You’ve got your backpack sorted, but now you’re wondering what the best kids travel backpacks are. By all means, the kids could use any old backpack they use at home, but as you know from your own experiences backpacks for travel are designed a little differently and have specially designed compartments to make travel more convenient.
To help you choose the best travel backpack for kids, I have put together this guide covering everything you need to consider when purchasing kids travel bags. This guide will look at the various features that make great children’s’ travel bags as well as compare some of the best travel bags for kids currently on the market.
Whether you are looking for a standard backpack, kids carry on luggage or even a kids rolling backpack; hopefully, after reading this guide, you will be closer to finding the perfect kids backpacking pack.
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- 1 Our Pick for the Best Kids Travel Backpack 2020: Osprey Pogo 24
- 2 Comparison Chart for Best Travel Backpack for Kids 2020
- 3 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Kids Backpacking Pack
- 4 The Best Kids Backpacking Backpacks 2020 Reviews
- 4.1 1. Osprey Pogo 24 Kids Backpack
- 4.2 2. North Face Recon
- 4.3 3. Yodo Zoo 3 Way Rolling Backpack
- 4.4 4. J World Rolling Backpack
- 4.5 5. Osprey Jet 12 L Kids Hiking Backpack
- 4.6 6. The Hobbit Pack
- 4.7 7. Cotinga 25 l Pack
- 4.8 8. Funnideer Ultra Lightweight Backpack
- 4.9 9. VASCHY Water Resistant Daypack (Black)
- 4.10 10. JiaYou Backpack
- 4.11 Related Articles
Our Pick for the Best Kids Travel Backpack 2020: Osprey Pogo 24
Don’t have time to read the complete guide on kids travel backpacks? If you want my recommendation for the best kids travel backpack then I recommend the Osprey Pogo. The Osprey Pogo is lightweight, stylish and super comfortable for your child to wear. This bag has plenty of great storage and extra safety features and is great value. It could be used as a carry on travel bag as well as a daily backpack or hiking bag on your next family holiday.
Check out below for my full review on the Osprey Pogo 24.
Comparison Chart for Best Travel Backpack for Kids 2020
Check below for a quick overview of the various kids backpacking backpacks reviewed in this guide.
Name Capacity Weight Our Rating Buy Now
24L 544g / 1.2 lbs 4.9 Buy Now
North Face Recon
17L 312g / 0.69 lbs 4.2 Buy Now
15 inch 1kg / 2.35lbs 4.4 Buy Now
J World 18 inch 2.2kg / 4.95 lbs 4.1 Buy Now
12L 800g / 2.34 lbs 4.1 Buy Now
14L 600g / 1.32 lbs 4.1 Buy Now
25L 690g / 1.52 lbs 4.3 Buy Now
30L 300g / 0.66 lbs 4.2 Buy Now
Vaschy 20L 360g / 0.79 lbs 4.4 Buy Now
JiaYou 19L or 27L Varies 4.6 Buy Now
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Kids Backpacking Pack
Just like when you purchased your backpack, to buy the perfect kids travel rucksack, various factors need to be considered. Be sure to take into account the following factors:
1. Traditional Backpack or a Kids Rolling Backpack?
First up, what sort of backpack do you want? Your standard everyday backpack or a kids trolley bag? – one that gives you the option of rolling it when need be?
A kids backpack with wheels is an excellent option for kids, as often full packs are heavy and so rolling makes it easier for them. However a kid’s wheeled bag is slightly heavier than a standard backpack as it contains wheels, a frame and handle to wheel it.
When deciding on the type of backpack, consider if in reality, your child will be carrying their bag. If the truth is that mum or dad will most likely be carrying it, then it’s best to opt for a standard pack rather than a rolling one.
Myla has a standard backpack (unfortunately the pack she has is no longer sold) and while in reality we mostly carry it for her when it’s full, the other reason we prefer a standard backpack is once we get to our destination, we empty all her things and use it as our day pack. This saves us having to bring another separate bag along with us.
2. Size and Weight – How Heavy Should A Child’s Backpack Be?
When it comes to a child’s backpack, perhaps the most important thing is not only how heavy the pack is, but how heavy it is when full. You don’t want little growing bodies to be carrying more than what is safe for them. Generally, it is accepted that children can carry around 10% to 20% of their body weight. So take this is in mind when deciding which size pack to purchase.
This is only essential when it likely that the child will carry their own packs. If in reality, Mum or Dad will carry the child’s backpack, then the weight isn’t such a big issue.
When it comes to size and weight, you also need to consider whether you intend to check the bag or whether it will be used as kids hand luggage bags. If you’re going to use the pack as kids cabin luggage, then you’re going to want to ensure it meets your airline’s size restrictions.
