The backpack, created in the 1900s, is an object that has undergone many changes before becoming the bag we all know today.
In France, it appeared for the first time at the end of the 1980’s, as a worthy heir to the leather satchels.
Used for all sorts of activities around the world, it remains the must-have item to buy for every child starting their college years.
Below you will find all the tips on how and why to choose a backpack for your child who is entering college.
How about a school bag or a rolling bag?
Before knowing why to choose a backpack for your child who is entering college, it is worthwhile to look at other types of bags.
The schoolbag: a classic that is not always relevant for a middle schooler
The school bag is the iconic item for school children. And this is perhaps its biggest flaw: in fact, nowadays, it has a slightly old-fashioned image, it is not really in the air of time.
Its design, robust, allows it to resist well to shocks. The numerous compartments, which can facilitate the storage of the things, remain interesting arguments of purchase for the parents.
This type of bag should be reserved for primary school children, so that they can acquire the basics of good organization and not have to worry about the sometimes brutal way they will use their bag.
The wheeled bag: an in-between bag not necessarily adapted to the child
This type of bag can be pulled along the ground thanks to wheels and a handle that is pulled by the child. The back is then relieved of the weight of the bag and especially of its contents, but the problem is elsewhere. Indeed, there is a risk of pain in the child’s arm: this is due to the way he/she pulls the bag and the weight of its contents. These repeated efforts can lead to daily aches and pains and even to various health problems.
Some bags also have shoulder straps so that they can be placed on the back. Even if this may seem like a good idea to alternate the way of carrying the bag, you have to keep in mind that once on the back, the bag is heavier than a classic schoolbag, because you have to add the weight of the wheels mechanism.
Why choose a backpack for a middle school student?
A backpack may not be as sturdy as a school bag or as capable of rolling on the ground as a rolling bag, but it has many advantages that are sure to make parents and children agree.
- They are easy to find, at all prices and in all styles. Perfect for combining budget and pleasure, all without having to go to all the local stores.
- It takes up little space. Often a little lighter than a schoolbag, it is also less bulky because it is more flexible: this makes it easier to use on a daily basis and it is more practical to store when not in use.
- It is versatile. Once the school contents have been removed, the backpack can be used as a transport bag or as a sports bag.
- When used properly, it reduces back pain. Well placed on the shoulders thanks to its two straps, the backpack allows to distribute the weight in a balanced way. Thus, the cervical vertebrae are relieved and the well-being of the back is preserved.
- The hands are available. Using a backpack allows you to have your hands free and thus to easily open a door, to deal with the unexpected or to use an object. The freedom of movement offered by the backpack is considerable.
For girls, a handbag instead of a backpack?
For young girls, it can be tempting to replace the backpack by a handbag: it is a double mistake.
On the one hand, the handbag is absolutely not designed to hold files and other heavy and bulky books. And on the other hand, if you find a model that does, then you’ll find yourself carrying a lot of weight in your hand. This will either cause you to strain your muscles and injure yourself or discourage you from taking what you need to study properly, putting your college years at risk.
What about the shoulder bag?
A shoulder bag can be a great alternative for a college student.
It’s both fashionable and practical, as it offers a good storage capacity, but it has one big drawback, especially for a college student: the weight of the entire contents of the bag rests on one shoulder. This automatically causes an imbalance that can lead to back pain, which, especially at a young age, can lead to health problems, just like roller bags.
The shoulder bag is more suitable for high school and college students. For the most part, these students carry fewer books and notebooks than a middle school student.
How to choose a backpack?
It’s not a matter of choosing the first backpack at the top of the market, whether it’s because it’s attractively priced or because it has a print from the latest movie.
Indeed, the backpack, especially when used by a college student, must meet certain essential criteria.
- It should be about 40 centimeters high to easily accommodate school books and notebooks. Ideally, the bottom should be rigid for added strength.
- It should have a capacity of at least 25 liters to easily carry all your school supplies.
- It is important tochoose a strong bag, especially in terms of the seams of the shoulder straps, which must be reinforced. In addition, the materials that make up the bag must be of good quality so that the bag does not deteriorate in a few weeks.
- Special attention should be paid to the closing system to ensure that it does not break after a few uses. We avoid scratch closures that get damaged and wear out too quickly and we prefer zippers. Note that some backpacks are equipped with anti-theft locks.
- It is necessary to be vigilant on the back of the bag which must be padded not to risk to hurt. The same goes for the shoulder straps, which should be easily adjustable to fit your child’s body perfectly.
A backpack yes, but at what price?
There are many models of backpacks, the price of which varies depending on the brand and the quality chosen.
The choice of brand will depend on your child’s preferences. It is important that your child has a backpack that he or she likes. It is up to you to determine the right balance between the price you can afford and what your child wants.
When it comes to quality, there are two schools of thought. Some parents will prefer to buy a new backpack every year and will select an inexpensive bag. Others will opt for quality and therefore a slightly higher price, with the hope that the bag will last more than a year.
In any case, you should not ignore the most important criteria to ensure that your child gets the most out of his or her backpack.
How to use a backpack properly?
You’ve found the perfect backpack for your middle schooler.
There are just a few final points to check to ensure that your child gets the most out of his or her backpack.
- The non-negotiable principle: the backpack should be worn on both shoulders. This way, the weight is properly distributed and the risk of back pain is reduced.
- Show your child how to properly pack the inside of the backpack. The largest and heaviest items should be placed at the bottom of the bag to relieve back muscles.
- Regularly, take the opportunity to sort out and see with your child if certain things, perhaps forgotten, are still useful to be carried.
- From time to time, remember to check the general condition of the backpack. Make sure that it is not damaged and that the seams, especially the straps, are still in place.
- As far as the straps are concerned, the adjustment of the straps should be checked regularly, especially in relation to the evolution of your child’s morphology.
As you can see, the choice of a backpack for your child should not be taken lightly.
Different criteria should be taken into account to ensure that your child has a backpack that meets his or her needs and desires, but also and above all that will help preserve his or her health.