A new school year is almost upon us, and this year the kids are truly going BTS. And while much doesn’t change in what our kids need each school year -this September, when it comes to backpacks, we need to make room for masks and hand sanitizer. So we have 10 of the best backpacks that are perfect for your city kids. We even have a pick that is $5! And extra credit if the backpack is easy to clean.
Best Backpack for Nursery School: 7 AM MINI Backpack
The MINI backpack takes pride in its top-tier reviews and ratings. It is a small and light bag, but undoubtedly one of the most reliable places to store school supplies. It has handles that are easy to grab and padded shoulder straps that can be adjusted to the user’s liking, zippered pockets in and out, a waterproof outer shell, and a machine-washable nature. The backpack comes in 8 different colors and is discounted significantly upon bundling. 7amenfant.com,$40.
Best Personalized Backpack for Preschoolers: Rainbow Little Critters Backpack
Perfect for children ages 2-4, the backpack comes in cute pastel shades with a smiling rainbow. The backpack is durable and washable, making it a great find for schools during the pandemic. It can also be personalized to be special for your child, as Pottery Barn Kids sew names onto their bags upon receiving such orders. Pottery Barn Kids, $22.50
Best Compact Backpack: Mini Kane Travel
State backpacks are the sort of bags that make perfect hand-me-downs. One of its most popular especially for city kids is the Mini Kane Travel backpack. Everything that is loved about State’s products is included in this mini version of the company’s backpack. It is extremely durable, colorful, and diverse. Looking for another reason to buy this backpack? It can be personalized! And STATE was one of the first brands to give back and continues with for every STATE product purchased they support American children and families in need by donating backpacks (fully-packed!) at their bag drop rallies to funding special projects with supporting partner schools and organizations. Statebags.com, $60-80.
Best Middle School Backpack: 19” Jartop Backpack – Embark™
There is a significant shift in middle school regarding the style of backpack a child may need. Many NYC schools do not have lockers, and while kids may or not be moving from class this year (COVID), many are expected to carry about everything in their bags. The main compartment has a ton of room that will hold your kids’ books for the day; a 17-inch front pocket can hold a laptop, and side pockets can take the water bottle and hand sanitizer. Target,$39.99
Best for Elementary School: Bixbee 10” Kids’ Animal Backpack
A fun (and a wee fierce) bag for your preschooler to 2nd grader that is designed to fit Ergonomic-which means it will not hang too low on your child’s back. Roomy in the main compartment also features two side pockets for a water bottle or pencil case. A big plus is Bixbee donates a schoolbag (with supplies) to every backpack purchased for a child in need. Target, $29.99
Best Classic Backpack: Jansport Recycled Superbreak
This backpack brand may have been the brand you sported when you were in school. Jansport backpacks come with a lifetime warranty and are durable to withstand the wear and tear kids often do to their bags meaning perfect for our city kids. This style is pretty much the classic Super break but is made of 100% Recycled Nylon webbing and cording and polyester labels. Jansport.com, $50.
Best Budget Backpack: Wonder Nation Boys & Girls Galaxy 16″ Backpack
There is a bit of a shell shock every summer when the school supply list is in the inbox. And this is usually before you have even started the back-to-school wardrobe shopping. So whether on a tight budget or buying for a few kids, this stylish option is worth considering. This bag is perfect for elementary school kids and is available in a few fun prints with a height of 16 inches and adjustable shoulder straps. Walmart.com, $5.
Best Weatherproof Backpack: L.L.Bean Original Book Pack
The L.L.Bean Original is built to endure. It features extra-strong stitching and weatherproof material and is guaranteed to weather through your child’s school year. Designed for children older than 6 years, the backpack comes in a variety of different colors for your child to choose from. llbean.com, $36.95
Best High School and Beyond Backpack: Herschel Little America Backpack
Herschel is known for designing durable, well-made backpacks and is a great choice when looking for a forever backpack. Timeless, not trendy, these backpacks are high quality and perfect for your high schooler. Ideal for the student who carries everything in their bag – the contoured shoulder straps will provide support when being lugged around throughout the day. Designed with a padded and fleece-lined 15” laptop sleeve, drawcord closure, and magnet fastener straps with metal pin buckles. Herschel.com, $130.
Best Medium Size Backpack: Lonecone Backpacks
Both playful and affordable, the LONECONE backpack is an excellent choice for children of all ages. Its large zippers allow children to open and close them easily, and it has U-shaped openings for trouble-free access to contents. Additionally, the backpack has padded shoulder straps that can be adjusted using slide buckles to fit your child best. It is machine-washable and has been tested to endure 100 hours of use without being damaged. $12.99 – $34.99, Amazon.com
This story first appeared on our sister publication newyorkfamily.com.