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11 Things You Need To Know When Choosing A Back-to-School Backpack

Since when did the bag your kid takes to school get bigger than the bag you take on vacation? I mean, wasn’t the digital age supposed to cut down on the amount of paper and books we’d be carrying around?

As back-to-school season ramps up, kids will be lugging clothes, lunches, laptops, and other assorted accessories to and fro each day in their backpack.

A backpack needs to be sturdy and durable, roomy enough to carry everything a student needs, but small enough to be easily stashed in a locker or under a desk. (Good luck with that.)

Choosing a back-to-school backpack will end up being more about fashion than function, but if you can help it remember these tips when you’re shopping.

  • 11 Things To Know 1 of 12
    11 Things To Know About Backpacks

    From how to wear it to how to fill it, check out this checklist to get the kids ready.

  • Straps 2 of 12
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    Look for a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps that are adjustable for comfort and even weight distribution.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Sturdy 3 of 12
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    Durable bags, such as those with a hard plastic bottom, will stand up to wear and tear, and things won't get wet when they inevitably take it off and put it down in a puddle or snow.

    AWP Backpack - Get it at Lowe's for $49.98.

  • Storage and Pockets 4 of 12
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    Separate compartments help distribute the weight and keep contents organized.

    Impact Impack - Get it at Staples, prices may vary.

  • Accessories 5 of 12
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    Features like earbud hole access can help prevent loss or theft of electronics, while loops and buckles can help you attach lunch bags, water bottles, or other accessories to the bag with carabiners.

    HP Select 110 - Get it From Amazon for $39.99.

  • Weight Watcher 6 of 12
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    Avoid overloading the bag a heavy backpack can strain muscles and ligaments leading to back and neck pain.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Keep It Light 7 of 12
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    A child's backpack, when loaded, should weigh no more than 10-20% of his or her body weight. So that's just 5-10 lbs. for many elementary schoolers.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Wear It Properly 8 of 12
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    Backpacks should be worn on both shoulders to evenly distribute weight.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Heaviest First 9 of 12
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    Load heaviest items first, placing them closest to the lower back and evenly distributing their weight.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Pack It Properly 10 of 12
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    Put papers into a folder or binder, rather than loose in the backpack, and keep pens and other small items in a pencil case or pouch.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Sort It Out 11 of 12
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    Establish a weekly routine to empty the bag, organizing the contents and removing non-essential items.

    Image via iStockPhoto

  • Keep It Clean 12 of 12
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    Remove debris with a brush or vacuum, wipe all over with a sponge moistened with dish detergent, and finish by wiping with a damp sponge.

    Image via iStockPhoto

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