For some of our kids, the wait for this school year has been two-years long. They are seriously geeking out over school supplies, starting with the quest for the perfect backpack.

For those kids who are headed to preschool or kindergarten for the first time this year, their first backpack is really special. So we’ve worked hard to seek out more than a dozen of the coolest backpacks for preschool and kindergarten  — all mall in size, but big on the wow factor.

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Updated for 2021


Related: Which lunch boxes and bags hold up the best? Here’s our five picks.


14 cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten that we love

Cool backpack and lunchbox sets: graffiti styling by SoYoung

Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Graffiti backpack at SoYoung

Graffiti toddler backpack ($35 soyoung)
Long one of our favorite back-to-school brands for making sturdy, incredibly well-made, beautifully designed coated canvas bags and backpacks, this print is perfect for the kid who’s glued to the Olympics skateboarding events this summer.

Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Maruchan ramen mini-backpack at Hot Topic

Maruchan mini backpack ($44.90, Hot Topic)
How can this backpack for preschool not make you smile? Especially since ramen is my kids’ favorite meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And in case you can’t tell from the picture: the zipper pulls are chopsticks. Adorable.

Related: The coolest lunch box accessories, water bottles, and other goodies to make school lunch more fun

Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Mini wings bag by 7AM Enfant

Mini Wings Backpack ($42 by 7AM Enfant on Amazon)
This cool backpack for preschool and kindergarten is so popular with our team, it’s even one of our list of cool birthday gifts for 4-year-olds.

Lilo & Stitch Scrump backpack: coolest backpacks for pre-k and kindergarten 2019 | Back to School Guide

Lilo & Stitch Scrump backpack ($31 on sale, Hot Topic)
Lilo & Stitch is making a comeback with the live-action film in the works. How cool is this Scrump backpack for preschool or kindergarteners? (Actually, our tween and teens kind of love it too.)

Related: Free printables for kindergarten to help them get started on site words


Dabbawalla's rocket backpack for preschooler is one of the coolest bags for back to school


Coolest backpacks for preschoolers and kindergarten: Dabbawalla Kitty Backpack

Dabbawalla Kitty backpack
Dabbawalla Rocket bakpack
(Each $38, Maisonette)

Dabbawalla makes some of our favorite backpacks for preschool and kindergarten — they’re one of our top rated brands of all the backpacks and lunch boxes we try each year. the size is perfect, and the neoprene can take a beating and then clean up beautifully in the wash. They have lots of fun styles beyond what’s here!


Small  reflective gray camo backpack  ($49.50, Pottery Barn Kids with optional peprsonalization)
Another pick for durability plus coolness, the small backpacks are perfect for kids who need to bring a small lunch, water bottle, maybe a change of shorts. As long as they can find it each morning. (Ha, get it? It’s camouflage!)

Related: 12 smart personalized label ideas for back to school, from a completely label-obsessed mom


Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Mint Metallic mini bag at State

Metallic Mint Mini Kane backpack ($75, State)
I wasted way too much time clicking through all the cool backpacks at State, but ultimately this Metallic Mint was one of my top choices. Yes it’s expensive, but for stylish kids, it’s a winner. The mismatched straps are just so fun.

Camo shark backpack: One of the coolest backpacks for toddlers or kindergarten this year


Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Tiger mini-backpack at OMG Accessories

Shark Mini Backpack or Tiger Mini Backpack ($30 on sale, OMG Accessories at Nordstrom)
These little backpacks for preschool or kindergarten pack a lot of bite…in the best way. If your kids say not to baby sharks or baby kittens, these might be more their style.

Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Cinderella mini backpack by Petunia Picklebottom

Cinderella Mini Backpack ($79, Petunia Picklebottom at Nordstrom)
One of our favorite last-forever bags for moms, now in a mini-backpack size for our preschoolers and young kids. It’s like a fairytale come true if you have a Disney obsessed kid. (Check out their complete Disney collection to get the exact right bag for your little fan.)

Related: 7 great books to help your child transition to kindergarten


Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: The Koala big kid backpack from Skip Hop

Skip*Hop Koala Big Kid Backpack ($28, Nordstrom)
We have loved the teensy Skip Hop preschool backpacks for years, but it can be hard to fit in notebooks and binders. This “big kid” version is the perfect size for the little kids bringing more than just a tiny water bottle and bag of goldfish to school each day.

Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Ponyo at Hot Topic

Ponyo backpack ($44.90, Hot Topic)
Ooh, I secretly want this Ponyo backpack for myself, Mizayakii fan that I am, but the fact that it wipes down so easily makes it perfect for my messy littlest kid too.

Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Kiki's Delivery Service at Hot Topic

Kiki’s Delivery Service mini-backpack ($35 on sale, Hot Topic)
Speaking of classic Studio Ghibli films, Kiki’s Delivery Service is a top-five all-time movie in our house, and my daughter even dressed up like Kiki for Halloween. But if it’s not your very favorite, that’s okay: there are so many other patterns in this bag style at Hot Topic. Even Totoro!

Cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten: Confetti at State

Confetti Backpack ($95, State)
For the kid who’s expecting kindergarten to be an absolute party, this backpack should send them to school in style.


14 cool backpacks for preschool and kindergarten

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