Best Travel Backpacks for Kids

10 Best Travel Backpacks for Kids in 2023 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

So its that time of the year again, you’re ready to set off with your kids, but you just can’t seem to figure out how to pack. Our top picks for families traveling is to invest in a great travel backpack for kids. Given that life on the road has its own hurdles to overcome, a practical travel kit is a great way to help reduce stress for both you and the kids. We also have some guides on cool backpacks for boys and cool backpacks for girls which your kid might like as well.

If you think you can get away with buying a cheap travel backpack just because it’s small, you might want to reconsider that position. You will want a travel backpack for your kids that will last and preferably can be repaired or replaced for the remainder of its life. If your kids prefer rolling backpacks for traveling, then we have that guide as well. Trust us, spending more money up front is better than $30 every month because the material, zipper, or straps broke.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 12 hrs of research

Osprey Packs Jet 18 Kid's Travel Backpack

Osprey Packs Jet 18 Kid’s Travel Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • The pack can expand to be very big for a hikes but also shrink down in size when needed
  • The material seems very water resistant
  • Very comfortable to carry
  • There is pocket for water reservoir

Vaschy Travel Backpack for Kids

Vaschy Travel Backpack for Kids – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • The padded shoulder straps are nice and wide
  • The backpack is well made and lightweight
  • The main zipper is a double zipper which is helpful
  • Built in side bottle holders are great

Best Travel Backpacks for Kids- Overview

Through extensive research, we’ve learned that its easier and more comfortable to tote a backpack than to drag roller bags over airports, on escalators, and down the streets. Traveling with backpacks is just a much better option. However, If you have an infant or a toddler then you will obviously have to tote a lot of their baggage. But if your child is older, there is no reason why they should not be able to carry all their travel items themselves. That’s why we have put together this list of the best travel backpacks for kids.

Travel Backpacks for Kids Reviews

1. Osprey Packs Jet 18 Kid’s Travel Backpack – Premium Pick

Osprey Packs Jet 18 Kid's Travel Backpack

Osprey Packs Jet 18 Kid’s Travel Backpack is just right for hikers or travelers who are big enough to carry their own gear. The mesh back panel provides ventilation and the fleece-lined shoulder harness is extra comfortable all day long. The external zippered pocket is perfect for snacks or lip balm while the internal zippered pocket is good for small items.

Dual stretch mesh side pockets give youngsters a place to store new found outdoor treasures. There’s also an external reservoir pocket to make refills easy. Lower web loop attachment points for lashing extra gear. The top-load access to main compartment is clean and simple

Key Features:

  • External reservoir sleeve
  • Underlid zippered compartment keeps items safe and secure
  • Mesh side pockets
  • Small external pocket for snacks


  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 18L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 10″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs
  • The pack can expand to be very big for a hikes but also shrink down in size when needed
  • The material seems very water resistant
  • Very comfortable to carry
  • There is pocket for water reservoir
  • The mesh it is made out of just seems cheap and non-structural

2. CamelBak Kid’s Scout Hydration Pack

CamelBak Kid's Scout Hydration Pack

Hydration for little explorers. Whatever the journey, these packs will keep your littles hydrated and happy. The CamelBak Kid’s Scout Hydration Pack is a full-featured hiking pack designed specifically for younger explorers, with a safety whistle and bright, kid-friendly colors. With a short torso length, it’s tailor-made for preschoolers and grade-school students. The pack includes an essentials pocket, a wicking mesh back panel, and two side pockets.

