A good backpack is essential for your kid’s childhood, and it’s a purchase that often marks one of their first steps to independence. But it can be hard to determine which features are useful and which ones just take up space. And while all backpacks look sturdy and great on the shelf, many are not built to last.
We’re here to help. We’ve examined dozens of backpacks, examining features, comparing fabrics, and testing the stitching. We’ve done the heavy lifting to ensure you get a backpack that will hold up to your child’s handling and stay strong throughout the school year — or longer.
Along with our own observations, we’ve studied reviews from hundreds of parents and have come up with 13 of the best kids backpacks on the market. Read our reviews to find the best fit for your kids.
- Versatile design
- Durable materials
- Many color and pattern options
- Reflective striping for safety
- Numerous pockets
- Lifetime warranty
- Durable, military-style material
- Safety features
- Great ease of use
- Practical for school and work
- Waterproof zipper
- Laptop sleeve gives protection for valuables
- Padded shoulder straps
- Water-resistant fabric
- Only weighs 0.73 pounds
- Small, sleek wheels for easy mobility
- Water-resistant and durable material
- Great for children of all ages
- Drawcord closure
- Many safety features
- Affordable price
- Multiple compartments
- Lifetime warranty
- Sufficient back padding
- More than 30 colors
- Sternum strap
- Bungee strap to carry extras
Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we pride ourselves on our thorough analysis and hands-on experience with kids backpacks. We compare, test, and rank each product based on key criteria such as durability, comfort, and design. Our reviews and scores are based on extensive research, hands-on testing, and real-life performance. We provide the facts, data, and evidence that set the best backpacks apart from their competitors. We don’t just tell you which backpacks we think are best. We show you with our comprehensive evaluations, backed by our professional expertise and first-hand experience. We evaluate every backpack from a user’s perspective, assessing its strengths and weaknesses, to help you make the best decision for your child.
The Best Kids Backpacks of 2023
Let’s look at our shortlist of the 13 best kids backpacks.
Dakine Kids Grom Backpack
Most Useful Kids Backpack
Dakine is a well-known brand, and rightfully so. They design their backpacks to maximize practicality and durability. This affordably-priced backpack could see your kid throughout the entire school year, whatever may come.
This backpack is designed with students in mind. It has multiple pockets and compartments for school essentials.
It has seven color options to choose from and a limited lifetime warranty.
- Extremely versatile.
- Durable material.
- Many designs to choose from.
- May be too big and bulky for younger kids.
|Dimensions||12.2 inches (L) by 3.7 inches (W) by 16.5 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||Middle-school to college|
Adidas Prime 6 Backpack
Best Backpack for a Sporty Kid
While Adidas is mainly known for its sports gear, it has created this trendy backpack for your child’s needs. With many color options and fresh designs, your kid will be well-equipped to strut the school halls.
This backpack delivers practicality and ease. It has a padded laptop pocket, a main internal compartment, and five outside pockets.
The exterior pockets benefit the user by helping with weight distribution. The designers have considered safety and have incorporated external reflective detailing.
It also has LoadSpring shoulder straps and a sporty silhouette.
- Reflective detailing for safety.
- Numerous pockets for organization.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Lacks compression straps.
|Dimensions||14.50 inches (L) by 14.00 inches (W) by 20.50 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||Middle school to college|
Mochila Military Small Backpack
Most Eco-Friendly Kids Backpack
This is an efficient, durable, and cool backpack, all at the same time.
With its adjustable drawstring closure and two hidden pockets, this backpack is safe and easy to use. To secure the bag, pull the drawstring closed and then pull the second closure flap over the top. This helps to prevent theft.
The backpack is well-kitted with multiple compartments inside and out, so it has enough room for items such as iPads, books, pens, and other essentials. It is a good option for school.
The designers have chosen to give the backpack a military-style look with its army green color and simplistic design.
It’s constructed with Oxford Waterproof Fabric material, so if your youngster is heading out on a school camping trip or is a budding explorer, this could be a good choice for them.
- Durable, military-style material.
- Safety features.
- Great ease of use.
- Lacks chest or compression straps.
|Dimensions||11.8 inches (L) by 7 inches (W) by 11.8 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||12 and up|
Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack
Most Practical Kids Backpack
Herschel is a well-known brand for a good reason. Through the years, their backpacks have proven to be reliable, durable, and practical.
Though the price may seem high, this backpack comes in a variety of colors and is well-equipped for your kid to breeze through the school hallways, not only in style but in comfort too.
With dimensions of 17.5 inches by 11.75 inches, this backpack comes with multiple inside pockets and compartments and a 15-inch laptop sleeve. It’s ideal for books, gadgets, pencil cases, and everything else.
Herschel also equips it with waterproof zippers and a padded fleece inner. This backpack is durable and will protect your kid’s valuables.
- Practical for school and work.
- Laptop sleeve gives protection for valuables.
- Waterproof zipper.
- Choose from various materials and colors.
- High price.
