Stuff We Like: Backpacks for Back to School
Choosing the right backpack is not only a back-to-school fashion statement, it’s also important to your child’s health. In a recent post on our site, Dr. Michael Cocilovo of New City Chiropractic Center reveals that 64 percent of children suffer from back pain and says most cases can be traced to overloaded or ill-fitting backpacks or other school bags. Read Dr. Cocilovo’s 7 tips for choosing the best book bag for your child, then check out our roundup of cool new bags below.
For every STATE backpack sold, the company hand-delivers an identical bag to a child in need. The Durham model (pictured) is a medium-size pack made of 100 percent cotton canvas that features bright metal zippers, padded straps, and a padded laptop sleeve. It’s available in 8 mostly-earth-tone color combos, each with a contrast piping at the zippers. The look is clean, crisp, and classic. For a little extra flair, kids can “earn” badges by submitting a short essay about how they embody one (or more) of STATE’s core values: Acceptance, Courage, Leadership, Health, Conservation, and Knowledge. ($65; statebags.com)
The SoYoung line has been spotted in the hands of celeb moms such as Halle Berry and Heidi Klum, and it’s easy to see why: the brand’s designs are equally durable and chic. Its products are designed with an environmentally conscious approach, using coated linen and lead-safe, pthalate-free, PVC-free, materials. SoYoung’s Toddler Backpacks were so popular that it recently introduced the Grade-schooler Backpack (pictured), a larger version of the original that features a nylon-lined interior, two side insulated bottle pockets, and a chest clip to keep it securely in place as your child skips, hops, jumps, and runs. It comes in several designs and colors, including robot (pictured), horse, Russian dolls, rocket, and dandelion. ($49.99; soyoung.ca)
Another brand that’s a celeb-favorite, among moms like Katie Holmes, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Tori Spelling, is Stephen Joseph Gifts. Through the end of the year, Stephen Joseph Gifts is giving $1 from the sale of each of its Sidekick Backpacks and Lunch Pal to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign and The Children’s Scholarship Fund respectively. These vinyl backpacks are easy to clean — great for little ones who cart them everywhere — and feature mesh side pockets and cushioned, adjustable shoulder straps. Kids can choose from a variety of animal-themed designs, from a butterfly, bumblebee, or ladybug to a dinosaur, dog, or monkey (pictured). ($25.99; shop.stephenjosephgifts.com)
Speaking of animal-themed bags — did your little guy go crazy for Shark Week? If he’s a fan of those fearsome creatures, he might like this Shark Backpack from P’kolino. It comes in three sizes so you can choose the best fit for your student — the small size is recommended for preschool, the medium for kindergarten, and the large for grade school students. What really sets this bag apart is the attention to detail — the fish-shaped zipper pulls are an especially nice touch. It also features interior compartments to keep your little guy organized as well as padded shoulder straps. ($39.99-$64.99; pkolino.com)
If you prefer a more whimsical version of the shark pack for your little one, check out this one from Skip Hop’s Zoo Packs line. This BPA-free and pthalate-free pack is perfect for the preschool or kindergarten classroom, with an insulated snack pouch, mesh bottle pocket, write-on nametag inside, easy-to-clean lining, and padded, adjustable straps.
Backpacks already reflect a child’s personality, style, and interests, but PatchPak takes that to the next level. A family camping trip with founders Seth and Laura Anderson and Jeff Watts turned into a brainstorming session as they discussed their children’s inclination to personalize and decorate everything from their notebooks to their backpacks. Sitting by the fire and watching the kids autograph their backpacks, the idea for “patching” backpacks was born. PatchPak products are made of a material that allows kids to apply patches and remove them with ease. There are 93 no-sew letter, number, and personality patches that kids can attach, from sports logos and flowers to popular sayings like BFF and LOL. The line includes large ($39) and youth ($32.99) packs. (patchpak.com)