How to Choose a Back-to-School Backpack for Your Children

Backpacks are a vitally important part of the back to school ritual. This bag is going to tote your children’s books, homework, and lunch to and from school every day. Like a piece of clothing, it needs to be both durable, and reflect your child’s unique personality. This means that most of the time, you can’t just pick the first one on the rack and expect it to work for the whole year. There are a few guidelines you can follow if you want to ensure this backpack will serve your child well for the entire school year.

Jansport Classic Student Backpack

Jansport Classic Student Backpack


Every year, it seems, schools are piling on more homework and textbooks. As our schools continue to compete to be not only the best in the country, but also in the world, students in younger and younger grades are being burdened with more and more weight. In order to ensure that all those extra pounds don’t put undue strain on your kid, make sure the backpack you choose has adequate straps. They should be supportive and securely attached. Nothing can ruin your kid’s day faster than a broken backpack strap. Also, make sure your child wears the backpack high enough. The main cause of childhood and adolescent back injury is wearing a pack too low on the hips, which causes undue strain on the back.

In recent years, the messenger bag and other one-shoulder models have become more popular. If your child insists on using one these, make sure he or she understand the importance of switching shoulders throughout the day. These bags distribute the weight unevenly, making one shoulder do the work that should be done by two.


Like having adequate straps, making sure the back of the rucksack is padded can ensure fewer back injuries. It protects not only from the sharp edges of books and binders inside, but also provides added support by alleviating some of the weight from the shoulders. Many backpacks have gel inserts or inflatable padding systems, which can make heavier loads much more comfortable to carry.


What material you choose is ultimately going to mean the difference between going out and buying an entirely new backpack every two months, and one that will last from September to May. Even kindergarteners now are often required to carry binders and hardbound books, which are the worst offenders when it comes to wear and tear on a backpack. Their sharp edges, combined with the jostling most kids put their packs through, means major wear on the bottom and sides. Most backpacks are made with rip-stop canvas or nylon, and a few even come with reinforced bottoms and handles, making them much more durable than other models.


Besides breaking a handle or strap, getting a zipper stuck is the worst fate for a backpack in the course of a day. It is annoying whether it is stuck open or stuck closed. This can be easily avoided, however, by picking backpacks that have metal, instead of plastic zippers. Plastic zippers are much more likely to break, as well as get stuck and mangled if something gets caught in their teeth. Metal zippers can see the same problems, but they won’t be destroyed as easily as plastic zippers. Another point to check is that the backpack isn’t constructed in such a way that there is fabric constantly in the way of the zipper. Testing all the zippers a few times will make sure this isn’t a problem for your child.

To Roll or Not to Roll?

The rolling backpack has seen significant debate recently, with basically two differing camps. On the first side, there are droves of parents, concerned about the weight of backpacks and the strain those backpacks put on their children. On the other side, there are teachers and school administrators, who know how hectic school hallways can be, and know that rolling backpacks can create a significant walking hazard. Plus, when a child departs elementary school and enters middle school, they often enter an environment where backpacks are no longer allowed in the classroom, and rolling backpacks rarely fit properly in lockers.

When it comes to picking a rolling backpack, as long as it is allowed by your kid’s school, it just comes does to a matter a preference. Are the risks of back injury great enough to truly be concerned? Is the tripping risk enough to be concerned? These are questions you will want to consider.


Unless your child is a strict utilitarian, he or she will probably have something to say about the design and colors of the backpack. Luckily for parents, there are plenty of styles that are also durable and comfortable to wear. Especially if you are shopping at a store that sells high quality backpacking packs and luggage, you are bound to find something in the style they love, with all of the features you know they need. For most children, all they care about is what the pack looks like, whether it has their favorite cartoon character, and that the zipper doesn’t stick when they are trying to get to their homework.

Final Thoughts

my cool backpacks

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Before picking any rucksack, give it a once over, checking the sturdiness of the material, the durability of the zippers, and the overall size and construction. Bigger backpacks should have better construction, as they will likely be carrying a heavier load. With just a few simple checks, you can be sure your child’s backpack will stand up to whatever he or she puts it through.

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