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Back to school is almost here and you are probably stocking up on all your school supplies and shopping for school backpacks. If your children are like most, then their backpack may not have survived to see another year.
Kids can wear and tear a backpack pretty hard. It makes you wonder if they are dragging their bags everywhere or wondering what they are doing to them that makes them only usable for one year.
If you are looking for a backpack that has a longer life expectancy and can hold all your child’s essentials, then you have come to the right place. Here are our reviews of the best backpacks for school.

Our Favorite Backpacks for School

Toddler Backpacks

Skip Hop Zoo Insulated Toddler Backpack Eureka Unicorn

There is a lot that we love about this backpack and not just because it is super adorable. With its whimsical details and fun design, it is perfect for little ones who are going into preschool.

What we love the most about this backpack is the durability.  With little ones, they tend to get sticky and dirty easily.  You may find lots of crumbs at the bottom of their backpacks.

Parents of toddlers are always looking for items that they can easily clean.  This backpack definitely helps with that.


  • Insulated pouch for snacks
  • Easy to clean
  • Padded, comfy straps

What is also so great about this backpack, is that kids love wearing it. With cushion and comfy straps, this gives mom and dad a break of carrying all the items and gives little ones the responsibility. There are tons of pockets for drinks and snacks and if you are in love with the Skip Hop Zoo line, there are tons of other accessories to match such as umbrellas and lunch bags.


  • The backpack is small so only good for Preschool
  • You can’t fit a regular size folder

The only downside to this backpack is that it is not large enough to carry a regular folder. Great for preschool but if your child’s teacher likes to use regular size folders as a way to communicate papers in, then it’s not going to fit.  A great backpack for not just school but for the days out to the zoo or going to the park.

Elementary Backpacks

ArcenCiel Kid’s Backpack

Besides the funny angry robot design, this is a great backpack for younger students who are entering elementary school.

It’s whimsical and durable details ensures that this backpack will last your young child for quite some time.

This ArcEnCiel backpack comes in three different color combinations and will not break the bank at $36.98. A great choice for a kindergarten through 2nd-grade student.


  • Insulated
  • Easy to clean
  • Large, exterior front pocket

What we loved most about this backpack is the amount of space the bag provides.  With one large interior space, you will find a smaller pocket, the exterior has two larger pockets and there are two side pockets.  The zippers are larger and thicker in this design ensure that they won’t get the easy wear and tear that we may see from smaller zippers.  Plus, it makes it easier for children with smaller hands to use.  This bag is also easy to clean.  Just put it in the wash under gentle cycle and then air dry it.  It will be as good as new!


  • Only good for younger elementary age children (K-2nd grade)
  •  Angry robot design (lots of kids asked why he wasn’t happy)

The only complaints that we have seen from this backpack are that while it is perfect for younger elementary children who are not yet taking a lot of homework home, it is not big enough for the older elementary kids.

Gazigo Children Princess Waterproof PU Backpack

This backpack is for the ultra girly girl who loves to dazzle and shine.  Super cute and complete with the frills.

The thing that makes this backpack stand out the most is that it is waterproof with the PU leather used. All of the compartments are well designed for giving your little princess different places to store her school supplies.

There are many compartments to organize each of her school supplies and a lovely small front pouch that she can put all her pencils and drawing utensils. This bag is big enough to hold a laptop and tablet if she likes too!


  • Adorable girly design
  • waterproof
  • Lots of storage

Not only is the design adorable but it is nicely padded making sure that whoever is wearing the backpack is comfy and not strain on the shoulders.  With its waterproof PU leather, this makes it a cinch to clean.  Just wipe it down with a wet cloth and dirt easily comes off.


  • A bit heavy with materials used

The only drawback on this backpack is that because they used the waterproof PU leather, this bag is heavier than most.  But you can ensure that its durability will last for some time!

Middle School Backpacks

JINX Minecraft Creeper Kids Backpack

For the die-hard Minecraft fan, this backpack can do no wrong.  This is an official licensed designed authentic Minecraft gear.  Perfect for your little gamer.

This backpack takes Minecraft details to the next level.  You can see its theme in every aspect of its design.  Down to the zippers and even in the inside of the bag.  It stays true to its theme.

What is also so great about this bag is that kids don’t just use it for school.  It can be used for multi-purposes such as camping, traveling and hiking.  They will surely get a lot of miles out of this bag.  And it is at a wonderful price point of $31.74.


