How to Choose the Perfect School Bag

Text by: Kelsey Begg

Burton, Dakine, Fjällräven, Herschel Supply Co., JanSport, Sandqvist, Topo Designs. How to Choose the Perfect School Bag

You know it’s back-to-school time when school supplies are spilling off store shelves and all the new latest and greatest school gear are flaunting their bright colours and funky patterns waiting to be purchased. With so much variety to choose from it can be easy to lose sight of what you really need from your school bag so here are a few simple tips to help you pick that new backpack!

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Finding The Right Backpack Size

The first step for picking a school bag is picking the right size. A bag that is larger may fit more supplies and gear but becomes heavier which may lead to back pain and possible spinal development problems in children. Try the bag on and make sure it compliments your body shape and size and of course, feels comfortable.

Herschel Supply Co.

Little America 

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Herschel Supply Co.

Montauk Dawson 

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Herschel Supply Co.

Heritage 

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Pockets And Features

Think of the amount and type of gear and supplies you plan to carry in your backpack and whether specific pockets and features are necessary. If you have a laptop, you may be looking for a backpack with an internal laptop sleeve that will fit your laptop. Some laptops are larger than other and will not fit inside some backpacks.

Having a laptop sleeve in the main pocket is great, and having an additional pocket on the front with smaller pockets and zippers make for great places to store small things like lip balm, house keys and USB sticks. Think of organization and functionality, look for features that will make finding the gear you need a breeze.

Some bags will have a side pocket or mesh side pouch to accommodate a drink bottle. This can be handy for easily accessible water when you’re on the move.

Another cool feature sometimes found in smaller pockets is a small built-in carabiner to hang your keys from. This eliminates any digging around in pockets and helps you find your keys quicker. (Essential if you got caught in traffic and really have to use the loo in the house once you’ve finally made it home.)

jansport X altitude sports limited edition backpack

Altitude Sports X Jansport 

Right Pack Signature Series #2

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JanSport

Black Label Superbreak 25L

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JanSport

Hatchet 28L

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Padded Straps And Back

If you’re in transit for a better part of your school commute, a comfortable backpack is necessary. Having padded straps and back padding eliminates stress on your shoulders and back. The durability of the backpack straps will also influence how much weight you can carry in the backpack. Don’t over pack your bag to the point where the straps are on the brink of breaking!

For additional support, some larger backpacks will be equipped with waist straps. These can be handy if you are looking for extra back and posture support and can take away some of the load weight on your back and prevent slouching.

Dakine

Campus 25L

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Dakine

365 21L 

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Dakine

Infinity Pack 21L

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Backpacks VS Shoulder Bags

Wearing a backpack isn’t ideal in warm weather and can sometimes be a hassle in public transit if the subway or buses are busy. For these reasons, some people prefer a messenger bag or shoulder strap style of bag so it can easily be removed and doesn’t feel like your entire back is in a hot, sweat chamber.

These types of bags although convenient, do not support a healthy posture. Carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder all day long can put excessive strain on your shoulder and slightly shift your body’s balance. Try to choose two straps instead of one strap.

Fjällräven

Kånken 16L

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Fjällräven

Rucksack No. 21 Medium

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Fjällräven

Greenland Top

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Pay Attention To The Small Details

When you’re in the shop browsing school backpacks, take a look at the zippers and the stitching on the bag. You want to check to make sure the zippers are going to be sturdy but also easy to open and close. As for stitching, take a look where fabrics meet to ensure the stitching looks of good quality and will not rip easily under too much weight.

Another important feature that should be on all backpacks, is a buckle to adjust the length and tightness of the shoulder straps. See how easily they can be adjusted and how well they stay in place.

Topo Designs

Klettersack 22L

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Topo Designs

Daypack 22L

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Topo Designs

Rover Pack 16L

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Colours And Patterns

It’s always fun to get a wild and funky backpack to stick out in the crowd or to let your personality shine through. If you find one that you’re super set on, ask yourself whether you think you’ll get bored of the pattern or colour within the year, if not, go for it!

If it’s a pattern or colour that you like now but your fashion choices change as quickly as the week is over, maybe stick with something more neutral and simple so you aren’t going out and buying a new backpack each week. Or you can buy multiple backpacks, start a collection and rock a new backpack every day of the week.

Burton

Day Hiker 25L

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Burton

Tinder Pack 25L

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Burton

Annex 28L

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How Is The Accessibility

If you are going to be putting your laptop and some books along with a few other things into your backpack, make sure the main compartment zipper will open wide enough to allow for you to put your supplies inside. In most cases, a top-loading backpack or a backpack with a full zipper will be the easiest to use in order for packing and unpacking all your supplies.

Thule

Subterra 23L

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Thule

Lithos 20L

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Thule

EnRoute 23L

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Pack It, Zip It And Go!

Once you’ve settled on a backpack that fits your laptop, books, lunch and looks great, you’re ready to rock your first days back to school!

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