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10 Tips To Consider When Buying Your Child’s Backpack

Written by Kristen Norris

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Posted on August 14 2021

It is hard to believe that back-to-school is just around the corner!  As much as I love the summer and don’t want it to end, I do love the smell of back-to-school in the air.  There is something exciting about a fresh new school year with a fresh start. New books, sharpened pencils, new clothes and of course a new backpack.  This time of year we are inundated with backpack ads and it is hard to know how to narrow down a choice.  Aside, from the way it looks there are important things to keep in mind when buying a backpack for your child.  I have put together a list of things to think about…many of the tips included were inspired by our most common customer inquiries. I hope this helps! And good luck with your back-to-school shopping!

1. Size

12” by 15-17” Backpacks are the most versatile size for most school age children.  Too big and they can’t carry it and too small and every morning you’re fighting to fit their books and lunch inside. From a teacher’s perspective the bigger the better! That is the reason for our SafeLunch square design, the square corners allow for more room to fit stuff.  I know if it doesn’t fit it will get lost! So I made sure everything would fit!

2. Design

Backpacks have all sorts of great features built into their design.  A water bottle holder which is usually standard for most children's backpacks.  Make sure there is a spot in the backpack for easy access to your child’s agenda. SafeLunch backpacks have built in spot for your child’s agenda.  It is easily accessible and their teacher will appreciate it. I learned this the hard way when I missed special days because the notes were lost in the bottom of the bag. No more lost messages with the SafeLunch vertical pocket! 

3. Colours and Patterns

Just like when you are waiting at the airport for your luggage to come on the carousel and all the bags look the same, there is a sea of black backpacks in the classroom.  Be sure you choose an easily identifiable colour for you and your child to recognize it. I picked our colours with that in mind.  

4. Price

You get what you pay for with backpacks.  Cheap ones will fall apart, expensive ones will break the bank.  Expect to pay about $30-$50 for a good quality backpack that should last years.  SafeLunch backpacks are priced with your budget in mind and competitive with all major stores and online retailers. I always like to get new gear for our kids each year…all about the fresh start like I talked about at the beginning. I knew I wanted our price point to allow for that possibility. $100+ bags aren’t ones you want to replace every year. 

5. Ease of Cleaning

Accidents happen, kids spill things and leave garbage in the bottom their backpacks.  Be sure the backpack can be sprayed out.  SafeLunch backpacks can be thrown in the washing machine if necessary. And the outside fabric wipes easily…I am the queen of spot cleaning so this type of fabric was a must! 

6. Material

Polyester is the most versatile material.  It is rugged and doesn't tear easily.  Nylon is lightweight but it easy prone to snagging and tearing.  It is not the best type of material for an everyday child's backpack.  Leather is heavy and can get waterlogged if left in a puddle. Lined is important as well, makes the bag far more durable and waterproof for those rainy walks home from the bus stop. 

7. Comfort

Comfort is often overlooked when it comes to kids picking out backpacks because logo or colour tend to be all they care about, but at the end of the day it’s usually the kids walking around carrying these backpacks.  Make sure there is added strap padding and back padding.  Kids tend to bring home lots of homework and projects to show you and need to lug around a lot of stuff.  Look beyond the fancy logo and make sure they are comfortable.  It was important to me to design bags that held their shape so they didn’t sag down below the child’s waist. Our kids call that sloppy looking when they sag…this is where both function and aesthetics play a role in your backpack choice.  

8. Designated Pockets

Kids are trainable.  Teachers will be appreciative.  Be sure to get a backpack with designated pockets and built in features to aid in your child’s organization.  They will know where to find their extra pair of socks or a dry pair of mitts if they have a dedicated spot in their backpacks.  SafeLunch backpacks were designed with convenience for parents and teachers in mind. The HandsClean pocket came about because my kids were constantly misplacing sanitizer and then not cleaning their hands before they ate. The agenda pocket was included because I missed important info due to notes being lost. You get the point! All of our bags’ features were designed with a purpose. 

9. Adjustability

What might work in August or September when the weather is warm, might not work in a snowstorm in January.   Make sure your child’s backpack is adjustable.   Your child will probably wear just a T-shirt on the first day compared to a bulky snowsuit in the winter.  You need a backpack to accommodate the 4 seasons in Canada.  Having the ability to adjust the straps to fit your child is a must.  Weather aside, kids are always growing and will need their backpacks to adjust accordingly.

10Inside Liner

Cheap backpacks often won’t have liners.  This means if the backpack is left in the rain or in a puddle the stuff kept inside will probably get wet too.  Inside liners will give you added protection.  All SafeLunch backpacks are lined for added protection and easy inside cleaning.  Inspect the inside of the backpack to ensure it has an inside liner.  



 

 

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