For most parents I know–including my own–back-to-school is, and always has been cause for celebration. But before you break out the bubbly and toast to the beginning of a new school year, you have to take care of all that back-to-school shopping. On top of shopping for new clothes, there is of course the tedious task of checking off all the items on that long list of school supplies, which as my friends and family with kids tell me, is an exercise of patience. So to make your back-to-school shopping a touch easier, I’ve reviewed three backpacks that are perfect for the young student going back to school.
While I know what I like in a backpack, and also understand what it’s like to be a student, I thought for this post I would enlist the help of two subject matter experts: my nieces Hannah, who is 11 and going into grade 6 and Taylor, who is 10 and going into grade 5.
Roots 73 16” Backpack
The first backpack we looked at was the Roots 73 16” backpack in grey. Interestingly enough, when I was sent these three backpacks to review, I saw this grey one as being “for boys” (don’t judge me), yet it was the one Hanna was immediately drawn to. While the colour and style were the two reasons she grasped at it like she thought it was a hologram, she quickly starting noting why she liked it.
First was its size. Even though Hannah is going into grade 6, she is quite slight, so found that the Roots 73 backpack was perfect for her frame. Second was how light it was, and I must tell you that it is. In fact, when empty it weighs only 0.4kg, or less than a pound.
Third was its simplicity. As someone who loves bags and backpacks with lots of compartments, pockets, and organizers, I was initially in shock at her insight, but it makes perfect sense. When you are a young student, you aren’t carrying around the same litany of electronics, giant textbooks, and binders, as would an older student. That being said, the Roots 73 has ample space for everything a young student needs for a day at school.
Its main compartment is quite large, and its front pocket is ideal for things like keys, pens and pencils, and a smartphone. What I really liked was how you can pack the bag while it lays flat or horizontal, as opposed to cramming items through a potentially small top opening. It is also has a bit of padding in the back panel and padded, adjustable straps which are essential insofar as back health is concerned.
Roots 73 16” Backpack
Next was the Roots 73 16” backpack in blue/black. On first blush, this backpack is identical to the Roots 73 16” backpack in grey except for its colour, but its front pocket is lower on the pack. That said, these two backpacks are very much the same. That said, while Hannah grasped at the grey version as if her life was depending on it, Taylor snatched this blue/black version as quickly as she possibly could.
Her rational for choosing this Roots 73 backpack was very much in line with that of Hannah’s, except for one small difference. Taylor noted that she could also carry her soccer gear in the backpack on days she had practice after school. When she said that, I initially thought “no, your books will take up most of the room,” but then I remembered than when you are in grade school you aren’t carting around 18 pounds of text books and binders to and from school every day. That said, if any backpack is to serve double duty as school bag and athletics bag, it is prudent to keep a plastic bag in the backpack so your child’s assignments don’t smell like dirty soccer cleats.
High Sierra 19” Backpack
Last, but definitely not least was the High Sierra 19” backpack in flamingo. The girly-girl in me assumed that my two nieces would have fought over this pink backpack, so I was surprised when they didn’t. When I asked them why, they said they liked the colour, but thought it was too big for them, and after seeing it on Taylor, I have to agree. That’s why I think this bag is ideal for an older student, perhaps someone going into grade 7 or above.
As I mentioned, I love a backpack with ample pockets and compartments, and this backpack does not disappoint. In addition to a large main compartment, it also has a smaller front compartment with a dedicated pocket for a laptop or tablet. Add to that two exterior pockets, one with a key fob and organizer, and two side mesh pockets, and I kind of want to keep this bag for myself! But I digress. This backpack is ideal for the busy, multi-tasking student (or adult Best Buy blogger).
Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to select a backpack that features padding in the back, as well as adjustable and padded shoulder strap to help eliminate shoulder and back pain. It’s also important to tell your child to wear their backpack with straps over both shoulders, as this helps distribute the weight of the pack across the body and helps further reduce neck and shoulder injuries that can come from toting a backpack full of books and binders too and from school.