It has a 1.5-liter high flow reservoir with an ergonomic handle for easier refilling. With an easy and intuitive, leak-proof On/Off lever. Water when you want it, none when you don’t. This is a pack that is small enough for kids to carry. Built-in reflectivity and safety whistle make kids easy to see and hear on the trail

Key Features:

  • Safety whistle included on sternum strap
  • Breathable air mesh back panel for a lightweight, comfortable fit
  • Reflective accents for visibility in low-light environments
  • Transparent external pocket lets you personalize your pack


  • Brand: CamelBak
  • Capacity: 12.5L
  • Dimensions: 15″ H x 10.2″ W x 2.6″ D
  • Weight: 1.15 lbs
  • Built in whistle and reflective straps
  • Plenty of pockets and space for all the extras
  • The novelty of the hose encourages the kids to drink water
  • Not bulky or too heavy to carry even when packed full
  • Does not come with a neoprene sleeve or something to help keep cool longer

3. Vaschy Travel Backpack for Kids – Best Value

Vaschy Travel Backpack for Kids

The Vaschy Travel Backpack for Kids provides a way for kids to proudly take responsibility for their favorite toys, blankets or books. Inspired by the artwork of a loving artist, the exclusive collection channels her spontaneous use of color and childlike sense of wonder. The collection of the kid’s backpack captures the spirits of imagination and fashion which inspire your little one to own their dreams.

It comes with a main compartment for storing kids’ essentials such as clothes, toys, pencil pouch and so on. It features an easy to open and close zipper tags, a main zippered pocket, two side pockets for water and mike, top loops for storage and other carrying options and an easy-access front pocket. Delicate and sturdy stitch makes it firmly and lasts for a long time.

Key Features:

  • Two side pockets for water
  • Top loops for storage and other carrying options
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • Made of durable water-resistant polyester


  • Brand: VASCHY
  • Capacity: 15L
  • Dimensions: 15.7″ H x 11″ W x 5.5″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
  • The padded shoulder straps are nice and wide
  • The backpack is well made and lightweight
  • The main zipper is a double zipper which is helpful
  • Built in side bottle holders are great
  • The zippers can get stucked at times so you have to be a bit careful

4. Deuter Unisex Kikki Travel Backpack for Kids

This Deuter Unisex Kikki Travel Backpack for Kids with funny ears is a wonderful companion for everyday life, whether swimming or traveling. The Kikki is an amusing alternative to the children’s bag. Not only do its large, friendly eyes trigger your curiosity for the world–they light up in traffic too. This backpack is PFC-free and made according to the bluesign® specification, which is the world’s most rigorous standard for consumer protection, occupational safety, and health and safety.

The ergonomically designed back pads in the contact system surround the back and distribute the load evenly. An easily adjustable sternum belt ensures the backpack is fixed firmly to the shoulders. It also has an elasticated inner compartment for storing wet/sweaty clothing, water reservoir, etc.

Key Features:

  • Rucksack construction
  • Roomy main compartment with a drawstring closure
  • Side cargo pockets with hook and loop closure
  • Reflective paneling for extra visibility


  • Brand: Deuter
  • Capacity: 8L
  • Dimensions: 14.2″ H x 7.9″ W x 6.3″ D
  • Weight: 0.63 lbs
  • It’s lightweight and easily adjustable
  • Fits little kids perfectly and it’s durable
  • It is cute and child-friendlhy
  • Great for day trips
  • The water bottle pockets aren’t very deep

5. Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack

Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack

The Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack started out with humble beginnings, a simple accessory to attach to our larger packs. However, its lightweight, simplicity, durability, comfortable carry, and price has proven to be wildly popular, and today their popularity is undeniable. Designed to attach to a number of Osprey’s larger packs and travel bags for use as a separate pod pack on day trips away from base camp, it is the perfect companion on any trip. 

Access to the main compartment is easy with a large zippered panel. Side mesh pockets hold water bottles and other sundries while a front pocket with a mesh organizer and key clip secure small items in a single secure spot. The removable foam frame sheet suspension with center stiffener allows dynamic body movement which will be very helpful for kids. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best day packs for hiking.

