The 11 Best Backpacks for NYC Kids- for Back to School 2023-2024
It is that time again. Back to School shopping. Yes, we are still enjoying these last few weeks of summer but by now you are starting to get the supplies, lunch ideas and #BTS clothing and accessories together and searching for a backpack that meets all your kids’ needs for the school year is always on the top of parents’ shopping lists. A great backpack should have enough space for all its materials and be comfortable carrying them throughout the day.
Check out below the 11 best backpacks for kids to wear back to school in 2023-2024.
Best Daycare: 7AM MINI
Many of a parent’s favorite 7 AM accessories are beloved for being stylish, comfortable ( and PETA-approved ) brand and always keeping comfort in mind. The MINI backpack comes in a Classic, Dino, Wings and Bows style with design touches such as padded shoulder straps for ease when carrying. A water-repellent outer shell that is machine washable makes this a perfect style for the littlest school-goers. $45.
What to love: If you love these styles- for the older kids, the MIDI holds folders, a laptop, inside and outside pockets, and a side bottle pocket.
Best Preschool: Claire’s Club Chibi Critters Crowd Mini Backpack
This whimsical kawaii-inspired animal backpack is an ideal choice for children aged 3 to 6 with its blend of cuteness. Crafted with kids’ comfort and convenience in mind, the backpack features adjustable straps that cater to both the little ones and their parents, who often find themselves carrying their kids’ belongings, especially during those initial years of daycare. $14.99
What to love: It is small enough to hook on a stroller or fit into a larger bag making for a smooth exit on those ‘let’s get out the door now’ mornings.
Best Kindergarten Backpack: Lands’ End Kids ClassMate Medium Backpack
Best Give Back Backpack: Kane Kids by State
State’s signature backpack for kids is a great option for children from kindergarten to 3rd grade. With its many compartments you can fit your school supplies, iPad or 13’’ laptop and a water bottle (around 17 oz) and still wear it comfortably with the soft padded adjustable straps.
Some extra fun features from this backpack are that it’s made with 45% recycled materials, a zippered front pocket perfect for lunch card and pencils. Go check out all the colors and prints available. State Bags, $90-$95.
What to love : For every backpack sold State bag purchased gives back by supporting American children and families by donating fully-packed backpacks at their signature bag drop rallies.
Best Adaptative Backpack: Adaptive Kids’ Backpack – Cat & Jack
This innovative backpack is a great option for children with special needs, with its adaptive features and multiple pockets kids will be very comfortable using this bag when they get back to school this year! The bag is designed with multiple ports for tubes and cables as well as tuck-away back straps that make it easy to use. This ergonomic and comfortable backpack is a great option, with great quality and beautiful designs! Target, $11.99.
What to love : If you are a parent with a child with special needs you’ll appreciate the design considerations of this affordable backpack that will benefit your child.
Best Classic Backpack: L.L.Bean Original Book Pack
Forty years after it came out, L.L.Bean’s original backpack is still one of the best in the market. With high quality and weatherproof materials this bag will endure all your child’s activities through the school year and more. The backpack is designed for kids aged 6 and up to keep anything and everything they can fit in the many compartments such as their water bottle, lunch box, books and more! L.L.Bean, $39.95.
What to love: If you live in a rainy city this backpack with durable stitching and strong material-helping to keep kids books and papers dry.
Best Personalized Backpack: Crate and Barrel
A durable backpack is a goal for our elementary school kids. This one from Crate and Barrel is water-resistant, with padded shoulder straps. Depending on the school, some schools may not have lockers, meaning kids will need to carry their bags from class to class.
There is plenty of room to hold everything from books to the extras like a lunch bag, sweater, and a small tablet. For an extra fee ($12) most backpacks can be personalized with a name or initials, which means lost and found is likely to be in the future (fingers crossed). The medium-size backpack fits kids 43”–49” tall or ages 5-7. Large fits children 48” and taller or ages 7+. $39-49. Pictured style: Lightning Bolts Aqua Medium Kids Backpack with Side Pockets, $25.
What to love: This durable polyester is made from recycled water bottles.
Best Spacious Backpack for Middle school and up:Pottery Barn Teen
Space is a big deal for backpacks, and Middle and high school kids, regardless of whether they live in the suburbs or the city, need a lot of room for all their ‘stuff.’ The large backpack is 7.5 inches deep, and the XL is 8.5 inches deep, which means room for (most) of it all. Especially older kids who may not have a homeroom classroom and must ‘live’ in their backpacks, especially if they have after-school or sports after that ring buzzes.
The large backpack features four roomy exterior pockets and one laptop pocket. The XL backpack has four exterior, two interior pockets, and a laptop pocket. $52-94
What to love: This bag is durable, water-resistant, and of 100% recycled polyester (PET).
Best Backpack for High Schoolers: Pop Quiz Backpack by Herschel
As editors and parents with kids of all ages, the one backpack category is always a riddle for us is the one for high school kids. This may be because a backpack’s most wear and tear happens at this stage. Not only are (some) backpacks stuffed into a locker or carried around daily – high schoolers basically live via their backpacks.
Herschel’s new classic is roomy (17.5″(H) x 12.25″(W) x 6.5″(D)) yet not bulky. There is room for a laptop in a padded area in the bag, a side pocket for bottled water, and zippered closures – this is important for a MetroCard, keys, and calculator-the essential stuff parents do not want the kids to lose. It is classic, sturdy, and well-built for our New York kids.
What to love : This backpack features Herschel’s EcoSystem™ 600D Fabric and Liner and is made from 100% (yay!) recycled post-consumer water bottles.
Best on a Budget Backpack: VASCHY Lightweight Backpack for School
This lightweight and simple design is perfect for kids 7 and up, with a big space to hold their laptop, books and binders comfortably with the padded back panel. It also has a zipped mesh pocket on the main compartment, so they don’t lose small belongings at the bottom and a water bottle pocket! Amazon, $28.99
What to love: Besides the price and offering of a colorful palette of solid colors and fun prints, this backpack is great if your kids don’t have to carry their entire desk on their back, but it’s durable enough to get them through the day.
Best 2-in-1 Backpack: Bentgo Kids Prints 2-in-1 Backpack & Insulated Lunch Bag
This fun and innovative design has it all! It doesn’t just give you an excellent spacious backpack with two large sections with small pockets for easy organization plus a water bottle pocket, but it also includes a built-in insulated lunch bag that attaches to the bottom.
With this backpack you won’t have to worry about your kid forgetting their lunch box (like I have many times..oof) or that he or she will be uncomfortable as it is fully padded in the shoulder straps and the back! Your kids have many colorful print options to choose from! Amazon, $49.99.
What to love: If your child’s school does not refrigerate lunches this is a game changer with the built-in insulated lunch bag.