Sure toddlers aren’t going to school yet, heck they’ve barely even started walking! But this is exactly why getting them a little backpack that’s just for them can make such a big difference to their confidence and development.
Assigning them the small responsibility of packing their own stuff will help them develop a sense of ownership and independence early on. As a bonus, you won’t need to pack all your toddler travel toys in your own carry-on bag!
Even for those toddlers who love to bolt in the opposite direction, a toddler backpack with reins can help give your toddler that independence while still keeping your toddler safe. Though a toddler leash backpack may make you feel like it will come with some judgement, it’s about doing what’s best for your toddler! Keeping your toddler safe while traveling in a big city, like Rome with a toddler, is far more important than a few side-eye glances.
Whether you’re looking for a toddler travel backpack or one for fun outings to the zoo, our list of best toddler backpacks for travel will have you covered, with plenty of color and print options to spare!
Do make note that while most of these bags work great for packing toddler travel essentials or for daycare, none are recommended for use once your toddler reaches school age. Kindergarteners need space in their bags for folders, artwork and papers, which only larger backpacks can provide!
This toddler backpack with safety harness has a body that doubles as a stuffy, making your child feel like they're being hugged every time they wear it.
From keeping your toddler near you to packing a small snack and a toy, this toddler backpack harness will be ideal for navigating the airport and flying with a toddler. Getting your toddler to sleep on a plane will be a breeze when they have this bag to snuggle with (just remove the detachable the tether first).
The shoulder straps and chest strap are made from comfortable and sturdy-enough fabric. Plus, the chest buckle is adjustable so that it fits your child’s growing size.
The backpack also has a pocket that doesn’t accommodate much but is large enough to keep the straps inside when not in use. With a Velcro closure, it's easy to access too, ensuring that kids also get to enjoy storing their snacks and treasures inside it!
This toddler backpack with chest strap is for toddlers 18 months and up.
This functional toddler backpack is, as the name suggests, super cute! It's designed for kids between 1 and 2 years of age and comes in four colors.
It's a great little backpack with a long detachable leash that makes it both a toddler safety harness backpack and a backpack for taking to daycare. When not in use you can simply sling it onto your toddler travel stroller, and let it double as an extra diaper bag! How handy is that?
The back of the backpack has three layers. The first layer is a breathable layer, the second layer is widened and can relieve stress and the third layer is shock-resistant.
The smooth zipper makes it easy to maneuver for little hands, making this one of the best toddler backpacks in this price range!
Is your kid obsessed with dinosaurs yet? Well, if not, let this toddler dinosaur backpack (complete with harness) be their introduction to them! Covered in dinosaurs from top to bottom and even embellished with 3D dino scales, this backpack is stylish, vibrant and functional.
Whatever your kid may need, this bag can hold. Fill it with small toys, toddler headphones, diapers, light books or anything your toddler may want to pack themselves! Just remember to keep it light, or you'll end up carrying it!
The zipper is smooth and easy to use, the material is wear-resistant, mildly water-resistant and comfortable on the skin.
This dino egg shaped mini toddler travel backpack is lightweight and perfect for short trips out and about with your little one. Let your toddler choose from one of the 4 fun colors.
With space enough for just the toddler travel essentials, this backpack will ensure that you pack light and don't accidentally put undue stress on their little backs.
The upgraded version of the bag has the leash hook at the bottom as opposed to the top, making it safe for wriggly kids who like to twist and turn every chance they get. If there was one thing we would pick on it would be its plastic clasp, but at this price point, we aren't complaining!
Sturdy, roomy and brightly colored, this toddler safety harness backpack will ensure you never lose your tiny tot in a crowd again. Plus, with a leash that is 39 inches long, we doubt your kid will even notice they're tethered to you! In fact, you should totally expect your kiddo to fall in love with the bag's flappy, goofy mouth and characteristic design. No, seriously, good luck prying it off of them!
What's more? The bag's chest straps are adjustable, and its side has a roomy mesh pocket for snacks or a bottle. This bag is best for toddlers aged 1-3.
This mini toddler safety harness backpack is neither too small nor too big, letting you keep your little one safe without weighing them down with a bulky, hot bag. It has two pockets; the small pocket perfect for carrying little toddler shoes, and the large pocket big enough to fit a couple of diapers, travel wipes, a book and spare change of clothes.
For especially rambunctious tiny tots, you might want to opt for a bag that is more heavy duty than this one. However, in light to moderately crowded locations, it does just fine.
