Choose the right school backpack

Choosing the right school backpack

For students of all ages, choosing the right backpack is one of the most important parts of the whole back-to-school experience. Kids may think it’s “cool” to get the newest, most trendy backpack on the market. What about capacity? What types of features? How do I wear it properly? All these questions are crucial when you need to choose the right backpack this school year.

If you’re considering re-using last year’s go-to backpack, make sure it is still in good condition. If you’re on the hunt for a new one, you’re in the right place.

Joining us on our 2019 Back to School quest is Dr. Sébastien Fortier, Chiropractor at Groupe Santé Optimum. He treats people of all ages mostly in Laval, Québec, and of course, lots of young kids and teenagers! Here are some of his tips and tricks when it comes to backpacks.

Choose the right size

When it comes to size, think of what you want to pack in your backpack, in addition to the length of your trip or adventure.

The placement of the backpack:

  • Make sure the backpack does not go above your shoulders while wearing it.
  • The backpack should not go lower than your hips or pelvis so that your bag does not flap around while you’re on the go.
Jansport Superbreak backpack
Jansport Superbreak backpack
25 L capacity
3-piece school set
Tracker 3-piece school set
15 L capacity
Adidas Foundation backpack
adidas Foundation backpack
30 L capacity

Backpack weight

A backpack on it’s own can be lightweight, but there are also the contents inside the bag to consider. When combining both, you should not feel any discomfort. This can make your child lean forward or backwards when carrying the backpack, which will affect posture (more about this later!) and then back or neck pain.

Kindergarten and elementary students:

  • Backpack and its contents should not exceed 10% of the bodyweight

High school, college or university students:

  • Backpack and its contents should not exceed 15% of the bodyweight

Key features

There are a lot of details that come into place when you need to choose a school backpack. It is important to understand and pay attention to each of them.

“Kids, they go back to school, they were active all summer long, moving all summer long. Now, they’re sitting back in a classroom wearing a heavy backpack and not moving much. So when it’s time to go back to school, it’s very important for parents to pick the right backpack for their kids.”

Dr. Sébastien Fortier
Chiropractor, D.C.
Groupe Santé Optimum

Based out of Laval, Québec, Fortier is a graduate of the University of Québec in Trois-Rivières and has been in practice for the past 15 years.

Shoulder straps:

  • Aim for 5 cm (2 in.) wide. As the total weight increases, straps that are too narrow will put too much pressure on your back and shoulders. 
  • If the straps are too wide, the backpack will not be as secure and tends to slip off the shoulder and create discomfort.

Rear panel:

  • Padding reduces stress on pressure points, which allows you to work more comfortably for longer periods of time.
  • Some backpacks have openings for the spine – this is ideal for extra comfort.
Tracker School Boys Backpack
Tracker Backpack – Gradient Neon
Padded back & shoulder straps
Tracker School Girls Backpack
Tracker Backpack – Celesta
Padded back & shoulder straps


From small to large, backpacks fit all sorts of torso lengths and waist sizes. You can find this information in our dimensions tab on each product page.

First thing: wear your backpack on both shoulders. Always! Secondly, when packing, anything bulky or heavy should be as close to your back as possible. Anything lighter should always be further away from your back. This will ensure the backpack will not make you lean backwards and create any discomfort.

For more backpack tips and tricks, take a look at our full video with Sébastien below!