Nothing says back-to-school like the sight of excited kids with their backpacks heading off to the bus stop. We've rounded up six great backpack options for a variety of age ranges, which means kids can choose from a classic style, a cutesy animal backpack, or a pack festooned with flowers, the alphabet, or little monsters. Parents can rest assured knowing that any of these choices are better for the planet and the health of their tots!
Instinctive Trunk Pack
The first in our list of great, green backpacks for tots is the Trunk Pack from Instinctive. The pack is made from 100% recycled polyester and has a rubberized non-toxic and waterproof coating on the bottom as well as ergonomic should straps. The teal pack is covered with sketched drawings of rhinos and pandas, which is fitting since Instinctive donates up to 3 percent of their sales to the WILD Foundation and its global conservation efforts. Another draw for this funky pack-the company’s lifetime takeback policy: send your child’s pack back and it will be recycled or given to a child in need. In return, you get 10% off the wholesale cost of your next pack.
Skip Hop Zoo Packs
Skip Hop’s backpacks are also animal-themed with an array of choices, such as an elephant, fox, and owl. The BPA and phthalate-free packs have an insulated pouch for snacks and a large main compartment as well as padded shoulder straps. But, let’s be honest, what your child really cares about is the fact that she is sporting a penguin or bee around as her backpack!
We included ecogear in our pool and beach accessories round-up earlier this summer, and their Ecozoo backpacks are another great option for transitioning kids from pool to school. Choose from a monkey, pig, panda, or puppy – either way, your child will sport an adorable backpack made with non-toxic dyes, organic cotton canvas, and accented with sustainable wood and recycled plastic components. For older kids, go for the Panda Backpack or the Gorilla Messenger Bag.
Ore Originals Kiddie Play Packs
The patterns on the kiddie play packs from Sugarbooger by Ore Originals make us wistful for our own school days (Funky Dia de los Muertos backpack? Super groovy peace and love-themed backpack? Where do we stand in line?). Your child can choose from more than a dozen designs including more basic (but still playful) styles such as dinosaurs, robots, and butterflies. Non-toxic and lead-free, the kiddie play packs come with one large and one small compartment and are even machine-washable.
Crocodile Creek Backpacks
Animals aren’t your kid’s bag anymore? Fear not-Crocodile Creek’s backpacks appeal to kids with its bright, complementary colors and nine different style options including a princess, solar system, and race cars (there is even a tiger, if your little one so desires!). Crocodile Creek prides itself on being PVC, lead, and phthalate-free, and kids will love the backpack’s simple, traditional design as well as its bold graphics.
Schoolbags for Kids Backpacks
And of course there’s newcomer company Schoolbags for Kids, who provide a backpack filled with school supplies to a child in need for every one of their backpacks purchased. This backpack’s features, including eight pockets, a padded sleeve for laptops, and a large main compartment, make it an ideal choice for older kids who have more books, notebooks, lunch money, and pencils to keep track of. The Signature Collection is available in six classic colors, accented with bright detailing.