The 5 Best Toddler Backpacks of 2020: Utility and Style Guide

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Is your youngster headed off to daycare or preschool? Finding the best toddler backpack can feel daunting. All you need is one backpack that your kid will like, their friends will like, you will like, and your wallet will like.  

Fear not — we’ve got you covered.

The top-rated kids backpacks of 2020 are:

  1. Orezi Cute Kids Toddler Pack — Overall
  2. Wildkin Kids Backpack — Runner Up
  3. Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness — Budget-Friendly
  4. KK Crafts Waterproof Toddler Backpack — For Girls
  5. yodo Insulated Toddler Pack — For Boys

How to Pick the Best Toddler Backpack

Toddler Backpack

There are lots of factors to consider when picking out a backpack for your little one. How big does it need to be? What kinds of things should you consider packing in it? Does your child even need one?

Not to worry — we’ve got the answers to your questions.

1. Weight

Experts say that a child’s backpack shouldn’t be more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight.

When choosing a pack for your tot, it’s important to consider what they’ll be toting around. Items such as a lunchbox and potential books will add some weight.

Try to choose a simple bag that’s made of lightweight material, such as canvas. Avoid picking a bag that might have added details, such as animal ears, that add weight.

2. Proper Straps

Thin straps matched with a heavy pack can hurt your child’s shoulders. Choose thicker or wider straps with added padding. These will be comfortable for your kid to carry on the way to and from daycare.

3. Compartments

If your little one has a lot of items to bring in their bag, choose one with multiple compartments. This will enable you to distribute the weight more evenly through the bag.

Can a Backpack Be Too Big?

Experts think so. A bag that’s too heavy can cause a number of problems for your child, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and trouble focusing in school.

Furthermore, experts have noticed that school packs have gotten significantly larger over recent decades. A more recent study showed that more than 60 percent of schoolchildren carry a pack that exceeds 10 percent of their body weight.

What Size Is a Toddler Backpack?

The average size of a toddler pack is 12 inches. For bigger toddlers, or those nearing preschool age, a 15-inch pack might be more suitable.

What Should I Pack in My Toddler’s Backpack?

Preparing your youngsters for the day ahead is important. They’ll need a packed lunch as well as a water bottle and any potential homework. However, younger toddlers who only go to daycare won’t be needing heavy items such as books.

Having a backpack is handy for a day out together, too. You may want to pack things like shoes, diapers, and an extra set of clothes. Make sure to get a bag that’s big enough to fit those things.

Does a Preschooler Need a Backpack?

I personally think that any child who goes to daycare or school should have a backpack to store their essentials. 

Again, it’s crucial not to overfill their bag with unnecessary items, such as toys, which they’ll have plenty of at school. Additionally, a cool backpack might even get them more excited about school and boost their confidence.

What Factors Drove Our Ratings

  • Weight: The bag needs to be lightweight, so it’s comfortable when full.
  • Broad straps: Thin straps are more likely to hurt your child’s shoulders, so we only looked at thick straps.
  • Padding: Padding in the straps or in the back of the pack makes it more comfortable for your child.
  • Multiple compartments: This enables you to distribute the weight of the pack more evenly.

Best Toddler Backpack Reviews

We reviewed some of the most highly rated backpacks on the market and rated them based on several factors like utility and style. Here’s our take on the best of the best.

Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Backpacks Overall

Orezi Cute Kids Toddler Pack

Customer Rating
5/5

Includes

  • Backpack

Features

  • Ideal size.
  • Padded back and straps.
  • Multiple compartments.
  • Water-resistant material.

Measuring 12 inches in height, the Orezi Cute Kids Toddler Pack is the ideal size for young tots. It’s made of a lightweight twill material and comes with a number of external and internal compartments.

Additionally, the pack features a breathable, padded back and padded air mesh, wide shoulder straps. 

In February 2020 Shania N said: “My son loves his dinosaur bag. Fits everything that I need to carry around for him.”

Negatives? Some parents wished the side compartments were slightly larger.

Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Backpacks — Runner Up

Wildkin Kids Backpack

Customer Rating
4.5/5

Includes

  • Backpack

Features

  • Moisture-resistant interior.
  • Two zippered compartments.
  • Padded straps and back.

For bigger toddlers who need a little more room in their pack, the 15-inch Wildkin Kids Backpack is an excellent choice. Not only are the designs adorable, but the material is durable. It’s made of easy-to-clean polyester and lined with moisture-resistant nylon. 

It features two zippered compartments as well as two smaller ones on each side. The soft straps are fully adjustable to suit your growing child while the padded back adds comfort.

Harule Stokes, in November 2018, wrote: “Our son loves trucks and loves this backpack. It has two large compartments, and a small nook for a water bottle. The padded straps are comfortable, and it’s a good size for our little kindergartener.”

Negatives? Some parents stated they were concerned about durability.

Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Backpacks — Budget-Friendly

Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness

Customer Rating
4.5/5

Includes

  • Write-on name tag.
  • Tethered harness.

Features

  • Small and lightweight.
  • Fits essentials such as diapers, snacks, and small toys.
  • Wide shoulder straps.
  • Chest strap.

If you’re on the hunt for a pack for your tot to bring on outings, the 8.75-inch Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness pack is ideal.

It may be a little smaller than the other bags on the list, but it comes with a detachable child leash and can fit a snack, some toys, diapers, and a change of clothes comfortably. 

MeredithVH, in May 2018, said: “As a backpack, it’s adorable. My two year old loves it and it’s not too big for her frame. It doesn’t hold much, I find myself wishing it held more when we are going on a trip. Overall, a good buy. I would buy it again!”

Negatives? Taller parents said the harness was too short.

Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Backpacks — Girls

KK Crafts Waterproof Toddler Backpack

Customer Rating
1/5

Includes

  • Backpack

Features

  • Lightweight.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Padded straps and back.
  • Features one large compartment and two on the sides.

Measuring 10 inches tall, the KK Crafts Waterproof Toddler Backpack is a cute choice for a toddler-aged girls’ backpack. It’s constructed of water-resistant neoprene that’s free of toxins such as BPA and PVC.

Weighing only 0.57 pounds, it’s ideal for little kids who shouldn’t be carrying heavy items. It features soft, adjustable straps as well as a padded back. 

In March 2019, Javi said the following: “Very cute backpack as my baby girl loved it. Works well while running around going shopping and fits couples of things like a pack of wipes, 3-5 diapers, and bottled water. I could also slip a change of clothes.”

Negatives? Some parents noted that the side pockets are too small.

Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Backpacks — Boys

Yodo Insulated Toddler Pack

Customer Rating
4.5/5

Includes

  • Name tag.
  • Leash.

Features

  • Easy to clean.
  • Insulated.
  • Lightweight.

At 10 inches tall, the yodo Insulated Toddler Pack dino pack is among the favorite boys’ backpacks for school. It weighs 9.9 ounces and is made with a washable lining that makes cleaning just a little easier.

The pack features one large compartment and two on the side. It also comes with a leash, so you can keep your tot close. Furthermore, the insulating material will help keep your child’s lunch warm or cold longer.

Nikki K, in April 2017, said: “We get compliments on this bag whenever we go out! It’s so cute and just the right size for our toddler. The outside is even lined with a cushy fabric, which is nice in case your kid falls backward since it will cushion their fall.”

Negatives? Some parents said that the straps loosened by themselves with movement.

Packing A Punch

My overall favorite backpack for kids is the Orezi Cute Kids Toddler Pack — it features padded shoulder straps, a front pocket, and it’s light. Both you and your little one will love this model.

What does your little one like to pack in their bag?

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Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen

I’m Sarah, and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m an internationally published writer, positive parenting educator, and the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting. You can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. I find my joy exploring the world with my family, reading stories with my daughter on my lap, and (as you might’ve guessed) writing. I’d love to hear where you find your joy--and what we can do to help you find more of it!