If you have kids heading back to school this September it’s already time to start the back-to-school shopping, and a key must-have is the perfect backpack. As a mom of a teenager I know how important it is to find the right backpack to not only fit all their school supplies, but be comfortable to wear as well.

Depending on the classes my son has each term, his backpack can get quite heavy with his binders, textbooks and school supplies. We’ve also purchased backpacks that end up not working due to lack of overall space. Today I’m talking about what to consider when finding the right backpack for your teen.

Backpack style to fit your personality

Swiss Gear 15.6 Laptop BackpackAs a mom of two boys I know that when I’m shopping with my boys or for them I have to take style into consideration. Telling them they should buy or wear something because it’s functional or will be good for their posture or lessen back pain will not win me any mom points. Luckily backpacks come in a large variety of styles and some really cool patterned fabrics.

A basic black is always popular if you want something low key, and seeing as my husband is Swiss which makes our sons half Swiss, the Swiss Gear brand is one of our go-to brands. They may not necessarily be made is Switzerland but the Swiss Flag logo is something personal to my kids. This Swiss Gear 15.6″ Laptop Backpack is very sleek and modern and I love the compression straps on the side to compress the pack when you don’t need maximum space.

Burton Durable GoodsIf your teen is looking for a backpack that is both functional and says something about their personal style then they may want something like this Burton Durable Goods Prospect Day Backpack. This is the De Geo print but it’s also available in a variety of other patterns. On top of being stylish it has a compartment for a laptop or tablet, dual mesh water bottle pockets, a fleece lined accessory pocket and cushioned shoulder straps with a sternum strap for extra comfort as well.

The typical backpack style may not be what your teenager is looking for, but there are some great messenger and duffle styles on the market as an alternative. I actually love the messenger style myself, especially to carry a laptop, but it can be straining on the neck and back if you have to carry a heavy load so a sturdy cushioned strap is a must.

JanSport Duffel

This JanSport Duffel LD 20″ Duffel Bag is made of cotton canvas with a cute print and gold details. Also, how amazing is the fully lined shoe pocket, perfect for your teens running shoes for P.E. or even work shoes if they’re going straight from class to their job.

Functions to meet your needs

High Sierra Day BackpackI am so happy to see the growing number of classes available to teenagers in high school. With each class they take, their school supply list changes and some classes require little supplies, while others require large binders, thick textbooks and a variety of office supplies.

There are some days that I grab my sons backpack out of the car for him and am shocked at the weight of it. I have to wonder if long term it’s good for his back or neck to be carrying it around for hours.

A multi-purpose backpack like this High Sierra Day Backpack can be used as a backpack with a padded back panel and padded mesh straps for comfort, or wheeled around on the four corner mounted wheels. The large main compartment will easily carry your teens school supplies while the side pocket will keep their water bottle close by. If you’re also a family that travels this backpack is plenty large enough to fit the basics and can act as carry on luggage.

The North Face Borealis 28 LAlso depending on their classes they may be allowed to use or require a laptop or tablet, and most students also need a USB flash drive. I can’t even tell you the number of times we’ve had to dump out my kids backpacks in search of their ever elusive USB flash drive. A backpack that has lots of extra compartments and even ones with a zipper are perfect to keep small items like USB flash drives and house keys in check. This North Face Borealis 28L Day Backpack has pockets and compartments galore with many of them being fleece lined for extra padding. There’s an external and internal fleece lined pocket that’s perfect for carrying small accessories like sunglasses and smaller electronics and accessories.

Variety of backpack brands

Dickies Hudson Canvas Day BackpackI think most of us have our favourite brands we like to shop, and having a teenage son myself, I know that brand plays a role in their purchase choices.

There a lot of great brands that make stylish and functional backpacks for teenagers. In my day, backpacks were only cool if you had them slung over one shoulder and I don’t remember there being such a variety of styles and fun patterns and fabrics. The price spectrum for backpacks also varies greatly, but if you think about it, investing in a good quality bag means they can last longer than one school year. My teenage son has used his current bag for both grade 10 and 11, and besides being a little dirty and worn it’s still in great shape considering he uses it five days a week for about 8 months of the year.

Some of the brands that we’re looking at for the new school year are Dickies, which is a classic, The North Face, because they have great space and pockets, Burton for their styles and High Sierra for their multi-purpose ability.

With August just around the corner, it’s already time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping before the pickings get slim. It’s also a great time to get some good deals on your purchases and you won’t feel the stress of last minute shopping.

With free shipping, easy returns and the ability to order online from anywhere, you can find the perfect backpack for your teen at bestbuy.ca.

Main image @ www.usnews.com.

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