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.

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 and tumble 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 – it’s these little things that will really keep your little adventurer organised, comfortable, and ready to learn.

  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 long staple cottons and polyester which is then coated with waterproof resins and waxes making it (almost) bulletproof.
  2. Comfort
    School students carry some 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 child’s posture as the weight is more evenly distributed, instead of putting 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 a store to try backpacks on before making your purchase.
  4. Organisation
    Pockets, pockets, pockets! It’s all 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, and if necessary, a special padded compartment to keep their electronic devices safe.
  5. Appearance
    Appearance is always going to be a factor for school kids, and you want them to feel good about the bag that they’ll be using most days of the year. Get them to help choose a colour or pattern that appeals to them – school won’t seem like such a chore if they’re excited about the gear they get to take with them each day.

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 younguns 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.

Summit Ridge Pack

The Summit Ridge is a highly versatile day pack for kids – getting them from school in the city to hiking in the hills on the weekends. Designed to carry textbooks and a laptop, this pack features Macpac’s innovative ‘Space to Sprout’ harness system, which allows the harness to extend as the child grows bigger. Offering family-friendly adjustability and durability, the Summit Ridge is well organised with internal and external pockets and comfortable hip belt for secure fastening. The ultimate day pack for active young adventurers.

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!