- Does not come with an external water bottle compartment.
|Dimensions||11.7 inches (L) by 6 inches (W) by 17.5 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||Grade school and high school kids|
|Waterproof||Waterproof zipper detail|
|Material||Polyester, synthetic leather|
Mountaintop Childrens Camping Backpack
The Versatility Award
Does your kid have a love for the outdoors? A desire to explore the wilderness? Or do they love to carry a million and one things to school?
This versatile backpack will take care of it all. Its multipurpose design makes it a good option for the kid who does everything.
The main compartment offers maximum space, while the array of pockets and compartments makes for efficient organization.
It boasts two front mesh pockets for little trinkets and essentials. The interior is fitted with a laptop compartment and a side pocket for accessible water bottle storage.
This backpack isn’t too big or small. You won’t have to worry about your child dragging a heavy load around.
- Useful compartments to organize belongings.
- Has a laptop pocket and a built-in name tag.
- Mesh and padded areas at the back enable air circulation.
- Padded shoulder straps minimize back pain and strain.
- Variety of colors to choose from.
- Won’t fit an A4 folder.
- Not the cheapest option.
|Dimensions||9.4 inches (L) by 6.3 inches (W) by 14.2 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||3 to 6 years old|
Kipling Luggage Sanaa Wheeled Backpack
Kids Backpack with the Best Design
Kipling has created an easy-to-use backpack that will do the heavy lifting for you. It’s equipped with standard backpack straps and rolling wheels.
If the owner has many books to carry or suffers from back discomfort, they can choose to wheel their backpack through the school halls.
This innovative design removes the possibility of shoulder and back pain while letting the user look cool.
It has water-resistant crinkle nylon, shoulder pads, and a telescopic handle.
The designers also had convenience and functionality in mind. They have installed mesh pockets for water bottle storage and an exterior flap pocket for easy access to essentials.
The array of compartments allows for an organized backpack to get your child through their day.
- Small, sleek wheels for easy mobility.
- Water-resistant and durable material.
- Great for children of all ages.
- Might be a trip hazard in the school hallways.
|Dimensions||12.5 inches (L) by 10.8 inches (W) by 18.5 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||All ages|
Herschel Retreat Backpack
Kids Backpack with the Sleekest Design
Are you looking for a lightweight, practical backpack that holds a lot? This Herschel Retreat pick may be a good choice for you. This modern version of a traditional style is effortlessly cool and functional.
With its lightweight design using a drawstring closure and magnetic fastenings, it handles practicality and security subtly.
This pack also comes equipped with padded shoulders for a comfortable fit.
The backpack is fitted with a 15-inch laptop sleeve and is spacious inside.
Whether your kid has to haul their gym clothes or instrument to class or must have their laptop on them, this backpack will suffice.
- Durable fabric.
- Stylish design.
- Padded shoulders for extra comfort.
- Not waterproof.
|Dimensions||12 inches (L) by 5.75 inches (W) by 17 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||Middle-school to college|
Oscaurt Anti-theft Travel Backpack
Best Kids Backpack for the Modern World
Are you looking for a backpack to suit your kid’s daily adventures in the modern world? Oscaurt’s innovative backpack is fitted with a portable USB charging cable, so it may be a good choice.
For mature kids who may often be traveling, this backpack is fitted with several safety designs, including a hidden zipper and pocket, anti-cut fabric, and reflective detailing, which is great for keeping your kid and their valuables safe.
- Multiple safety features.
- Waterproof fabric keeps belongings dry in any weather.
- Various organizational compartments.
- Affordable price.
- May be too bulky for younger kids.
|Dimensions||16.93 inches (L) by 4.92 inches (W) by 11.02 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||All ages|
JanSport SuperBreak Backpack
Best Multipurpose Kids Backpack
This JanSport backpack is affordable and an excellent option for any kid.
The key is in its name: SuperBreak. Its main selling point is its 600 Denier polyester material. This fabric is industrious and isn’t likely to fall apart any time soon.
If your kid has a hectic schedule darting from school to after-school clubs or trips, JanSport’s SuperBreak backpack will support them through this.
The back panel and straps are padded, boosting your kid’s comfort. The AAOS recommends these features for better weight distribution of the backpack on the back (1).
- Lifetime warranty.
- Sufficient back padding.
- More than 30 colors.
- Durable and long-lasting.
- The inside has only one compartment.
- No padding or protection for laptops.
|Dimensions||13 inches (L) by 8.5 inches (W) by 16.7 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||Grade school ages|
The North Face Kids Court Jester Bacckpack
Most Durable Kids Backpack
While The North Face is best known for its durable outdoor gear, the brand has created an excellent backpack for kids.
Their creation is eye-catching and comes in a selection of colors, such as lavender fog, shady blue, and wasabi.
This backpack will help your child be properly equipped for school or days out adventuring.
Constructed with water-resistant recycled polyester, the contents of this backpack are protected through thick and thin. Its well-padded back panel aids comfort, and its reflective loop is an added safety feature.
With plenty of room for carrying many possessions, The North Face has still designed this backpack to remain a suitable size for small kids.
- Durable, water-resistant material.
