When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
As a high school teacher I’ve seen backpacks in all disrepair, so I know how important it is to find a bag that is durable enough to use day in and day out.
For kids and teens, it’s more about the backpack’s appearance than its functionality, so the difficult task as a parent is to find one that’s durable, well-designed, and suitable for everyone. school supplies and your child’s lunch box. but it looks cool too. For most of today’s college students, backpacks also need a secure space to store a device like a Chromebook or iPad.
To help you find the best backpacks for your children, whether they are preschool or college aged, I have combined my experience as a teacher and student with the guidance of an occupational therapist and two teachers. I have also researched and tested the best backpacks on the market. Below, find tips for selecting a quality backpack in our ‘what to look for’ guide.
The best backpacks for students in 2021
Best backpack for kindergarten: Wildkin 12 inch backpack, $ 32.99 from Amazon
The Wildkin 12 inch backpack is just the right size for the littlest of school kids, and it comes in tons of fun designs that young kids will gravitate towards.
Best backpack for elementary school: Cat & Jack Kids 17-inch backpack, $ 19.99 from Target
The Target 17-inch Cat & Jack Kids Backpack features reflective stripe for bus stop safety, and it meets all of an elementary school student’s needs at an affordable price.
Best backpack for college: LLBean Original Book Pack, $ 36.95 from LLBean
The LLBean Original Book Pack is well organized, the right size for college kids, and machine washable.
Best backpack for high school: The North Face Jester Backpack, Men’s or Women’s, $ 69 from The North Face
The iconic Jester backpack is ergonomically designed and backed by a lifetime warranty.
Best backpack for students: The North Face Recon Backpack, Men’s or Women’s, $ 99 from The North Face
The North Face Recon backpack looks stylish and professional, but it’s still big and durable enough to carry all the essentials.