It’s also simply perfect to send with your kid as their daycare backpack.
A toddler backpack that is as durable and sturdy as it is cute and playful? Yes, please!
This mid-range backpack has all the makings of it's higher end counterparts, with a metal carabiner, a detachable 50 inch safety harness and insulated main compartment. Keep your kids' lunches at the right temperature for up to 3 hours when you send this bag with them to daycare, and have them at a safe distance from you at all times when you're out traveling with them.
To seal the deal for you, the bag is FDA compliant, safe and washable, meaning stains and marks wipe away easily! When it comes to the best backpack for travel with toddlers, this bag is surely at the top of our list.
The size and small accessories make this bag best suited for toddlers from 18 months to 3 years old. The hardest part will be having your toddler choose from the fun animal options: dog, dinosaur, shark, panda, owl and unicorn.
Designed for the "big kids", AKA the kindergartners, this Yodo backpack features all the things school-going kids need like space and comfort, without compromising on the cool-factor. Your kid will get to choose between five cool 3D animals that are in different colors!
The only one in our list that's large enough to be a school or travel bag, this backpack features details like a large zip pocket on the inside, padded shoulder pads, safety chest clip, generously sized mesh pockets on the side and a name tag. Additionally, all Yodo products carry a 180-day warranty so you can make your decision without worrying about make and quality.
If you have an older toddler or want something slightly larger for a longer trip or even a road trip with a toddler where your toddler won't have to carry it as often, this is a good option.
The Naturally Kids Bag is the perfect backpack for toddler girls and boys who want to carry a stuffy along with them. The adorable stuffed animal sits on the outside of this toddler backpack for boys and girls, not taking up any room inside. With seven animals to choose from, toddlers will have their favorite animal to snuggle with on the plane!
While this backpack doesn't come with a safety harness like some of the others on this list, it does come with plenty of space and probably one of the cutest looks. It makes a great gift and is perfect for use during a day out, a visit to the park, zoo or any other short trip where crowds will be few and far between.
Get your little space explorer the Yisibo Kids Backpack and watch them soar away into their imaginations. If they also start to zip away on their little feet faster than you can keep up, this toddler safety harness backpack will help with that too!
At 8.3 inches tall, the backpack is roomy enough to fit everything a toddler needs for a flight and even sturdy enough to be a toddler backpack for hiking.
The waterproof neoprene material of the backpack makes it ideal for carrying your kids devices that may be prone to water damage. Kids especially love the rubber-coated zippers and see through "window" pocket on the front.
You and your toddler will love the Mountaintop Kids Toddler Backpack because it features everything you could want in a backpack for traveling with toddlers in a compact, no-nonsense design.
They can choose between 21 color and pattern options so they'll always want to carry their backpack on vacation or on your daily outings. And you get the peace of mind of having them close by at all times with the help of this backpack harness for toddlers!
It’s designed with one main compartment for storing everything from wet and dry items, one zippered front pocket for odd bits and bobs, and two side pockets for an umbrella or water bottle, making this bag the best toddler travel backpack when it comes to organization, exactly what you need when traveling with at toddler.
This Mountaintop Kids Toddler Backpack is also one of our favorite choices for hiking with toddlers.
Whether your preschooler is headed out for a full day of "work" and play, or a snack stop along the way, this whimsical backpack keeps everything your little one might need close at hand. Adjustable straps and a mesh side pocket hold a water bottle or sippy cup while the front pouch includes a zippered pocket for snacks or even some crayons.
Comfy padded shoulder straps go easy on little shoulders. The bag comes in at a comfortable 11 x 5 x 12 inches. The Skip Hop Toddler Backpack has plenty of choices for toddlers to choose their favorite animal: including a unicorn, dog, dragon, fox, llama, and shark.
With 12 buckles that encourage problem-solving and building motor skills, the Buckle Toy Buddy Backpack is an interactive bag that can keep your toddler busy on a flight. When it comes to screen-free travel toys, this one takes the cake for both fun and functionality!
The bag is made of plush fabric in bright colors, and can hold snacks and toys with ease. The main compartment of the bag is closed by a glide zipper and Velcro, ensuring nothing ever gets lost. This small, comfy bag is best suited for younger toddlers.
Wildkin backpack for toddlers measures 12.5 x 10.5 x 7.5 inches, with two zippered compartments. This backpack has heavy-duty zippers, straps, buckles, and reflective piping at the front pocket, making it great for rough use during travel.
