Choosing a new school backpack

It’s that time of year again – another school year is upon us, and before you know it, the summer holidays will be a distant memory. Whether it’s your little adventurer’s first year in the schoolyard, or they’re well-accustomed to lugging around a load of books, choosing the right school backpack to keep them organised will really set the tone for a successful year in the classroom.

You’ve started sorting new shoes, new uniforms, new stationery and new gadgets – but the most important piece of gear they’ll need is a school bag to carry it all.

When looking for the perfect school backpack – you’re sure to have plenty of choice, but buying a new school bag isn’t an exercise you’re going to want to repeat several times a year. The school playground can be a rough place, and school books can be fairly heavy too, so it’s definitely worth investing in the right backpack that will last for the whole year – and beyond. Apart from durability, there are a number of features you should look for too – it’s these little things that will really make the difference to keeping your little adventurer organised, comfortable, and ready to learn.

We’re seasoned pack experts – we’ve been making them since 1973, so we’ve made the hefty task of choosing a school bag easy with this helpful list of what to look for.

  1. Durability
    A good, sturdy school backpack doesn’t come cheap, so it’s not something you’re going to want to fork out for more than once a year. Look for a pack that will go the distance. Strong synthetic fabrics like nylon are a great weather-resistant choice. Well-made polyester packs also provide a good balance between durability and affordability. An even more hard-wearing option is canvas – our AzTec® canvas, for example, is made from a unique blend of hard-wearing long staple cottons and polyester which is then coated with waterproof resins and waxes making it (almost) bulletproof.
  2. Comfort
    School students carry some seriously heavy loads – multiple books for multiple subjects, sports gear, extra clothing, packed lunches… the list goes on. The most comfortable pack for school is one with two shoulder straps. These packs are better for your growing adventurer’s posture as the weight is more evenly distributed, instead of putting huge pressure on their spine and neck. Look for a school bag with a padded harness or wide straps – this will soften the load on growing shoulders. The straps should also be adjustable in order to give the most comfortable, customised fit.
  3. Size
    If your child has been at school for a few years now, you’ll already know that school bags are often deceptively heavy – and not big enough. Carefully consider how large their school bag needs to be – do they take a packed lunch? Do their books stay at school, or come home each day? Do they take a laptop or tablet to school? How much homework will they need to carry home? Do they need separate sports gear? The space quickly gets filled up – so make sure you choose a pack that’s big enough. Likewise, it’s important not to choose a pack that’s too large. If you can, it’s best to take your child into store to try backpacks on before making your purchase.
  4. Organisation
    Pockets, pockets, pockets! It’s all very well and good having a pack that fits the bill in terms of size, but if it only has a sole compartment, items can be frustratingly hard to find. Look for a school bag that has a separate drink bottle pocket, small front compartments for holding stationary and important notices (or easily accessible healthy snack options such as fruit!), and if necessary, a special padded compartment to keep their electronic devices safe.
  5. Appearance
    While appearance certainly isn’t first on the list – it is a factor when it comes to choosing a school bag your child will actually want to use every day. Look for a pack with fun colours or prints – and if possible, give them a choice.


Macpac School Backpack Guide



The Kahuna 18

The Kahuna 18 is a lightweight, strong and weather resistant pack, making it perfect for the rough and tumble adventures of young kids. Designed for optimal organisation, there’s a space for A4 folders, and plenty of room for a 17″ laptop. An internal mesh sleeve is perfect for keeping homework safe and sound, or getting notes home safely. The Kahuna 18 includes our T-Bone™ harness with Spacer Mesh, which means your youngens will enjoy a combination of breathability and stability. Available in 5 funky colours, you’ll have no troubles finding the design that your kids love!

The Kahu 22

The Kahu 22 is a comfortable, compact carry-all day pack that is as tough as nails. Our legendary AzTec® pack fabric is not only tough when it’s new, it’s known for its ability to resist weather, wear and tear over many years of use – which means it’ll see even the most active kids through their school years. The Kahu is packed with internal organisation features – a 17″ laptop sleeve will keep the gadgets safe, while A4 document folders are the perfect size for school books or homework. The Kahu also features a mesh zippered internal pocket to keep your child’s valuables safe and in one place. The Kahu 22 is available in a range of cool colours to suit any kid’s taste!

The Litealp 23

The Litealp 23 has carried thousand of books and folders to school in the last 20 years. It’s a real staple of the Macpac range – and with good reason! Our legendary AzTec® fabric helps keep your kid’s school gear dry, and will age without deteriorating. The Litealp’s convenient teardrop shape makes it easy to slide textbooks, lunch and a drink bottle inside, while the highly functional angled front pocket makes accessing belongings much easier. Perfect for high school students, the Litealp is a pack that will see your kids through their years in the school yard and beyond.

The Campus Pack

The Campus Pack is perfect for high school and university students. It packs 24L and has plenty of spaces for your devices, bags and folders. It features a padded harness with a magnetic sternum closure in place of traditional velcro. It has a spacious main compartment and a separate padded and tricot lined laptop pocket. On the front, there is a large front pocket with an internal organiser system including a padded phone pocket. The Campus pack also features reflective detailing on the front and a bike light loop. Available in turbulence (grey/blue) and carbon colour choices. (Shown in carbon).

Atlas AzTec® 24

The Atlas is perfect for bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders – or just the weight of your school necessities. It’s ideal for carrying all your books and stationery, including A4 folders, and features a padded laptop sleeve to ensure your electronics remain safe within. Double front pockets offer internal organisers for pens, keys, phone, and snacks, and the Atlas also features a reflective patch with an attachment loop for a bike light. The renowned AzTec® fabric offers outstanding durability and protects against the elements, ensuring that this pack should last the distance! Available in a smart black colour choice.