The Best Backpacks for School Reviewed

Every parent knows how difficult it is to see their little one go off to school. Your child has grown up and gained independence while you are left feeling slightly bereft. Their new venture entails a huge amount of physical – as well as emotional – baggage; think book bags, folders, and lunch boxes. However, by investing in a good quality backpack for school, the only weight of the world felt will be that on your own shoulders as you reluctantly cut loose those apron strings.

PictureNamePriceOur Rating

Jansport Big Student Backpack$4.6
17 Inch Gray Wheeled Bookbag$4.0
Quiksilver Men's Schoolie Backpack$4.8
Girl's Lovely Sweet Bowknot Leisure Canvas Backpack$4.1
AM Landen Synthetic Soft Leather Backpack$3.6
5.11 Rush 24 Back Pack$$$4.8
JanSport Big Student Backpack$4.7
JanSport Right Pack$$4.6
Case Logic DLBP-116 16" Laptop Backpack$4.6
SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack 1900$$4.6
The North Face Surge Backpack$$$4.7
The North Face Jester Backpack$$4.6
PictureNamePriceOur Rating

This table details everything you need to know when buying a backpack for school. At a quick glance, you get a checklist of essential information that enables you to make an informed decision when choosing the right backpack for you and your child. This chart was vital in my own decision making – I have most definitely practiced what I preach!

Benefits of finding the right backpack for school

There are many advantages to buying a good quality backpack for school:

Source: Flickr.

Source: Flickr.

  • Save Time: Elementary and Junior high make up a large portion of your child’s school years. Investing in a decent bag from the get-go will mean less time is spent dragging a reluctant child from store to store trying to find a replacement after that cheaper alternative has broken. Again.
  • Save Money: High quality products will invariably last longer than those less costly, lower valued items. Fact. Don’t drag your heels when it comes to spending more initially – the backpack will more than pay for itself over time.
  • Save Worry: As if getting your little one off to school on time wasn’t stressful enough, you have the added worry of them losing their personal belongings throughout the day. Purchase a good quality backpack and at least give them a fighting chance of keeping their items safe on the way to and from school – one that doesn’t do up with a flimsy bit of velcro or a press-stud that is too difficult for a child to secure.

A Personal Account

My own experience of buying backpacks for school was a valuable lesson to say the least. As we all know, no child enjoys shopping, not least when it involves searching for a product they are not that interested in. To keep things as speedy as possible, my child and I bought her elementary backpack from a store that specializes in nothing in particular; one of those stores that has everything for under five dollars. Combining the grocery shop with buying a cheap-and-cheerful satchel for school was quick and easy – ideal for getting us home swiftly before I had a very grumpy kid on my hands.

Two days after the purchase, my little one came home from school with a satchel missing practically all of it’s inner lining; the bag was frayed and looked as if it had been dragged through a canal. A wet swimming costume, towel, and pair of sneakers had put a very quick end to my daughter’s bag. I considered buying another bag that was the same as I went grocery shopping that night, but I had second thoughts and opted instead to spend time, effort, and money on a backpack for school that was both sustainable and efficient by purchasing one online that arrived two days later. I haven’t looked back since, and 15 months on, the backpack is going strong outlasting every other student’s bag in my daughter’s class.

What Makes A Great Backpack For School?

When looking for that perfect backpack, many elements should be considered. As we have seen, the quality of the bag’s construction is incredibly important. For durability and reliability, a high quality product is an essential investment; this is even more important when it’s a child that is using the product – a child that regularly runs around knocking into things, and one who is not particularly concerned about what happens to their bag. Style is not as important to an elementary or junior high student as it would be to a college attendee. This is certainly a perk of being a parent to a young child: as long as it comes in pink or purple, my daughter will wear anything. Make the most of this time – when they enter their teens, image is everything – but the guides on this site will have you covered!

For an energetic, carefree school child, I would recommend a backpack that is as robust as possible. Good quality outer lining and a sturdy fastener. Velcro has its pro’s and con’s when it comes to school backpacks: it is an easy fastener that children will have no problem with, but equally it is an quick-wearing material that tends to become redundant when exposed to moisture. Zips are fantastic for securing backpacks, as they are durable and generally reliable; however, it does rest on your child taking the time to zip the bag up completely. Similarly, poppers are incredibly secure but they are quite difficult for some kids to do up without effort and they can leave bags vulnerable due to the space either side of the press-stud.

