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Best Kids Backpacks for All Kids

Another year means the best kids backpacks round up. This is my 5th 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 July 2022

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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 4th grade, 2nd grade, kindergarten, 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.

How do I choose a backpack for my child?

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 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 are 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

Best Backpacks for School

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 they are 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 my 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!

best backpacks for school

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. Gameboy lunchbox – nostaligia dreams come true!
  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. Target Floral – super cute and a great pricepoint
  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. Lululemon monochrome bag
  13. Lego backpack – this is the backpack my 8 year old has and it has held up great and works great for all he needs.
  14. Bold Florals – I love the bold retro floral and STATE is high quality.
  15. Kipling – yes! Kipling and the tiny gorilla keychain are back!
  16. Carhart bag – classic and simple.
  17. Confetti – this is what Ave chose this year
  18. Light blue – everyone raves about this brand
  19. Blue Mountains
  20. Pink and green animal print
  21. Adidas – Classic and comes in so many colors
  22. Simple Modern brand – I love their water bottles too!
  23. Pretty pastels
  24. Dark STATE – if you like the STATE quality, but want a neutral option
  25. Colorblock – SO CUTE.
  26. Classic Cheetah Print– This is SO cute
  27. Colorful Dinos– I love this print
  28. Tigers
  29. Ice Packs – such a simple cute addition
  30. Omiebox – perfect option if you want to has a sealed thermos because it’s built in!

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. 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 be sure to follow me on Tik Tok for more back to school tips! Best of luck to you parents and your children as they start a new year of school!

best backpacks for school
Join the Conversation

31 thoughts on “Best Kids Backpacks for All Kids

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

      1. 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!

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

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

    1. 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

  8. 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!

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

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

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