I’m not overly concerned with the number of compartments as I like to use packing cubes and find this a far easier way to organise things rather than having multiple compartments (click here for information on packing cubes). However I think around two separate compartments is ideal, plus a side pocket for a water bottle.
It’s essential that a backpack is comfortable for your child to wear and fits them properly, so ensure the bag has padded and adjustable straps. Backpack straps are usually adjustable around the hips, the shoulders, and even across the chest to keep the shoulder straps in place regardless of body shape.
5. Carry Handles
Like any bag, look for a backpack with additional carry handles. Top and side carry handles help load the bag in and out of overhead plane lockers as well as on buses, trains and taxis.
A water-resistant bag gives you extra protection when travelling in wet weather. While water-resistant bags aren’t designed to be waterproof, they do give you that extra bit of time to seek shelter or pull out a rain cover without having your personal belongings getting wet. It also helps if kids accidentally spill their drink over their bag.
The Best Kids Backpacking Backpacks 2020 Reviews
Below I have listed my top picks for the best kids backpack currently available.
As you know I travel with the Osprey Porter 46 which I just love, which is one of the reasons I recommend the Osprey Pogo as the best kids backpack. Osprey makes such top quality packs, and this one is designed to be the perfect size for the young adventurer.
With a capacity of 24 litres, this is a great size kids cabin bag to store all your child’s belongings in and weighing in at only 544g its nice and lightweight too. For the perfect fit, this backpack includes fully adjustable padded straps including shoulder straps, hip straps and chest straps. The hip straps are also removable if not required.
This kids carryon bag has one main compartment with a front organiser storage pocket for easy access to those items you need frequently. The main compartment includes a built-in laptop sleeve, and there are also side mesh pockets perfect for water bottles. Other great features of this pack include a blink light attachment for nighttime visibility, top handle for easy carrying as well as a padded front handle.
If you’re looking for a good quality backpack for your child that is also ideal to use as the family day pack while out then the Osprey Pogo is a natural choice. It’s also the perfect size as children’s hand luggage bag
Weighing in at only 312g, the North Face Recon Squash is a super lightweight travel backpack for kids, in fact the lightest in these, making it the ideal travel backpack for kids.
This bag is packed with excellent storage options, including a large main compartment, a front mesh drop pocket, internal secure zippered pocket and interior mesh pockets that are designed for small items. This bag has a pocket for just about everything!
Made from polyester and with a capacity of 17 litres, this bag is not only super comfortable to wear but also the perfect size for a small child. The youth-specific shoulder straps, foam back panel, easy-to-use sternum strap, side drink bottle holder and reflective safety piping are all other great features that give this bag maximum comfort and convenience.
This backpack would be a great choice if you were looking for a pack that would be suitable for day trips on your holidays as well as kids cabin baggage.
If you preference is for children’s carry on luggage with wheels, then make sure you check out the Yodo Zoo 3 Way Rolling backpack.
Not only can this children’s wheeled bag be pulled along the ground behind them, but they can also wear it as a backpack or even as a handbag. The cute and playful design of this bag makes it so appealing to kids; they will never complain about having to carry their bag again! Being 15 inches and weighing only 1 kilo, it isn’t too heavy so it is entirely manageable for your child, especially with the wheels!
Other great features of this best kids rolling backpack are the zip pocket inside, two-directional zippers, padded front pouch, additional thick padded panel at the side, shoulder strap and the hideaway wheel cover with elastic to cover the wheels when not in use.
So if you are looking for the best rolling backpack for kids that can also be worn as a bag, the Yodo Zoo 3 Way is well worth considering.
The J World Rolling Backpack is another great option when it comes to kids carry on luggage with wheels, particularly given you can both wheel it or carry it on your back like a standard backpack.
This children’s carry on luggage with wheels is made from a durable 600D polyester water-resistant material, so everything inside is well protected if you get caught up in a light rain shower. Being an 18-inch case, there is plenty of room for your child’s belongings, and being 2.2 kgs, it’s reasonably lightweight. Plus if you choose to wear it as a backpack, the Air Mesh Cushion padded shoulder straps with a SLIP-IN system for added convenience, make it comfortable to wear
Other great features of this kid’s rolling carry on luggage or day bag are the reflective tape for increased night visibility, large main compartment, front pocket organiser, key fob, five pencil holder, two side pockets and front zipper pocket.
Overall, this is a great travel backpack with wheels that would be a perfect choice for your child on your next family trip.
The Osprey Jet 12L Kids Hiking Backpack is a stylish and comfortable travel backpack that will keep all your child’s items tucked away safely on your next family holiday.
