How to Choose the Perfect School Backpack


From size and durability to functional features, we give you the rundown on how to choose the perfect school bag for your new academic year.

Beyond just style and organisation, a quality backpack helps children keep a healthy posture as they grow. So when you're searching for a boys’ or girls’ school backpack, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the key factors to consider. 

Fit in all your kit

When looking for a great backpack for school, selecting one that’s the right size is crucial. The bag should be big enough to fit everything your child needs for a school day, including several textbooks, notebooks, a lunchbox, a water bottle and other essentials. 

At the same time, it shouldn’t be too bulky or overwhelming to carry. Particularly for kids who walk to and from the school gates.

For younger students, a school backpack with a capacity of 15 to 20 litres is generally enough. As students progress to higher grades, a larger backpack of 25 to 30 litres might be needed. This size school bag offers plenty of space for additional books, folders, binders and a laptop or tablet.

Carry your gear comfortably

When it comes to school bags, comfort is paramount. From walks to and from the bus stop, around campus and to after-school clubs, students carry their school backpacks for hours at a time. Books and folders can also be heavy, so ensuring the school bag doesn’t cause discomfort is key.

For this reason, it’s important to look for backpacks with well-padded shoulder straps. These will distribute weight evenly and help reduce pressure on the shoulders. 

Ergonomic design features can also make a big difference. For example, a padded back panel and a breathable mesh lining help improve airflow and will keep students cool throughout the day. A backpack with a sternum strap and a waist belt will also take the strain off the shoulders and back.

Choose a bag to last the year

School backpacks really are put through their paces, so durability is essential. Look for backpacks made from strong, abrasion-resistant materials such as nylon or polyester. A backpack with reinforced stitching and robust zippers is also more likely to last the whole year round. 

Keep your supplies organised 

It’s all too easy for a school bag to become a jumbled mess of pens, books and other accessories. A bag with organisational features will help to keep school supplies easily accessible and quick to find.

Look for a school backpack with multiple compartments, both interior and exterior and of various sizes. Mesh pockets on the sides are very convenient for carrying water bottles or umbrellas.

Grab some great style

You’re never too young to have style. Your bag should complement it as much as your clothes do. Classic colours like black, navy, or grey offer versatility. While vibrant colours and bold prints can help the bag stand out in the crowd.

Pay attention to the overall shape of the backpack too. Sleek, streamlined designs will look fresh for years to come. While accents such as metallic hardware, cords and other decorative elements add a unique touch. Ultimately, you (or your child) will want a bag that reflects your taste and makes you feel confident striding into school each day.

Look for special details

Size, ergonomics and organisational features are important in any great backpack. But there are a number of other handy features that make backpacks even more useful:

Reflective panels

Backpacks with reflective elements enhance visibility. This is useful when students walk or bike to school during low-light conditions

USB charging port

Some school bags come with an integrated USB charging port, making it easy to charge electronic devices on the go

Padded laptop compartment

Students often need to carry laptops or tablets. A well-padded laptop compartment provides protection for expensive devices, ensuring safe transport


Sometimes a downpour happens without warning. A bag made from weatherproof materials will help to keep belongings dry and protected

Anti-theft features

Backpacks with hidden pockets, lockable zippers and slash-resistant materials provide additional security against theft or pickpocketing

Find a great school bag for the new year

Selecting the right school backpack is key for a comfy and well-organised way to carry academic essentials all year long. Whether you're looking for a boys’ or girls’ school bag, The North Face offers a range of thoughtfully designed and functional backpacks to make the school year a great one. 

Available in neutral shades, various colours and a variety of sizes, a The North Face school backpack is the perfect rugged, comfortable school companion, all year long.