The perfect school bag in five minutes

Is your child starting kindergarten next fall? Then there’s no better time to start thinking about school bags. We’ll tell you what to look for and help you find the model that’s just right for your needs.

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School bags, step-by-step

It’s your child’s last year of preschool, which means kindergarten is just around the corner. Their first school bag can be an important and even emotional symbol of that big day, so it’s never too early to start thinking about the perfect choice. After all, it’s easy to get lost in the jungle of bag brands and styles, especially when more than one person’s involved in choosing (the child, the parents, a gift-giving family friend or relative, etc.). We’re here to guide you through the decision-making process, because we want you to come away with a school bag you and your child can both feel great about for years to come.

First things first: the four most important features in a school bag

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1. Ergonomic: A healthy back is everything!

Remember those super-heavy backpacks we all used to schlep around school day after day? Luckily, school bags have come along way since then. But when it comes to ergonomics, the school bag manufacturing world still has good guys and bad guys. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you're shopping for a school bag:

Does the bag have an adjustable back? The school bag should grow with your child and adjust to their stature. That way, you’ll avoid back problems and make sure that they can keep using the bag for years to come. Is the back comfortable and well-padded? Backpacks vary widely in terms of the quality of the foam they use, which can affect comfort and durability. How much does the bag weigh? Kids have to carry a lot of stuff to school, so of course it’s usually better to find a bag that’s lighter when it’s empty. On the other hand, an adjustable back system and an ergonomic belt can help distribute weight better.

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2. Space and order: An organized start to a new phase of life

Elementary-school students are just beginning to organize themselves and work independently. Their backpacks should have features that help them do that:

Do the school bag and its individual compartments/pockets open and close easily? Is the inside structure well-thought-out in a way that makes it easier for children to organize and keep track of their things? It’s best if everything has its place: Leak-proof pockets for lunches, side-pocket holders for water bottles and umbrellas, clever ways to attach gym bags, internal compartments with plenty of space for books, notebooks and folders. Does it generally have enough space for everything your child needs to carry?

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3. Quality and durability: Four years, minimum!

Your child’s backpack will be with them for a long time, and it needs to be tough enough for the journey ahead. A forgotten sandwich here, a leaky juice bottle there, a few thousand rounds of opening and closing and carrying and dropping... and so on. To make sure your bag’s a keeper, keep these things in mind:

Is it well-crafted using high-quality materials? Does it have a stable, waterproof bottom? Does the manufacturer offer a multi-year warranty? If something does break, can you obtain replacement parts quickly and easily?

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4. Sustainability: Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow

It’s always important to consider how products are manufactured, and even more so when you’re buying them for children, because every purchase we make today affects the world of tomorrow—their world. Keep an eye out for these things, and you can rest easy that your bag’s materials, supply chain, and production standards get straight A’s in sustainability:

Is it made with recycled or otherwise sustainable materials? What sustainability seal does it have? In the textiles industry, BlueSign® and Grüner Knopf (Green Button) certificates are especially valuable. Does the manufacturer make a point of ensuring fair working conditions throughout the entire production process? For example, is it a member of the Fair Wear Foundation? Is the bag vegan, or are animal products used to manufacture it? Is it PFA/PFC-free? Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), also known as perfluorochemicals (PFCs), are often used in waterproofing. They are not biodegradable.

We asked: What was your biggest purchasing consideration?

“For me as a mother, it was important to choose a school bag that wasn’t too heavy and sat well from an ergonomic standpoint. Since sustainability is important to our family as well, it wasn’t long before we landed on the ergobag. The color and the design were important to my daughter, of course. She knew ergobag from older friends, so she knew right away that she wanted a bag with those cool Kletties.” - Ulli, mother of two girls

Models: What’s your type?

School bags come in different styles. Whether a satchel-style or a backpack-style bag is right for your child is more than just a question of taste. More traditional, “boxy” satchel-style bags make it easier for children to keep track of things and stay organized. Backpack-style bags, on the other hand, are more ergonomic and easier on the back. Many people also consider them a more relaxed, timeless style.

We at ergobag offer you a choice of six models: Besides our most popular backpack-style (pack, prime, and prime set) and satchel-style (cubo) models, we also offer the cubo light for short, slight children and the maxi for bigger kids. The maxi is brand-new for the 2023-24 season. Its back system adjusts from 1.20 to 1.70 meters (47” to 67”), making it ideal for tall children.

We asked: What was the purchasing process like for you?

“It was definitely an emotional experience. The first day of school is the beginning of a whole new chapter in life, and when your first child starts kindergarten, you have no idea what to expect. We got our daughter’s school bag well in advance.” Ulli, mother of two girls

Plain or playful? Soccer or elves?

Now comes the part that most people find the hardest, but also the most fun: picking a design! While parents are usually more interested in the functional side of things, kids care about what their bags look like. When making your purchase, keep in mind that your child’s tastes will change as they grow. That’s why ergobag offers timeless, yet kid-friendly designs to ensure that they’ll love their bags for years to come. All of our backpacks also feature Kletties, which let children make their bags their own. Each backpack comes with a set of Kletties, and they’re available in countless additional themes. They stick to the hook-and-loop surfaces on the backpack, so kids can switch them out whenever they like. Our Hangies and Zippies offer even more ways for children to customize their school bags and express their changing tastes through the years.

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Designs for 2024 enrollees

We’re proud to offer eight brand-new designs for children starting school in 2024. They’ll take you to distant galaxies and across colorful flower meadows, join you on exciting explorations, introduce you to mythical creatures and magical soap bubbles, and awaken your secret super-powers!

We recommend that parents choose together with their children (you can narrow it down in advance, of course) and that you all give yourselves plenty of time to make a decision. But once you’ve made up your minds, don’t wait too long— some of our more popular styles sell out quickly.

You’ve made your choice! Now what?

Priority number one: enjoy the time you have until school starts! But at some point, you’ll want to start thinking about accessories as well. Individuality is a big factor here, because tastes change... and elementary-school tastes can change frequently. Besides, variety is the spice of life. And variety is the name of the game at ergobag, so you can update the look of your backpack as often as you like:

Kletties: Interchangeable designs with hook-and-loop backing for easy sticking and unsticking. They also stick to Zip sets!

Zippies: Large, colorful Zip sets and Zippies are an eye-catching addition to any ergobag. Zip sets with LEDs also make kids more easily visible, especially on dark days.

Hangies: Use ergobag’s lucky charms as keyrings or hang them directly from a school bag.

Make your ergobag one-of-a-kind


You’re officially a school bag expert. If you’re still hungry for knowledge or want to dive deeper into a specific ergobag topic, we’ve compiled plenty of additional information for you here.

What’s the warranty like on ergobag products?

Here at ergobag, we want children to enjoy our bags for years to come. You can extend the warranty on your ergobag from two years to four years online—at no charge, of course!


We want to be the world’s most sustainable brand for elementary-school products. Find out about everything we do in terms of environmental and social sustainability here.

Eyes on the road!

Visibility in traffic is super important, especially for children, and especially in the darker winter months. Luckily, the ergobag already offers reflectors. Our Zip sets and stickers boost visibility even more for extra safety.

Discover our accessories

Lunchboxes, folders, water bottles, umbrellas, duffel bags, neck pouches... the list goes on! You’ll always be well-equipped to, from, and during school with ergobag accessories.