Key Features:

  • Large panel loading main compartment
  • Dual stretch mesh side pockets
  • Multi-function interior sleeve
  • Front panel shove-it pocket
  • Mesh-covered die-cut foam back panel


  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 13L
  • Dimensions: 18″ H x 9″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
  • Venting keeps it from getting too hot
  • It is very easy to adjust the straps while walking
  • The smaller front pocket and key clip are great
  • Provides a comfortable carry
  • The water bottle pockets aren’t very deep

6. Deuter Kids Junior Cardinal Travel Backpack

Deuter Kids Junior Cardinal Travel Backpack

From the classroom to the lake, the Deuter Kids Junior Cardinal Travel Backpack takes care of your little ones every step of the way. It has a large main compartment with drawstring closure. Airstripes® mesh paneling reduces heat and increases airflow. It has adjustable shoulder straps and sternum strap for extra stability.

This kids’ backpack features contoured shoulder straps with soft-edge fabric and a soft, padded back for comfort and a 3M reflective safety loop to increase driver awareness on low-light conditions. Lastly, it has two mesh side pockets for water bottles.

Key Features:

  • Top-loaded rucksack
  • Large main compartment
  • Mesh Side Pockets
  • S-shaped shoulder straps with soft edges
  • Reflective loop for safety light


  • Brand: Deuter
  • Capacity: 18L
  • Dimensions: 16.9″ H x 9.4″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 0.69 lbs
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • This is perfect for an overnight hike/camp trips
  • It’s lightweight and padded shoulder straps and back plate are a bonus
  • It can be used as a daypack
  • The water bottle pockets aren’t very deep

7. Deuter Speed Lite 16 Ultralight Daypack

Deuter Speed Lite 16 Ultralight Daypack

The Deuter Speed Lite 16 Ultralight Daypack is the lightest, most minimalistic back system from Deuter, providing carry comfort for light loads with a padded back panel of ventilated 3D-Air Mesh. These packs shine in endurance sports and all-day alpine adventures with a high functioning set of features and construction to keep pace with the most demanding mountain athlete. 

The smallest and lightest of Deuter’s hiking packs, the Speedlite 12, 16, and 20, feature an extremely light and minimalist padded back with ventilated 3D Airmesh to provide a cool and stable fit in the most challenging terrain. From trail running to day hikes to ski races, the Speedlite has been around the mountain a time or two, super lightweight, compact, and secure, you’ll forget that you’re carrying layers, snacks, and hydration until you need them.

Key Features:

  • Athletic V-cut shape for extensive freedom of movement
  • Easy glove-friendly loops on zippers
  • Stretch side water bottle pockets
  • Zippered pocket on top
  • Height and width adjustable chest strap
  • Hydration system compatible


  • Brand: Deuter
  • Capacity: 16L
  • Dimensions: 17.7″ H x 9.8″ W x 6.3″ D
  • Weight: 0.81 lbs
  • Lightweight durable backpack
  • The padded mesh straps really make a world of difference in the summer heat
  • It’s perfect for city or overnight trips
  • Very convenient pockets and space
  • A bit pricey

8. Mountaintop Kids Travel Backpack

Mountaintop Kids Travel Backpack

The Mountaintop Kids Travel Backpack contains an anti-lost safety rope for 1-3-year-old kids. Allow your little cute toddlers to move around freely while still having complete control of their direction! Perfect for Airport, Parks or other crowded occasions. Mesh and padded areas on the back promoting air circulation along the back. The loop rope on the side of the backpack so your kid can hang their favorite doll or any accessories.

Supplied with removable safety rein which helpful to keep toddlers close and safe in crowds, allows your little children to play around freely. Using the sternum strap, balance your shoulder straps and adjust it for the perfect fit. Stitched with bar tack reinforced stitching on the stress points.

Key Features:

  • Spacious main compartment with double zipper
  • Front pocket easy access to the item you need
  • Side pockets to hold snacks toys and bottles
  • Toy loop rope can hang your kids favorite doll


  • Brand: Mountaintop
  • Dimensions: 12.2″ H x 8.7″ W x 3.7″ D
  • Weight: 0.62 lbs
  • Thick and durable construction
  • The straps are padded well
  • Chest strap is easy to buckle and unbuckle
  • The outer zipped pocket is great for little knick knacks
  • Side pockets too small for a water bottle

9. Herschel Kid’s Heritage Backpack

Preserving the classic appeal of the popular silhouette, but sized for children, the Herschel Kid’s Heritage Backpack is a stylish schoolyard staple. It features a thick plastic zippers that are easy to open and close and other nice features like an inner pocket for a small laptop or tablet and a side pocket for a water bottle.

