One of the most important back to school purchases is a backpack.   It is used everyday, and needs to be strong enough to carry big heavy loads, and be tough enough to be crammed into lockers.  It also needs to fit properly to minimize impact on the shoulders and back.  Here are some things to look for when purchasing this year’s backpack.

Quality Is Important:

Inexpensive, low quality packs will only last a few weeks.  Once you have to replace the backpack, the stores will have no more stock.  Choose a good quality pack while the supplies are good and the sales are on.

  • Avoid packs with loose, uneven, careless stitching.
  • Avoid exposed zippers
  • Check the bag for any frayed or exposed fabric edges
  • Go for packs with zippers with fabric flap covers

Good fit:

Backpacks that do not fit properly can cause shoulder and back problems.  The width of the pack should be proportionate to the person’s size.  You want the pack to sit about 2-5cm below the tops of their shoulders and not hang below their bottom. Make sure the shoulder straps do not dig into their armpits or drop low on their back.

  • Get broad, padded, and adjustable straps
  • Look for packs with pockets, slots, and compartments to keep things organized
  • Try to keep the weight to a minimal
  • Choose the right size and properly adjust the straps (adjust the chest strap to bring the shoulder straps in and allow the arms to move freely.)

Personalize it:

A good fit is critical but your child needs to like the pack and be happy to wear it.  Taking the time to personalize it, they way they like is important.

  • Add reflective tape or reflective pulls.
  • Add pins and sew/glue on patches