Are you looking for the best travel backpack for kids? With so many different types of backpacks on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is best. We have a lot of experience in this department, so I’m going to share the features to look for when choosing the perfect travel backpack for your kids. 

I’ll share all the things we consider before making a purchase. I’ll also provide recommendations for the best backpack for kids to travel with. So, if you’re ready to find the perfect backpack for your kids to take on their next adventure, let’s get started!

Why should your kids bring their own backpacks on vacation

  1. It helps them get excited for the trip because they can pack some of their own items.
  2. It teaches them responsibility by having them take care of their own bag.
  3. Gives you extra packing space so you don’t have to fit everything in your bag.
  4. Its a great place to keep activities, toys, and even snacks.

There are so many great reasons why you should consider giving your kids a backpack on your travels. Now the question is: how do you pick the right one?

How to choose the perfect kids’ backpack 

What’s the difference between a regular school backpack and a good travel backpack? A lot! School backpacks don’t have to include everything your child needs for a week or more in one bag! Choosing the right backpack can make a big difference in how successful your trip is. Keep in mind, you don’t want to let your kid choose their own travel backpack without your direction on the things below. We suggest choosing a few that take these things into consideration and let kids choose their own backpack from the options we provide. Here are some things we consider when we choose travel backpacks with the best features for our kids.


The trick here is to find the back that maximizes the most space without being too big for your little one. When looking at the right bag for your child you want to make sure the top of the bag hits mid-shoulder and the bottom of the bag doesn’t go further than the bottom of their back to get the perfect size for them.

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to travel backpacks. If your child ends up with a bag that is too big for them it will more than likely be uncomfortable and too heavy. More than likely that means you will end up carrying it for them, which is not a great option! 

There’s a fine line between having plenty of room and choosing a backpack that isn’t a great size for your child. You’ll want the backpack to have a large main compartment if your family is only traveling with a backpack for each person as their only luggage. The most important thing is that there is a roomy main compartment for all of their clothing, you can tuck the small things around the bulk of the clothing. In that case, the right size backpack for your kid’s travel pack might vary depending on the kind of trip you’re going on and if you plan on taking any other luggage. 


When looking at backpacks for your kids think about how heavy the bag is before you ever put anything in it. Most backpacks range from 6 to 10 pounds and possibly even less for kid versions. Find bags that are durable yet made of lightweight materials. You want to make sure your child is never carrying more than 15% of their body weight on their back. That’s a great way to end up having to carry your kids’ travel backpacks yourself. 


One of the things I look for when picking a travel backpack for my kids is the padding on the straps and back of the bag. Yes, we want to make sure we are picking lightweight bag, but not at the expense of comfort. Look for bags with shoulder pads on the straps because that will make the biggest impact on how comfortable the travel backpack is for your kids to carry. The backpack should also have adjustable shoulder straps for comfort and the right fitting for your kids. Bags with a chest strap is also a good option, especially for young kids who can’t seem to keep the straps on their little shoulders. A sternum strap is always a good idea and may be the best way to deal with that issue so you don’t end up having to carry bags for your younger children.


Your Childs backpack needs to be whale to withstand all the throwing, pulling, packing, and other travel strains you are going to put it through. Look for easy to clean materials that are reinforced. Extra points if you can throw the backpack in the washing machine as it can get super dirty after those exit icing vacations.

the best kids travel backpacks

The Best Travel Backpacks for Kids

These are our top picks for the best travel backpacks for kids. These all offer high quality, durable material, and various sizes for your big and little kids. These are the most comfortable backpacks we’ve found for kids, which is one of the most important factors you need to consider!

kids travel backpack

Fjallraven Backpack

This bag is small but mighty. It probably won’t be your choice if you want to skip the luggage but its a great choice if you want your child to carry a bag for their small items, like personal items. It’s super lightweight and really durable. I love the top handle so you can easily grab it and go. This is also a great first backpack for kids who aren’t used to carrying a backpack.

Kane Kids Double Pocket

This is a great middle sized bag, not too big or too small, and can still fit a lot. This particular size is geared towards kids 3rd grade and up but they do carry smaller and larger versions on their site as well. This bag always has a ton of great reviews from parents about how well made they are. It is less than a pound in weight and has a lot of storage options with plenty of pockets. This is a great contender for your kids but it is a bit pricer than our other bag options.

Hershel Backpack – Youth

We brought this bag with us on our most recent Europe trip and we really liked it. What impressed me the most was how comfortable this bag was for my kids. The straps had a lot of padding. I just wish this bag had more compartments compared to some of the other backpacks we have tried, but it would still be an excellent option for some people. 

Flower Garden Large Kids Backpack

Water resistant and made from recycled water bottles. This was one of my girls first picks because they loved the design. I also loved that this bag has 2 side pockets. That really comes in handy when you are on the go. This bag also comes in two smaller sizes for younger kids.

Lightning Bolts Pink Large Kids Backpack

Similar to the backpack above this pack has a lot of great features for traveling. Its super spacious and has padded straps and honestly fits all the criteria we look for when picking a travel backpack. They even have the option for personalization if you are into that.

Tie-Dye Rolling Backpack

As my girls get older, and their travel backpacks get heavier, we are considering moving them to these rolling backpacks. Why rolling backpacks and not just a rolling luggage? A lot of airlines charge for carryon items but they give you a personal item for free. As a family of 5 it saves us so much money, especially when we are trying to get in 22 trips in one year.

Deluxe Book Pack

This bag claims to be indestructible and that is definitely something you want since traveling can be really tough on these backpacks. Its waterproof and can fit so much. This would be the perfect option for one of those long haul trips where you need to pack a lot.

Mackenzie Aqua Disney Princess Backpack

You probably recognize this backpack from our viral videos, this is the backpack we use the most for traveling. The durability, comfort, size, number of compartments, it has so much to offer. Honestly we keep coming back to it year after year because it gives us everything we need on our travels. 

Here are some other backpacks we love

If you liked this post check out the one I wrote about The 5 Best Travel Bags for my husband and I. 

or the month-long vacation the 5 of us took to Europe only bringing only a backpack each

Tip: Packing Cubes are life changing when it comes to packing small. Here’s some packing cubes for school backpacks.

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