It’s back-to-school time again; time to get your little boy ready for a new school year. As you prepare for your little guy’s new adventure, remember that his backpack is one of the most important school supplies you will purchase. It is essential to consider all the backpack options that are available and select the best back-to-school backpack that you can afford.
Before selecting a back-to-school backpack for your elementary school boy(s), consider this long-term money-saving strategy:
Reduce back-to-school spending. Buy the best backpack that you can afford so your elementary school boy can use his backpack for multiple years.
My nephew is going into the 6th grade and he has been carrying the same L.L. Bean backpack since the 1st grade. Sure, his parents initially paid more for his backpack than those flimsy, ‘disposable’ backpacks cost but they have saved money in the long run. Their family motto is pay once, buy right and stay away from trends. It’s true, most cartoon characters will eventually go out of style but blue camouflage withstands the test of time.
If the strategy of making an initial investment in a good backpack sounds right for you and your elementary school boy then you will want to shop wisely. Here are suggestions for making the correct back-to-school backpack purchase:
• Consider the weight and durability of the material the backpack is made of. Look for weatherproof material that can stand up against the wear and tear of a young boy’s lifestyle. Leather tends to be too heavy and vulnerable but there are many weather resistant vinyl or nylon backpack options that are sturdy and lightweight.
• Choose a backpack in an original size – not a junior size – and adjust the straps accordingly. Weekly communications folders and notebooks are standard size and may not fit into a junior size backpack. The backpack should also have room to accommodate a lunch box.
• Select a backpack that has a variety of side compartments including a mesh pocket to house a water bottle. Multiple side compartments are helpful for organizing a variety of school supplies and for distributing the weight equally across your child’s back.
• Find a comfortable, ergonomically correct backpack for your elementary school boy. Well-designed and padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, a hip strap and a ventilated back are important.
• Opt for a backpack that has zippers that zip from both ends. A dual zipper is helpful because if one of the zipper tabs breaks the backpack can still be zipped and unzipped using the other zipper tab.
• Look for a backpack with a wide reflective strip or a backpack that is made of reflective material. Your young student should be easily visible at all times.
Very important: do not write or monogram your child’s name on his backpack! If the backpack comes with a monogram option, use your elementary school boy’s initials only. As a safety precaution, never give strangers the ability to call your child by his name.
Worth noting: according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), improper backpack usage may lead to chronic back pain in young children. The ACA believes that limiting the backpack’s weight to between 5 – 10 percent of your elementary school student’s body weight, using both straps and equally distributing the backpack’s weight are possible solutions. For tips to help prevent the pain that incorrect backpack use may cause the elementary school students in your household, click here.
There are many fine back-to-school backpacks for elementary school boys on the market. Brands that fit the bill include Columbia, L.L. Bean, The North Face and Targus.
Personal experience and the advice of my 10-year-old nephew (and his Mom)
American Chiropractic Association website