I End Up Buying My Boys a New Backpack Almost Every Year….
Good quality school backpacks should last the kids a whole year. My boys are really hard on theirs and they only just make it! Here is my list of the best school bags and backpacks to buy (the ones that lasted me two rumbuncious boys a whole year).
Plus – we give you tips on keeping those school bags in in tip top condition!
What are the Best Backpacks for School?
When looking for school bags and backpacks, there are a few points to consider:
A small child should have a small bag. A medium-sized child can go up a size and then high-schoolers will probably require the larger bag as they have additional requirements for school. A school bag should be fitted when you get it home – the straps adjusted and ensure that the bag sits right on the child’s hip – and that the child isn’t ‘leaning forward’ to counter-balance the weight of the bag.
A bag too heavy or ill-sized can create back problems.
The Thickness of the straps
Adjustable shoulder straps that evenly distributes the weight across the shoulders and back – you also want straps that are adjustable and made of good quality material as this is the first area school bags usually wear.
Is it Washable?
Is the backpack made out of sturdy material that can be hosed out when a banana gets left in there? Can you pop it in the washing machine? The cheaper backpacks usually just fall apart in the wash, but you can still fill a bowl with soapy warm water and give them a scrub and hang them out on a washing line to dry in the sun. Adding a sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda always assists with any offence odours (usually banana).
School backpacks that are made from either canvas or water-resistant polyester can be machine washed on a gentle cycle.
Don’t Expect More Than a Year Out of Them
It is unrealistic to expect a school bag to last longer than a year, especially when kids can be so hard on them. Parents of boys understand. If you do get more than a year, well done!
Does it Have The Right Compartments?
I need a school bag that will have a side pocket for a water bottle (of all sizes) – and an outside pocket for school notes and plenty of room inside – divided in half – so one half will fit the lunch box and the other side school books.
Some of the more expensive bags have laptop compartments and phone pockets.
How Can I Make My School Backpack Lighter?
The key to making the school backpack lighter is to choose the smallest required backpack for their school needs. Kindy kids should have a small backpack, primary school a medium-sized backpack, and high-school and university a larger styled backpack.
Our Tips for Keeping a School Bag Clean:
- Get your child into the habit of emptying the school backpack out daily. A rogue banana will have you turfing the bag in no time!
- If it becomes a bit stinky – put a bowl of bicarbonate of soda in the bottom over a weekend. This absorbs odours.
- Backpacks CAN be washed in the washing machine. Just put it in a pillowcase or lingerie bag and wash on a gentle cycle. Hang it out in the sun to dry (with all the zips open to catch the sunlight and the wind) – and it will be as good as new!
- Lunch box leaks can really do a lot of damage to school bags. Make sure any lunch boxes are sealed properly.
- Ensure the straps fit your child well. Ill-fitting straps are not only bad for your child’s posture but will make your child ‘drop the bag heavily’. All those concrete scrapes will rip out the bottom of the hardiest of school backpacks.
Best School Bag Brands for Kindy Kids and Daycare Kids:
With the little ones, it is always super cute to get them a character bag that they love – it just makes it easier to get out of the door in the mornings…
Good brands for kindy kids include:
Fun kids backpacks that are reasonably priced – and sturdy as hell!
Sunnylife is a brand known for its bright and colourful branding, and their school backpacks are no different! Bright and beautiful like a little kid should have!
- Croc Neoprene Backpack – Kids – $39.95
- Kids Back Pack – Unicorn – $41.99
- Jungle Backpack – Kids – $39.95
I found this brand when I was searching for really cute kids school backpacks and I love it already. I wish my boys were small again so I could try some!
- Izoa Kids Cali Butterfly Backpack (available in both blue and pink)
- Izoa Kids Mermaid Backpack
- Izoa Kids Teddy Bear Backpack (CUTE!!)
Cath Kidston London has bright designs with a real vintage charm. Functional and pretty designs that will stand out in the school yard.
- Medium Peanuts and Stars Backpack – Kids – $74.95
- Mini Strawberries and Flowers Backpack – Kids – $59.95
- Medium London People Backpack – Kids – $69.95
Best School Bag Brand for Primary School Kids:
So when kids get to Primary School you can size up just a little bit, but they are still young enough to enjoy the really bright colours and styles. These are all medium-sized bags.
You know about Adidas – these are the kid’s versions – still super sturdy.
- Power 5 Backpack – Kids – Screaming Pink – $50.00
- Power 5 Backpack – Kids – Black & Vivid Green – $50.00
- Frozen Classic Backpack – Kids – $60.00
Premium backpacks (but they also have drink bottles and lunch boxes to match – cute!).
The Love Mae brand is designed for longevity and function. They have a 16-litre capacity and will last and last and last!
- Tiba + Marl Mini Elwood in Botanical
- Tiba + Marl Mini Elwood in Tiba Boom
- Tiba + Marl Mini Elwood in Neon Yellow
Best School Bag Brands for High Schoolers:
Kids at high school usually want a name brand, but also a school bag that is big enough to hold a laptop and all of their books – so it needs to be sturdy. I don’t think you can go past the surf brands – they make excellent backpacks that last and last. Personally – this is what I stick to for my boys!
If you buy 3, you get 25% off!
Nike products are always good quality and sturdy. I like them for my boys because they are fairly plain and unidentifiable!
Santa Cruz is an American Skate Brand. They make really nice boy’s shirts (I buy them all the time for my eldest lad) – but he adores their backpacks too! Santa Cruz also has a really nifty range of pencil cases, lunch boxes and coolers.
- Rusty Indiana Backpack in Crystal Blue
- Rusty Indiana Backpack in Sunset Peach
- Rusty Sandman Roll Top Backpack
The original sturdy surf brand that we know and love. They make incredible school backpacks that last and last and last! Oh, and they are cool!
Roxy had so many adorable bags that I couldn’t just choose three. They have lots of girly bags… but so damn cute:
- Roxy Here You Are 24 Litre Backpack in True Black Izi
- Roxy Here You Are 24 Litre Backpack in Bright White Herbier
- Roxy Here You Are 24 Litre Backpack in Anthracite
- Roxy Shadow Swell 24 Litre Medium Backpack
- Roxy So Long Long 22 Litre Medium Backpack in Ash Rose
- Roxy Shadow Swell 24 Litre Medium Backpack in Bright White Engrave
From top left:
- Quiksilver Schoolie 30L Large Backpack
- Quiksilver Schoolie Cooler 25L Medium Backpack
- Quiksilver 1969 Special 28L Large Backpack
- Quiksilver Everyday Poster 30L Large Backpack
- Quiksilver 1969 Special 28L Large Backpack
- Quiksilver Sea Coast 30L Large Backpack
Getting the kids involved in choosing their own school bag is a great way to make it that little easier to get out the door on school mornings!