What to Read Next

Best Kids' Backpacks

July 18, 2011

For school-age children, a sturdy, well-designed, comfortable backpack is indispensable. We tested 48 — simulating the wear and tear they might get, loading them with gear to check capacity, and then having kids judge them for comfort and convenience. These made the grade:

Highest Honors

The ballistic polyester of The North Face Hot Shot ($89) survived being dropped and abraded, and proved water-resistant. Smartly designed compartments (such as bungee cord--secured water-bottle pockets) keep gear organized. In five colors. Ages 13-18.

Related: Top Picks for Tablet PCs

Pack-It-All Pick

If your teen's stuff won't fit inside the L.L.Bean Turbo Transit ($70), it's time for some serious decluttering. Two huge sections, plus front stretch cord and pockets, plus bottom space for sneakers give everything a place. In seven colors. Ages 13-18.

Simple Schlepper

The budget-friendly High Sierra Loop ($35) doesn't scrimp on amenities; it has three large sections and several specialized features (like a hook for cleats). Lean back padding may make long hauls less comfy. In 11 colors and patterns. Ages 13-18.

Related: Great Gadgets

Head of the Class

Freshman bag-maker Fül's Heart Breaker ($40) took the top spot among backpacks for younger kids. Its luggage-grade ballistic polyester won't easily tear or wear out, and its curved straps are well padded for comfort. In four colors. Ages 8-12.

Tidy Toter

For an organized kid (or one who needs help), Pottery Barn Kids' Large Mackenzie ($45.50) has spots for books, electronics, and more. The 600-denier polyester handled abrasion, water, and being dropped, but could tear. In 19 patterns. Ages 8-12.

Related: Back to School Gear

Basic Value

Another excellent entry, Fül Superstition ($30), uses the same tough fabric as the Heart Breaker in a simpler sack (just one large compartment and one smaller pouch). Still, it handily stowed our 10 pounds of gear. In 10 colors and patterns. Ages 8-12.

What do you look for when you’re picking out new backpacks for your kids? Tell us in the comments.

More from Good Housekeeping:

Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

This Movie Deal Is Sure To Get Your Attention!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

Consolidate your Student Loans by Refinancing

Refinance your student loans to a lower rate with SoFi. Find out how much you can save!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

How to Create a Social Support Strategy

Meet your customers where they are. Read this e-book from Desk.com to learn six things to consider as you plan your social support strategy.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

$70/Month Is Too Much For Auto Insurance

If you drive less than 50 miles per day, there is a way to pay less for auto insurance that few people realize. Are you overpaying?

2-Step Free Reverse Mortgage Loan Calculator

Get a free rate comparison, available cash estimate and a downloadable handbook in less than 30 seconds. Check it out now.

Would You Pay $99 to Take a Stroke Off Every Hole?

With the xE1 Wedge, you ll hit higher, softer, more consistent shots - closer to the hole every single time. Click here to watch a video review now