Parenting & Family

Backpack for senior kindergarten?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 30th, 2018 10:27 am
Apr 18, 2005
428 posts

Backpack for senior kindergarten?

I'm looking for a backpack for senior kindergarten. MEC has nice bags, but maybe small and a bit pricey for the wear and tear that it will go through. My child is going to before and after school care, which means it will be carried/dragged indoors and out, upstairs and downstairs. We got her a Walmart one last year (because it had Elsa on it) but soon, the cloth fabric near the zipper kept getting stuck and the plastic cording at the bottom began scraping from being repeatedly scratched on the pavement.

It's quite long for even a tall five year old, but the size is big enough to carry a towel and change of clothes on water days, lunch and two snacks, a water bottle and any artwork/pet rock/craft.

Any suggestions for something that might last the year? I looked at Jansport but they didn't have that side water bottle holder.
9 replies
Jr. Member
Oct 17, 2013
130 posts
I love our MEC kids' backpacks. Each one has lasted 3 years of rough use, through 2 boys, from JK-gr. 2. Even after 3 years, the one bag is still usable for camping and hiking. My son just wanted a new bag after that long, so the "new" bag is on it's second year and it still looks great. It's $40-$50 well spent.
Deal Addict
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Aug 15, 2015
1122 posts
Markham, ON
Goto school and see what the other kids are wearing for some ideas. Backpacks are different in use than on display at the store. It's also different if the adult is carrying the backpack instead of the kid.
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
1322 posts
We found in SK, they needed just something to carry their crafts or projects home, lunch, snack , water bottle. We didn’t have any water days, so that would be different if your water days are often.

The MEC are really good, if your child do ant get bored, that’s a great choice, we often did the Costco backpacks online. They would only have one or two choices but if found the quality really good.

If your child gets bored then a cheaper one works well. I hated the licensed characters as they seemed to rip part way through the year. Don’t buy too big though because it makes it hard for the little ones.

Another option is the ones with the little rollers with the backpack. They are a little harder to find, but if your child is dragging them, it’s a good option,
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Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
8325 posts
What the hell is senior kindergarten?
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2015
3620 posts
clseea wrote:
Jul 29th, 2018 2:15 am
What the hell is senior kindergarten?
In Ontario you have JK ( junior kindergarten) ,must be 4 by December 31st to attend.

There is also is SK ( senior kindergarten), must be 5 by December 31st to attend.

Both have a teacher and an ECE educator in the classroom.
May 28, 2012
9895 posts
I am familiar with the kindergarten setting. The novelty backpacks with the cartoon characters, while cute and appealing to children, won't last more than a few months. The zippers wear out, fabric will come apart, etc...part of the reason is that they are usually too small and will quickly show wear and tear when things are repeatedly crammed into them.

Pick something that has a side pocket for a water bottle...there is less chance of it leaking all over articles inside. Also have separate compartments for important papers and smaller's good to keep it away from wet/dirty clothes and winter articles. Also consider that the child may not want to commit to one backpack for more than a year or two, so you might not want to spend an exorbitant amount on it (plus the fact it could get lost or left at school).
Deal Guru
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Oct 5, 2008
10475 posts
don't get something too big....i hate seeing little kids with giant oversized backpacks that are stuffed to the max.

I was at Winners yesterday and saw several that were smaller sized (15L capacity or less) for about $25-30.

The Roots ones at Costco for $25 are pretty good too but they are a bit big.

Costco also was selling Jansport ones for about $30 which were good size but didn't have much in the way of pockets.

My son just finished JK and had a Paw Patrol one from Walmart that was a didn't last the year.

I gave him a High Sierra one that I got as a gift from work and it's smaller, lighter and sturdier.
Last edited by Swerny on Jul 30th, 2018 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dec 11, 2003
1249 posts
I bought a smaller adult sized backpack from Winners during their back to school sales in August about 2 years ago. I think it was around $25. It has 2 water bottle holders on the outside (only 1 is used). I'm shocked that it is lasting for so long. Look for something that is not so tall. It will look huge on a 5 year old but as long as it's not heavy then your child will be fine. Just don't over stuff the backpack. Your kid is not going to need a ton of stuff on a daily basis.

As mentioned above, those novelty backpacks are way too small and not durable at all. I would stay away from those.
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Apr 18, 2005
428 posts
I think the Costco ones are a bit big at this point and her $9 Walmart backpack has lasted her through the year and halfway through summer. The torn fabric at the side of the zipper annoys me every morning, but she hasn't complained about it yet. I like the side pocket for the water as they go in and out quite a bit and it's nice to have the separate compartment in case the lid on the water bottle doesn't screw on tightly. The mesh has holes ripped through it, but is still functional.

I hear MEC bags are a bit small for binders, Is that true? In what grade are binders necessary? I've only seen the Genie and the standard junior bag. Has anyone tried the Genie?


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