Before you buy a backpack, it is important to consider its size, since it is an indicator of its capability and limitations.
However, there isn’t such a backpack that can be considered superior to another one. The criteria for choosing the best backpack depends on your body size and backpack’s features according to your need.
Suppose you, unfortunately, buy a backpack that is either too small or too large for your body. In that case, it means that the weight of the backpack’s load will not be evenly distributed on your shoulders and body, and eventually, your body structure won’t be balanced.
By the passage of time, this unbalance carriage will cause severe neck pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, muscle strain, back pain, irritation to the rib cage, and spine joints. The most frightening part is, an inappropriately sized school backpack can even make your child lean forward or topple over. You don’t even want to imagine that. Furthermore, when your kid is at school or has gone outdoors, he/she can be far from any medical attention.
Therefore, if the improperly sized backpack causes pain in their back or shoulder unexpectedly, any unwanted accident might happen. So better be careful from the beginning and give proper attention in choosing the perfect sized backpack for your kid. Just remember that you are spending money, so better invest it in comfort and ensure your child’s safety.
Backpack Size Guides
01. Take Measurements And Find Backpack Size (Recommended Way)
For selecting the ergonomic backpack’s perfect size, keep it in mind that the size is not greater than a child’s back. To get the correct size easily, you just need to take two different measurements using a measuring tool and consider those as the backpack’s maximum length and width. Follow all the steps given below to ensure the backpack’s proper size for your child’s back to school essentials.
Torso Length Measurement [No 1 in figure]
The key to finding the perfect sized backpack for you is to find your Torso length, not your height. Use a flexible tape measure and take help from your friend or a family member in following these steps given below:
- Step 1: At first, tilt your head forward as far as possible to find your bony bump. You can feel your Bony bump by touching it with your finger at the point of your neck where the slope your shoulders meet. It’s called the 7th cervical (or C7) vertebra—and you have to consider it as the top for your torso length’s measurement.
- Step 2: Find the top of your hip bones or iliac crest by sliding the hands down your ribcage. Put your thumbs of both sides at the top of the hip bone and draw an imaginary horizontal line (Hip Line) joining the two thumbs. Now imagine a vertical line from the top of your neck (or C7) to the horizontal line keeping the angle between these two lines 90 degrees, or imagine perpendicular lines.
- Step 3: Stand straight and take help from your friend to measure the distance of the imaginary vertical line. This measured height is your Torso length.
Width Measurement [No 2 in figure]
For finding the perfect backpack width for you, measure the width between ridges of your shoulder blades. That measured width should be your backpack’s width. However, you can also add one or two extra inches with the measured one.
Hip Belt and Chest Buckle Measurement [No 3 & 4 in figure]
Don’t forget to measure the size of your hip and chest so that the hip belt and chest buckle fit you perfectly. Make sure that both belts are adjustable, and you must adjust the width according to your measured size.
Find the Perfect Backpack Size Using the Torso Length and Width
The Torso length you have measures already is the height of your backpack. And you already have found the width as well. Therefore, now you have to pick the perfect size of your backpack that matches with your Torso length and width.
02. Size Chart for Children’s Backpacks By Age
If you couldn’t measure the Torso Length and width of your child’s or your body, then you can follow the chart given below, outlining the average age of children and the size of their backpacks accordingly in inches. But remember that it is an alternative for method 1, and it’s applicable for the average size of the children. However, for choosing the backpack’s size in a shortcut way, this one is the best method.
