From the beginning of their primary school journey, a good quality rucksack is essential for school children. It may need to hold a change of clothes, P.E. kit, reading books, homework, a water bottle or lunch. Sometimes even all of the above!
Rucksacks also prove useful at weekends and school holidays. For a trip to the grandparents, summer play-scheme or a sleepover. They may need to fit a favourite toy, a tablet, nightclothes or a very random collection of pebbles (don’t ask!).
It’s also important to consider your child’s height and build. A bag that is bigger than necessary won’t allow freedom of movement and is more likely to get filled with “stuff”. The weight can then rest on their shoulders causing discomfort.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 of the best school bags, backpacks and rucksacks; including options that take into consideration fit, internal space, comfort, added extras and good ol’ fashioned fun!
Here is our list of the best schoolbags, backpacks and rucksacks for kids
What is it: This 6 litre capacity backpack is a perfect for Reception. It’ll fit a change of clothes and water bottle. When packed this backpack measures 17 x 25 x 32cm. It is made of high vis material – great for darker winter days.
Why we love it: There’s a chest strap which is useful for keeping the bag secure when scooting or cycling to school. It’s extremely well constructed and the shoulders straps are well padded and curved for comfort.
Available from: LittleLife, Amazon and Argos
What is it: Compact for smaller kids, measuring 27.9 x 12.7 x 30.5 cm, this bag has an insulated front pocket (perfect for snacks), side bottle holding mesh and a inner compartment not quite big enough for A4 documents but still sizeable on a 4 year old’s back.
Why we love it: The quirky upside down bat design is adorable and will stand out on your little one’s peg. The inner lining is easy to clean and it’s nice and light when empty. The only challenge you might have is getting your little one to take it off!
Available from: Amazon, Dotty Hippo and Precious Little One
What is it: This L.O.L. themed rucksack measures 36 cm (L) 26 cm (W) 12 cm (D). It has padded back panel and straps, zipped hidden front pocket, mesh water bottle side panels and a large main compartment.
Why we love it: Not just fun but comfortable and practical as well, this bag will work well for school. The back panel support will help on days when your child has a lot to carry. A perfect bag for an L.O.L. Surprise fan.
Available from: Amazon, Cool Clobber and Selfridges
What is it: Stand out from the crowd with the backpack measuring L 30 x W 24 cm x D 12 cm. Made of durable and easy to clean polyester, this bag has a large main compartment and two side pockets have Velcro flaps.
Why we love it: You’ll have no problems getting your little astronaut to pack this bag ready for school – the design is eye-catching and fun. The covered side pockets are great for storing essentials like sun cream and pebbles(!). 3-2-1… blast off!
Available from: Amazon, John Lewis and ChildrenSalon
What is it: A budget friendly, durable backpack measuring H 38 cm / L 22 cm/ D 16 cm. Sports retailer Decathlon sells this bag as a hiking option for kids but it also doubles up wonderfully as a school or sports bag. It has a slim front zip compartment that can hold pens, lip gloss or a small sun screen. Side pockets hold a 500ml water bottle comfortably.
Why we love it: At 15L this backpack will easily fit an A4 homework book, P.E. kit and a water bottle. It has some light padding on the shoulder straps and a waist strap for stability on-the-go. Although quite basic, it’s durable and functional.
Available from: Decathlon
What is it: The backpack measures 36cm H x 29cm W x 10cm D and comes with a 55cm x 80cm hood attached. There are 2 side drink sleeves, an internal name label and a 15-inch laptop compartment.
Why we love it: The hood is a great addition, for those days when an anorak is too much to carry it’s reassuring to have a hood and the kids will love wearing it. The laptop compartment can also double up as storage for school books keeping them separate from other belongings. There are 2 designs; a shark or a unicorn.
Available from: Smiggle
What is it: A versatile school backpack with a detachable lunchbox that measures 32 cm (L) 26.5 cm (W). The thermal lunchbox is a reasonable 29cm (L) x 22cm (W) and will help keep food warm or cold – it even has it’s own handle. There is a side mesh pocket for drinks.
Why we love it: If your child loves Hatchimals then this school bag and lunchbox in one could be just the ticket. There’s a main zipped apartment for a pencil case, books etc and the lunchbag/box part zips off so they can be used separately. Super handy.
Available from: Amazon
What is it: Officially a hiking option, this compact junior backpack measures 37cm (L) x 24cm (W) x 19cm (D). It has several comfort features such as thick foam ridges on the back panel and a sternum strap to keep weight on the hips.
Why we love it: Known for their premium range of backpacks, Osprey’s youth range are designed to be functional and long lasting. This bag will be extremely comfortable especially for children who have to travel far and need the weight kept off their shoulders.
Available from: Osprey, Amazon and Wiggle
What is it: This 18L backpack from Hype measure 35cm x 5cm x 30cm unpacked. It will expand to fit A4 books and everything necessary for a day at school. Wearers will appreciate the padded back panel, adjustable padded straps and two zipped compartments.
Why we love it: Just one of many many designs from Hype, we love how this backpack has a retro 90’s feel. This bright design will need to reflect an equally bright personality! If they’re feeling particularly sassy your child can attach the included Pom Poms!
Available from: Just Hype, Amazon and Blue Banana
What is it: A hard wearing backpack measuring H: 44.5cm, W: 29cm, D: 13cm and is made from polyester. It has 3 pockets, a large zippered main compartment, stationary organiser and padded laptop compartment.
Why we love it: The bright bag is functional and will ensure that your child has all they need for a busy day at school and can find it. If it ends up as a goal post (or even worse a football) its durable construction will help it survive!
Available from: Sports Direct, Amazon and USC
What is it: This great satchel alternative comes with adjustable backpack straps attached – so you can convert from holding to hands-free easily. Measuring 31.5 x 28 x 7.5 cm, it has 2 front pockets and an internal zip pocket.
Why we love it: This satchel will certainly add some flare to the school run, it comes in a range of colours but we think the gold is truly bling-tastic! This bag will ensure that your child’s day at school will me absolutely fabulous.
Available from: Smallable, Sarenza and Bakker
What is it: A large bag measuring H46 x W28 x D18cm. Vans have teamed up with Harry Potter for a backpack that has an internal laptop pocket, an internal organiser (great for pens etc) and padded shoulder straps.
Why we love it: The Harry Potter fan in your life will be delighted with this bag that has so many nods to the famous books. Even the interior lining is Harry Potter themed. It’s one of the largest bags on our list, perfect for older children with a lot to carry.
Available from: Vans, Schuh and Jeans Store