Distances itself from competitors for the side "art tube" designed for safely stashing rolled-up artwork. Made of tough material with a waterproof laminated finish that's easy to clean. Size is perfect for ages 2 to 7 years. Available in a collection of fun prints.
Top handle is prone to fraying, but otherwise, the construction is durable. Some parents find that some folders are too tall to fit inside.
Features a chest strap for added stability and a front pocket for extra storage space. Main compartment is roomy enough to fit papers, a change of clothes, and snacks. Lightweight and easy to carry. Comes in several adorable design with bold colors kids love.
Issues with the zippers jamming/breaking are common. Shoulder straps could be more durable, as they have been known to break.
Nice size for a preschooler – at 14" it is a little taller than some, but still small enough that your child can handle it easily. Also comes in a caterpillar and ladybug. Adjustable straps. Drink pocket on the side. Sturdy and well made for the price.
This pack is appealing to very little kids, but probably won't transition into grade school.
Kids love this backpack's animal face design and are excited to carry it. Eight styles to choose from. In addition to being cute, it has a spacious main compartment, insulated front snack pocket, and water bottle pocket.
Interior stitching is prone to unraveling. Not large enough to zip completely if you put a standard notebook or folder in it.
Front pocket is insulated to help hold food or drinks. Double zipper with big pulls. 19 design choices that appeal to lots of kids. Can fit a standard sized folder. Big enough to use through kindergarten. Holds up well under daily use.
The top strap on this pack tends to fray with use and may come undone.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Preschoolers don’t have to lug textbooks around, but they do have to carry certain items back and forth to their classrooms. That’s why they need backpacks that are made especially for little kids to stash snacks and supplies that they might need while away from home.
Backpacks that are constructed especially for preschoolers accommodate their needs, size, and sense of fun style. Durable materials that are easy to wipe clean and can withstand the wear and tear of being toted around by little hands are essential. Backpacks for children in this age range must also be small enough to be carried comfortably and have strong straps and handles for added stability as well as roomy compartments with closures that are simple for youngsters to operate. In addition to the practical features that appeal to parents, backpack designs with cute characters and bold colors will capture kids’ attention.
We cover the facts, features, and considerations when shopping for preschooler backpacks in our buying guide below. For our five favorite products, see the matrix above.
Though there are other types of bags that you can send with your child to preschool, they don’t have the features or capabilities that backpacks offer. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits a backpack can provide for your preschooler:
Make selecting a backpack for your toddler an activity you both share. She’ll appreciate being able to choose the design, color, and characters she likes best.
Little kids can be rough on their school gear. That’s why it’s important to think about the material of a backpack as you shop. Some inexpensive backpacks are made of vinyl, but durability is a concern with this plastic material. Nylon and polyester are two of the most popular materials used to make kids’ backpacks because they are tough and easy to clean. These synthetic materials also resist moisture and stand up well to being handled by youngsters.
Canvas is a natural material derived from cotton that is also extremely tough. Backpacks made of canvas are durable but typically aren’t water-resistant. They aren’t as easy to wipe clean either. However, most canvas backpacks can be immersed in water for thorough cleaning.
Some backpacks designed for small children are made of a plush material that resembles stuffed animals. Many youngsters love these adorable designs. However, they typically aren’t extremely spacious and aren’t as durable as their nylon, polyester, or canvas counterparts.
Just like backpacks for big kids, those designed for toddlers have several compartments. In addition to the large main section, most models have a front, side, or interior pocket or a combination of all three. Zippers are the most common closures, though some backpacks have Velcro, snaps, or buckles structured for little hands.
Size is an important consideration for backpacks for small kids because they must be able to carry the backpack without hurting themselves. Backpacks between eight and 14 inches in height are ideal for kids age two to five and a bit older.
Durable construction with kid-friendly features
Urban Infant’s Packie Backpack is built with the needs of preschoolers in mind. Youngsters can be messy, so it’s made with laminated material that’s waterproof and easy to clean. In addition to a generous main compartment, it features a unique “art tube” that can be used to roll up papers and artwork to keep them free from rips and wrinkles. This backpack also comes in several attractive prints that are designed to appeal to small kids.
The shoulder straps on backpacks for preschoolers are similar to those on standard models. They are adjustable for a precise fit and typically have foam padding for comfort. Some backpacks also have chest or torso straps for extra stability.
Little backpacks also have top handles. They are commonly made of nylon, polyester, or another flexible material, and they are designed to be easy to grip when youngsters aren’t carrying their backpacks on their shoulders.
If you ask your little one about her top priority in picking a backpack, she’s likely to mention her favorite character, animal, or color. That’s why backpacks for preschoolers come in a wide range of colorful graphics that are especially enticing for the two-to-five age group.
Most backpacks for preschoolers have zippers, Velcro, buckles, or a combination of closures. Practice opening and closing them with your child before he takes the backpack to preschool, so he knows how to use them when you aren’t there to help.
Stashing certain items in your preschooler’s backpack can make his hours away from you easier as well as serve as helpers for his teacher. Here are some preschool-friendly items that your child is likely to need that will fit nicely into his new backpack.
It goes without saying that toddlers are messy, so sending them to preschool with travel wipes is a good idea. You can stash quite a few wipes in the OXO Tot On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser, which has a slim design that fits nicely in a backpack. The secure lid and seal will keep the wipes moist and fresh.
Accidents happen, so stashing a few training pants in your preschooler’s backpack is a must. Kids love these Pull-Ups Learning Designs Potty Training Pants because they are easy to use and come adorned with some of their favorite characters. They are also available in several sizes to fit youngsters of various ages.
Your child’s teacher will probably appreciate you sending a spill-proof cup to preschool. The Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup has a 360-degree drinking edge that eliminates spills and dull handles that are easy for little hands to grip. Plus, you get two brightly colored cups for one affordable price.
Backpack straps are important for your child’s comfort. The best straps have padding and adjustable closures. Straps that are too thin can put added pressure on a small child’s chest and shoulders, while wider straps do a better job distributing weight.
You’ll be pleased to find that backpacks made for preschoolers are less pricey than those designed for older kids, ranging from $8 to $35.
If you don’t want to spend more than $8 to $15, you’ll find quite a selection of affordable options, including some backpacks with adorable character themes. At this price, however, durability can be a concern.
Most parents find backpacks to fit their children’s needs between $15 and $25. Durable materials, roomy compartments, and cute designs all fall into this price category.
If you don’t mind spending $25 to $35 or a bit more, you’ll find backpacks for little kids that are made of tough, stain-resistant materials with ample pockets and extras like separate lunch packs. Another selling point of high-end preschooler backpacks is that they are built for longevity and can easily be used throughout kindergarten and beyond.
Adorable design, budget-friendly price
Saving money is a top priority for many parents, and fortunately, the Kids Preferred World of Eric Carle Backpack offers both affordability and a cute, practical design. This backpack is made of strong canvas and has a large main compartment plus an exterior zippered pocket and side drink holder. It’s available in a choice of several characters from Eric Carle’s popular children’s books.
There are a lot of features that are important to parents when it comes to choosing a backpack that will meet the needs of their preschool-bound children, but if you ask the kiddos, it’s all about fun graphics. The Little JJ Cole Toddler Backpack comes in six adorable designs, each with a matching folder. Your child can choose from a train, dragon, butterfly, robot, unicorn, or ballerina slippers. With the OREZI Toddler Backpack, choose from three different dinosaur themes or a colorful unicorn, all made from a durable twill material that’s easy to clean. The ZHUANNIAN Kids’ Dinosaur Backpack sports scales and a tail in a 10-inch size that works well for small preschoolers. Youngsters can choose from blue, green, yellow, or pink. The Abshoo Zoo Toddler Backpack comes in 13 cute animal themes, including a shark, giraffe, lion, and more, and it’s made of plush material that preschoolers will appreciate.
Q. Is a chest strap really necessary on a preschooler’s backpack?
A. No, but it does help to make the fit of the backpack more secure when your child is carrying it as well as distribute the weight of the contents. This additional strap is also useful for newbies who are getting used to carrying a pack on their backs. Consider a model with a chest strap if you think your child would benefit from a little extra help balancing the new backpack.
Q. What is the best way to clean the interior of a child’s backpack?
A. Open the closures and dump out any crumbs or dirt that have accumulated in the compartments. Use a wet wipe or damp cloth with mild soap to wipe the interior material. Keep zippers and other closures open until the backpack has dried completely. For a more thorough cleaning, follow the instructions that come with the backpack you chose.
Q. My child only has one more year of preschool. Will he be able to use his preschool backpack when he goes to kindergarten?
A. Yes, but make sure you choose a preschool backpack that offers enough space to transition to the next level of schooling. Opt for one that is around 13 to 15 inches in height. This size will provide extra space for carrying small books, assignments, and other supplies to and from school. In addition, features like additional pockets will come in handy for carrying crayons, lunch items, and more.
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