12 best backpacks for kids—from preschool + beyond 🙌

From summer camp to the first day of school, every kiddo needs a good backpack. The trick is finding one that's big enough to haul all of their supplies without weighing them down or making them look like an unsteady turtle.

And since there's an overwhelming amount of choices out there, here's a pro tip: Choose a few that you love, then let them pick out their favorite!

From toddler backpacks that will last kids for years to the best kids backpacks for the first day of school, we've rounded up a selection that makes it easier to choose. (Maybe.😉)

Fjällräven kanken art mini backpack


We've always loved the Swedish Fjällraven's iconic Kanken backpacks for little ones. The square design fits just enough to be helpful but not too much to weigh them down and they last FOREVER. And even better, the brand has worked to further climate change initiatives since 1994 with their Arctic Fox Initiative. This year's ocean-inspired collection, designed by Swedish artist Linn Fritz, benefits 2 Minute Foundation and Leave No Trace, working to draw awareness to the growing problem of plastics littering the oceans.

MCubed backpack


Designed with the tiniest school-goers in mind, Mcubed backpacks are large enough to fit folders and essentials, but not so big they'll overwhelm your little one. We love their simple patterns and muted colors which you don't always find when it comes to kid backpacks. They also offer matching lunchboxes and pencil cases!

TWELVELittle little companion backpack


Soft, lightweight and water-resistant, this quilted backpack is perfectly sized for little scholars (and comes in a variety of colors if leopard print isn't their thing!) Even better? It also comes in mama size for some seriously adorable (and organized) twinning.

SoYoung toddler backpack


These bags are made from natural linen and exclusively designed for grade school. They're machine washable and feature a chest clip for extra support if they carry home lots of books.

Jansport superbreak backpack

best backpacks for kids

The "OG" of backpack brands, Jansport makes durable classic designs that can withstand the wear and tear of the school year. A front panel with a built-in organizer will keep elementary kids and middle schoolers organized, while the padded shoulder straps will keep them comfortable. The best part? The price (and a few super fun patterns)!

State Bags mini kane recycled poly canvas


Roomy enough to carry your child through elementary school and durable enough to last well beyond that, State Bags kiddo backpacks are a great investment. They also come in tons of awesome colors and designs and can be personalized with their initials and/or their choice of emoji-esque symbols like a rocket, banana or lightning bolt. This company was founded to help local children in need so for every bag purchased, STATE will support an American child in need in the way they need it most.

Land's End classmate medium backpack

lands end backpacks

This classic bag is great for preschool and elementary. With padded back panels and shoulder straps, it provides optimal comfort and is water-repellent. It has reinforced stitching so it'll hold up just fine if your little tosses it or drags it around. And, we can't resist personalizing it with a monogram so you always know which bag is your kid's.

Skip Hop Llama Insulated Toddler Backpack, Target

backpacks for kids

Now, who wouldn't want a llama backpack?! We adore Skip Hop's toddler backpack line—kiddos can pick out their favorite animal, like a unicorn, ladybug, or bee. They're ideal for preschool, where children won't bring a ton of folders or binders home. The insulated front pouch is the perfect spot to store snacks.

Herschel Supply Co. heritage kids backpack

herschel kids heritage backpack

Perfectly sized for kids aged 3 to 4, Herschel's smallest version of the popular Herigate backpack comes in six different colorways and features a removable sternum support strap and a limited lifetime warranty.

Wildkin 12 inch backpack

backpacks for kids

These backpacks offer so many design options and the 12 inch one is ideal for daycare through preschool. It has an insulated front pocket big enough to store lunch or snacks for the day—and can be embroidered so your little doesn't get confused about which bag is theirs.

Zoli miniSTASH

Zoli mini stash

This bag is the perfect size for any toddler's first day of preschool (😭). It's big enough to hold a lovey, extra outfit and a water bottle but petite enough to sit comfortably on their back (regular-sized backpacks look massive on 3-year-olds). We also love that it comes with a fill-in-the-blank name and phone number label inside the backpack so mamas don't have to add their own.

Pottery Barn Kids mackenzie critter unicorn backpack

Pottery Barn Kids mackenzie critter backpack

When you think of Pottery Barn Kids, you likely picture home decor and nursery furniture. But, they have some incredibly durable and functional backpacks for kids. The critter collection comes in two sizes (we recommend the small for preschool and large for kindergarten and beyond) and a variety of designs so kids can have fun showing off their style. Bonus: They have amazing personalization options!

Prices range from $54.50-$64.50

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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