A great sized bag with a 12-litre capacity and weighing only 376g, you won’t ever have to worry about being weighed down by this backpack! If you plan on doing some hiking or long day trips on your next holiday, this bag could also double as your family’s day bag.
Great features of this bag are the Airscape Backpanel with foam ridges for ventilation, reflective graphics, zippered panel access, stretch mesh side pockets, stretch front and harness pockets and sternum strap with emergency whistle.
This bag is suitable for children from 8 to 15 years, so it would not be ideal for a small child or toddler. If your child is over 15, they could move up to the adult size version of this backpack, or there is an 18-litre version too.
The Hobbit Pack is a great little backpacking bag that would be the perfect choice for your child’s very own travel backpack.
Probably the best feature of this backpack is the swivel hooks that allow you to attach this bag to your backpack when your little one starts to complain that it is too heavy or they don’t want to carry it anymore. It may take some time before they get used to having to carry their gear so this is the perfect solution.
This bag is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and is a great sized bag with a 14-litre capacity and weighing only 600 grams; so there is plenty of room for your child’s gear without the bag being heavy itself. The top-loading main pocket has loads of room, and there is also a pocket for a water bottle on the side.
Other great features of this kids hiking backpack are the harness that contours to your child’s growing body and prevents it being overloaded, adjustable sternum strap, daisy chain loops, reflective safety details and the hydration sleeve and port.
This is a great first travel backpack that is super comfortable for adventurous eight to ten-year-olds.
The Cotinga 25 litre pack is a great all-rounder backpack that would be suitable for a carry on bag for your child as well as doubling as a great day pack while on holiday.
If you are someone who likes to keep things organised, then this is the bag for you. There is plenty of room for your child’s clothes in the main compartment, which also comes with an internal divider for easy organisation. This pack also has a pocket for a laptop or tablet and an additional front pocket organiser which also has a security zip pocket for relevant documents or valuables.
This pack is made from 600D recycled polyester using 17 recycled plastic bottles and weighs only 690 grams so is super lightweight. With a capacity of 25 litres, you don’t need to worry about not fitting everything in.
This is an excellent holiday backpack that is environmentally friendly and will keep all your child’s gear organised on your next holiday adventure.
For older children that don’t want anything too young looking, this lightweight backpack by Funnideer is a good option. Plus when its not in use it folds down really compactly making it perfect to pop in your luggage in case you need extra space throughout your travels.
Weighing in at 0.300kg, this is by far the lightest bag in these reviews, yet it still is super roomy with a 30-litre capacity. It has multiple compartments, so you’re child can stay organised. It has one main compartment which also contains an inner pocket, as well as two front pockets and two side mesh pockets for water bottles and/or an umbrella.
It’s made from high quality water-resistant material, so perfect for any accidental spillages, or for keeping your child’s stuff well protected in the case of a downpour. This backpack also features adjustable buckles so it can adapt as your child grows and also has breathable mesh shoulder straps for comfortable wearing.
This is a great backpack that your child won’t grow out off. Once they are old enough for a full-size backpack, this bag will become a great additional bag that they can use as a daypack or even just for day to day use at home.
If you are looking for a cheaper option for a travel backpack for your child, then be sure to check out the Vaschy Lightweight Backpack.
The Vaschy only weighs 360 grams and has a capacity of 20 litres, so there is plenty of room for all your child’s travel items in this bag. Most of your child’s things will go in the main top-loading zipper pocket, but there is also a smaller front pocket and two drink bottle pockets as well. The main zipper pocket also has a divider sleeve too.
This backpack is water-resistant and comfortable to wear with the padded back and adjustable shoulder straps. This backpack can also be folded up very small, so if you needed to pack it into a suitcase to be used on day trips for your travel, it wouldn’t take much room in your main bag either.
Available in 8 different colours, this stylish, lightweight polyester bag would work as a great bag to keep all your child’s travel items safe on your next family holiday.
10. JiaYou Backpack
The JiaYou Backpack is another excellent option if you are looking for a good travel backpack at a cheaper price for your child.
To keep your child’s things organised, this bag comes with four pockets as well as two drink bottle pockets on the side of the bag. The main pocket is relatively large with plenty of room for a small laptop or iPad, as well as clothes. The second pocket is also a great size, while the third and fourth pockets are better suited to small books and toys.
This travel pack is super comfortable for your child to wear with the breathable S-type shoulder strap design and adjustable waist belt. Another great feature of this travel backpack is the two-way zippers that have a loophole to hang trinkets so you can easily identify this bag quickly.
This is a great budget travel backpack for your child available in 11 different colours and two different sizes (19 litres or 27 litres), so you can pick the perfect combination to suit your child’s needs.
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