Our roundup of the best toddler backpacks for everyday and travel. Whether for school or a trip abroad, a child backpack needs to be safe and fit for the job. This is how to choose the best toddler backpack and favourite styles.
Few things are as cute as a toddler all geared up with a little bag on their shoulder. I love to see them ready for adventure, morning in kindergarten or international trip that it may be, and it melts my heart to think that in that little bag they have their a blanky or a teddy. Every time, they strike me like the perfect things to have with you: who needs practical if you can have a teddy?
However, while the sentimental part of me gets all soft, the rational part of me knows that picking a toddler backpack requires more than choosing a cute design.
Toddlers are delicate being and their growing bodies need gear that is specific and safe for their age. Long straps, heavy bags or uneven loads can hurt their backs and be dangerous so it is important to take some time to choose the best toddler backpack possible before purchasing.
In this post, we look at some of the most popular toddler backpacks and share our favourite toddler daysack of all.
How to choose the best toddler backpack
When choosing the best backpack for toddler there are a few things to consider:
Size: when choosing a rucksack, at any age, it is important to check how it sits on the back of its carrier. The size of the bag needs to be adequate to the length of their torso and must not be so long to hinder their movement or so short to feel tight around their armpits. Because of this, it is worth investing in a small toddler backpack instead of passing down one of an older sibling.
Capacity: for spine health it is important not to overload your toddler’s backpack with too much. A blanky, tissues and a teddy or maybe one change of clothes are plenty for them to carry. As tempting as it may be to have a diaper change in, I find they weight of wet wipes and changing gear excessive for a young child so I recommend you instead gear yourself up with a cool diaper bag instead.
Design: the best toddler backpack is the backpack your toddler will want to carry so design has a huge importance! Luckily, preschooler backpacks come in a variety of designs, most with cute characters, and they range from gender neutral to more obviously geared towards boys or girls. In this post we try and give an overview of several options to suit suit most tastes.
Closing mechanism: zips can be difficult for toddlers to handle and, in that case, it is worth considering alternative closing solutions. Many toddler backpacks now have velcro straps to open/close the main compartment or poppers, handy to give the children autonomy to reach out inside their pack without help.
Shoulder straps: since they weight they are going to carry, having padded shoulder straps is not as crucial for a toddler backpack as it is for an adult rucksack. However, 2 wide enough shoulder straps are important for comfort.
The best toddler backpack 2018 roundup
Here are some of our favourite toddler backpacks chosen for quality and cuteness of design.
Disclaimer: always check with your doctor the suitability or products for your children before purchasing.
Please note: this post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase though them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
I open the list with Kikki Deuter because this has been and still is our backpack of choice. We got it when the kids were tiny and they are still using it now that they are in elementary school. It is, hands down, one of our best purchases to date. You can read our full review here.
Kikki Deuter has:
- Super cute design resembling an exotic bird.
- Several colours
- Excellent shoulder straps, padded
- A chest strap, to help correct positioning on the torso
- Suitable from about 3 years
- Good size internal compartment with extra internal pocket
- 2 external pockets
Another excellent Deuter product is the Pico toddler backpack, the smallest in the Deuter kids range.
The Pico Deuter has:
- Cute colours
- Well padded sholder straps
- Stretch pockes inside and outside
- Sternum strap to help optimum positioning
- PFC free
- Suitable from about 2 years
Skip Hop Zoo Toddler backpack
Skip Hop features regularly among the favourite toddler brands and their range of toddlers backpacks is one of the many reasons for their success.
The Skip Hop range has:
- Cute design with animal characters to suit most taste
- Adjustable, comfy straps
- Good size main compartment
- Extra pockets
- Easy to clean lining
- Suitable from about 3 years of age
LIttleLife Toddler backpack
I am a huge fan of LittleLife bags. I got my first one over a decade ago and it is still going strong: I even use it myself when I need a small pack, this is how in love with it I am! The little life toddler backpack has:
- A wide range of design from characters to animals to plain models
- Zipped top entry to main compartment
- Internal name and address label
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Waist strap
- Two elasticated side pockets
- Top grab handle
- Parents Safety Rein
Dabbawalla prechooler bag
I learned about this brand from a friend who swears by it. What she loves about them is not just the look but the material, which is eco-frienldy, non toxic and machine washable.
The Dabbawalla toddler backpacks are:
- Available in a wide range of designs
- Suitable for pre-schoolers and kids starting elementary school
- Machine washable
- Equipped with good grip handle
- Wide zipper opening
- Cushioned straps
Stephen Joseph toddler backpacks
Another god brand for toddler backpacks is Stephen Joseph. They have several backpacks available, to suit several ages, and their quilted range is particularly good for toddlers thanks to the soft material and easy opening.
This is a brand I wasn’t aware of when my kids were small but again it came recommended by friends and has regular good reviews. I personally prefer padded shoulder straps but I do find the design very cute and different from many others on the market.
With Stephen Joseph bags you get:
- Wide range of design
- Soft materials
- Machine washable
- Magnetic closure
- Straps adjustable by buttons
North face Sprout toddler backpack range
I close this list with another sport brands that I trust both for adult and kids gear, the North Face.
Their products are well made and resistant and in the case of their toddler backpack you will find:
- Backpack designed for kids 2 to 4 (Sprout model only)
- Youth-specific shoulder straps and sternum strap
- External zippered pocket
- Internal name label
- Reflective elements
I hope you found this round up of toddler backpacks useful and it helped you pick the right rucksack for your kid. If you are shopping for kids luggage as well as day packs, you may also like our specific post about kids backpacks and luggage option for travels .
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