Best Toddler Backpack: A Comprehensive Buyers Guide And Reviews

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
March 13, 2023

toddler with back pack

Backpacks have been providing us with convenience and practicality for ages. They are such a huge part of daily life, and that is why the market for this product is huge. There's a backpack for everyone, even toddlers.

Toddler backpacks are a real thing. Believe it or not they are utilized by many little ones out there. Cute and functional, there's only one problem. How does one know which toddler backpack they should buy?

To help you make a comprehensive purchasing decision,  I've compiled a list of what are considered to be the best toddler backpacks on the market.

Different Uses

One may automatically think of school when the word "backpack" comes to mind. While they're obviously associated with school, toddler backpacks can be used for other reasons as well. Let's take a quick look at some different ways your toddler can use their new backpack.

  • At School: They are great for kids who are in Preschool or Kindergarten.
  • Storage: Sometimes they simply work best as another place for them to store toys.
  • checkPlay Time: A turtle shell? Maybe a shield? A little imagination and it turns into a great prop during play time.
  • Traveling: If you are travelling by car or plane, little backpacks are great for storing toys that will keep them occupied.
  • checkStaying Close: Some backpacks will have a leash attached so you can keep them close while letting them have a sense of independence.

Things To Consider

Before surprising your little one with a new backpack, you will want to evaluate all your options so you can single out the best one. Listed below are some qualities that are important to consider before making your purchase.

Two Straps: The backpack should always have two straps to distribute the weight evenly.

Reflective: If children will be walking home from school or out at night, their backpack should have pieces of reflective material on the bag.

Fit: Have your child try on the bag before you purchase it. The bottom of the bag should meet the lower back, but should not be more than 4 inches below the waistline. The point at which the bag and straps meet should be 1 to 2 inches below the top of the shoulders.

Weight: When you've selected the right backpack, make sure you don't overload it. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that a backpack should not exceed 15 to 20 percent of a child's body weight, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not exceeding 10 percent.

Top Toddler Backpacks

With all the options out there, how do you know whether you're picking the right one or not? To make things a little easier, I've compiled a list of what is thought to be the best toddler backpacks on the market.

Skip Hop Zoo Pack

  • Easy to clean
  • Insulated front pouch
  • Padded straps
  • thumbs-upBuilt-in name tag

This backpack is perfect for toddlers in preschool or kindergarten. ​

It has a roomy main compartment, an adjustable mesh bottle pocket, and an insulated front pouch to keep snacks and lunch at the right temperature. The canvas material is made of easy-to-clean lining so spills are never a hassle!

Comfort is just as important as storage, and luckily this bag has comfy padded straps that go easy on little shoulders.

Once you get the bag, write your toddler's name on the name tag inside so it doesn't get lost.

With seven different animals to choose from, the whimsical details and durable materials make this the perfect pack for toddlers on-the-go.

​Brica By-My-Side Safety Harness Backpack

  • Removable tether
  • Roomy compartments
  • Reflective strips
  • thumbs-upToy loop

This backpack gives your kids a sense of responsibility and independence while keeping them close when you're out and about.

Its removable tether is shock absorbing to help reduce tensions and improve comfort, and a swivel clip keeps the tether from tangling.

A toy loop keeps your child's favorite small toy or trinket close at hand and also functions to hang the backpack on a hook.

With a zippered main compartment, front mesh pocket and two side pockets, this backpack is perfect for toys, clothes, trinkets or snacks.

One of my favorite features are the reflective strips. They provide added nighttime visibility and if the crowds get hectic, just clip on the optional tether and rest assured that your child will stay safely by your side.

Overall this toddler backpack is great when it comes to practicality and use.

​Olive Kids by Wildkin

  • Durable and easy to clean
  • Over 40 different colors to choose from
  • Comfortable padded straps
  • thumbs-upConforms to rules of the Consumer Products Safety Commission

Wildkin is a privately owned business located in Nashville, Tennessee. They offer fantastic backpacks, lunchboxes, sleeping bags, bedding and more for all ages.

This specific backpack was designed by Wildkin to withstand even the toughest school days. Made from super durable 600-denier polyester fabric with an interior moisture-resistant nylon lining, it's durability is close to unmatched.

It has two padded, adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back that provides a comfortable wear. The durable top handle is perfect for hanging in a locker before heading to class.

The backpack itself is big enough to fit school supplies and a snack. Two zippered compartments, interior utility pockets and a pencil holder make organization a breeze.

The backpack is rigorously tested to ensure that all parts are lead-safe, bpa-free, phthalate-free, and conform to all rules and regulations set forth by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Ultimately this backpack is a great option for you if you're looking to go the environmentally friendly route.

​Yisibo Spaceship Backpack

  • Detachable tether
  • Padded straps
  • Protective zipper
  • thumbs-upCreative theme

This fun space-themed backpack has a tether from keeping your little one from drifting too far off into space.

The backpack has a roomy main compartment that stores the kids toys, diapers or anything else they want to bring on their little adventures. It also features a buckle-secured chest strap that prevents the backpack from falling off as they run around.

This one hits the checkbox for comfort as well. It has two padded, adjustable straps with a protective zipper. The padded straps are shock absorbing to improve comfort, and the zipper on the backpack is coated with rubber so the little hands can get a good grip when they need to open their bag.

If you happen to order the backpack and are not satisfied with it, their impressive customer service will help you get your money back.

Ultimately this is a fun backpack whose theme sparks your kid's creativity and imagination.

​Dino Backpack

  • Detachable safety leash
  • thumbs-upMulti-layered padding
  • thumbs-upEnvironmentally friendly
  • thumbs-upSizable storage

This is another style of toddler backpack that has a safety leash in which you can hook at the top of the bag.

It is very versatile and can be used to store things like books or pencils for school, or snacks and toys for travel.

The back of the backpack has three different layers of fabric: the first layer is breathable, the second layer is widened and can relieve pressure, and the third layer is earthquake resistant.

The fabric itself is made from oxford. It's mildly waterproof, wear-resistant, and environmentally friendly.

This dinosaur-themed backpack is nothing extraordinary, but if you're looking for something that does the job, then this is a viable option. It holds the necessary things, and will not wear out in the process.

​Animal Cartoon Backpack by Hipiwe

  • Eco-friendly
  • thumbs-upMoney back guarantees
  • thumbs-upLots of space
  • thumbs-upBreathable design

This backpack is lightweight, which is important because as the baby is still in the growth stage, their skeleton is growing and developing. That's why a toddler backpack can not be too heavy.

Its smart design allows for baby wipes, clothing, books and snacks to fit, making it perfect for on the go occasions. Speaking of design, its honeycomb back design is breathable to reduce the loss of sweat effectively, and you can easily adjust the shoulder strap’s length for a better fit as well.

One of my favorite features about this pack is that it's 100% environmental. Children's health and safety are their primary responsibility, and if there are any problems, they give you a money back guarantee so you can purchase with confidence.

Overall this is a great score for parents looking for something cute yet practical.

Top Rated Pick: Brica By-My-Side Safety Harness Backpack

We all want the best for our kids, as parents we can't help it. After evaluating some of the top toddler brands on today's market, I have come to the conclusion that the Brica By-My-Side Harness Backpack is the best option.

The backpack was chosen above the rest thanks to roomy storage compartments, detachable tether, toy loop to keep your child entertained, and most importantly reflective strips to keep them safe.

Final Thoughts

Backpacks are a huge convenience, even to toddlers. Some are more comfortable, some have more or less space. My goal with this full review was to give you the information to enable you to make a smart purchasing decision for your toddler.

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