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Whether they are ready for it or not, toddlers do their best to be independent in many ways. This includes carrying their own gear, which takes some of the burden off of you. Unfortunately, not every toddler backpack is as high-quality as the manufacturer claims. Luckily, we’ve done much of the research for you to make it easier to choose the best toddler backpack.
When choosing the 7 backpack models in our reviews, we focused on some specific features. The first was the material, which needed to be safe and non-toxic to protect your little ones. We picked models that are good for boys and girls, with various design options. Some even feature insulated pockets for those intending to use the backpack as a lunch box. For more information on the best toddler backpack models, check out our detailed reviews and buying guide.
The OREZI Llama Backpack is the perfect size to fit all your little one’s necessities for daycare, nursery school, trips to the park, or play dates with a friend. It comes in several adorable colors and designs, including llamas, pandas, planets, and dinosaurs, so your toddler can pick their favorite to carry around.
This little backpack has multiple compartments. The main one has double zippers and a wide-open area for clothing and toys, plus an elastic slip pocket for books. On the outside of the bag is a small zippered front pouch for snacks and two mesh side pockets for drinks.
Another great feature this bag has to offer is the high-quality twill material, which is lightweight and durable. You can machine wash the backpack if it gets dirty. The shoulder straps are padded to prevent chaffing or sore spots on your toddler’s tender shoulders. They are also adjustable for the perfect fit.
Why did it make our list? There are a lot of reasons that this is the best backpack for toddlers. It is made of high-quality materials that are machine washable. There are several design options, all with multiple pockets to store all the essentials.
What is not ideal about it? Though this adorable toddler backpack has a ton of great features, only a few of the designs include a detachable chest strap with a whistle on the buckle. If this is an extra you want, you’ll need to choose the design you want carefully.
These toddler backpacks combine two adorable pieces into one handy package. These include the cute backpack and the even cuter stuffed animal. The backpack is made of plush material, which is extremely soft and durable. They are also lightweight and compact, so they are easier for your little one to carry.
The main compartment is a decent size, so you can fit all the essential items needed to get through your day. This includes extra clothing, snacks, small toys, diapers, and wipes.
There are padded straps on the back that are comfortable against your toddler’s shoulders, plus they can be adjusted as needed for the right fit. A thick loop on the top of the bag allows you to hang it in a locker or on a hook at home.
On the front of this toddler backpack is a small carrier with an adorable stuffy tucked into it. The carrier straps are adjustable, so you can even swap out the stuffy for another one when needed. There are both puppies and bears available for the packs.
Why did it make our list? This well-made backpack is made well, machine washable, and includes adjustable straps for the shoulder and the carrier. The added stuffy is a wonderful bonus.
What is not ideal about it? Though the main compartment is a decent size, there are no smaller pockets to help you organize your toddler’s belongings. There are also no side pockets to keep drinks within easy reach, so leaks may be an issue inside the bag.
If your toddler likes to carry their own gear, this little backpack is a great choice. It is small and lightweight, with adjustable padded shoulder straps and a chest buckle to keep it securely in place. There is even a safety harness that you can use in busy areas like malls or airports and remove when it’s safe for your little one to run free.
The Yodo Kids Insulated Toddler Backpack has an insulated lining in the main compartment to keep any snacks and meals at the perfect temperature for up to 3 hours. This allows you to use it as a lunch bag as well as a backpack. There are also 2 mesh side pockets for drinks or other items that don’t need to be kept warm or cold.
Other great features this backpack has to offer are the name tag on the back, the compact size, and the multiple 3D designs, such as sharks, unicorns, puppies, and owls.
What are its best features? There was a lot to like with these backpacks, including the 3D designs, insulated lining, and detachable harness. It also has a decent price, so you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a great toddler backpack.
What could be improved? The downside of the insulating material in the lining is that it takes up quite a bit of space, which makes the main compartment a bit smaller than expected. It still fits some snacks, toys, or a change of clothes, but not much else.
Though they are great at making messes, a lot of toddlers love to be in style at the same time. The mommore Fashion Toddler Backpack is a fashionable piece to add to your toddler’s gear, plus it is high-quality, so it will look great for quite a while.
