As parents, it's our job to help our kids stay organised and be prepared for their changing needs for school. One of the most important things we can do is ensure that they have a durable bag to carry all of their supplies in. If you are shopping around for a replacement for your child’s old school bag, prioritise getting the best backpack for posture that will be good for your child’s spine even when it’s packed with his school essentials. Here are some tips on what to look for in a back-to-school bag and how you can find one that suits your child best.

1. Consider the weight of the bag

For starters, both the weight of the bag and the maximum load it can take is important. As it will gradually get filled with more books as your child grows older, choosing a heavy backpack will not be wise if you’re thinking long-term. As such, try to avoid backpacks that use heavy materials such as leather that can add significant weight to the load. 

Instead, choose lightweight ergonomic school bags built with high-density textured nylon cloth or high-quality ballistic nylon like our IMPACT Ergo-Comfort Spinal Support Backpack - which is, in fact, the lightest weight of Truly Ergonomic bags in its class. More importantly, IMPACT is the ONLY ergonomic brand internationally endorsed and recommended by Singapore Physiotherapy Association and The Chiropractic Association (Singapore). You can explore our wide selection of IMPACT school bags here. 

2. Get the right size to fit your child's school supplies

The size of the backpack is just as important as its weight. If you get a bag that is too small, your child may inevitably have to carry some books and files in his hands at times. When buying your child’s school bag, check if there is enough room in the bag for him to carry everything he needs without being too heavy or bulky. A spacious bag can allow him to have all of his essentials close at hand. 

3. The more compartments, the better

Besides finding the right size and weight, the features of a school backpack need to include sufficient functional compartments, both in its interior and exterior. Look for pockets for increased organisation like slots, zippered compartments and mesh side pouches. If it helps, make a list of things your child will be carrying to school on a daily basis before exploring the different school bag options. It will be useful when items like his water bottle, wallet, textbooks and files have their own dedicated compartment in the bag. That way, your child can easily access these everyday items without needing the extra time to search for them among his textbooks.  

4. Choose backpacks with adjustable waist and chest secure belts

The best kind of backpack is designed to not only take the load of textbooks and other supplies, but to also be comfortable for the wearer. Bags with adjustable waist belts and or chest suspension belts can help to evenly distribute the weight, which makes the load on your child’s shoulders and neck more manageable. As these types of bags can fit any frame comfortably, they also allow you to adjust the bag's position so that it doesn't rest on your child’s lower back or spine. 

5. Prioritise padded shoulder straps for comfort

When loaded with books and school supplies, it can get heavy. Yet if the bag comes with thin shoulder straps and no padding, this will not only increase discomfort, but it may also cause chafing. Chafing happens when fabric rubs against the skin and results in irritation or inflammation. Thus, no matter what school backpack you choose for your child, it should come with wide padded shoulder straps to minimise strain and protect your child’s shoulders.

Moreover, it’s also important to remind your child to always carry his bag on both sides. Strapping it over just one shoulder would otherwise make your child lean towards that side more. As a result, this may cause pain and stiffness in his neck and shoulder muscles, also affecting his posture in the long run.  

 6. More Useful Features

Ideally, your choice of backpack should also come built with reflective material to enhance your child’s safety so he can be seen in low light conditions. This will give you peace of mind that your child is visible to drivers when he is waiting at a pedestrian crossing, for instance. At Ergoworks, our range of backpacks uses 3M strong 360-degree reflective material to protect the safety of school children at night.

7. Alternatively, opt for trolley bags

Lastly, you can also consider trolley bags in addition to school backpacks. Their advantage is that with a higher capacity, they only have to be pulled around by the handle. The best part is, these bags can be converted into backpacks with ease so your child can adjust it accordingly to his needs. If you're looking for a convenient and durable bag that won't weigh your child down, trolleys are perfect. 

Here at Ergoworks, our range of backpacks and trolley bags come in many different sizes and patterns, which means there is one out there for every student in Singapore! Start shopping for school bags and more Ergo Junior products with us today! Do drop by our stores to test them out before purchasing.