The Best & Cute School Backpacks for Middle School & Elementary School

Backpacks for school aged children, for both middle school and elementary school, come in a wide variety of choices. There are different sizes, colors as well as shapes that will suit different needs. There are several factors to consider when shopping for a backpack and be aware that the price difference does not necessarily indicate the quality of the bag you buy.

Many designer backpacks cost less than $50, like the JanSport and L. L. Bean. There are backpacks that are designed for different aged children and it is important to pick the appropriate size for your child.  A kindergartener should not have the same bag as a high school senior.

Not only is there a difference in the size but also in the weight and capacity. For younger kids who have just started preschool, there are cute mini backpacks that will suit them.  But for the older student, college backpacks will be more appropriate

Different Materials and Different Uses

There are a variety of materials used in making school backpacks.  They include leather, canvas and synthetic fiber. The old adage, “form follows function” is true for school packs.

Computer, or laptop backpacks are those more frequently associated with college backpacks.  These packs tend to be waterproofed material plus have added padding to protect the laptop.  Keep in mind when purchasing a laptop pack to match the size of the computer compartment of the bag with the size of your computer.  It is not a “one size fits all” situation.

Book bags are a little different, with one or two large compartments. Not necessarily water resistant, but typically the compartments are expandable and thus the tendency may be to overstuff the pack.  A lightweight, overstuffed pack will not have the longevity of a sturdy leather or heavy synthetic.

An increasingly popular pack is the single strap backpack which is usually a little smaller in size and carried over one shoulder.  A single strap makes it a bit more convenient (and maybe a bit more chic in appearance) but it also can create undo stress on the back and shoulder since all the weight is carried on one side of the body.  This isn’t a pack for children.

Backpacks for Boys and Girls

School bags or backpacks perform the same function whether for a boy or a girl but for younger children the style can be all important.  Recently the Hello Kitty backpacks have been enormously popular among elementary aged girls.  Although it would be inaccurate to imply that this popularity is confined solely to elementary children.  There are some very sophisticated laptop backpacks available with this branding.

But the bulk of attention has been from the younger set and most manufacturers pay special attention to children’s trends so you will find a number of colorful styles and themes particularly suited for either a young school bound boy or girl.

Tips for Buying Backpacks for Elementary School & Middle School Kids

1. Function:

What is the pack going to be used for?  Is it primarily going to be used for carrying books, notebooks, and class room     accessories or will it be used to carry a laptop, power cord and other electronic equipment.

Although there will be some crossover functionality between book bag and computer bag, you will likely want the added protection and features of a laptop pack if you plan to regularly carry a computer in your bag.

When buying a book bag, you should consider one that has several pockets. This will help in the distribution of excessive weight and increase the lifespan of the backpack. In addition, it is easier to arrange the items carried in different sections.

2. Who is it for

It is important to get the size that fits the user. It is particularly important for young children to get a pack that fits their torso and is not too large.  The torso is basically measured from the top of the shoulder to the top of the hip bone.  Mini backpacks are designed for early school aged children and you can probably find one that will fit your child.  Follow the backpack safety guidelines for school kids.

3. Size and Number of Straps:

 Look for wide, padded shoulder straps. They help in weight distribution making the bag well balanced. Keep in mind that packs with two shoulder straps are more stable and cause less stress to the muscles and back than a single strap pack.  If the pack is going to be carried for any length of time or distance a chest strap or sternum strap helps keep the shoulder straps positioned properly and allows freedom of arm movement.

If you are considering a single strap pack take into consideration the load you plan to carry and the amount of time you will need to actually have the pack on your shoulder.  A light load for a brief period of time may be easily and safely handled with a single strap backpack.  But if the load is moderate to heavy for a significant time or distance then a dual strap pack is a safer choice.

4. A stowable waist belt for kids backpacks

  It helps distribute weight from the shoulders to the hips.

5. Dual zippered

U shaped loading panel makes for easy access when loading books or searching for items.

6. Material

There are a variety of materials available to suit the particular taste of the user: leather, canvass, synthetic, vynl.  Cost does not always equal quality so you are looking for functionality and durability.  How durable does it need to be?

Most school student backpacks are not going to be used for mountain climbing expeditions so wear resistance may not be the highest consideration.  However, the pack may be frequently stuffed to the max so well sewn seams and zippers are essential.  In addition, the pack of an early school aged child is not likely going to need to be as rugged as that of an active high-schooler.

Synthetic materials are going to be lighter in weight than leather or canvass but leather is likely going to offer the most wear resistance.  Unless it is going to be taken on a rafting trip, the need for being waterproof is not essential but water resistant is.  For those rainy days or unexpected encounters with water, water resistant material and water resistant zippers will help keep vital contents reasonably dry.

Conclusion

There are many things to consider when buying school bags or backpacks.  As a parent, the smart thing to do is to involve your child in making the decision.

However, when it is all said and done always consider a backpack that will serve the purpose and fit the user.  Make sure you carry only the essential items.  Backpacks are not mobile storage containers.

So don’t take home what you can leave at school and don’t take to school what you can leave at home.  You will be more likely to get longer life out of your backpack and prevent avoidable injury to your back or shoulder.

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