How to Pick Great School Backpacks

Jansport BackpacksThe best school backpacks are an elusive concept. You want something “cool,” something with a neat color or pattern, but it also has to be sturdy enough to carry around all those heavy books. That is what school backpacks are for, isn’t it? Kids’ backpacks must be durable, as they are going to be dropping in the dirt, dragged through puddles, slammed in lockers, and then also filled with all the hardcover books. It’s no wonder you have to buy new backpacks for the kids every year. They are completely punished throughout the school year. As you are looking for cool backpacks for girls and for boys, consider a few of the following tips:

Pick The Right Size

Sure, you’re probably going to be going out and picking it up before your child gets their books, but consider how old they are and what kind of homework level they’re likely to have. High schoolers, for example will have much more homework than third graders. This means they’re going to have to haul more books and binders back and forth from home to school. Small school backpacks, large enough for toting lunch, a few folders, and some pencils are great for elementary school kids. Once you’re into junior high, they’re going to need something big enough for a few thick books and at least two binders.

Find Something Sturdy

While you’re standing at the rack, test the material with your hands. If you run your fingers along an edge and it feels flimsy, chances are it’s going to rip after only a few months. Especially for students with lots of homework and hardbound books, the thicker the fabric is, the better. Many versions of the Jansport backpack come with a reinforced bottom as the bottom of the backpack gets the most wear and is more likely to see rips and tears.

Test The Straps and Zippers

You’re going to want padded straps—it’s as simple as that. Unpadded straps are going to dig into the shoulders, making the backpack uncomfortable to carry, and perhaps even causing physical harm to the wearer. And before you buy the backpack, test all the zippers once or twice. If it sticks in the store, it’s going to stick when your child is trying to retrieve their homework.


The last test of a backpack is style. If you’re the parent, you care most about the functionality of the backpack, but your child is going to care the most about how it looks in the school yard. Because every school age child has to have a backpack, there are plenty of companies that have come up with bright patterns and styles. Your child might prefer something streamlined and high-tech, with special cellphone storage pockets and headphone outlets. Or she might prefer something trendier, with a designer touch. Whatever their preferences, if you use these simple tips, you will be able to find them something that will last the whole year.

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