Lunchtime Shop: How to pick the perfect backpack for your kid

To the relief of parents and caregivers across the country, school is about to start back up after six long weeks of holiday.

If you’re one of the people preparing a kid for the new school year you’ll know there’s a seemingly insurmountable list of things to do before you wave them off. Uniforms, stationery, technology, lunchboxes to prepare. And they need somewhere to store it all.

A colleague who’s about to send their firstborn off with their first proper “big school” backpack has done some expert research (WhatsApp groups with other parents whose kids are older than theirs and some DMs to retailers who have cool kid things on Instagram) to narrow down the boxes that a perfect backpack has to tick. Here’s what to look for.

* Suits, what are they good for? Not absolutely nothing
* Lunchtime Shop: 15 pairs of summer shorts on sale right now
* Lunchtime Shop: Scented candles that smell like summer
* What do fashion designers wear over summer?

Whether your sprogg is a budding archeologist, palentogolist, botanist or zoologist, there's a backpack out there to please them (and you).


Whether your sprogg is a budding archeologist, palentogolist, botanist or zoologist, there’s a backpack out there to please them (and you).


Find a bag that has different compartments – to keep food and books separate and then some other spots for things like water bottle on the side, a raincoat stashed away and sunscreen in a front pocket that’s easily accessible.


This bag is going to be tossed around. It’s going to be thrown on the playground, it’s going to get wet on the walk to school, it’s no doubt going to cop spills and squashed bananas. Pick something made of tough stuff that’s easy to wipe out.


Consider a pack that they can actually carry, but also fits everything required for a day at school. This is one of the trickiest bits shopping online, so it may pay to go in store or give a retailer a call for a steer

Fun factor

It’s cool to keep the kiddo involved in picking their backpack – there’s more chance they will take care of it and want to strap it on to race off to school. For smaller kids, bright colors and rad designs will appeal. Older ones might dig a more trendy design or something sporty.

Backpacks that balance fun and function

Alimasy backpack, $77

Herschel Supply Co, backpack, $139

Typo backpack, $30

Happy Kid backpack, $70

Smiggle backpack, $40 (on sale)

Jansport backpack, $90

Smiggle backpack, $48 (on sale)

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