There is an internal pocket for iPad type devices, and the backpack has an external loop for hanging on a hook, an external zippered pocket, and an outside mesh water bottle holder. There also is a harness and clip feature if you want to fasten the pack across your chest to keep the bag from bouncing around if you are running or hiking. Large enough for some school books, but this is a youth bag, so it’s not intended to be huge. Our guide to the best Herschel backpacks offers more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Signature striped fabric liner
  • Front storage pocket
  • Removable sternum support strap
  • Woven interior name label
  • Classic woven label


  • Brand: Herschel
  • Capacity: 16L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 15″ W x 3″ D
  • Weight: 1.19 lbs
  • It is surprisingly sturdy and really pretty attractive in a functional sort of way
  • Made from heavy duty material and has excellent stitching and zippers
  • The slotted tab on the outside of the backpack can be used to tie shoelaces through to carry an extra pair of shoes if needed
  • It also has some pockets inside that are useful for separating homework from snacks and toys
  • The laptop pocket is not nearly as padded all the way

10. Fjallraven – Kanken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday

Fjallraven - Kanken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday

Hold your little explorer enjoying the Fjallraven – Kanken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday with their gear on their back. This little knapsack, made from durable Vinylon F, protects against dirt and stains and its miniature pocket is just right for an extra jacket and gloves for the changing weather. A zippered front pocket is perfect for snacks in case they get hungry, and if you want to borrow it for the day, the handles at the top allow it to be converted into a side bag.

The construction of Polyvinyl is durable, lightweight, and water-resistant. Handles at the end are easy to grab, without slinging on the back. Two side pockets provide additional water bottle storage and the reflective emblem adds an aspect of protection in low light conditions.

Key Features:

  • Vinylon F material
  • Two-way zipper with rain flap for protection
  • Long adjustable shoulder straps
  • Dual top snap handles for quick carry
  • Reflective logo


  • Brand: Fjallraven
  • Capacity: 7L
  • Dimensions: 11.4″ H x 7.9″ W x 5.1″ D
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs
  • Zippers are securely hidden for safety in crowded areas
  • Perfect size for a day pack
  • Nice aesthetic with a variety of color options
  • The bag is very comfortable even when full
  • Ends and edges of straps are rough/itchy and can snag clothing

Buying Guide


Kids are little and it is vital that they don’t overburden their back and shoulder. Choosing something that is lightweight is recommended when choosing a travel backpack for kids.


In general, heavy-duty packs are made of ultra-strong nylon material, nylon straps, and YKK type zippers.


Clearly, you won’t load your kid down with a laptop or five pairs of shoes, but you want something that can match most of their basic travel needs. A bag with several compartments is generally preferable, but you don’t need a bag with like 15 compartments, because that’s overkill. But something with space for toys, clothes and maybe a pocket for an iPad will do.

Water Bottle Pocket

Ultimately, travel backpacks with water bottle pockets are preferred. If you’re out and about and thirsty, you don’t want your kid to rummage their drink at the bottom of their bag. It is always good to have that side pocket.


You should ask yourself, does the price of the backpack justify its features? quality? It might be worth paying that extra bucks to get a backpack from a reputable and trustworthy brand rather than get it from some random brand out there.

Frequently Ask Questions

Do I need a different backpack for school?

Not necessarily although your kid will benefit more on having their own backpack for kindergarten. This way, they won’t get bored carrying the same backpack.

How do I know the correct size for a travel backpack for my kid?

The best way to assess if a backpack is appropriate for a particular child is to measure their torso and then match it with the specifications on the websites of the retailer (usually one of them is the torso length). A well-fitted backpack should be wide enough to rest comfortably on their shoulders and legs, balancing the weight equally.


We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best travel backpacks for kids as well as our guide on features to look for in a travel backpack for kids. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.