Students didn’t always have the choice to use bags for carrying books and school supplies to the class. The first solution for students is to put a strap of leather or cloth to bind the books. It acts like a belt so they can carry the books in one or two hands.
The only other solution was to carry all the books by hand.
Today, however, children and parents have a variety of options for school bags for kids. It only has one disadvantage – how to choose the right one for your child?
Keep on reading to learn how you can choose the best school bag.
1. Check Out the Other Types of School Bags for Kids
Backpacks are the most common schoolbags because of their versatility. Smaller kids can carry them without much trouble. And, they keep their hands free for other activities, like holding their parent’s hand(s).
However, you might want to consider other types of school bags for kids.
Trolleys are popular among younger children. They’re quite cute, although that’s only a bonus. Its biggest advantage is that it takes the weight of the items off of the children’s shoulders.
Children will have to pull them by one hand, but the wheels make them easy to carry. Most of them will also have a matching lunch box that goes on top. So, your child won’t have to carry the full weight of their lunch either.
The caveat is that it’s hard to take it up the stairs. An uneven ground surface will also make it hard for kids to carry them, and the bumps might even damage it.
It’s perfect for when you’ve made sure your child won’t have to use the stairs or roll it through a rocky surface.
Some trolleys can turn into a backpack, thanks to the straps at the back. It’s not a permanent solution as some trolley bags are quite bulky. It solves some issues when they arise, though.
Satchels or Messenger Bags
Satchels a popular type of school bag design in countries like Japan. They’re stylish, and they prevent the books and papers from getting deformed.
Messenger bags are pretty much the same. They’re great for holding laptops and tablets, as well.
However, they’re not that roomy compared to backpacks. They only have one strap, which puts more force and pressure on one shoulder only.
2. Consider What Your Child Wants
It’s no secret that parents and children won’t often agree with what constitutes a good backpack. Parents want durability and practicality, while children go for the design.
Although parents are the ones to shell out money and buy the bag, they must remember to take into account their child’s preferences, as well. After all, it’s the child who’ll be using the bag.
Even small kids want to express their style. They already have their personalities, so it’s understandable that they have a say in what they want in a bag.
If the bag has all the qualities listed here, then that should be good enough. Even if you don’t like unicorns, superheroes, or cartoon characters, you're not the one who'll use it, anyway.
Many bags targeted to kids are durable, practical, and stylish at the same time. Reputable companies even test the backpack’s strength and comfort factor, as we all know that kids can be quite playful without regard to the safety of their bag.
3. Look at the Number of Pockets
No matter the age, your child will need a bag with a good number of pockets to keep all their things in order.
Notebooks and books can go in the same place, while smaller things should have a place of their own. Their pens/pencil cases can go in slots inside the main compartment.
Ideally, it should also have a front pocket for things your child will need instant access to.
The bag should also have a water bottle pocket. That way, your kid won’t have to carry the bottle, minimizing the risks of them losing it. It also makes it easier for the child to reach for water when they get thirsty.
For children who need to bring a laptop or a tablet, a padded sleeve in the main compartment is a must-have feature.
4. Find a Lightweight Bag
Did you know that the weight of the bag can cause shoulder and back issues that persist until adulthood? A heavy bag can tear down the ligaments, muscles, and the joint.
It will also affect the other parts of the body. The other muscles will work to carry the weight when the main ones have deteriorated.
Young kids are still developing the posture that they’ll have for the rest of their lives. A heavy bag can result in a bad posture as it puts pressure on the spine. In many cases, it can cause spinal deformities.
Considering that the kid will be carrying the bag for long hours, you must take note of the weight, as well. The things that go in the bag are already going to be heavy. Choose a bag that’s not going to add to that.
Your child will be going from classroom to classroom carrying a heavy load on their backs. As such, they need a lightweight bag so it doesn’t slow them down. They need something that’s easy to bring up to their shoulders or bring to their front when they need to get something from it.
5. Choose the Right Size for Your Child
Many parents make the mistake of buying a bag that’s larger than what their child needs. From a financial viewpoint, it makes sense because you can get more years out of a durable one. However, you might be harming your child if you do this.
Children tend to overload their bags. The more space it has, the more they’ll be trying to fill that space. This results in a heavier bag, leading to body pain.
Furthermore, there’s no sense in carrying a larger bag. Kids in lower grades don’t have to carry many books and items, anyway. For older kids, they can leave some of their stuff in lockers.
Bigger bags also decrease mobility even if they’re not that heavy. They will look awkward on the backs of the children, and the straps might slip if they’re wider than the shoulders.
Find Out the Needs of Your Child
Before you buy a bag, consider what your child will need to carry. This will also help you determine the right size and even the number of compartments to look for.
See how many books they’ll bring daily, and what else they have to fit into the bag. Do they have access to a locker so they can leave some things in school? Do they need to bring a tablet or a laptop?
6. Find the Right Fit
The size isn’t the only thing that matters; the bag must be the right fit, too. It must work with the contours of the child’s back. If it looks awkward while they’re wearing it, then it’s not the right fit.
The center of the bag must be at the level of the waist of the child. This way, the pelvis and legs will bear the weight. It will take a bulk of the weight off the shoulders and back.
Look for bags that have a waist belt to achieve this weight distribution.
The straps should be adjustable, too. This will allow you to fit the bag into your child’s back.
7. Prioritize the Comfort of Your Child
The first thing you should look for is the padding on the straps. The straps can hurt the shoulders if the bag is heavy.
The padding can take some of the pain away and help your child become more comfortable with carrying it. Pinch the padding while shopping to make sure it doesn’t bunch up.
The straps should also sit flush to the shoulders of the child. This prevents slipping, allowing your child to carry the bag with more ease.
Broader straps are ideal because they distribute weight to a larger area. Thinner bands focus on a small area, so the pressure is going to be bigger.
8. Mind the Zippers
The make of the zipper isn’t a priority for many parents, but it’s worth paying attention to. You don’t want a zipper that’s exposed to elements, which something many bag manufacturers tend to ignore.
Look for flaps over the zipper to protect the inside of the bag from water drops and splashes. A zipper is not waterproof, so water will get in when it rains. The flap will prevent water from going in, ensuring your child’s books are well protected from damage.
Chain zippers are stronger and harder to break into, as well. They last longer than coil zippers, and they offer better protection from theft.
9. Look for Extra Features
Some features aren’t a necessity, so you may leave them out when the budget is a big deal. Still, you may want to consider some extra features that will bring more comfort and better protection, such as the following:
Rain or snow or shine, your child will still likely have to go to class. This means their bag is at risk to the natural elements.
An umbrella doesn’t usually suffice, as backpacks can get wet while the person stays dry. Water can ruin many books and notebooks, which can interfere with your child’s learning.
A weather-proof bag does the trick. It keeps the contents nice and dry under typical rain and snow conditions.
You don’t need a waterproof bag, though, unless there’s a risk of submerging in water. A water-resistant feature should be enough.
Students may have to cross the streets or use a bike to get to school or home. As such, they will be dealing with cars daily.
Having a reflective material on the bag will make your child more visible to motorists. It’s a nice safety feature when children aged 5 to 9 years old have the greatest risk of pedestrian accidents.
One of the areas that need to be more durable than the rest of the bag is the bottom. It must have a tough, abrasion-resistant material. Why?
Because your child will likely drag the bag on the floor during the times they’re tired, exasperated, or just because.
Some parents buy a new bag per year, which makes sense because the child’s needs and preferences may change in an instant.
If you’re looking for longevity, though, check the warranty. Some brands offer lifetime warranties - the best deal you can get. Other brands don’t offer such warranties but make sure to get a bag with at least one year warranty.
10. Remember That You’ll Have to Clean It
What you may not consider while shopping for a bag is maintenance. You’ll have to clean the bag often, as kids can be quite messy, especially the younger ones.
They can spill their milk, spill their greasy food, or put all sorts of trash into their bags. They might even house some living things in the bag. Whatever kind of mess you can think of, they’ll do it to their bags.
Go with a material that’s easy to clean. It must at least be easy to wipe, but it’s preferable that you can chuck it into a washing machine and all will be well.
11. Bring Your Child with You
The best way to find the right school bag is to bring your child with you when you go shopping. That way, they can try on the bags as you go.
You can have the child try on different bag sizes to get the right fit. You can also ask the kid important factors, such as the comfort level and whether they like the design. They can help you with your choice so you can stop guessing, although it might make shopping take longer.
It can also become a precious bonding moment between parent and child, and you can go have ice cream after shopping.
Find the Right School Bag Today
If you consider all the things above, you’re on your way to buying the perfect bag for this school year. Remember that buying cheap backpacks can result in lifelong health issues, so don’t skimp on the important features on this list.
Check out our school bags for kids if you want durable and comfortable ones with great design. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help.