This little backpack comes in black, pink, and rainbow, all of which are made of oxford fabric. This material is lightweight, water-resistant, and machine washable for easy cleaning.
There are padded straps on the back for comfort on those long walks and a chest strap to keep the pack securely in place. Both straps are adjustable, so you can tighten it as needed to keep it firmly in place on your little one’s back.
Other great features include the large main pocket, the zippered front pouch, and the handy leash that easily attaches to the bottom of the pack to keep your toddler close by.
Why is it special? This oxford fabric used to make this fashionable toddler backpack is durable, light, and looks fantastic. The water-resistance helps keep everything inside dry on those damp days. The adjustable straps make it easy to secure the backpack perfectly. Best of all, the handy leash is easy to attach whenever you need it.
What are the flaws? Though they sit nicely when tight over your little one’s chest, the chest strap may slide down once when a bit loose, so there may be some extra adjustment needed during use.
The Skip Hop Toddler Backpack comes in 20 great animal styles, so your little one can pick their favorite to tote around on play dates, trips to grandma’s house, or daycare. All of them are made of canvas material, so they are quite durable and easy to clean in the washing machine when needed. The straps are padded and adjustable for added convenience.
These little toddler backpacks have a large main compartment for toys, books, clothing, diapers, and anything else your little one needs. The lining is easy to clean, plus there is a tag inside for your toddler’s name.
On the front of the bag is a zippered pocket with a mesh pouch that allows you to organize the smaller items. This area is insulated, so you can store some snacks in here if needed. The mesh side pocket is adjustable, so you can fit a variety of drinks inside.
Why is it special? As well as having a wide selection of design options, this backpack has a ton of great features. It is made of durable canvas, with an insulated front pouch and an adjustable side pocket. It is also a good size, so you can fit all the essentials inside.
What are the flaws? Though it is one of the larger toddler backpacks available, this one has a thinner top with rounded edges, making it impossible to fit a standard folder or sheet of paper without curling the edges or folding it in half.
This adorable little backpack comes in three options, including the green tractor, the pink pig, and the yellow chick, so your little one can choose whichever cute farm option they prefer. All three of these little backpacks are made of 100% polyester, which is lightweight and easy for little ones to carry around, plus they can be wiped clean whenever needed.
There is one large main pocket for storing toys, clothes, diapers, snacks, or anything else your little one likes to keep nearby. You can put their name, address, and phone number on the handy inner label for easy identification. A small front pocket is perfect for little items you want close at hand.
The shoulder straps are adjustable, so you can fit it perfectly to your toddler’s size. There is also a webbed loop for easy hanging when needed.
Why is it special? This handy little backpack has a lot of great features. The large interior and front zippered pocket allow you to organize all of your gear inside it without having to leave anything behind. The ID label helps you keep track of the backpack at all times. It is also very light, so even the smallest members of the family won’t get too tired carrying it.
What are the flaws? The only issue there is with the John Deere Boys’ Tractor Toddler Backpack is the lack of padding on the straps. These can become uncomfortable after a while, so it may not be the best option for long walking trips.
The I IHAYNER Cute Bear Small Toddler Backpack is an adorable backpack that comes in 4 colors, including dark blue, light blue, pink, and red. It also has a great low price that will fit into even the smallest budget.
This handy little piece is made of durable nylon for the shell, with 3 layers on the back that increase breathability, relieve stress, and resist shocks for a more comfortable pack for your toddler to carry. The lining is polyester, which is durable and easy to clean. Adjustable padded shoulder straps and a chest strap add comfort and security.
The materials used for this backpack are strong and resist stains. They are also machine washable in warm or cold water and hang to dry.
There is one main compartment for all your little one’s gear, including snacks, drinks, diapers, toys, and any other extras. It has a dual zipper for quick entry. The handy child leash is quite long and attaches easily to the top of the backpack, between the shoulder straps.
What makes it stand out? The best thing about this backpack is the great low price that anyone can afford. These packs also have adorable designs, are lightweight, and include that handy leash to keep a runner from getting too far ahead.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Though the main compartment is a decent size, there are no small pockets on the outside of the backpack for little items you want close at hand.
