A good pack has:
- A chest clip
- Side pockets for a water bottle
- A large main compartment with two zippers
- Is no wider or taller than your child’s torso.
* If it hangs past their bum with the straps properly adjusted it’s too big for their body.
A pack smaller than 10L isn’t going to be good for much other than novelty. 12-18L packs are perfect for preschoolers.
The easiest place to shop for packs is MEC while they historically haven’t made great packs for kids themselves they do stock Deuter and Osprey packs.
Please note that just because a backpack is one of these brands doesn’t mean it will be a good pack. Sadly manufacturers continue to design and make some terribly useless products. The specific models mentioned below were particularly excellent.
The Best Kids Backpacks
I’ve never met a Deuter pack I didn’t love. We use the Junior in our house and many Kikki’s have been through the program.
Here are some other favs: