your kids eat hot lunch?  

That said – for me the biggest things I look at in terms of backpacks are:  High quality – I don’t need zippers breaking on a kindergarten backpack after a week because they can’t handle the little hands. 

Water Bottle slots – I tend to gravitate towards backpacks with the water bottle slots on the side that are elastic but no matter what I think them existing is really important. 

Large enough for a folder – If a folder can’t fit then it is likely not big enough for kindergarten and above. 

Cute – I tend to go simple, but I do like to let me kids help pick.  

Lunch Box Clips  – This isn’t a deal breaker but there are several brands that have methods do attach their lunch boxes on the outside so that they don’t take up space inside their bags, and I LOVE THAT.

little girl with pink Wanderwild backpack

Below is my round up of the best kids backpacks for this year! I hope you love them and you and your kids find something that makes both of you happy!

The best stylish kids backpacks

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30

Shop the Best Kids Backpacks Below

  1. Wanderwild Lunchboxes – We used these as one of the kids lunchbox options last year. They can be wiped clean which was HUGE
  2. Pack-it Lunchbox – comes in several prints and you can freeze the lunchbox itself instead of packing a separate freezer pack.
  3. Bentgo – I LOVE our Bentgo Boxes and seriously think they are a NEED for school so I assume this brand lunch box works great with them.
  4. Pink State Lunchbox – we have had state brand bags for years and love the brand
  5. Gold Lunch box – same as the above
  6. Fajallraven bags – we have these for each of our kids (and myself) as our travel backpacks and I LOVE THEM.
  7. Lego backpack. – this is the backpack my 8 year old has and it has held up great and works great for all he needs.
  8. Unicorn Wanderwild – this is our second year having this style backpack from Wanderwild. They attach to the lunch boxes and are so cute. The floral one in the photos held up well as well.
  9. Blue Wanderwild backpack – My oldest started his year with this backpack last year and it is amazing. it holds a ton and was really comfortable.
  10. Colorblock – this is on the smaller side so is likely better for first grade under.
  11. Pottery Barn Super Hero bag – my younest son has this. I would say when getting the PB bags get the larger size for kinder and up!
  12. Princess backpack – this is the same as above for the size
  13. Coral Mongogram bag – this is so cute and classic.
  14. Gold – we had a gold backpack years ago for my daughter and I think they are so cute.
  15. Striped State bag – this is at a lower price due to their collar with Target. I love STATE bags and think this one is a great option.
  16. Carhart bag – classic and simple.
  17. Floral rainbows – everything we own from this brand is beyond amazing
  18. Light blue – everyone raves about this brand
  19. Rocket – BEYOND cute
  20. Pink and yellow – this is so cute
  21. Adidas – Classic and comes in so many colors
  22. Yellow – obsessed with this one
  23. Black and marble – this is so cute and really affordable
  24. Green floral – this is so classic and pretty
  25. Stars – SO CUTE.
  26. Fuzzy Blue – This is SO cute
  27. Puffer – this comes in ‘boy’ colors too
  28. Unicorn lunchbox – I love this print
  29. Baseball lunchbox
  30. Bright fun backpack – this is so fun

My Number 1 Mom lunch box suggestion to go with any and all of this is to get this Bengto – we use it every single day. I don’t get fancy but it makes it easy to pack lunches with no baggies.

Wanderwild backpacks for kids

Other Posts You’ll Love

Hopefully now you have a great idea for a backpack, but if not – I also have another backpack post linked below that has more great options for kids!  So be sure you check that out too.  I am also linking to some other posts that might help get you school ready this year!

 Tips on organizing your week   | Beddys Bedding Review | Girls Fall Clothes | Boys Fall Clothes

kids with their kindergarten backpacks for back to school

Pin the Photo Below for Later

If you have any trouble finding the best kids backpacks always feel free to DM via Instagram (@arinsolange) or comment below, and best of luck to you parents and your children as they start a new year of school!

The best stylish kids backpacks

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Kendra miller
    July 16, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    I’d definitely pick the floral backpack from wander wild or the rainbow one bc it is just too cute!

    • Reply
      Arin
      July 16, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      isn’t that one so cute? My daughter loves the floral!

      • Reply
        Lindsay Fleming
        July 17, 2020 at 3:39 pm

        I’m a sucker for rose gold but my daughter would pick something with shimmer or Floral.

        Probably camo for my son or mustard yellow. Tooo cute!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Klingler
    July 16, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    Adorable! The rose gold or the pink with the confetti heart ❤️

    • Reply
      Cara
      July 16, 2020 at 10:36 pm

      I love the tie dye one! So cute!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    July 16, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    The floral backpack is adorable but I feel like my boys would go with the blue one.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    July 16, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    The Wanderwild floral backpack is so cute!!

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    July 16, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    I would love the dark blue backpack for my soon to be Kindergartener. These look durable enough to be manhandled by my big guy

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    July 16, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    I love the floral one and the mustard yellow one is so classic. However, knowing my girls they would love the gold metallic or tie dye.

  • Reply
    Gabrielle Brown
    July 16, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    I would definitely pick the dark blue for my son 🙂

  • Reply
    Rikki
    July 16, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    I think my almost 4 year old would pick gold, she’s a girly girl..the tie dye is so cute though!

  • Reply
    farren
    July 16, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    The rainbow one is so cute! I would let my daughter pick anyone she wanted as she is not looking forward to school (prek) so anything to make her excited!

  • Reply
    Lynlee Coppock
    July 16, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    I’m loving the simple colorblock or the floral!

  • Reply
    Miren
    July 17, 2020 at 12:33 am

    My daughter loves anything with flowers!!

  • Reply
    Lindsey Salisbury
    July 17, 2020 at 1:56 am

    I love that you are still staying strong with a norm (new backpacks for BTS) even though things are very different this year. It’s great for the kiddos to feel excited, and also to stay in somewhat of a routine. I love all theses the floral navy is gorgeous, but I love 11, 12, and 18 too. All Classic with a unique twist to match many personalities and styles. Thx for sharing hun!

  • Reply
    Cindy Feraro
    July 17, 2020 at 2:16 am

    I would definitely pick the #7 Adventurer backpack! It would be perfect for my 8 year old!

  • Reply
    Veronica Ortega
    July 17, 2020 at 6:19 am

    I will pick the wanderwall floral backpack for my daughter that is going to kindergarten too! But also loved the dark blue for my son

  • Reply
    Andrea Graham
    July 17, 2020 at 7:53 am

    I would pick the floral pattern. It’s adorable!!

  • Reply
    Habibah
    July 17, 2020 at 7:57 am

    How about Disney backpacks? I would always pick the pottery barn backpacks. Just ordered my son the paw patrol one.

    • Reply
      Arin
      July 17, 2020 at 7:24 pm

      yes!! we love those. My youngest has the toy story one, and my 5 year old has the rolling version of the princess one for her suitcase. We also have several versions of the superhero ones haha

  • Reply
    Whitney Hilton
    July 17, 2020 at 7:59 am

    My daughter would love the floral one (or anything girly) and she’s such a girly girl!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 17, 2020 at 11:43 am

    The shark one looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    Alissa
    July 17, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Love all the backpacks! My oldest loves blue so any of the blue ones would be our pick. But the rocket ship and NASA pack are super cute, too!

  • Reply
    Jessa
    July 17, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    The blue from wander wild!!!

  • Reply
    Casey
    July 17, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Love the Wanderwild floral backpack!

  • Reply
    Krista
    July 17, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I like the simplicity of the blue “Wanderer” backpack, but my son would definitely rather have the Dino one!

  • Reply
    Kristen
    July 17, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Loving the wildflower one! Thank you for giving such great suggestions and doing all the leg work!

  • Reply
    Val
    July 17, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Julia loves the gold!! THREE years?!?! That’s awesome!!

  • Reply
    Ama Caldera
    July 18, 2020 at 1:37 am

    My Noah would love the Dino!

  • Reply
    Caroline A
    July 18, 2020 at 7:48 am

    Would have to go with the raspberry stripe or the wildflower! My girl would love these! She’s the accessory queen 🤣

  • Reply
    Mary
    July 18, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I love the floral one too but sometimes a good solid is good too when kids favorites change so much!

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