West Hollywood Gateway

Back-to-School Backpacks

Back(pack) to school…

By Rebecca Paiement
Posted August 12, 2015

When you were school age, you likely threw a few schoolbooks into a standard, run-of-the-mill backpack or book bag and, other than color, there weren’t too many options to consider. Since then, a lot has changed. Kids’ school backpacks are now as versatile in options as they are in style. Here are a few of the best to choose this fall for the students in your life. 


Gone are the days of a backpack being just a carrier for books. This fall, choose from features such as padded laptop compartments, cell phone slots, tech-friendly earphone holes, water bottle holders, lockable zippers and more. It’s always cooler to wear the pack on your back but, for heavier loads, there are still wheeled options that are looking sleeker and sleeker each school season. If wheels won’t do but the pack still gets heavy, look for padded straps and even waist belts that help steady the load.


Often with backpacks, children are carrying the world on their shoulders, and too heavy a load can cause neck, back and shoulder problems. A good rule of thumb is that the backpack should be no larger than the child’s back, and fully loaded, should not weigh more than 10% of a child’s body weight. For elementary students, buy backpacks in sizes scaled for smaller bodies.

Colors and Prints:

The bigger backpack companies say that black still outsells all other colors each fall but, considering your child has to wear it day in and day out, something a bit more cheerful might be what’s needed. Look for solid colors in an almost disco-like shine and other solids that, done up in nylon, wipe clean and look sporty and slick. This fall, plaids will be huge as well as, for girls, florals, polka dots and Aztec motifs. Be careful not to paint yourself into a corner with a backpack print that is too loud or wild and will end up clashing and limiting outfit choices.

Especially for younger-aged school children, cartoon themes will be hot. Think Minions and even Frozen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Legos. Again, use caution as children “outgrow” themes quickly, and it would be a bummer to have a child swear off their themed backpack as uncool two months into the school year.

The right backpack will wash well and last for the entire school year and perhaps even into the next. Now THAT’s cool.


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