Back-to-school is just around the corner which means new gear and a new bag to put it all in. Giving kids control over elements of their return, like backpack choice, is an easy way to get them excited. Hopefully this item will stay with your child throughout the year (or more) so finding one they love, can carry independently and that offers functionality is a big win. Below is our back-to-school backpack guide for first timers to teens.
Elements of a good backpack are:
- Durability – waterproof material for our Vancouver winter, sturdy zippers and durable fabrics
- Organisation – various compartments to keep items separate and smaller pieces from getting lost. Features like a key clip, stretchy side pockets and padded sleeves for electronics can be handy.
- Fun – choose a pattern and style your kids will feel comfortable with and ideally one that will be unique enough not to lose or accidentally swap.
- The Right Fit – having something comfortable and adjusted for your child’s frame will make them more willing to carry it. Keep the weight of the pack to 15% or less of your child’s body weight so bigger is not always better. Sizing details here.
- Easy to use – zippers big enough for little fingers and textured straps to slip onto shoulders.
- Safety – Reflective strips or a light for darker winter months.
- Personalized – A nametag spot or area to attach contact details. This may help keep your backpack close to home.
Canadian backpack brands to consider:
Herschel offers the ultimate in traditional style – good for trendy kids with simple, classic style. Some include reflective strips and built-in lights
MEC carries Daypacks and School bags – good for kids who are hard on their gear or bags who spend time at the side of sports fields
LL Bean offers a range of sizes for various ages – good for kids starting out or upgrading their pack for extra space and functionality.
VAUDE Hiking Backpacks aren’t specifically for kids but they’re Canadian made, environmentally-friendly and fairly produced. Good for all-weather kids.
Jenn Wint is a writer, communications strategist and a public relations specialist. She is passionate about storytelling and community. Jenn lives in East Vancouver with her husband, 3yo son and 1yo daughter. You’ll find them hanging around Vancouver’s playgrounds, water parks, coffee shops and anywhere that bakes fresh cookies in-house!