Courtesy of Dante Beatrix
At this age, backpacks aren't about carrying lots of books and binders. Select a small bag with enough room for lunch, odds and ends, and perhaps a lovey from home. And go cute: Your kid won't be into bunny backpacks forever.
Perfectly sized for your little student to carry everything he'll need for a busy day -- lunch, change of clothes, and a sippy cup too. Made from nylon and canvas, this extremely lightweight bag is 9 xv11.5 x 5.5 inches.
No longer available as of July 2013.
Courtesy of Mud Pie
Backpack too heavy? Roll it! This adorable PVC backpack, which comes in a few cute animal varieties, has both a collapsible handle and nylon straps. It's great for both school and travel. Bag is 13 x 10 inches.
How to Choose a Backpack
Like a Dog to a Bone
The drawstring and magnetic snap of this bag make it perfect for little hands to open and close. Bag is 13.5 x 11.5 x 4.5 inches.
Stephen Joseph, Dog and Bone Toddler Backpack, $26
Back to School: Fashion for Girls
Hop to It
The 3-D floppy ears make this mini-backpack a head-turner. Bag is 9 x 9 x 3 inches with adjustable straps and a top handle for hanging in a cubby.
Little Packrats, Bunny Backpack, $40
Courtesy of Stat Kids
Does your kid have a food allergy? Make everyone aware with this bright backpack. The display window holds a customized allergy warning, and for a little extra, you can add your child's initials. Bag is 10.5 x 13 x 5 inches.
STAT Kids, Healthy ID Backpack, $37, available at statkids.com
Courtesy of Blabla Kids
This cozy bag is perfect for your little bug, and you can feel good about supporting the Peruvian artists who knit these by hand. Fits a light lunch and a change of clothes. Bag is 12 x 10 inches.
Blabla, Ladybug Backpack, $42
Back to School: Fashion for Boys
Keep on Truckin'
Your truck fan won't dump this bag. Bag is 11.5 x 14 inches. --Wendy Toth
Crocodile Creek, Dump Truck Backpack, $28
Little dog lovers will flip for this Scottie. Bag is 10 x 12.5 x 2.75 inches. --Wendy Toth
These whale bring preppy back. Bag is 11.25 x 10 x 4 inches. --Wendy Toth
Four Peas, Blue Whale Toddler Backpack, $25
Back to School Advice
Courtesy of Roxy
Kids this age need something big enough to tote homework in but not so large that it overwhelms their still-growing frames. These bags are just the right size -- and cool to boot.
In Graphic Detail
The eye-catching check print makes this pack stand out on the playground. The 18-x-12-x-5.5-inch bag features an interior organizer with pockets for pens and a cell. A lanyard keychain keeps keys always within easy reach.
Roxy, Fiddle Li Dee Backpack, $40
Courtesy of L.L. Bean
Remember sporting the classic L.L.Bean backpack back in the day? Channel retro style and help your child keep track of her stuff with a monogrammed junior original book pack designed with a comfy back panel and shoulder straps made especially for smaller backs and arms (now available in many prints and colors).
L.L.Bean, Original Book Pack, $24.50
Courtesy of Dante Beatrix
We Heart Mother Earth
The minimalist design of this PET (100 percent recycled plastic bottles) backpack with biodegradable canvas trim reflects the bag's love-the-planet message. Bag is 14 x 15 x 5.5 inches.
Dante Beatrix, Big Kid Eco Pack, $50
Courtesy of Ogio
Show Us Your Stripes
This one's for the sportos: It's a backpack that moonlights as a skate pack. With external straps to hold a skateboard in place, an audio pocket with headphone port, and an organizer panel, he can go straight from school to the skate park. This 20-x-12-x-8-inch pack even has a laptop pocket.
Ogio Taylor Backpack, $55
Between a full class schedule and a locker piled high with books, your child needs a backpack that holds tons of stuff. But it's got to look cool too. These bags fit the bill.
The across-the-chest strap and sleek gray-on-black stripe will give your teen that too-cool-for-school look he's after. Bag is 18 x 13 x 6 inches.
Samsonite, Semester Backpack, $30
Courtesy of Browning
If student by week and nature lover by weekend sounds like your kid, this dual-purpose bag is a perfect pick. Made from water-resistant, durable ripstop nylon, and with storage space galore and extra-comfortable padded back panel and oversize shoulder straps, this bag will help him weather any situation, from camping to algebra. Bag is 12 x 18.5 x 10 inches.
Browning, Logan Pass Day Pack, $65
Courtesy of JanSport
This oversize everyday backpack will hold all the books, binders, and pens your kid will need for the day, and the classic style is now available in 20 new prints and patterns -- we love these mod dots. Bag is 17.25 x 13 x 10 inches.
Made of ballistic nylon (a material originally developed for WWII airmen's protective jackets), this backpack will withstand whatever wear and tear your teen can throw at it. Bag is 18 x 11 x 6 inches.
Ful, Smoke N Gun Backpack, $50
Courtesy of Caselogic
Your kid can unleash his inner Picasso on this customizable canvas messenger bag. Available in gray or green, each bag comes with a fabric pen, templates, and instructions for a totally one-of-a-kind back-to-school bag. Bag is 19 x 14 x 8.
Case Logic, Artist Series Canvas Messenger Bag, $45
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