Students usually need to carry many books and others around campus and to and from class. Even if they have lockers, students still need sturdy handbags to carry necessities. Lockers may not always be available, or they might be too far away for convenience. Hence, students need a strong, sturdy, and durable handbag to fulfill their daily needs. A backpack is probably the hardest-working item on a student’s back-to-school shopping list.
Children and teens may want to look cool and choose the trendiest bag out there, but parents must urge function over aesthetics. A standard two-strap backpack is better than a shoulder or messenger bag because it helps evenly distribute the bag’s weight.
When choosing a backpack for your child who is going back to school, here are some tips to help you shop:
Shop during the back-to-school season
The most comprehensive selection of school bags is available during the back-to-school season. Quality and price can vary widely during this time, but the great thing is you have lots of choices. This is the best time to take advantage of sales, so shop smartly.
You may be tempted to buy a trendy and inexpensive backpack, thinking that if you encounter problems, you’d be able to replace it quickly. You probably won’t be able to find a good backpack right away after the back-to-school season.
Low-quality backpacks may only last a few months, which is just long enough for all the back-to-school items on store shelves to be replaced with seasonal holiday merchandise. The backpack selection that remains will often be limited. And the remaining choices may need more quality issues or may need to properly fit your child.
If you want lots of choices, you can shop online, but you need to look at its pictures to inspect the quality of a bag.
Inspect its quality
A good backpack needs to withstand daily use, including traveling to and from school, cubby or locker storage, and the rough treatment that it gets with everyday use.
To look for a quality backpack, inspect it inside out and keep an eye on the following:
Check if there are raw or frayed fabric edges that could unravel. Avoid these bags.
Inspect the stitching to see if it’s even and durable. Avoid uneven, loose, or careless stitching that could quickly become undone.
As much as possible, look for zippers with fabric flaps over them to help keep water and other elements in the backpack. Bags with zippers that are openly exposed would let water through in case of sudden rains, so you should avoid them.
Get the correct size
The bag must be appropriately sized for your kid. It can be tempting to buy a bigger one that your kid can grow into, especially if they’re at the age of rapid growth, but oversized backpacks can cause more trouble. Backpacks that do not fit properly can cause shoulder and back strain or pain. Because it’s too large for their size, they would be unable to wear it correctly, and they may be tempted to overpack it, making it too heavy and harder to carry.
A suitable backpack for a student should be at most their chest. For instance, a small child must not get an adult-sized backpack. Also, it must be no longer than their torso. The biggest backpack you can get should only have a height extending from about two inches below the shoulder blades to waist level.
The size of your bag to buy will also depend on the amount of school supplies your child needs to bring. You may need a wide-bottomed backpack to ensure all the belongings will fit. If your child needs to bring a laptop to school, make sure you know the laptop size before buying it to ensure the size of the bag you choose is compatible.
Most students will bring several books, notebooks, school supplies, personal items, and more. If your kid only needs small books or a few items, a bag of 20 liters would be a fitting choice. But if you need to bring several books at a time, you may want a backpack with a 30-liter capacity.
Assess the straps
The straps must have padding for the shoulders to offer comfort and protect their shoulders from excessive pressure. Unlike other bags, school bags typically carry a weighty load, so make sure it has a comfortable and adjustable strap.
The strap must also have a comfortable width. Thin straps can dig into the shoulders, which may cause shoulder and nerve pain. If the bag must carry heavy loads, consider a backpack with waist or chest straps that are secure in the front. This will help distribute the weight of the bag more.
Make sure that when the bag is used, the student is carrying it on both shoulders to distribute the weight evenly. Using only one strap can put extra strain on a shoulder. For the best fit, the backpack must sit slightly above the waist, and both straps must have an even length.
When wearing the bag, the top of the straps must sit no more than 5 cm below the shoulders, and the bottom of the bag must rest on the small back. The straps are probably too long if the bag hits the buttocks when they walk.
Check the compartments
Go for backpacks with slots, dividers, and pockets to distribute weight evenly. The heavier items are typically placed closer to the back of the backpack. Lighter items may sit further from the body and into the front pockets.
Choose a bag with the right compartments for your needs. Compartments can help organize supplies, so your child can get them quickly whenever they need stuff instead of having to rummage for a few moments before getting the things they need.
A backpack with a U-shaped opening is suitable for having easy access to their belongings. This type of bag will let them get to their things faster than a backpack with a straight opening.
If the student needs to bring a laptop (usually in high school or college), a bag with a laptop compartment can be handy. A laptop compartment usually sits on the backmost part of the backpack, with a padded pocket and a strap to secure the laptop in place. Though you may have a padded laptop sleeve for transporting the laptop, choosing a bag with a laptop pocket is still more convenient.
If your child rides a bike to school, it’s essential to ensure that the backpack is extra comfortable. Padded shoulder straps and a chest or hip belt ensure that the backpack doesn’t cut into the shoulders and stays in place while they are riding the bike.
A backpack with a ventilated back is an excellent option for students. This can help ensure that the back stays cool while riding the bike, lessening the instance of having a wet uniform at the back due to sweat when they arrive at the school.
Consider your child’s personal style
While ensuring quality, size, fit, and compartments are the most significant factors to consider, style is another element that you should not set aside. You want a backpack that your child will actually like to use over the course of the year.
If your child likes a backpack that seems low quality but has a popular character splashed on the design, or it is in a color your child really wants, you can still compromise. Look for trendy patterns and the colors they like on high-quality backpacks. Once they have a color or pattern that they like, you can add accessories.
You may convince your child to settle with a keychain or fob showcasing their interests. You can also sew or glue on patches from a craft store to personalize the bag.
Tips for Packing the School Backpack
1. Make room for all essentials. Divide the books, notebooks, and other essentials into various compartments of the bag.
2. Put the larger books at the back of the bag, so they are closer to the back.
3. Plan what to bring so that only the books needed are carried to school, and the bag is not overloaded.
4. The bag’s total weight must be at most 10-15 % of the child’s body weight. This includes the lunch box, the water bottle, and any sports kit that needs to be carried.
5. Always remind your child to carry their backpacks on both shoulders. Their spines are still growing, and putting too much weight on one shoulder can negatively affect their spines.