Things to Consider
Toddlers may not be able to carry a heavy load, but many of them want to have a backpack like their older siblings and parents. Of course, you can’t just put any pack on their back and expect them to be able to handle it. The best toddler backpack needs to be small enough to fit their little bodies comfortably. They also need to be lightweight and durable. If you need one of these handy pieces for your little one’s gear but aren’t sure what to look for, check out our detailed buying guide.
Features to consider when choosing a toddler backpack
There are a few different sizes, shapes, and types of toddler backpacks available, which can make it hard to figure out which one to choose for the youngest members of the family. The sections below will help you make this decision.
The size of the toddler backpack is probably the most important feature to check out. This is because there are a few different size options to choose from, and not all of them will fit your specific child. The smaller your toddler is, the smaller their backpack should be to avoid it overbalancing them when it is filled. The proper size will make it more comfortable for them to carry since you’ll be able to fit the straps to their frame properly.
The size of the backpack also determines how much space there is inside of it, which tells you how much gear you can put in the main compartment. The more room there is inside the bag, the more gear you can pack into it.
Design and color options available
The design and color options available are also something to look for. Some models look like smaller versions of adult backpacks, like the mommore Fashion Toddler Backpack. This allows your child to feel a bit more grown-up when they carry it. Others are more kid-friendly, like the OREZI Llama Backpack, which has cute designs of animals, dinosaurs, or planets for your toddler to enjoy. There are also a few 3D options, like the Yodo Kids Insulated Toddler Backpack, which makes the backpack more fun to play with. Having a few colors to choose from makes it much easier to find one that your toddler will like.
The materials used are another important feature to look into before choosing a backpack. The material used needs to be durable and strong, so it won’t tear if your toddler is a bit rough with it. You should also consider what you’ll be using it for.
The best toddler hiking backpack will need to withstand the elements, so must be well-made, with quality stitching and padding on the shoulders. A toddler backpack used for daycare or play dates likely won’t need any waterproofing or as much padding, though it should still be well-made to ensure it lasts until your toddler outgrows it.
Pockets and compartments
Every toddler backpack has one large main compartment for the toys, snacks, books, and other items your little one needs for their outings. Some backpacks include a few other pockets as well to help you organize those items and keep some of them close at hand. For instance, the mommore Fashion Toddler Backpack includes a small front pocket with a zippered closure for quick access to snacks or other small items. There may also be side pockets, like the ones on the OREZI Llama Backpack. These are usually designed to hold water bottles, sippy cups, or juice boxes, keeping them within easy reach without risking a leak on the inside of the bag. The more pockets and compartments there are, the more organized the backpack will be.
Though this isn`t a standard feature on toddler backpacks, some of them include an insulated pocket. This could be the large main one, allowing you to use the backpack as a lunch box as well. There may also be a smaller insulated pocket for a bottle or small snack. The size of the insulated area will determine how many temperature-sensitive items you can carry in the backpack.
Toddler leash included
Some of the toddler backpacks in our reviews have a safety harness included, which you can attach for those busy outings to malls, airports, or other places where you need to keep your little one close by at all times. Then, at the park or on a hike, you can detach the leash and let them roam free without worrying about them getting lost in a crowd.
Though there are a few models that are machine washable, not all of the backpacks in our reviews can be cleaned this way. The Yodo Kids Insulated Toddler Backpack is one model that can’t be placed in the washer, though you can wipe the insulated lining down and rinse the rest of the backpack when needed to remove dirt and stains.
Toddlers may be too little to carry a full load, but they do want to help out. With so many backpack models available, it’s hard to choose the perfect one, but we have a few favorites we’d recommend.
Our top choice is the OREZI Llama Backpack comes in multiple styles and colors, is made of durable, water-resistant materials, and is machine washable. There are double zippers on the main compartment, multiple pockets, and padded adjustable straps for comfort.
The Bag&Carry Cute Toy Toddler Backpack is well-made using plush material, lightweight, compact, and machine washable. It includes adjustable straps for the shoulders and toy carrier, and it comes with an adorable stuffed animal.
The Yodo Kids Insulated Toddler Backpack is made of water-resistant polyester with an insulated lining to keep food and drinks at the perfect temperature. It has a double zipper, adjustable padded straps, a safety harness, and several design options to pick from.