Back to School: Best Toddler Backpacks


If my mom had said this to me ten years ago, or, I’m
embarrassed to admit, maybe even 5, I totally would have rolled my eyes.  But life since having children has
flown by at an alarmingly fast (and heart wrenching) clip.  It’s weird because my teens seemed to drag
on and on in Grunge-induced adolescent angst.  My twenties were a blur: first job, first solo apartment,
near-miss (and one hit) romances and more parties and bars than I can shake a
stick at.  My early thirties just seemed
like a slightly more mature and soberer extension of my twenties. 

Until there was Huck. 
Then Lou.  And now I have
purchased (gasp!) a backpack (!). 
For my little son who is quickly growing into a big boy and is going off
to his first day (sob) of early learner school next Tuesday.  With a backpack on his tiny back—the very
same back that closed around the neural tube (which is the core of his
fabulousness today) growing deep inside my belly a little over three years ago.
 Ugh.  Truly, where does the time go, and other such mother-speak clichés.   

Given the significance I have attached to said knapsack, naturally
I wanted it to be the best, so I trolled the Internets for the best of the
best.  Here are my picks for the
back-to-school season’s top-five preschooler backpacks. 

Toddler Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

Fleurville Lunch Pack
(shown in Fiesta
and World
) $32
Choosing just one of these was a difficult task indeed, but
choose I did.  I purchased the
Fleurville Lunch Pack because I love its dimensions—this pack does not
overwhelm a small frame, has nicely padded straps, big zippers for easy
gripping and is insulated to keep lunch cool and fresh.  Even better, it's PVC-free and exceeds CA Prop 65 for lead and other toxins–probably a good thing since it's carrying the little man's lunch around.

Apples and Pears Toddler Backpack $40
Etsy vendor Teachermom makes stylish toddler backpacks in a
variety of fabric options—unfortunately most are sold out in the back to school
rush right now, but I’m sure she’ll have more up & running soon!

Peas Shark Toddler Backpack $25
The Four Peas shark and rocker backpacks were extremely
close second runners up to the Fleurville for me.  I ended up choosing the Fleurville because it was insulated
(but usable as a normal backpack) and snack toting will obviously be its main
purpose and also because I found the Fleurville on sale for $20.  I like the design and dimensions of the
Four Peas packs, too—just an inch or two here and there makes a big difference
on a 2-1/2 to 3-year-old.

Kelty Minnow Daypack $27
The Kelty Minnow is uber adorable if you want a sporty-er or
more traditional backpack feel, and this baby really holds a lot, but the trade
off is a slightly larger pack that could overwhelm smaller kids.

Hop Zoo Pack Owl Toddler Backpack $20
I am in love with Skip Hop’s Zoo Packs, which are available
in a variety of animal shapes, including a dog, penguin, mouse, etc., but my
hands-down fav, the retro owl, is sold out until for a bit.  Check back regularly, I’m sure it will
be worth the wait!

And for an incredible DIY backpack idea, check out this
link, found by S.  For a more
boyish twist, I’d consider cutting felt appliqués of his favorite things (in
our case, airplanes).

Happy back to school, Mamas, relish each of these fast-moving moments!



  1. Hey Shana, Kristen here. I just met you through email yesterday, thought I would come check out your blog, and found this post. Two comments: my daughter started preschool last week. Sniff. But: I managed to snag one of those owl backpacks over the summer and it is SO adorable! They had them in stock on Piperlime and a few other online retailers. I am ashamed to admit that I overrode my daughter’s request for the mouse version because, well, the owl was just too cute to pass up. Hehe. Love your blog — I’m sure I’ll be stopping by frequently!

  2. Kristen – LOL! I hate when I start the, “are you SURE you don’t want the super-cool X?” But it’s so hard sometimes. Especially with the owl. I would’ve done the same. 🙂

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