Choosing the Right Back-to-School Backpack

Now that August has arrived, parents and students are starting to make their list of back-to-school supplies for the year ahead. Something that should be at the top of anyone’s list is a backpack to carry it all in! But with all the options out there, how do you figure out which one to choose? 

Once you’ve decided on your price point, use the guide below to help you narrow down the choice when buying for that special student in your life!


A college student is going to have different backpack needs than a high school student, and a grade 8 student will need a different backpack than a child who is entering their first year of school. Younger children might be more interested in character patterns or bright colours, middle-school students might want a fun pattern to show off their individual style, while a college student might be focused on a bag that holds all their tech-related accessories.

Colour & Pattern

There are so many colours and designs to choose from!  It would be a natural choice to pick a colour that is your child’s favourite, but also think about your child’s personality when choosing a backpack.  Pick a pattern in a bright colour for those kids who are out-going and like to stand out from the crowd, or if they prefer to blend in, choose a more muted pattern or a solid dark colour.


Depending on the age of your student, their tech-carrying needs can be very different.  If their school provides tablets, you will want to make sure you buy a backpack with a padded tablet pocket, so it stays protected throughout the day. An older student might need room for both a tablet and a laptop, as well as cords, drives, etc.  College students will be especially interested in packs that include a USB port, so they can charge their accessories on-the-go (like in the library for that late-night study session).

We hope we’ve been able to help you narrow down your backpack choices – happy shopping!

Our Top Back-to-School Selections

We have picked our top back-to-school backpack selections below, based on students from a range of ages.

Primary School: High Sierra Mini Loop Backpack

These “mini” backpacks are sized smaller than the average backpack, so they don’t overpower your little ones!

Elementary School: High Sierra Wiggie Lunch Kit Backpack

This backpack comes with a matching lunch kit, that stores securely into a front pocket!

High School: High Sierra Loop Backpack

Loop comes in a bunch of different styles your teenager can choose from and includes a TECH SPOT™ tablet sleeve, front organizer pocket, side water bottle pockets and Suspension System padded shoulder straps with padded back panel, to handle those heavy textbooks.

College/University: Samsonite Kombi Large Backpack

Kombi is billed as a business backpack, but also works great for a college student! Room for both a laptop and a tablet, multiple pockets including a fleece-lined accessory pocket for their phone, plus performance-mesh shoulder pads and air mesh padded back, make this a great fit for those in post-secondary school. It also includes a SmartSleeve™ so it can slide over the handle of a suitcase, making those weekend trips home even easier!

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