|Backpack’s Height (inch)
|Backpack’s Width (inch)
|Backpack’s Height (CM)
|Backpack’s Width (CM)
|4 Years Old
|5 Years Old
|6 – 6.5 Inch
|15.24 – 16.51 CM
|6 Years Old
|12 – 12.5 Inch
|30.48 – 31.75 CM
|7 Years Old
|8 Years Old
|7 – 7.5 Inch
|17.78 – 19.05 CM
|9 Years Old
|14 – 14.5 Inch
|35.56 – 36.83 CM
|10 Years Old
|11 Years Old
|15 – 15.5 Inch
|38.1 – 39.37 CM
|12 Years Old
|15 – 15.5 Inch
|8 – 8.5 Inch
|38.1 – 39.37 CM
|20.32 – 21.59 CM
|13 Years Old
|16 – 16.5 Inch
|40.64 – 41.91 CM
|14 Years Old
|15 Years Old
|17 – 17.5 Inch
|43.18 – 44.45 CM
|16 Years Old
|17 Years Old
|9 – 9.5 Inch
|22.86 – 24.13 CM
|18 Years Old
|9 – 9.5 Inch
|22.86 – 24.13 CM
03. Size Chart for Children’s Backpacks By Class
Another alternative way to find the perfect backpack for your child is by following the chart on a suitable backpack size for children according to their class in school.
|Preschool, Pre-kindergarten, Daycare
|6 – 6.5 inch
|Primary School (Elementary School)
|12 – 15 inch
|7 – 8 inch
|Middle School (Junior High School)
|15 – 16.5 inch
|8 – 9 inch
|Secondary School (High School)
|17 – 19 inch
|9 – 9.5 inch
|College, Career Institution, Technical School, University
|9 – 9.5
04. Adjustable Backpack Straps
To fit the backpack comfortably on your child’s back, it’s very important to adjust the shoulder straps before wearing it. If the straps are loose, the backpack will cause undue stress hanging down and putting the pressure below their waist. On the other hand, in case of tight shoulder straps those will stress your child’s shoulders and create limitation and uneasiness in movement. Make sure to check the fitting of the shoulder straps before the start of the new school year.
05. Look at Customer Reviews
For getting a simple idea about the backpack’s size, looking at the customer reviews is a clever idea. Most of the customers comment in the review section about the person, age, or grade of the children. You’ll know the school kid’s exact age group or class by reading those customer reviews. Also, if those are suitable for adults or not, the answers to most of your inquiries can be found in customer review sections. So, don’t forget to have a look there.
06. Proper Maintenance of the Backpack
The different backpack comes in different materials. So the maintenance criteria of all the backpacks are not the same. Therefore, knowing about the backpack’s proper maintenance is a crucial step in maintaining the backpack’s size. For instance, in the washing method, Leather, Canvas, or Plush Backpacks have different cleaning methods depending on their materials. So it’s safe to know How to Wash All Types of Backpacks. If you don’t follow the proper washing methods, your backpack might get shrink or loose, and it will hamper the backpack’s size.
Hanging the backpack hooking up with shoulder straps will change the shape of shoulder straps. So better keep the backpack in the drawer of your wardrobe, don’t keep it hanged for a longer period of time.
Never use hot water or dryer on your backpacks. Don’t try to vacuum clean your backpack. Also, never leave your bag submerged in the water for hours. You might hope that it’ll become clean or unsoiled automatically. But it’ll become worst and your backpack, its padding will lose its shape, and your backpack won’t fit you perfectly anymore.
Other Backpack Considerations
When choosing a backpack for your boy, size isn’t the only thing to remember. Therefore, you would like to pay close attention to other backpack information given below:
Depending on your material choice, you might pick one. But taking the different functions of the backpack for different materials into consideration is also a crucial part of backpack purchase.
- If your child can’t find the essentials in the backpack quickly, buy him/her a clear or transparent backpack. It will serve them well in beach outings as well.
- If your living area is in a rainy climate, then better prepare your child for sudden unexpected rain by providing him/her a water-resistant backpack.
- If your kid needs to carry loads of books, you should buy a heavy-duty or Rolling Backpack for him. So that the bag won’t or your child won’t have to stress his/her shoulders.
- Having a playful and active child means they will run, play, move here and there all the time, and hardly standstill. In this case, don’t burden your kid’s shoulder with a heavy backpack. Choose a lightweight backpack so that they can have fun as always without hurting their shoulders and back.
