How to Choose a Backpack

It happens every year: back to school shopping. Tons of stores, tons of choices, lots of money spent. One of the most important purchases you'll make for your child is a backpack, assuming you pick a new one every few years. With rows and rows of options at several different stores, how should you go about picking a good one?

Consider the Age and Opinion of Your Child

How old is your child? Some kids want a say in what their backpack looks like, because it can be a fun or exciting thing (especially for the younger ones). Always ask to see if your kid even cares, and if they do, involve them in shopping. For younger children (say, third grade and younger), select several that meet your criteria below and then allow them a handful to choose from. For older children, allow them to help you in your research and to present you with backpacks that they like that meet your budget and other requirements.

How to Choose a Backpack

Consider the Contents

Depending on how old your child is, this backpack will either be filled with a couple of worksheets and maybe a few markers, or it'll be jam-packed with books and binders. What will your kid be carrying to and from school on a daily basis? Are there enough pockets and space to accommodate the contents?

Consider the Support

Once kids get old enough to cart text books back and forth, you'll want to start considering some back support in the way of adjustable straps and engineered materials. Kids will end up carrying 10-20 pounds on their backs every day when they get into middle and high school, so neglecting to think about how this bag wil support their backs could be a huge medical mistake.

Consider its Durability

Backpacks can be expensive, so looking at the durability should be a requirement. Trendy backpacks may not be built well, but may cost more money because of the trend. Try to set milestones for the backpacks: the first one should last from pre-school to first grade. The second one should last from second grade to fourth grade. The third one should last from fifth grade to eighth grade, and so on and so forth. Avoid backpacks that will have you buying a new one every single year.

Consider the Deal

Given that this purchase isn't like buying a new binder, it's ok to splurge a little if it's in your budget. Your budget should correlate to exactly how many years you'd like to get out of your purchase, understanding that the more you spend, the better the brand, the more use you'll get out of it.

Before you blindly purchase a bag from Target, do your research. Consider the deal, the durability, the contents, the back support and your child's opinion, and you'll be happy with your purchase.

[image]