What Are the Kindergarten Backpack Sizes?

Kindergarten Backpack Sizes

The end of summer vacation feels a lot closer from this side of August, don’t you think? So, it’s about time you started thinking about looking for school supplies for your children. If your child is just starting kindergarten, one of the first things to look for is a backpack.

A kindergartener won’t need a massive backpack since their school supplies are pretty light. Depending on the brand, your child could get the most from a small-size backpack or a bag that is at least 12 to 15 inches tall or have a storage capacity of between 15 and 20 liters.

In this guide, I’ll explain the different backpack sizes, which sizes are kindergartener-friendly, and what sort of school supplies a kindergartener would need for class.

School Backpack Sizes

School Backpack Sizes

I don’t have to tell you that backpacks come in a wide range of sizes and styles. There are backpacks for school and work, there are backpacks for traveling, and there are massive bags for backpacking across far distances up and down mountainsides.

Of course, a school-age child won’t need a humungous backpack for class, especially since they can store a lot of their belongings in their desks or cubbies.

The precise measurements of a school bag will vary between models and brands. However, there appears to be a specific standard when it comes to backpacks for school-age children.

Small backpacks are bags that measure around 15 inches high and have a storage capacity of between 15 and 20 liters.

Medium-size backpacks may stand around 18 inches tall and store between 21 and 30 liters of school supplies.

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The largest backpack size for school children will measure 24 inches tall and carry up to 40 liters of stuff.

Kindergarten Backpack Sizes

Since kindergarteners are so tiny, you shouldn’t get them a massive bag. Even without anything inside it, a large-size bag can be awkward to carry around. Now, imagine filling it to the brim with folders, notebooks, crayons, and other school supplies. Your poor child would have sore shoulders for days!

A kindergartener can get the most from a small- or medium-size backpack. These bag sizes have more than enough space to hold onto all of their school supplies, and they won’t look comically large on such tiny people.

While it would be nice to get a backpack that your child will eventually grow into, it’d be even nicer if they could go to school wearing a backpack that doesn’t drag on the ground when worn.

What School Supplies Does a Kindergartener Need?

What School Supplies Does a Kindergartener Need

One way to figure out the ideal backpack size for a kindergartener is to look at their school supplies list. While the list might be pretty long, you should know that some of the items can be stored at school.

Below, I’ll list out the most common school supplies kindergarteners should prepare for their first day of class.

  • A box of crayons
  • A set of markers
  • A pencil case
  • A pair of scissors
  • 5 pencils
  • A black marker
  • A bottle of glue
  • A glue stick
  • An eraser
  • 2 boxes of Kleenex tissues
  • A ruler
  • At least 3 notebooks
  • A lunchbox or bagged lunch
  • A water bottle

Your child will leave some of these supplies at school—e.g., crayons, markers, glue, Kleenex tissues—while they’ll need to carry the rest back home every day.

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Knowing this, you should find a bag that is just large enough to carry all of their mandatory supplies to and from school so as not to overburden their tiny shoulders.

What Features to Look for in a Kindergarten Backpack

What Features to Look for in a Kindergarten Backpack

Kindergarteners don’t need all the bells and whistles in their backpacks. However, some of the most important features to keep an eye out for are:

Multiple storage compartments

The more storage compartments, the better. That way, you can teach your child how to keep their school supplies organized. If your child doesn’t have a pencil case, the best thing you could get them is a front utility pocket to store their stationery.

Padded back

The backside of the backpack—i.e., the portion that makes contact with your child’s back—should be lined with padding. The padding doesn’t just protect their back from sharp notebooks, but it also makes the bag a lot more comfortable to wear. It can also warm your child’s back while they walk to school during the winter.

The only downside is that the padding doesn’t allow for much air circulation, so the backs of their shirt might end up moist after a day of walking under the sun.

Padded bottom

Kids aren’t very careful when handling large backpacks. More often than not, they’ll plop the bag on the ground with little care for how the ground can damage the bag. That’s why you should find a bag that has a padded bottom—to protect the contents of the bag from creating holes in the bag during the school year.

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Side pocket(s)

Many school bags will come with mesh side pockets. These pockets are mainly used for storing water bottles, which your child should bring to school to fight of dehydration. You can also store all sorts of small objects in the side pockets, such as pens, toys (for show and tell, of course), and pencil cases.


Although your child will leave many of their belongings in their desk or cubby, we can’t ignore that a lot of the things they take to school with them, such as bagged lunches and notebooks, weigh quite a bit. If you’re worried about the straps digging into their shoulders, you might want to get your child a rolling bag.

These backpacks have 2 or 4 wheels for rolling around. The wheels aren’t particularly great on concrete sidewalks, but they travel well on carpeted and tiled floors.

Adjustable Waist Strap

One backpack feature that doesn’t get enough love is the waist strap. This strap transfers some of the weight of the bag to the wearer’s waist, freeing them from carrying over 5 pounds of school supplies on their shoulders.


Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of measuringknowhow.com

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