The bag does not come with anti-lost features so it's best to steer clear of crowds when your kid is busy carrying this bag. However, with an insulated front pocket for lunch, and side mesh pocket for snacks and drinks, it makes a great backpack for taking to preschool.
It also has 12 design options, making it a good backpack for toddler boys or girls.
The Packie backpack is perfect for kids aged two through five. It has many handy features such as a patented tube for carrying papers and artwork from school, a d-ring for hanging favorite toys, and a bottle holder. Made of rugged outer laminated fabric, the pack is durable, lightweight and easy to wipe down.
We love that it comes in multiple colors to match and clip on the other accessories in the Urban Infant collection.
The Fletcher Backpack comes in two size variants, 7L and 12L, which are both ideal for small children who like to explore nature. The shoulder straps are padded for additional comfort and it has an adjustable chest strap to ensure a perfect fit. Plus, it’s water resistant, keeping gear protected from light rain or snow.
It’s spacious main zip-closure compartment is great for storing the bulk of what your kid needs, and it's padded sleeve is perfect for keeping a tablet and papers organized.
Additionally, there’s an easy to locate name tag holder sewn inside, a large zip-up pocket on the front, and two expandable webbed bottle sleeves that will hold water bottles securely on the sides of the backpack. Also on the front of the backpack is an adjustable strap with a side-release buckle that allows you to conveniently attach a lunch bag or jacket.
Amongst the many design choices, you can choose one of the Disney toddler backpack designs sure to please any toddlers who love Minnie or Mickey Mouse!
You’ll also find the Mountaintop Little Kid Backpack, which we think is one of the best toddler travel backpacks given the pockets for organization and so many color/pattern choices. You’ll be able to use this one for both traveling and as a hiking backpack for toddlers. While it won’t be the best for kindergarten (given it’s small size), you’ll get plenty of use out of it for toddlers 2 to 4 years old.
Probably one of the most popular toddler backpacks is the Skip Hop toddler backpack. On Amazon Canada, you can get find plenty of fun options for the Skip Hop toddler backpacks.
What to Look for When Buying a Toddler Backpack
Safety Harness on Toddler Backpacks
An adjustable harness that secures your toddler to a leash allows them to have fun in crowded places without you having to worry about losing them. It’s a win-win (ignore the naysayers)!
Consider the age and weight of your child before making your purchase, as this will help you decide how big of a bag your toddler can carry. Whether it be toddler backpacks or toddler suitcases, you need to make sure your toddler is able to carry weight safely while at the same time accommodating their items in an optimal way.
The size of toddler backpacks range from 7-12 inches. We wouldn’t go any bigger than 12 inches for a toddler travel backpack.
Ensuring that the weight of the backpack itself does not add on too much to the weight of your toddler’s load is crucial, but is something parents often forget to check. Check for lightweight materials, as well as back and shoulder strap padding.
You’ll also want to make sure you don’t pack too much, just a few toddler travel snacks and some small travel toys. If you pack too much, it’s likely you’ll end up carrying your toddlers backpack.
Keep an eye out for warranties and guarantees. The best quality toddler backpacks come with reinforced seams, finished edges and double or even triple layered backs. Make sure to check for adequate foam padding to ensure it doesn’t wear out too quickly.
For toddler backpacks with safety harnesses, check for metal clasps over plastic ones and sturdy straps. A durable backpack should last you no less than three years.
Spills and leaks are the name of the game when it comes to toddlers, so having water-resistant accessories only makes sense. Look for materials like neoprene and coated fabrics.
Water bottles are prone to leakage, and a side pocket can ensure that your toddler’s books or clothes don’t have to bear the brunt of it.
What type of bag you choose for your toddler will be heavily influenced by its intended purpose. Younger toddlers might need a fuzzy companion to cuddle with while on the move, while older toddlers might need a more spacious backpack for all they want to pack.
For parents who want it to double as toddler hiking gear, opt for a ruggedly designed bag with features like wear and water-resistance.
From dinosaurs and spaceships to farm animals and mythical characters, the toddler backpacks on our list cover them all. Picking out a bag that your kid is excited to wear makes the process of getting them accustomed to it so much easier.
While brand certainly has a part to play in deciding how much a toddler backpack costs, the above mentioned factors hold just as much weight. By carefully weighing out which characteristics are most important to you, you might end up making some big savings with your purchase. Backpacks for toddlers can cost anywhere between $10 and $40.