- Hasa chest strap for better weight distribution.
- Front bungee strap to hold extra items like a sweater or jacket.
- Unique color options.
- Limited pockets.
- It may not stay upright when packed full.
|Warranty||Lifetime Guarantee and Free Returns|
|Dimensions||11.25 inches (L) by 6.5 inches (W) by 17.1 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||Eight years and up|
Fjallraven High Coast Trail 20 Backpack
Safest Kids Backpack
The Fjallraven brand was founded by a Swedish entrepreneur who sought to create a company specializing in outdoor equipment. This desire stemmed from his own bad experiences with backpacks as a kid. This backpack has been designed with practicality, safety, and comfort in mind.
This pick belongs to the High Coast range of the brand, which is named after the founder’s hometown. The area consists of waterways and mountains — this backpack has that in mind.
It’s constructed with recycled polyester, which guarantees durability. It also resists moisture with its G-1000 eco-fabric. This backpack is a safe option for your child. It contains a hidden security pocket with a key clip and whistle.
This backpack is going to have a long life. Its moisture-resistance and safety features will see your kid through all kinds of adventures.
- Recycled moisture-proof material.
- Ergonomic design for comfort.
- Breathable mesh back panel.
- The design may not look too appealing for kids.
|Warranty||Limited lifetime warranty|
|Dimensions||9 inches (L) by 5 inches (W) by 16 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||6 to 9 years|
|Material||Recycled polyester and organic cotton|
Nike Brasilia Just Do It Mini Backpack
Coolest Kids Backpack
Is your child into big brand names? If the answer is yes, this Nike Brasilia mini backpack may be the best option to keep you both happy.
Nike has kept its design simple for easy use while still creating a backpack great for everyday carrying.
This backpack looks cool, sporting the famous brand name, and it comes in a few color choices. Its unique look will keep the wearer feeling stylish in the hallways.
This design boasts a generous amount of space for water bottles, lunch boxes, books, and more. The storage consists of the main compartment and mesh side pockets.
The bag is also fitted with adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back to prevent the risk of spinal injury and back pain.
- Affordable for a name-brand product.
- Several practical pockets and compartments.
- Safe for your kid’s back.
- Only a few color choices.
|Warranty||Information not available|
|Dimensions||11 inches (L) by 1.2 inches (W) by 12 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||All ages|
|Material||Information not available|
AmazonBasics Classic School Backpack
Most Affordable Kids Backpack
Its design is lightweight and easy to carry. The shoulder straps are adjustable and padded for extra safety and comfort.
Although it’s a simple design, this backpack has a spacious main compartment fitted with a zippered pocket, two water-bottle pockets, and a small zipped compartment on the front exterior, great for necessary school equipment.
- Inexpensive model — under $20.
- Lightweight fabrics are easy on the back.
- Has several storage compartments.
- Does not appear to be waterproof.
- Not as durable as some other brands.
|Dimensions||12.2 inches (L) by 6 inches (W) by 15.8 inches (H)|
|Age recommendation||Grade-school ages|
|Dakine Grom Backpack||Useful||Standard||12.2 x 3.7 x 16.5″||Middle-school – college||No||Polyester|
|Adidas Prime 6 Backpack||Sporty Kid||Lifetime||12.50″ x 8″ x 20.25″||Middle school – college||Water-resistant||Polyester|
|Mochila Military Backpack||Eco-Friendly||Yes||11.8″ x 7 x 11.8″||12 and up||Water-resistant||Polyester material|
|Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack||Practical Backpack||Lifetime||11.7″ x 6″ x 17.5″||Grade school, high school kids||Waterproof zipper detail||Polyester, synthetic leather|
|Mountaintop Camping Backpack||Versatility Award||Standard||9.4″ x 6.3″ x 14.2″||3 to 6 years||Water-resistant||Polyester|
|Kipling Luggage Sanaa Backpack||Best Design||One year||12.5″ x 10.8″ x 18.5″||All ages||Water-resistant||Nylon|
|Herschel Retreat Backpack||Sleekest Design||Standard||12″ x 5.75″ x 17″||Middle-school – college||No||Polyester, fleece|
|Oscaurt Travel Backpack||Modern World||No||11.02″ x 4.92″ x 16.93″||All ages||Yes||Polyester|
|JanSport SuperBreak Backpack||Multipurpose||Lifetime||13″ x 8.5″ x 16.7″||Grade school ages||Water-resistant||Polyester|
|North Face Court Jester||Most Durable||Lifetime||11.25″ x 6.5″ x 17.1″||8 years and up||Water-resistant||Recycled polyester|
|Fjallraven High Coast Trail 20||Safest||Not specified||9″ x 5″ x 16″||6 – 9 years||Yes||Recycled polyester, organic cotton|
|Nike Brasilia Mini Backpack||Coolest||N/A||11″ x 1.2″ x 12″||All ages||Not specified||N/A|
|AmazonBasics School Backpack||Most Affordable||One year||12.2″ x 6″ x 15.8″||Grade-school ages||No||Polyester|