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Best Toddler Backpacks for Preschool

Depending on your preschool/Kindergarten, your kiddo may be carrying his lunch/snacks, a drink, and some other supplies to school. You want his bag to be small enough for their little bodies, but roomy enough to hold the essentials. Here are our fave toddler backpacks for preschool. 

Skip Hop 12″ Zoo Collection Backpacks  ~ $22

Skip Hop makes quintessential toddler backpacks for preschoolers with their signature animal motifs. Move over unicorn, their latest releases (the zebra, pig and dragon) are spot on this year.

Wildkin 12” Backpacks ~ $24

The Wildkin 12” toddler backpack is one of the most popular on the market for kids 3 to 6 years old. It’s affordable, high-quality, CUTE, and the perfect size for littles. 

We love that the front pocket moonlights as a lunch bag. Yes, it’s actually insulated, which is perfect to store snacks or even a lunch (though some say it doesn’t stay cold for very long). It also has a side mesh pocket for a water bottle and reflective tape around the front pocket for those dark winter evenings. Note: they also make a 15” size, which will hold more. Also check out their rolling backpacks, which are much larger and perfect for travel. 

Pottery Barn Kids Backpacks

Available in mini, small, and larger sizes, the PBK kid’s backpack is a schoolroom classic. True story: teachers of small kids (especially K teachers) love the monogramming so they can tell whose is whose (allow extra delivery time for monogramming). These backpacks are super durable, cute, and come with (optional) matching lunch boxes and other paraphernalia. Ours have lasted for years.

STATE Kane Kids Backpacks ~ starting at $75

We love these colorful and stylish backpacks from STATE. They’re classic but playful, which is the perfect combo for little ones to get excited to showcase at school. It’s the perfect size to fit your day-to-day gear, like school folders, pencil case, water bottles and so on. The straps are adjustable and padded for comfort. What’s more, for every State bag purchased, the founders of STATE bags support American children and families in need by donating fully-packed backpacks at signature bag drop rallies.

North Face Youth Sprout Backpack ~ $34

The Sprout backpack by The North Face, which is designed specifically for tots 2 to 4 years old, is sporty and durable. It’s simple and efficient with multiple compartments, an interior name tag, a foam back panel, padded straps and even a chest strap.

LL Bean Junior Original Book Pack ~ $29

The LL Bean Junior Original backpack is a solid choice all around. Designed for kids who are 4 and older, it has enough room to fit projects, a lunch box, a few toys and even an extra set of clothes. It has a waterproof side drink pocket and is available in 6 vibrant patterns.

7 A.M. Enfant Mini Dino Backpack ~ $44

With this Dino toddler backpack by 7 A.M. Enfant, your little one’s obsession with dinosaurs will never go extinct. Compact but mighty, it can fit all of his daily essentials: a lovey, a blanket and food. We love that it is light, and that the shoulder straps are padded. Plus, the top handle makes it super easy to grab on your way out, and it’s machine washable — RAWR-some!

Parkland Edison Backpack ~ $34

Parkland backpacks are made of 100% recycled polyester. The Edison backpack is one of Parkland’s smaller options, which is perfect for toddlers ahttps://rstyle.me/+N4hKAzq6J7DiKjK5K68dCgnd preschool-aged children. The backpack has a front pocket, a side water pocket, mesh padded shoulder straps and an interior name tag. Plus, it comes in 31 fun styles. This one in particular was made with 5 repurposed water bottles.

Happy back to school, families!


  1. I’m a teacher and love the ease of students having monogrammed items, but I’ve also heard the caution that having a student’s name embroidered on their backpack/lunchbox/whatever can make them a potential target for kidnappers – easier for the bad person to say, “Hey, Mackenzie, your mom’s sick and asked me to pick you up” etc. What do you think… legit concern?

    1. Depends on how much you worry about things like that. Personally, I think that’s a page from the book of the “culture of fear” that we’ve been told to live in.

  2. I think that’s called, “better safe than sorry”. Kids should never have their names displayed openly like that, especially not for the preschool age which is what this article’s focus is on.

  3. Another kindergarten teacher opinion here! These backpacks are adorable, but in Canada (kids age 4-6 in kindergarten for two years) I only ever recommend a full size backpack. I like the Roots one from Costco. Your kid may be little, but their “stuff” is not. My students need space for their BIG stuff; library book, their lunch box, and for most of the school year they need to be able to fit their snow pants, extra hats and mits in their bags. They’re big backpacks for their size (my 4 year old is TINY) but they have big “stuff”. I haaaaaaate seeing toddler backpacks in kindergarten because there is no way a kid is going to get all their items into their backpack independently and be able to zip it without adult help. A bigger pack pack allows them much more independence.

    (Also! I agree. No names on the front of backpacks, and initials aren’t always helpful either. I’d skip the monogram!!)

    1. Cynthia, thank you so much for your comment and suggestion. It’s very helpful. Yes, you are right, the things that children have to carry to school are not small. That’s why we also included brands like Parkland and STATE, which have full-sized kids backpack options as well. We will definitely check out the Roots from Costco. Thanks!

  4. Any ideas for kids who have to carry laptops now? Ones to protect against water bottles that aren’t closed!

    1. Hi Kate! Good question 🙂 I would look for a backpack with a water bottle holder on the outside and check for material to ensure it’s splash proof (which I would image most are). Lastly, many backpack brands offer different sizes. Check your laptop/tablet size and measure accordingly. Best of luck!

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