The Best School Backpacks
To help you find the perfect school backpack, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable school backpacks. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.
Runner-ups: 10 Best School Backpack Alternatives
Table of Contents
Buying Guide for School Backpacks
Over the last several years, health professionals have weighed in on backpacks and urged parents to put more thought into construction and safety.
First, find out if your child’s school has restrictions on certain backpacks. Most schools have banned rolling models because of safety concerns and a lack of storage space. You should also find out what school supplies are required so that you can shop for the right capacity.
Here are some other things to consider while you browse.Size and Weight
Getting the right size has great bearing on your child’s comfort and health. You can read more about that below, but in short, don’t try to save money by choosing a bag large enough for several years’ worth of wear.
Manufacturers size backpacks according to torso length rather than overall height. Measure from the base of the neck to an inch or so below the waistline for an accurate fit. The backpack should be no wider than your child’s body. The top, where the bag attaches to the shoulder straps, should rest 1 to 2 inches below the tops of the shoulders. The bottom should line up with the curve of the back.
You’ll also need to know your child’s current weight. According to the American Chiropractic Association, backpack weight should not exceed 5 to 10 percent of the wearer’s body weight. The American Academy of Pediatrics is a little more generous. It recommends a maximum of 10 to 20 percent of your child's weight.
Consider the weight of the empty backpack and calculate the number of pounds that books and supplies will add. If the bag is too heavy, choose something lighter.
Construction, Support and ComfortBackpacks with loose threads, sloppy stitching and frayed fabric edges won’t save you any money in the long run. These bags take a lot of abuse, so you’re better off springing for quality.
Test all the zippers. Make sure that they’re sewn down well. In high-quality backpacks, fabric usually overlaps the zippers to prevent rain from seeping in.
Some backpacks are constructed around an internal or external frame for additional support, but a frame is not necessary unless you want the pack to double as scouting or hiking gear. It might even be an encumbrance during a typical school day that involves running for the bus, climbing stairs or stooping to retrieve dropped items.
Frameless backpacks are perfectly adequate provided that they fit snuggly against the body rather than swing loosely. The more straps there are, the better the bag will support posture and stand up to abuse.
Look for wide, adjustable, contoured straps padded for comfort. They will prevent strain. Back panels and a belt around the hips keep the load centered.
A manufacturer’s warranty is a good indicator of solid construction.
Capacity and FunctionalityThink about what has to fit inside the backpack. Textbooks, thick binders, calculators and lunchboxes are considerations. A young child could get by with 1,000 cubic inches, but a teenager may require at least double that amount of space.
Backpack manufacturers do all that they can to help teens get organized. They've added inner and outer compartments in a myriad of shapes and sizes for storing writing utensils, cellphones, chargers, tablets, laptops, MP3 players, headphones, athletic gear and water bottles.
If you know good and well that everything’s going to be tossed helter-skelter into the main compartment, don’t pay extra for those bells and whistles.
You may be more interested in bags that are machine washable, have insulated interiors or come with extra pieces like purses or lunchboxes. There’s something for everybody.
Water ResistanceWaterproof products are recommended for students who frequently tote electronics around. Otherwise, a backpack that’s water-repellent to some degree should keep its contents dry.
SafetyAround 14,000 backpack-related injuries occur in the U.S. every year. Most are preventable. Buying a quality product and educating your child could prevent chronic pain or a serious accident.
Many school districts have addressed the problem of spine, shoulder and neck injuries by eliminating the need for kids to lug heavy books around. A lot of homework is now done online or assigned in a way that requires taking just one book home each night. Some schools mandate that students use their lockers rather than their backpacks for storing books between classes.
Again, make sure that the weight in the bag is centered and nestled against the back. The heaviest items should be closest to the body.
Insist that your child use both shoulder straps and fasten everything snugly. The bag should have storage for loose ends so that dangling straps don’t get caught on furniture, car doors, handlebars or other objects. Nothing should protrude or flap around while the backpack is in use.
Reflectors or reflective fabrics are a good investment if your child has before- or after-school activities that will require him to walk or ride a bike in the dark.
Finally, check the fabric content. There are a surprising number of toxic chemicals, such as mercury, chlorine, lead and bromine, in cheaply made goods.
One of the most common toxins is polyvinyl chloride. PVC is used to make vinyl, so avoid that. PVC-free materials include cotton, nylon and polyester.
Choosing the right backpack for your child needn’t be overwhelming. Just identify his needs, look for quality and safety features and keep your budget in mind.
At the Head of the ClassHere are some best-selling bags that captured our interest:
- Mancro Business Water-Resistant Polyester Laptop Backpack With USB Charging Port
This won’t do for the class clown. Students who wear this backpack beg to be taken seriously. It’s exceptionally professional-looking and would make a favorable impression at a driving test or first-job interview. The price is very reasonable. According to the product description, the materials are eco-friendly.
- JanSport Big Student BackpackJanSport is doing something right. The brand is a consistent industry leader, and it offers a staggering array of designs, colors, patterns and features for all ages and genders. The quality is exceptional. You can pay anywhere from $25 to upward of $200, but most backpacks are in the $35 to $50 range.
- North Face and SwissGear BackpacksIf you’re shopping for a teenager and want more bang for your buck, you can’t beat North Face and SwissGear products. Yes, they’re very expensive, but a backpack that you purchase for a student in his junior year could carry him through college and beyond. They’re so well-made that they’re practically bulletproof.
- Yodo Kids Insulated Toddler Backpack With Safety Harness Leash and Name Label
This is adorable. You’ll be tempted to buy it even if the preschool years are far behind you.
Practically speaking, it’s insulated, easy to keep clean and made of safe materials. A detachable tether comes in handy when you’re navigating crowded school hallways with the little one.
Did we mention that it’s adorable?
Top Rated School Backpacks
If you're looking into finding the best rated school backpack, you should probable check out the Jansport Superbreak Backpack. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.
Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $17.99 (last checked on August 20, 2019), we do not list any other school backpack cheaper than the LCNC Backpack. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.
The School Backpack with the Most Reviews
With at least 4934 reviews and counting, the Jansport Superbreak Backpack might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.
It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Extra Large Backpack currently sells for $49.99.
Most Clicked School Backpack
If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the Jansport Superbreak Backpack. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite School Backpack from the list above.
If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling school backpack: The Extra Large Backpack for currently View on Amazon (last checked on August 20, 2019).
That's it for now, please remember that this list is updated on a regular basis.
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Further Reading on School Backpacks
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Objectives: To investigate the percentage of body weight represented by school backpacks, to determine the dimensions of school packs, and to identify the methods of carrying book bags by elementary school boys. Methods: A cross-sectional study, using a multistage …
Parental knowledge of their students' backpack weight and contents was assessed by identifying 188 students who carried backpacks weighing at least 10% of their body weights through a survey of 745 students in three elementary schools. Most parents (96%) had never …
… Conclusion. There is evidence refuting the 'rule-of-thumb' to carry the backpack high on the back. Typical school backpacks should be positioned with the centre at waist or hip level. There is no evidence for the 10% body weight limit. Keywords …