20+ of the Best Backpacks for Kids of All Ages

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best kids backpacks
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

If new backpacks can do for kids what new handbags can do for moms, I think we can all agree it’s time to brighten our little one’s days with some fresh gear for the new school year. I’m not saying retail therapy is always the answer, but who doesn’t remember the excitement of back-to-school shopping as a child?

With kids heading back to school any minute now—not that we’re trying to cut your summer fun short!—there’s just something about a clean notebook, new kicks, and of course, the staple of all back-to-school supplies—the backpack—to set the right tone for the upcoming school year.

So let the back-to-school shopping begin—and check out our picks for the cutest preschooler and kids’ backpacks below.


Preschool Backpacks

Preschool backpacks are smaller sized for smaller frames. They should be able to fit a water bottle, a change of clothes, and other small items. Note that most might be too small to fit a standard 9-by-12 folder, so shop the elementary-sized options if you need extra space.

best backpacks for kids
Pottery Barn Kids

Mackenzie LEGO Backpack

Pottery Barn Kids' durable and functional Mackenzie backpack comes in many adorable patterns and all options can be personalized. It also comes in three sizes (mini, small, and large) to fit kids of all ages.

many patterns available

initial backpack
Etsy | KaAn's Designs

Kensley Personalized Backpack

From the brand behind some of the cutest personalized family tees comes this adorable Varsity Letter toddler backpack. Personalize it with your child's initial so your little one will always be able to spot their backpack.

6 colors available

Amazon | Simple Modern

Printed Backpack

Plenty of pockets for school including a padded tablet sleeve, large zip-closure front pocket, and two expandable bottle sleeves on the sides. Comes in toddler and little kid sizes.

25+ patterns available including Disney, Marvel, and Pixar prints

best kids backpacks
Target | Cat & Jack

Floral Backpack

This preschooler-sized backpack is as fun as it is functional with one main zip compartment, a large front pocket, and adjustable shoulder straps.

Target | Wildkin

12" Kids Backpack

We love this fun-filled design with a front zippered compartment that's insulated, easy-to-clean, and food-safe.

many patterns available

Nordstrom | Skip Hop

Unicorn Zoo Pack Backpack

Skip Hop's favorite zoo collection backpacks now come in a larger size for kids who need to fit their folders, lunchboxes, and more.

dinosaur also available!

Makeba Designs & Prints

Superhero Blue Backpack

Encourage your little superhero to take on any back-to-school challenge with this fun superhero-inspired backpack.

Pottery Barn Kids

The Emily & Meritt Bunny Critter Backpack

This small backpack is perfect for the littlest of kids to hold a snack, a change of clothes, and their favorite toy.

Rocket backpack
Crate & Kids

Outer Space Backpack

For the little one who loves space, this backpack is adorable and functional—with plenty of pockets, the ability to personalize, and the option to add a matching water bottle and lunch box.

several sizes available

Herschel Supply Company

Kids' Heritage Backpack

Perfectly preschool-sized for kids ages 3 to 7, this kids' backpack comes in many colors and patterns and is made from recycled fabrics.


Kids’ Backpacks

From kindergarten and up, kids typically need more space to house folders, books, extra clothes/shoes, lunch boxes, and more. Here are some of our favorite kids’ backpacks to fit everything they need for school.

state backpack

Kane Kids' Backpack

Available in 40+ colors, this kids' backpack will fit a 13" laptop in the main compartment and a 17 oz. water bottle in the side pockets.

Bonus: For every bag purchased, STATE supports American children and families in the ways they need it most, from free virtual tutoring sessions to fully packed pack drops in the country’s most underserved communities.

zebra backpack
Crate & Kids

Zebra Unicorn Backpack

Zebras and unicorns, oh my! The fun print isn't the only reason we love this backpack—it's also made from recycled water bottles and has space to hold everything your kid needs—books, school supplies, extra layers, and more. Plus, there is an exterior spot to attach their lunchbox and store their water bottle.

best kids backpacks
Amazon | Bentgo

Kids 2-in-1 Backpack & Insulated Lunch Bag

This 2-in-1 backpack and lunch box provides all the storage of a great book bag combined with the convenience of an insulated lunch bag. Plus, it's lightweight, durable, and has lots of roomy compartments.

many patterns available

dino backpack
Target | Wildkin

15" Printed Backpack

This dino-themed backpack is made from super durable fabric with a moisture-resistant nylon lining to last through the whole school year.

many patterns available

L.L. Bean

Original Book Pack

For colorful prints that will grow with your kid, L.L. Bean's Book Pack backpacks are 16" tall and come in many fun designs.

many patterns available

best backpacks for kids
Pottery Barn Kids

Mackenzie Ombre Sparkle Glitter Backpack

Available several sizes plus a rolling option, this glitter ombre backpack is super cute and functional. It's made with water-resistant polyester and has multiple zip compartments and side pockets for water bottles.

llbean backpack
L.L. Bean

Mountain Classic School Backpack

This classic 17" backpack comes with an option to monogram, so kids can truly make it their own.

6 colors available

best backpacks for kids
Herschel Supply Company

Youth Heritage Backpack

The bigger version of Herschel's Heritage backpack, this youth size will get them through several grades without a problem.

multiple colors available

best backpacks for kids
Pottery Barn Kids

Mackenzie Solar System Glow-in-the-Dark Adaptive Backpack

This adaptive backpack is designed to be easily attached to the back of a wheelchair. It additionally features easy-to-grab zipper pulls, an insulated outer pocket to keep medications cool and within reach, and additional pockets and ports to simplify the carrying and accessing of a pump.

more patterns available

best backpacks for kids

Big Student Backpack

The Jansport backpack is a classic for a reason. This one is known for its XL size with two large main compartments, a laptop sleeve, and a side water bottle pocket.

many colors available

best backpacks for kids
The North Face

Recon Backpack

Great for older kids, this North Face backpack is designed to stand up on its own, features a rounded back panel and articulated straps for added comfort, and has lots of small pockets for ultimate organization.

many colors available

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