Best backpacks: Expert-approved shopping tips on what to look for

Kate Mendonca
Shopping Editor
Image via Getty.

The countdown to back to school is on, and that means it’s time to start checking items off of your list of school supplies. On top of the usual pencils, pens and erasers, a new backpack is at the top of many shoppers’ lists.

One that’s supportive is key, especially since trudging heavy books to and from school with an ill-fitting bag can lead to issues like back pain and poor posture over time. According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association, there are a few things that you should look for when shopping for a new backpack this back to school season.

Image via Getty.

Shop Small

For children under 12 years, it’s recommended that their bag should weigh no more than 10 per cent to 15 per cent of their body weight. When picking a backpack, look for one that’s as small as they can get away with to reduce excess weight and minimize space for holding on to too many belongings.

Pay Attention to the Straps

When it comes to straps, look for ones that are padded and at least three fingers wide. This ensures that they won’t dig in and become uncomfortable when the backpack is fully packed. You’ll also want to make sure that kids are actually wearing their bags on both shoulders and not slinging them to one side, which can cause muscle strain.

Image via Getty.

Look for Interior Pockets

For older kids, a backpack that has space to safely carry a laptop and heavier textbooks should be a consideration. Bags that have padded interior pockets to place heavy items closer to the back are ideal, rather than ones with a single zippered compartment.

Choose Extra Support

If possible, look for bags that have added features like waist and hip straps to help distribute weight throughout the body and away from the shoulders. A padded back is also a great feature that helps prevent sharp corners from poking through the bag and adds extra comfort.

Take a look at some of the best and most supportive bags on the market now to get a head start on your back to school shopping.

The North Face Big Shot Backpack

Image via The North Face.

SHOP IT: The North Face, $140

Obusforme Aura 30 Black Daypack

Image via Walmart.

SHOP IT: Walmart, $38

Tzowla Business Laptop Backpack

Image via Amazon.

SHOP IT: Amazon, $41

High Sierra Kid's Back To School Fatboy RVMP Backpack

Image via Hudson's Bay.

SHOP IT: Hudson’s Bay, $40

Eastpak Check Floid Backpack

Image via Selfridge's.

SHOP IT: Selfridge’s, $95

Jansport Big Student Backpack

Image via Bentley.

SHOP IT: Bentley, $55

The Children’s Place Boys 'Hustle' Camo Mesh Backpack

Image via The Children's Place.

SHOP IT: The Children’s Place, $18 (originally $37)

SKIP*HOP Zoo Packs Little Kid Backpack

Image via Bed, Bath & Beyond.

SHOP IT: Bed, Bath & Beyond, $30

LEGO Minifigure Heritage Classic Backpack

Image via Indigo.

SHOP IT: Indigo, $55 (originally $73)

Gap Kids Colorblock Senior Backpack

Image via Gap.

SHOP IT: Gap, $30 (originally $55)

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