The best time to buy backpacks for kindergarten is usually during the summer months when selection is the key motivator. If price is your main motivator and you do not particularly care about coloring, design, or style, then you may be able to get great deals after school begins in the fall.
Tip: Most kindergarten classroom cubbies are not large enough for rolling backpacks. Also, backpacks that are labeled “preschool” or “junior” are often too small for kindergarten. You want a backpack that can fit a standard class folder for homework and class projects. When in doubt on the size, go for the larger sized backpack so your child can reuse it in first grade.
The retailers listed in this article typically sell higher quality backpacks than those found in major discount chains. Try searching online for seasonal coupons or free shipping coupons to bring the prices lower.
All pattern and color options are listed for the 2010/2011 school year. These retailers will most likely have similar backpacks in different color/pattern options available in subsequent years.
The patterned backpack offered by Garnet Hill is our choice for kindergarten this year. Retailing for $39.50, this cool backpack unfortunately only comes in 2 pattern choices for boys: dog camo and monster mix. However, the retailer is offering a free matching lunch pack worth $16.50 until October 5, 2010.
Features: Two zippered main compartments, front zipper pocket, pen/pencil organizer, water-bottle pocket, padded shoulder straps, adjustable chest straps, metal loops for lunch box anchoring, MP3 player and headphone ports. Size is 18 inches high, 12 inches wide, and 7 inches deep. Embroidery is optional.
L.L. Bean offers many different backpack styles. A good choice for kindergarten is the Original Book Pack in pattern or solid. For boys, you can choose from mariner blue grid camo, nautical red grid camo, or several solid colors. This backpack retails for $27.95.
Features: Main zippered compartment, zippered front compartment, key clip and organizer, padded straps, reflective material on straps. Size is 16 inches high, 13 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep. Embroidery is optional. Matching lunchbox is available for $12.95.
This retailer has a large selection of backpack sizes. A good choice for kindergarteners is the FeatherLight 100. For boys, you can choose from golden khaki plaid, true navy plaid, or 5 different solid color combinations. This backpack retails for $29.50.
Features: Optimized for kids aged 5-8, padded back and straps, water-bottle pockets, webbing to clip on lunchbox, reflective trim, removable organizer pouch. Embroidery is optional. Matching lunchbox is available for $19.50. Size is 16 inches high, 11.5 inches wide, and 6.5 inches deep.
Pottery Barn Kids
Pottery Barn Kids always has some fun design options for backpacks. For non-character styles, go for the small Mackenzie backpack in navy skateboard camo, brown camo, or blue shark. This backpack retails for $39.
If you do not mind characters, Pottery Barn kids currently offers boys a selection of backpacks featuring Batman, Star Wars, or Spiderman. Prices and features are similar to the small Mackenzie backpack.
Features: Main compartment with pockets for laptop and MP3 players, reflective thread, adjustable padded straps, exterior strap to hold lunch box. Optional embroidery. Matching lunchbox is available for $22 in classic or retro style. Size is 12 inches wide, 6 inches deep, and 15 inches high.
Your kindergartener can choose from 4 fun prints on the Be Right Backpack by Hanna Andersson. The current print options are blue camo, moose print, green camo, and blue plaid. Retails for $32.
Features: Main zippered compartment, inside organizer pockets, outside organizer pockets, water-bottle holders, padded straps, rubber grip, hook for lunch bag, reflective strips, water resistant. Optional coordinating lunch bag for $18 and pencil case for $8. Size is 15.5 inches high, 12.5 inches wide, and 6.5 inches deep.