- If your child is a teenager, then he/she must need to carry a laptop, iPad, phone to school as they have to work on projects and online courses. In that case, you definitely should pick a Laptop backpack with USB Charging Port and Headphone Port. As teenagers relax their minds from music, so having these features in their backpack is important.
Another important thing you should take into consideration is the capacity of the backpack. How many loads a backpack can carry depends on their dimensions and the sturdiness of the backpack. Therefore, only knowing the volume in liters of your backpack isn’t enough because, if the bag isn’t made of strong materials, it might rip off, even if it has space to carry more accessories. The chart given below is based on the backpack’s usual average capacity, depending on the length. The purpose of these different types of the backpack is also included so that you know in which occasions these different sized backpacks might be used.
There are many other features of a backpack that are very important to consider before purchasing one. Here are the main backpacks features to look at:
Compartments and Pockets
How many large compartments and pockets the backpack have is the first thing you should know? Because if your child carries some textbooks and notebooks to school, then a bookbag with no front pocket is suitable for him/her. However, in case of carrying art supplies, pen, pencil, water bottle, and many other small school essentials, it’s a must to have a multi-pocket backpack.
No one likes a backpack that zippers break or doesn’t slide smoothly after the use of several months. Because without strong and good quality zippers, there’s no use of having the compartments or any other features. So, better look at the zipper quality before purchasing your backpack.
Padding and Straps
Breathable mesh padding is a necessity if your kid is prone to sweating or you live in a hot area. Because without breathable mesh padding, your child would feel uncomfortable because of the heat created by the backpack on the back while wearing for a long time. Again, for comfort on shoulders and back, it’s really important to pick a backpack that has thick and soft padding on shoulder straps and back.
If your child goes for classes or a part-time job after school and comes back in the evening or night in the darkness, it’s safe to choose a backpack with reflective straps. Reflective straps will glow at night, so your kid won’t face any accidents while coming back home in the dark.
Anti-theft Lock Design
In case your child carries valuable items, such as money, passport, phone, and other expensive small belongings, better purchase a backpack with anti-theft hidden pockets. However, your child carries a laptop, iPad, or tablet, then choose one with a password lock system on the main compartment. That way, all the belongings in the back will be safe from theft.
Laptop Sleeve, USB, and Headphone Port
If your child loves to travel a lot, and go camping, hiking, overnight trips every now and then, in that case, you might get tensed if your child’s phone is out of charge and you can’t contact him/her. You should purchase a backpack with a USB port and Headphone port for your travel-loving children. Also, check that the backpack has a laptop sleeve or not, so that the laptop stays protected during the journey.
School Essentials Set
Your kid might be picky in food and doesn’t want to carry lunch to school. For those children, you can choose a backpack with a matching lunch bag and other school essentials set. The matching lunch bag printed with their favorite theme or cartoon will encourage them to have homemade lunch at school daily. Furthermore, you won’t have to look for a lunch bag separately. You’re getting everything all together in one.
In choosing the perfect size of your child’s school backpack, the first method is the most appropriate one. Although it will need some time to take some measurement, still, if possible, try to follow the procedure given in method 1. Method 2 and Method 3 are charts by age and chart by class. These charts are the best option for you if you don’t have much time for the measurement. Or if the child for whom you’re buying the backpack isn’t with you, in that case, you can go for the average measurement of backpack size given on Method 2 and Method 3.
After the purchase, if the backpack becomes a little larger or smaller for your kid, you can apply the Method 4 and change the adjustment of the shoulder straps. It’s just an alternative, not the best one.
After following Method 1, 2, or 3, if you still want to be extra sure about the size, you can have a look at the customer reviews following Method 5.
Method 6 is important after you finish purchasing the backpack and want to use it for a longer period of time.
However, size is not the only thing you should give priority while choosing a backpack. There are many other considerations or features that you should take into account, depending on your need and applications. Although size is an important part while choosing a backpack, don’t forget to scrutinize other features.