Backpacks, also known as packsacks, knapsacks, rucksacks and moneybags, evolved within the United States in the 1910’s. Etymologically, the German phrase rucksack or ‘der rucken’, translates to mean ‘the human back’.
In the 1950’s, Dick Kelty along with his pal Clay Sherman, decided to carry a load of hiking equipment on their backs during an outdoor excursion. Along the way, the two friends realized they needed to invent a more lightweight design, with solid backing so their hiking supplies would not dig into their posterior.
That invention became popular in the 1970’s as outdoor activities became a family favorite, and we’d bet today there isn’t a soul on the planet who hasn’t rocked a backpack on the first day of school. Here are our top 5 favorite kids’ backpacks.
1. the classic knapsack
We know it isn’t fancy, but the JanSport Classic SuperBreak Backpack in black will survive the apocalypse. It’s durable, resistant to wear and tear, and will still be in style when the kiddos get into their Ivy League university of choice (on a full ride scholarship no less).
2. little monsters
If your child isn’t afraid to get noticed, Fuzzy Monster Backpacks are a scream for lugging Shakespeare’s entire canon to and from school. The backpacks are functional, and fun! Your kiddo will be sure to not leave this one behind.
3. feminine mystique
Your little princess will be ready for any adventure with this tutu carryall. Available in bright berry and ivory, this statement maker is perfect from books to ballet lessons.
4. hipster in training
Should you have a petit Jack Kerouac on your hands – you’re one Poketo Striped Fleece Backpack and a pile of Moleskins away from literary superstardom. The bag is made from sweatshirt fleece, and is reinforced with nylon on the bottom. Choose from cobalt, light gray and charcoal to celebrate his or her bookish style.
5. fashion guru
Color blocking has gained a foothold in fashion over the past several years. Smarten up your scholar for modern day adventures with the Herschel Supply Company Settlement Backpack from J.Crew. This American classic is available in a variety of colors, and monogramming is available for a nominal fee.