Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about lots of back to school essentials — including the best pencils, the best pens, and the our favorite notebooks — here, we’ve rounded up the best backpacks for girls, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated backpack for girls
More than 1,700 reviewers give this backpack a five-star rating, many noting how well these backpacks hold up. “Both of my kids own these backpacks, stuff them completely full of books and schoolwork, and they’ve lasted for years,” one reviewer writes. A student writes, “This backpack has lasted me from my senior year of high school through my sophomore year of college, and being an engineer, my backpack has had to be stuffed as much as possible with textbooks, my laptop, etc.” Lots of reviewers, from parents of middle-schoolers to backpack-toting adults, also call out all of this bag’s pockets as a selling point. “They have great little pockets for pencils, phones, keys, and items like that, as well as plenty of room for books and school folders,” one writes. Another says, “My teen uses this daily and it seems really sturdy and roomy … She carries boatloads of stuff everyday so I was pleased to see some back support that is still simple structurally.”
Best-rated (less expensive) backpack for girls
“My daughter wanted a Frozen backpack for pre-school,” one reviewer writes. “I didn’t want to get her a cheap backpack that would tear easily or that was made of tacky plastic. This has a cute look and it’s durable.” And many agree that this backpack is sturdy. One customer says that this backpack is “Going into the second school year and it’s held up very well” and “It’s been used all summer to ferry toys and what not without issue.” One says it’s the “perfect size for a pre-schooler through elementary school,” adding that it “would be great for any child up to 5th grade.” Another satisfied parent writes, “My 4-year-old loves it and so do I as it’s very sturdy, spacious and easy to clean,” while another writes it fits her daughter’s “homework folder, change of clothes, pencil box and tablet with lots more room for other things.”
And now for some micro-picks for every backpack for a girl you might be looking for.
Best backpack for girls of all ages
“This was for my 6th grader, but it is so beautiful any age would like it,” one reviewer admits, and the reviews back up that claim, with dozens of comments saying this backpack is good for students from elementary school to college. “I ordered this backpack for my third grader and she absolutely loved it,” one customer writes. “This backpack is really worth the price, very good quality and is a cute backpack.” An older student says, “It is just as functional as it is cute and looks professional enough to bring into the office and cute enough for my college classes.” The simple design is another selling point for many reviewers, like one who writes, “I like the simple pocket design, so that I’m not hunting in 14 different pockets for a pen.” But that simple design doesn’t mean it’s small. “It fits all of my books, binders, toiletry bag, and even a sweater for those ice-cold classrooms,” one reviewer explains.
Best backpack for young girls
One reviewer was happy to find that this backpack “looks WAY better in person than on website.” Dozens of others describe it as “cute” and “adorable” and “darling.” In addition to the design, reviewers find this is the ideal size for their girls in pre-K all the way up to third grade. “She loved all the pockets since she is in Kindergarten and requires a change of clothes, room for snacks and also room for her folders,” one writes. “It fits her perfectly and the fabric seems to be very sturdy and will hold up to the daily wear and tear of being a 5 year old in school.” Another calls this backpack “a great buy for my third grader,” adding, “I purchased the purple and treated it with stain and water repellent spray and it still looks new after 4 months of regular use.” Many also note that this bag is comfortable for their kids as well, with one saying, “The padded straps make any load more comfortable.”
Best backpack for toddler girls
Nearly 90 percent of reviewers give this backpack a five-star review, and many give it top marks for being the perfect size to fit a toddler. “This is the CUTEST backpack and I love that it fits my toddler appropriately,” one writes. Another parent says, “It is the perfect size for her (3 years old) and will continue to fit her needs for at least two more years.” Many were also pleasantly surprised by how much it can hold. One reviewer attests, “There’s a good amount of space in it, far more than I expected … We have been able to pack it full of snacks, Barbies, books, spiral notebooks, coloring books, art supplies, clothing, and so much more.” And other reviewers describe this backpack as durable. “My oldest daughter took it to two years of preschool and it still looks new,” one writes, while another says, “I throw it in the washing machine about once or twice a month and it comes out good as new.”
Best classic backpack
Reviewers of this backpack stand by the JanSport name. “Perfect classic JanSport backpack,” one reviewer writes, adding it’s a “Timeless classic.” Another says, “You can’t go wrong with JanSport,” adding, “This is big on the inside, is durable and it looks even prettier in person.” While many agree that this backpack is plenty big for school supplies, it isn’t too bulky, so it works for kids of all sizes. One reviewer who has a “very tiny girl for 16” notes that “finding backpacks that are comfortable for her can be hard unless I resort to our all-time favorite JanSport.” Others say they’ve bought for kids as young as a second-grader. According to dozens of reviewers, no matter what age the person you buy a JanSport for, you’ll have it for years. “Our son and daughter got JanSport back packs in junior high and carry them still,” one reviewer writes. “Our son is 45 and our daughter is 42.”
Best solid color backpack for girls
This is a “sturdy, well made and inexpensive backpack,” writes one reviewer, and many praise this bag for being a great value and the “perfect” size. “I shopped and shopped and shopped (mostly online as that’s how I prefer to shop) with my 6th grade girl for the perfect middle school backpack,” another reviewer writes. “Big enough to hold her huge binder, lunch and various notebooks. We ended up with this backpack as my daughter loved the color and I loved the price so she wouldn’t have to keep it through high school as her tastes change. When we received the backpack it seemed a little small, but has actually been the perfect size.” A college student says that she “can fit a few textbooks, my MacBook and a couple one-subject notebooks tucked into a binder in the main compartment” and still have the “side pockets, internal pockets, and a front pocket for all my small items.” And while the solid color might not seem too exciting, reviewers love getting to decorate this and make it their own. “My 8-year-old daughter just wanted a plain black backpack for school this year that she could design herself,” one parent explains. “She could not be happier.”