Back to School 2014: Backpack Picks

Having just spent the past 2 days finding the right backpack for my almost Kindergartener, I already miss the days of the toddler backpack. The kids aren’t as picky, they don’t have to carry too much, and the options are so fun!

When you’re shopping for a toddler or preschool backpack, please pay close attention to the dimensions of the bag. Keep in mind that many are too small to hold a lunchbox. For example, I purchased a Mini Kanken when my youngest was two. It was just the right size for him but just barely fit a lunchbox. After one year I upgraded to the regular size. He still uses the Mini one for trips to the park etc… where he only needs to carry snacks and water. The same will be true for most of the toddler sized backpacks. Just FYI.

Cool Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

From Ore’ Originals Sugarbooger line, the Zippee! Back Packs are simple, small and durable. The Pencil Zippee! is the coolest design, but I also like the Ruler. There are a number of other Zippee! designs and matching lunch totes are available.  $28

Herschel Bags are the coolest choice of the year and the Settlement Kids model is the one for your preschoolers. $40 I also really love the versions they made for J. Crews crewcuts.  $55

The Kane bag from State Bags is the perfect option for do-gooding preschoolers.  For each Kane sold, State Bags hand-delivers one of their backpack to an American child in need.  The Garfield is another good preschool option. $55

Milkdot’s Top Kat backpacks are simply super. Available in 4 colors, buy one when you find one because they are in limited supply. Solid lunch totes can be purchased to match. $40

Cute Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

Designed by Michelle Romo, the Teacher’s Pet Backpacks are as cute as it gets.  The designs include the Panda, Lion, Elephant, Fox and Bunny. These are available exclusively at The Land of Nod. $29

Skip Hop Zoo Packs are the classic little kid backpack. With a huge selection of animals in the “zoo”, everyone in your class could have a different Zoo Pack. My nephew has the Hippo and my niece has the Penguin! $20

MIBO backpacks are a little harder to find, but if you’re interested in having something more unique, they’re well worth the effort.  Animal designs include penguin, tiger, cat, dog, rabbit, gorilla, polar bears, rhino, squirrel, fox, lion and giraffe.  $49

From Beatrix New York, both the little kid backpacks ($42) and the big kid backpacks (shown $52) are small enough for preschoolers. The lunchboxes and cozy-cans are cute add-ons.

Classic Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

You can’t think of backpacks without thinking of L.L. Bean, and their smallest school pack is the Junior Original. You can find this bag in solid colors or patterned like the shark print shown.  $25

I already mentioned the Fjallraven Kanken Mini Daypack. $55 This boxy little bag is sturdy (unless your child is dragging it along the pavement!) and is a neutral enough style that adults can carry it around as well. If the mini is too small, get the regular size.

If you want their backpack to last a long time, the Jansport Superbreak is a great option. This bag will be a large for the smallest toddlers but by pre-K it will work. They’ll be able to use the bag until it falls apart or they just want something different.  $35

Kelty is another classic name in backpacks and the Kelty Minnow is the one for the tots. Pick orange, green or blue.  $40

Crazy Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

The Crocband™ Backpack 2.0 is made of the famous crocs material.  It’s durable, can be personalized with Jibbitz and you can even get shoes to match.  $30

MadPax come in all sizes and lots of funky forms, but the halfpack is the smaller size for kids. $48 Nibblers (shown) are insulated and best for carrying lunch.  $32

I’ve been tempted to get at JumpFromPaper bag but I’m not a fan of the type of attention a bold accessory like that would attract. Not specifically designed for kids, the Spaceman is a fun and funky bag. $140 Imitations abound.

The Lego Brick Backpack is harder to find (unless you’re at the gift shop at Legoland).  $60

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