Though it's tempting to snag a pack that's on sale or that features your child’s favourite video game character, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind when shopping for the best backpack for your child. After all, a backpack is an essential item in your kid’s collection of gear. Knowing how to choose the best backpack will help your child get through their day more efficiently and safely.
A backpack leaves with your child in the morning and stays with them until they get home. It's essential for holding supplies, books, lunch, and even a change of clothes like gym shoes or snow pants. It's also likely to be used to hold the necessities they will need for a playdate, pool date, sleepover or after-school activities.
Given its prevalence in their daily life, it's no surprise that kids prefer picking backpacks that show off their personality and interests. But what happens when those interests change? And they will, sometimes monthly. Then you’re on the hook to buy a new backpack with each passing phase. Here’s a great alternative: purchasing a well-made pack with a more generic design (ie: sans superhero) and accessorize it with their current favourite character. Think zipper pulls, patches, button, etc. It’s far more cost effective and better for the environment than buying a cheap backpack every few months or every year.
Aside from getting a well-made backpack that doesn’t cater to a flash-in-the-pan interest, there are some questions to consider before purchasing one.
10 questions to ask yourself before choosing the best backpack for your child:
- Do the zippers work effortlessly on the backpack?
- Do the buckles snap open and shut easily so your child can use them even in cold or wet weather?
- Are there reflective and high visibility features on the backpack?
- Is there a water bottle holder for use on a long bus ride or field trip?
- Is the backpack’s fabric waterproof?
- Does the backpack have any other features like sternum straps?
- Is there a secure zipper pocket for small personal items?
- Is there a handy stuff-it pocket to stash items quickly?
- Does the backpack have a durable and waterproof fabric on its base?
- Are the straps wide, comfortable and well padded?
It also goes without saying that the best backpack for your child fits well. Size, design and weight are important for everyone who carries something on their back and kids are no exception. A healthy body in later years has a lot to do with how we treat it in our youth.
Health questions to consider when choosing the best backpack for your child:
- A good ergonomic backpack should be no larger than the child's back.
- The maximum load of any backpack should be 15% of the wearer’s body weight.
- Load the backpack’s heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
- Choose backpacks with several compartments to help disperse weight.
- Always wear both shoulder straps.
- Put on and remove backpacks carefully. Keep the trunk of your body stable and avoid excessive twisting.
- Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles. Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the child’s back. It should rest evenly in the middle of the back near the child’s center of gravity, and should not extend below the belt more than a couple of inches.
- Encourage activity. Children who are active tend to have better muscle flexibility and strength, which makes it easier to carry a backpack.
- Adjust shoulder straps so the bag fits snugly to the back while still allowing the pack to be put on and taken off easily. A pack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles
Armed with this information, you are now ready to venture confidently into the world of kids’ accessories to find the best backpack for your child. Of course, we’d like it if you’d consider buying a backpack from zappedoutfitters.com. It adheres to all the points covered about and has a hidden super power: it reflects light so your kids will not only be comfortable, they’ll be safe and will look rad too.
Best of luck and have fun!
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