  • Popular Minecraft design
  • Lots of pockets & storage for many electronic devices
  • Multi-use

What kids also love about this backpack is the number of compartments there are.  It can hold their small laptop, tablet and any other gaming devices that they may have.  Every section is nicely padded ensure it will keep it safe and has gear clips.  There are also side pockets as well as mesh water bottle pocket for the kid on the go.  This is perfect for an older elementary student who has to have a lot of room to fit all their stuff.


  • Reports of zipper issues
  • Not as durable as its competitors

One of the consumer complaints has been that over time the zippers start to have issues and it may not be as durable as its competitors.  You can get a solid 1 to 2 years out of it, which may be perfect anyways as kids likes tend to change quickly and they may be on to wanting a different backpack with a different video game theme.

Middle/High School Backpacks

TRENDYMAX Galaxy Backpack

Available in multiple designs, this backpack is perfect who wants to express their individual style.

If you are looking for something that has a bit more padding than a JanSport, TRENDYMAX is the way to go. Its lightweight backpack is perfect for those students who are already lugging around quite the load.

With its classic style, there is a front compartment available as well as a convenient water bottle pocket on the side.  And it comes in a $25 price tag!  Very affordable!


  • Lightweight
  • Multi designs
  • Handy and secret pockets

What we really like about this backpack is that it has a couple of fun compartments. There is a handy pocket accessible right on the back, perfect for putting their phones in and we also love the other secret compartment on the inside that can be secured with a zipper. Great for putting any extra money or Chapstick.


  • Thinner material used
  • Only good for smaller laptops

Our only drawbacks about this bag are that while it is light, you can tell that the material that they used is thinner. Still durable and comfy in the straps, it also can only hold laptops on the smaller version. So, you may want to double check the size of your current laptop before purchasing this bag.

JanSport Digital Student Laptop Backpack

JanSport is known for its durability and long-lasting backpacks.  It is one bag that ensures that your child will hold on to for quite a bit or at least until they decide they want a backpack with a different design. With its multitude of designs and prints, there is for sure a JanSport backpack your child will find and love.

This JanSport Digital backpack was made for the student who carries multiple digital devices.

A great buy, this is perfect for the older student entering middle school or high school.


  • Cord storage pocket
  • Removable 15” laptop sleeve
  • Multiple fun designs

What we love about this bag is the extra 15” removable laptop sleeve, ensure that your laptop will be secure and safe.  There are other elements that we love about this bag as well.  There are a cord storage pocket and a multitude of different compartments on the front, including the side compartment for a water bottle.


  • Zippers can get stuck

The drawbacks of this bag are that it can run a bit pricier than most.  Around $50 is typical for a cost of a JanSport backpack.  Another complaint we see is that the zippers can get stuck.  So, you have to be careful when opening and closing the different compartments.

College Backpacks

Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port

A college student tends to get a lot of mileage walking from class to class and needs a backpack that will not only hold all their items but is comfortable to use. This backpack is great for your college student.

With multiple compartments with padded areas for your laptop, tablet, and phone, you can ensure all your items are well packed and secure.

For a student who is always running low on battery, this is a great option to have because it has a USB charging port. Awesome school bag for the busy college kid.


  • External USB charging port
  • Honeycomb Cushion that relieves spinal pressure
  • Sturdy with leather belts

What makes this backpack awesome for college is that it comes with an external USB charging port. It also comes with adjustable straps and a Honeycomb cushion straps that are to help relieve spinal pressure.  Perfect for the student who logs in lots of miles walking around campus.


  • Magnetic straps don’t hold as well
  • Only fits smaller laptops

One of the consistent complaints is that the magnetic straps don’t hold as well as they should.  If you are putting lots of items in the back, the straps will not hold.  Another complaint is that it only fit smaller laptops.  Anything 13” and over may not fit very well in this bag.

We hope our comprehensive review of the many different backpacks you can use for your child in their various educational careers has helped.  Keep in mind, when purchasing backpacks these are important things to consider.

  • The age of the child & the school needs
  • Durability
  • How much walking your child will be doing with a backpack
  • Design

While you may want a backpack that will last for years, remember that a child’s style will change frequently, especially in the elementary years.  Purchasing something on a costlier side that will last for 5 years may not be the best choice as chances are your child will want something new the following year.

For the child who plays hard and seems to produce a lot of wear and tear, stick to backpacks that have proven themselves with sturdy zippers and shoulder straps.  You want to make sure they last throughout the year.

We hope you and your family have a wonderful new school year and find a backpack that is not only aligned with your child’s style but will help make the school year start out with a bang!