19 Cute Back-to-School Backpacks for Kids of All Ages

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If a new backpack can do for kids what a new handbag 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?

Most of our kids will be in school in person this year. And 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.

Pottery Barn Kids

Green & Navy Stripe Brontosaurus Backpack

This durable and functional backpack comes with seven options for the patch—from a dinosaur or shark, to rainbow or unicorn, and more. It also comes in three sizes (mini, small, and large) to fit kids of all ages.

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

backpacks
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 and Pixar prints

Target | Cat & Jack

Shark Print Backpack

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

Target | Wildkin

12" Backpack

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

5 patterns available

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 mini backpack is perfect for the littlest of kids to hold a snack, a change of clothes, and their favorite toy. Or you can size up to the small, which will also hold small notebooks and school books.

Rocket backpack
Crate & Kids

Rocket Backpack

For the little one who loves outer 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.

large size also available

Herschel Supply Company

Kids' Heritage Backpack

Perfectly preschool-sized for kids ages 3 to 4, this kids' backpack comes in six colors/patterns and two other sizes (youth and youth XL) for older kids, too.

 

 

Kids’ Backpacks

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

state backpack
State

Kane Kids' Backpack

Available in 28 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.

State

Kane Kids' Backpack

This kids' backpack is machine washable, and it comes in 28 color options. Plus, 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.

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.

10+ patterns available

backpack
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 10 patterns.

Pottery Barn Kids

Mackenzie Aqua Shine Backpack

Available in size small and size large, this metallic backpack is super cute and functional—made with water-resistant polyester, multiple zip compartments, and side pockets for water bottles.

BD Squad Backpack
Blended Designs

BD Squad Backpack

Send your child off to school with an affirming "I can do anything" attitude with a backpack from Blended Designs BDSquad Collection. Your child can choose from over 10 designs to find the kid who represents them best!

3 sizes for preschoolers, elementary age, and older kids

llbean backpack
L.L. Bean

Classic School Backpack

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

6 colors available

Herschel Supply Company

Kids' Heritage Backpack

Available in three sizes for preschoolers to age 12, we love the timeless look of this backpack.

multiple colors available

This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated for timeliness. 

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