Looking for a backpack that is durable, pracitcal and long-lasting? We’ve got your list!
Choosing a school backpack goes way beyond popping in to the local department store and choosing a fun backpack with a pretty design, at least if you want it to last.
When I am shopping for backpacks, I lead the way, not my kids. If they got to choose we’d end up with an inflexible, plastic, latest-movie themed piece of junk that falls apart 4 weeks into school or that they no longer like when they get to school and another kid comments on how it’s not “cool.”
I’m after a functional backpack of high quality with a timeless design.
Function: What does your child actually need for school? Those thousands of zippers and buttoned pockets are super cute but often unnecessary. If school is new to you, please trust me when I tell you those pouches are going to fill up with broken pencils, the backs of stickers, and random unidentifiable objects. Look for a backpack that has a pouch for loose items, a water bottle holder, and an interior pocket for private items. Skip the bag with 150 pockets. Also, keep in mind the size of your child. As cute as it may be, the giant backpacks on little ones are likely, not great for their backs.
High Quality: There is nothing worse than a backpack that is uncomfortable or falls apart a few weeks into school. Look for a high quality, durable bag, that is going to last at least the year, if not longer. It should be able to keep up with the wear and tear of everyday use without rips, breakage, or coming apart at the seams. A high-quality bag should flexible and comfortable. It should be able to hold up well in rain, snow, being shoved into small places, pulled out from those small places, overstuffed, and being kicked around on the rough schoolyard concrete.
Timeless Design: This is a big deal to me. I don’t mind paying for quality items, but for the most part, I’m hoping not to do so every single school year. Even in the years where there has been a substantial shift of interests or a big jump in maturity, my hope is that they won’t “outgrow” the style of their backpacks. We skip the character-themed backpacks and the latest trends that may render the backpack “unusable” come October. Look for a classic backpack with a simple design or single color.
We have tried a lot of backpacks, through various children. Like with all of the items in our Back To School Shopping Guide, it’s fair to say that there have been hours and hours of research put into this list.
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When it comes to durable backpacks Carhartt is top of the line. Designed for job sites these backpacks can hold up to a child who is rough on their stuff.
This backpack isn’t for your primary school student, but rather your teenager. Color offerings are basic and not overly exciting, but suffice for your casual kid.
There is ample room for textbooks and anything else needed at school and the rain resistant and highly durable material make this bag practical for every day use.
JanSport has certainly gained in popularity over the last few years, however, that is not why it has made this list. Trends definitely guide our kids, but they don’t guide me!
JanSport backpacks are simple in design, which I love. They aren’t over the top with pockets and pouches but offer enough organization to make day to day school life easy.
These backpacks come in a ton of colors and designs, so there is literally something for everyone. Choose a solid color or simple design and this backpack will last your child years.
If this backpack doesn’t last, JanSport offers an amazing lifetime warranty. When we are talking daily use by kids, that is a handy thing to have no matter how high the quality of the bag!
We are huge North Face fans in our house. Whether it is clothing or outdoor equipment we have never been disappointed with this brand and their backpacks have been no different.
We love that The North Face put some energy into designing a backpack specifically for youth. The back has a foam padding layer which makes walks to school more comfortable and it’s easier on their backs given it is designed for kids/youth as opposed to adults.
The organization of this backpack is great. There is a secondary front section, which I am always a fan of, internal mesh pockets, and storage for a water bottle.
I do wish that this bag came in additional colors. You’ll find blue, pink and black. We are big fans of the basics when it comes to backpack colors, but I do wish the options were a little more varied.
THE NORTH FACE JESTER Backpack
Like the other North Face backpacks, this backpack is high quality.
We absolutely love the huge selection of colors and the variety in designs.
We also really love the bungee cord design. This is such a help for storing and securing extra things that we do not want inside the backpack (ie muddy clothes when they are little or stinky gym shoes when they are older!)
We absolutely loved the Bixbee Backpack when our kids were little. These backpacks are super fun in their design and appealing to little ones who are just getting used to wearing a backpack.
Most importantly these backpacks have a horizontal design that is ergonomically correct for little backs. They come in sizes, based on your child’s height, so pay mind when you are shopping.
The quality of these backpacks is good, although, I would stay away from the sparkles as they do tend to rub off and are a bit more prone to wear and tear. If you do have issues, this company is amazing for providing quick replacements with their warranty!
Herschel is well known for their quality and comfort so I am sure it is not surprising to see them make this list.
Quality and comfort aside, these backs are beautiful and come in a variety of colors. They also come in three sizes so you can find the right size for your kiddo.
This bag is the most simplistic of the Herschel backpacks and is very lightweight.
Like the Herschel classic the Pop Quiz comes in a variety of colors, with three sizes to choose from.
This bag has a very mature, two-tone design that is very classic. It has some features you won’t find on most Herschel’s, including two extra compartments, including a sunglasses holder and an extra section at the front.
The front “extra section” is weatherproof making it perfect for storage of those electronic devices.
The Herschell Settlement bag, like the others from Herschell, has a lifetime warranty, comes in numerous colors and has three sizes to choose from.
This is probably my favorite Herschell. It is simplistic in design and is without the bells and whistles (ie no faux-fur lined pockets as you’ll find in the Pop Quiz).
This is probably the sturdiest of the Herschell options so is great for everyday wear and tear. It also has a large capacity, which is great for adding all of the things that need to be taken back and forth to school each day.
Heading back to school time usually brings with it a long to-do list and a number of adjustments to day-to-day life. A high quality backpack that you can depend on can make your days easier, so be kind to yourself and check out some of the bags on this list!