10 Best Kids Backpacks for Every Style & Budget (+ Our Tried & True Team-Faves!)
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Tired of backpack shopping yearly? These are the best kids backpacks for all ages, trends, & parents’ budgets! 😉
There’s just something about a quality backpack 🤌🏼…
With some kiddos in school and some grasping at the final days of summer, you may be finding yourself backed up on backpack shopping. There’s no doubt backpacks are one of the most exciting things to shop for (& sometimes the most expensive too 🥴).
So whether you’re searching for the most durable bag to save you in the long run, the most affordable, or the most fashionable, we’re sharing a round-up of the best kids backpacks that has it all!
Best of all, many of these backpacks are team-tested and some of them are even on sale!
Here are our top picks for the best kids backpacks:
- Best long-term backpack – The North Face Youth Court Jester Backpack
- Best budget backpack – High Sierra Curve Backpack
- Best personalized backpack – Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpack
- Best preschool backpack – Skip Hop Mini Backpack
- Best sports backpack – Adidas Creator Backpack
- Best laptop backpack – The North Face Surge Backpack
- Best traditional backpack – L.L. Bean Junior Original Book pack
- Best multi-pocket backpack – Adidas Prime 6 Backpack
- Best warranty on a backpack – Lands’ End Class Mate Backpack
- Best color options for a backpack – JanSport SuperBreak Plus
Best long-term backpack.
- Be sure to sign up for Dick’s Sporting Goods text alerts for $20 off your $100+ order! Simply scroll to the bottom left hand corner of this page to signup.
I think we can all agree that school is one of life’s biggest adventures, so it’s no surprise that The North Face Jester Backpack tops our list as one of the best kids backpacks to use over time thanks to its durability, style, and functionality! It might cost ya a little more upfront, but after years of use, there’s no doubt you’re getting your money’s worth and then some.
It features two water bottle pockets, a front bungee for bulky items (like jackets), an inner divider sleeve, an internal name tag, spacious zippered compartments, and a sternum strap for added support.
Hip Sidekick Sara’s boys each had this backpack for years! Here’s why she loved it…
“Both of my boys picked these out when they started kindergarten and they have completely blown me away by how good the quality is! My middle child is about to enter his 6th school year using this book bag every day and it still looks brand new! It’s a bit big for a kindergartener but not unmanageable since they don’t carry much anyways and he has grown into it so well.
The adjustable strap in the front came in handy so much for sports shoes, towels, a lunch box, or whatever else he needs to free up his hands for, and of course, there’s a plethora of pockets inside! If you want the most bang for your buck, go for this awesome bag that’s under $60!”
Best budget backpack.
High Sierra Curve Backpack $24.99
- Sign up for High Sierra emails to save 20% on your order. Or if you’re shopping for multiple kiddos, use promo code BOGO50 to score the second backpack for 50% off!
Known for their durability and spacious size these kids backpacks have some of the highest reviews, plus there are styles for the commuting businessman, techy teenager, and sweet school-aged kiddo! This best-selling option has 3 main compartments, a hand sanitizer and water bottle pocket, and 6+ inner supply pockets!
Here’s another reasonably-priced High Sierra option with outstanding reviews!
High Sierra Fatboy Backpack $24.99 (regularly $35.99)
The large main compartment of this backpack is big enough to hold a soccer ball! Plus, there’s a secret passthrough hole at the top for quick access to their charging cables. In addition, this kids backpack has nice, thick padded straps, and a total of 9+ pockets!
See why buyers keep coming back to this backpack…
High Sierra have such high-quality backpacks made especially for school. I’ve been using this brand for years.– RKNC
I have been purchasing the Fat Boy backpack since my oldest was in First Grade. She’s 27, and I’m still buying this backpack for my youngest. (He’s 14.) The Fat Boy backpack has never let us down and has lasted several years for each of my 6 kids. They never go out of style, and they wash beautifully. We have often handed them down to the next kiddo, and after a good wash, it looks brand new. Thank you, High Sierra, for the many years of school that your backpacks have joined us through. I have used them through my own college days, and will again, as soon as I get back into school.– JennLeaLea
Best personalized backpack.
Plus, you’ll score rare FREE shipping on all kids back-to-school gear!
There are personalized backpacks, and then there are Pottery Barn kids personalized backpacks. I mean, who hasn’t oohed and ahhed over them?? 😍 They have a HUGE assortment of Disney, Marvel, LEGO, and more whimsical prints and the option to match everything. We’re talking lunch boxes, water bottles, food canisters, and so much more. Easily the most first day of school photo-worthy!
Plus, they vary in size from mini to extra-large so there’s a perfect size for your preschooler up to your preteen. Best of all, you can personalize these kids’ backpacks with a beautiful embroidered name or monogram to make their school adventures oh-so-special. ❤️
Best preschool backpack.
These adorable backpacks double as a safety harness with a detachable wrist strap tether in each. The zippered compartment is large enough to hold their essentials and there is also a water bottle pocket. Plus, toddlers can show off their unique personalities with so many adorable animal characters to choose from!
Best sports backpack.
Boasting that bold, classic 3-stripe look, there’s nothing that says sports fan like this Adidas kids backpack! It features tons of roomy compartments for school or practice, and there’s even a sunglasses pocket at the top for once it’s game time. There’s also a quick-access water bottle pocket because any active kiddo needs one of those and this backpack is super easy to wipe clean!
Best laptop backpack.
*Don’t forget those Dick’s Sporting Goods texts for $20 off!