Searching for that perfect bag

Knowing how and where to find the best backpack for school requires some effort in terms of time and research. As we all know, shopping with children is not often a peaceful or enjoyable experience; however, shopping around for the best product is essential. The solution? Come up with a short list for your kids approval – and shop online from the comfort of your home. Know what you want and make that shopping trip much quicker and relatively stress-free. There may be a minimal delivery charge but getting your kids backpack delivered saves a lot of stress when compared to having to drag your kid around the mall. While some may believe there is a downside in terms of not physically being able to see and touch the product before buying it, the high quality images on Amazon allow you to zoom in – giving you an experience similar to having a magnifying glass with you in store. Also, the return policies of stores like Amazon tend to be very cooperative and user-friendly for “change of mind” decisions.

Aside from friends and family, ask the opinions of others: head on to a shopping site such as Amazon, look up the product, and read the reviews. Thoroughly. People will let you know the good, the bad, and the ugly, and this will help you make an educated choice. There is no greater testament to a product than someone who has already bought it and tried it out. I did this prior to buying my little one’s bag and I have never looked back – 40 x 5 star reviews don’t lie! Yes, I paid more for the backpack than I had done previously, but I know that you get what you pay for and there is less chance of having to payout again in a short space of time.

Reviews of the Top 5 Backpacks for School

JanSport Big Student Classics Series Daypack

There are few things not to love about the JanSport Classic. It really is, well, classic. There is so much space for all those books, pencil cases, and large-scale calculators, and the quality polyester is extremely durable. The front utility pocket is easily accessible for children and the ‘S-shaped straps’ are comfortable and easy on their shoulders. There is also a mesh holder in the side of the backpack – ideal for a water or juice bottle to keep them hydrated throughout the day.

The straps are comfortable but they are very wide which may not suit all frames – maybe these will work better with junior high aged children rather than those who are pretty small.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and find the best deal.

Girl’s Lovely Sweet Bowknot Leisure Canvas Backpack (Rose)

Could this backpack for school be more perfect for an elementary female? Not at all gender neutral – and not at all apologetic – this is my personal favorite. My daughter loves this bag – it is elegant, simple, and the epitome of girlishness. The material is not as thick as other bags but is not at all flimsy either. The bag’s 11-ounce weight makes it ideal for those children with smaller frames and it is not too bulky. The adjustable straps are perfect for ensuring that the bag gives the right support.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and find the best deal.

The North Face Jester

Many people think North Face only do hiking bags but this is not so. The Jester is a prime example of their versatility, think stylish yet casual, sporty yet chic. It’s a bag for all – young, old, boy, or girl. People may find this universality unappealing – a bag without an identity maybe – but I personally think it’s an extremely well made, robust bag ideal as a backpack for school or equally as an overnight/ sleepover bag.

The injection-mold shoulder straps combined with the comfortable stitched back panel make for possibly the most easy-wear bag available, and certainly one that fits like a glove on the body. The backpack is more than equipped to fit books, binders, and if necessary a laptop.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and find the best deal.

SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack 1900

The SwissGear Travel Gear is an exceptionally high quality polyester bag with unique features such as an audio interface and an organizer. Unfortunately I found this bag far too bulky for my daughter and indeed myself. Think this bag has been designed with men in mind. It is heavy and bulky but would be ideal for an older, larger framed male student. The small compartments that have been added so that going through checkpoint security without removing a laptop is possible is fantastic, but again, this makes for a wonderful travelling backpack and not necessarily a backpack for school.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and find the best deal.

AM Landen Synthetic Soft Leather Backpack School Bag

This backpack is old school chic. From the buckle belt straps to the brown pleather material, this backpack for school is for those into their retro style. More so for Junior high students, this bag can be a statement piece at an affordable cost. It is definitely a unique product and one that will set your child apart from the crowd if that is what they want from their backpack.

The soft and smooth material of the straps mean this bag is effortlessly comfortable – it’s almost like you are not wearing a bag at all. However, the buckles are detachable and a child that is not careful may fall victim to these coming away completely. Overall, though, this bag is distinctive, durable, and effortlessly sophisticated.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and find the best deal.

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