The Best Kids Backpacks from Pre-K to Middle School

Back-to-school backpack shopping for kids can be overwhelming with all the choices out there.

Have you ever wished you had someone to just grab the best kids backpacks, lunchboxes and school supplies and give you a list so you can pick what you want and be done?

Well, you’re in luck!

We’ve spent hours combing through the best backpacks for kids from toddlers to elementary school and we’ve compiled this list to help make your back-to-school shopping easier.

Now the kids can go back to school in style and you can rest assured they’ve got the quality they need in a backpack.

How to Choose the Best Kids Backpack

Look for quality, size and functionality when you’re picking a backpack for your kids.

  • Quality We all know kids are rough on their things. A school backpack should be able to stand up to being tossed around on the playground, in class and at home without seams coming apart or getting holes in it. A general rule to follow is the older kids get, the rougher they’ll be on their backpack. So while your preschooler won’t need a heavy-duty bag, your middle-schooler will need one that can outlast lots of books and play.
  • Size A backpack that fits an elementary school kid will probably be too big to fit a toddler. So when purchasing a school bag, check the measurements and if possible the fit on your child to make sure they’ll be comfortable throughout the year. Also keep in mind they will grow throughout the year, so backpacks with adjustable straps are best so that they last until the end of the year.
  • Function Kids with a lot of gear will need pockets to organize all of it. Think ahead and get a backpack that can accommodate laptops and binders and small items like pencils, chargers, etc. For younger kids, a backpack with enough space for a folder, a few favorite toys and a change of clothes or a lunch bag will work.

Now that you know how to choose the right backpack for your child and what features to look for, let’s look at our top picks for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners, elementary and middle school kids.

image of kids wearing backpacks boarding school bus

Best backpacks for Toddlers, Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

The Skip Hop Toddler Backpack is not only ridiculously cute, but it’s the perfect size for your little one to tote to preschool. It features one larger compartment to hold your kid’s favorite school supplies with a medium-sized front zip compartment with mesh pocket for other essentials. It also has a convenient side pocket which adjusts to fit your beverage of choice. Skip Hop is known for quality and this cutie is definitely durable and designed with your preschooler in mind.

Wildkin 12-Inch Backpack

Wildkin designed a backpack that’s the epitome of fun and functionality! The charming little colorful images covering it make it a favorite amongst kids and parents. This backpack has ample space for storing all the necessities. It also has an insulated, food safe, zippered front pocket, making it a backpack and lunchbox in one! It’s definitely one of the best kids’ backpacks.

Yodo Insulated Toddler Backpack

Who doesn’t love a magical unicorn backpack? The Yodo all-in-one insulated backpack and lunch box comes equipped with a convenient, detachable safety harness. This harness tethers to your tot to keep him or her safe and secure. With a good-sized main pocket, side pockets and BPA-free washable lining, you can keep food and drinks cold for up to 3 hours and clean up any mess with ease.

Kasqo Kids Lightweight Backpack

Kasqo’s eye-catching, square kids backpack design is a flawless feature to fit folders and papers without damaging them. Made of soft polyester and water-resistant material, with padded adjustable straps and many other features for ultimate comfort, this backpack rises above the rest. With a variety of adventurous themed options to choose from, you’ll be sure to please your mini explorer with dinosaurs, astronauts, unicorns and more.

Vaschy Preschool Toddler Backpack

You’ll get the best of the best with the creatively designed Vaschy backpack. It’s a fashionable solution with eye-catching art, while being very functional as well. There is a roomy main compartment for storing kids’ essentials, such as an extra set of clothing, toys and more. Another feature is an elastic pocket to easily hold a standard folder and school work. Helpful little details like a chest clip to stay secure, extra long zipper pullers for small hands and a top loop for storage makes it a no-brainer!

Coolloog Kids Backpack

Designed for an active child, these Coolloog backpacks are made of an adorable, yet durable, weatherproof canvas. The features included are ideal for a child. A zippered front pocket, a generous main pocket, and even a built-in detachable snack bag are all wonderful features of this bag. With the most darling prints, this backpack is sure to put a smile on your kid’s face.

JiaYou Flower Backpack

The small size JiaYou backpack is perfectly proportioned for kindergarteners. It is sturdy and well-made with a reinforced bottom, smooth-moving zippers, plenty of pockets to store school stuff and side pockets for water bottle or small items. Kids will love the variety of hip pattern choices.

Best backpacks for Elementary and Middle School Kids

BlueFairy School Backpack

The Blue Fairy backpack is packed with substantial storage space and four different-sized compartments. Nestled within the main compartment, there is also a small pocket and a separate sleeve to store a laptop. In addition, there are two mesh side pockets for storing smaller stuff. Comfort is key with S-shaped adjustable shoulder straps, a carry handle on top and easy-to-use, high-quality zippers.

Under Armour Storm Scrimmage Backpack

Designed with school-aged kids in mind, the Under Armour backpack is extra sturdy, with high breathability for comfort. Using UA Storm technology, the material effectively repels water with a super water-resistant finish. With great features like a soft-lined laptop sleeve, 2 zippered main compartments,1 front pocket, adjustable shoulder straps, padded back panel and mesh water bottle pockets on both sides, it is sure to be a best-loved bag.

Tilami Rolling Backpack with Lunch Bag

The Tilami set comes with a rolling backpack and a separate matching lunch bag. With durable wheels and multiple pockets and compartments, there’s plenty of room for all the gear your kid might want to lug around the school. The coordinating lunch cooler bag is made of heat-sealed lining, which is 100% PVC free, and is complete with a Velcro closure and adjustable shoulder strap. The set will be a hit for students in their elementary and middle school years.

Smarty Heavy Duty Clear Backpack

If your kid’s school requires a clear backpack, we’ve got the one for you. This bag is designed to be durable. With triple stitching at the top, extra heavy-duty plastic and a reinforced, Military grade nylon bottom, your child will be sure to get a lot of wear out of this bag. It’s well-made yet comfortable and the clear material makes it easy to see all of the contents. Best of all, if you have any issues whatsoever, there is a 90-day replacement warranty.

Vaschy Unisex Classic Water Resistant Backpack

No bulky backpack here; Vaschy’s simple-styled bag is sleek and chic with lots of space. The little details will win you over, such as the nice leather handles on the zippers, making them easy to open, and the considerable double zipper main pocket. Other features include 4 inside pockets and 1 padded sleeve for a laptop or tablet, a front zip pocket and 2 side pockets for water bottles.

High Sierra Loop Backpack

Both trendy and sturdy, the High Sierra backpack will hold up through all of your youngsters’ shenanigans. It has all of the compartments needed, plus plenty of other valuable features. With smart details such as compression straps to secure your gear, a suspension system to help with heavier loads, and the key fob hook, the High Sierra is in a class of its own.

Under Armour Hustle Backpack

The Under Armour Hustle backpack is compact, comfortable, and holds a lot more than you would expect. It has abundant space with lots of pockets and a large, gusseted front pocket, ideal for the star athlete to store his or her shoes. Perfectly sized for a kindergartener or middle-schooler, the Hustle water-resistant backpack comes highly recommended.

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