School Book Bags for Kids

Buy right and your kids' book bags can last for years.

kids bookbags
Getty/Jonathan Kirn

So often back-to-school shopping starts with school book bags. However,  if you buy your kids the right backpack, you shouldn't need to buy new ones every year.

Sometimes you save money on school supplies by finding deals every year. And sometimes, as with school book bags and lunchboxes, you save on back-to-school shopping by spending more one year and reusing for years to come.

  • 01 of 09
    School book bags.

    When shopping for school book bags that will last your child from year to year, think about these considerations:

    • Durability
    • Long-lasting appeal
    • Comfort
    • Size
    • Useful features
    • School specifications
  • 02 of 09
    Children's Place backpack

    I bought my daughter a floral-print backpack from The Children's Place when she was 3 and going into preschool. Going into third grade she was  still happily using it.

    The Children's Place original patterns for both boys and girls make them interesting, but they don't become dated like bookbags with TV characters.

  • 03 of 09

    Last year my daughter's school required see-through backpacks, and so this is the backpack she now how has. I wasn't crazy about the mesh backpack at first because it seem kind of "Big Brother"-esque. However, it was nice that I can tell right away if she put her lunch in her book bag. And dirt falls right through and a build up of trash is more apparent so it stays cleaner.

  • 04 of 09
    Wildkin Backpack for preschoolers
    Wildkin Backpack for preschoolers. Pricegrabber

    These school book bags are sized for preschoolers through second graders, so they are not too much for the little ones. And they comes in lots of styles for both boys and girls: astronauts, planes, trains & trucks, butterfly, princess, construction, fairies, firemen, polka dots and pirates.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    These roomy book bags come in dozens of colors and patterns that won't go out of style anytime soon. And that's good because its sturdy construction means they may be around for several years.

    They have two main compartments plus a front pocket with an organizer and a headphone cord port. Other features include an S-curved straps, zippered accessory pocket, a front stash pocket and a handle with reinforced hold on the top of the pack.

  • 06 of 09
    Vera Bradley backpack
    Vera Bradley backpack. Pricegrabber

    Large, in the case of these Vera Bradley book bags, means larger than the purse-size backpacks of the designer. At 11.25" x 14.25" x 5.25" (with 31.5" adjustable straps) these backpacks are fairly standard-sized school backpacks. These padded, fabric book bags are not quite as durable as canvas, but hardier than you might first think. But girls will love the style for years to come.

  • 07 of 09

    When kids have to haul home several heavy books each day,  wheeled book bags can be a back saver. But the wheels add weight, so if they are not necessary, better to go without. But if your child needs the extra help, these book bags come in multiple colors, including pink.

  • 08 of 09

    L.L.Bean offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. That means if a seam rips or the zipper pops off the track, even if your child has used it for a while, you can return it. This kind of guarantee means that you should take extra care to find styles your kids like because they'll be using them for years to come. But L.L. Bean offers a variety of packs in different colors, patterns and sizes. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    leather backpack
    Stacks and Stacks

    Leather is durable and good looking. This book bag features front zip compartment with organizer pocket and outside zip pocket, open side pocket, zip-around opening, handle and adjustable straps. This classic book bag won't go out of style any time soon. One downside is that you can throw it in the washer, but you can wipe it down.