This elevated kids backpack offers all the comfort and spaciousness your child needs from their backpack, with a sleek, mature look that grows with them. Plus, it boasts tons of media compartments as kids make the transition from elementary to middle school, high school, college, and beyond.
Its most notable features include a front compartment with secure-zip pockets and a padded tablet sleeve. AND, there’s a highly-protective compartment dedicated just for their laptop, too – holds up to a 15″ size!
Sara approves of yet another North Face kids backpack…
“Although my oldest had a North Face Jester book bag that was still going strong on year 7, he wanted to pick something new out for middle school so he ended up picking out the Surge which is a seriously heavy-duty bag! Even though he’s just getting started with it, I can tell it’s going to last until he graduates high school or even into college!
My favorite part is the super heavy-duty laptop pocket in the back, which he really needed. It’s also so ergonomic and comfortable to carry around even when it’s packed full thanks to the unique straps and extra padding on the back.
I bought this at Dick’s so I was able to save $20 (since it’s over $100) when I signed up for text alerts, so it really wasn’t too much more than the Jester. When all is said and done, I’m convinced The North Face makes some of the best book bags on the market and they’re worth every penny!”
Best traditional backpack.
L.L. Bean Junior Original Book Pack – $34.95
When you hear the word ‘backpack’, a classic L.L. Bean kids backpack might just be the first image that pops in your mind–– and it’s no surprise! Since their debut in 1982, these kids backpacks have been among the highest quality with the highest ratings thanks to their carryall size, durability, and classic, beloved look!
They have a variety of rolling options, cinch packs, and explorer styles so they’re built to keep up with school, camping, traveling, and much more.
Some reviewers name these backpacks a ‘legacy’ item. Here’s why they love them…
I always wanted one when I was a kid so I got it for my kindergartner and it’s the same quality I remember. There’s plenty of room for his lunch, a notebook and pencil case and a few other items plus it’s not so big that it overwhelms him. – Blacdraco
This book bag is worth the money! It is so sturdy and so well made. It is quality. I have 2 of them and I am ordering another one. All 3 of my children will have one now. These book bags are a legacy item. You need them. – HLNC24
Backpack with the most pockets.
Adidas Prime 6 Backpack $48.75 (regularly $65)
Holy pockets, Batman! This bag features FIVE external zippered compartments, 2 inner divided sleeves, including a padded computer pocket for up to a 16″ size, a water bottle side sleeve, and more pockets for pencils, calculators, etc! It’s organized without sacrificing comfort as this kids backpack also has spring-loaded shoulder straps for added cushion while lugging it around all day.
Hip Sidekick, Liza scooped up this Adidas Prime 6 backpack and had this to say…
“Kiddo had a Lands’ End backpack the last few years that she loved, but this year she wanted to change it up. Kids seem to be leaning towards the athletic brand styles, so she randomly picked out this Adidas one when we were at Kohl’s. I was super to happy to see the crazy good reviews when we got home. It fits all her stuff & then some, and the quality seems good. Love the colors too!”
Prefer Nike instead?
Backpack with the best warranty.
Lands’ End ClassMate Small Backpack $31.96 (regularly $39.95)
- Use code SCENIC at checkout to get the discounted price!
You could purchase a kids backpack, keep your fingers crossed, and hope they don’t wear, tear, or rip (*yeah, pretty unlikely 😆). OR you can invest in a backpack with peace of mind, like Land’s End kids backpacks!
They are backed by their now-called defect warranty in which you can receive the full price of the backpack in merchandise credit with proof of purchase (either saved to your account or via receipt) for any rips, tears, holes, etc. to the backpack.
Sound too good to be true? Hip Sidekick, Melissa recently tried it herself! She received the full price of one of her son’s backpacks in merchandise credit that was purchased in 2017! 😱 A second backpack that she purchased in 2015 was also torn, but she no longer had proof of purchase. Had she saved her receipt, the rep confirmed she would have received the full amount in merchandise credit for this one too!
Melissa also had this to say…
“After going through a LOT of backpacks and spending so much money over the years, I have determined that Land’s End is my favorite brand. I love them because they have a lifetime warranty. Land’s End is a little more expensive up front but when you factor in the cost of what you’d be spending on constantly replacing a cheaper backpack and the warranty you get with Land’s End, it’s worth it to me.”
Backpack with the most color options.
JanSport SuperBreak Plus – $39.99+
- Be sure to sign up for Tilly’s text messages for a $5 off $20+ coupon code- valid on these backpacks!
This popular backpack brand was sure to make our list for a few reasons — style, nostalgia, and functionality. Plus, let’s not forget this is the brand even our frugal parents likely purchased back in the 70’s and before, so we think it’s safe to say there’s a JanSport backpack for every budget.
The best part about these backpacks is that they come in SO MANY different colors and patterns — this specific style has up to 30+ options!
Plus, you can find them at so many different retailers so they’re definitely not hard to find on a deal! We’ve even spotted JanSport backpacks for as low as $11.99 if you can grab them on clearance! 😱
Hip Sidekick, Lina, has seen plenty of brands come & go, but Jansport is back on top…
We have had lots of brands, and my daughter had the same North Face for so many years and wanted a change. 😂 JanSport seemed to be the cool brand again with teens in high school this year. My daughter just bought the smaller Superbreak one…My son has this one from Target I remember them for my school days so kind of nostalgic. I think JanSport are nice quality, functional yet lightweight, and have a great warranty.
Now here’s a round-up of all the best school supply deals we could find!