My Kids Have Used These Backpacks Since Kindergarten — My Oldest Is Now in Fourth Grade

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There are a lot of great backpacks on the market, many of which fellow parents and caretakers swear by. For me, the only one that suited my kids as kindergartners and early elementary schoolers was this small Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpack. Even when they were nervous about starting kindergarten, they were excited to wear their backpacks and show off the design to their new friends. 

Quick Overview

What’s to Love About the Pottery Barn Mackenzie Backpacks?

Parents like myself love the durability, ease of cleaning, and range of sizes of the Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpacks. Kids love the variety of designs and prints — mine can’t wait to show their bags to friends!

What’s So Great About the Pottery Barn Mackenzie Backpacks?

In preschool, my kids kept everything they needed for the week at school except their lunches. So their nap mats, water bottles, and any papers only had to come home on Fridays. As my oldest was about to start kindergarten, though, I needed a backpack to fit the various things that needed to come and go every day. 

My daughter was too little for a standard-sized backpack. It fell down to her knees and she couldn’t walk when wearing it; she often fell over from the imbalance of stuff. However, the mini-sized backpack we had for short trips was too small for a folder or binder. 

I decided to get her the small Pottery Barn backpack in the design of her choosing. We didn’t monogram or customize it with her name; there’s a nameplate inside and, with so many designs, the chance that another student in her class would pick the exact same backpack was small. 

These durable, water-resistant backpacks are made with recycled plastic bottles, which made me feel good about the purchase. The dyes are environmentally safe while still being vibrant enough that my kids are drawn to the designs and are excited to wear their backpacks to school. The adjustable straps are padded and fit comfortably, and the back is padded for increased comfort, too. 

Credit: Laura Wheatman Hill

There are two external side pockets for water bottles and a small zippered pouch in the front for things like rocks and folded-up drawings — you know, normal kid treasures. Inside the main compartment, there’s a slot for a binder and the larger section that fits standard-sized lunch bags or boxes. It’s a perfect size for the accompanying Pottery Barn Mackenzie lunch boxes, which my kids also have. 

You do need to spot clean these backpacks, but so far stains have been minimal on the darker designs my kids picked. 

When it came time for my younger kid to pick out his first backpack, I had him choose one of the small Pottery Barn ones. He picked a glow-in-the-dark printed one, and still gets so excited when we’re traveling or coming home late and he gets to see his backpack glow. The glow has to “charge” in the sun, but then lasts several hours. 

My daughter is about to go into fourth grade now and has upgraded to a larger backpack, but the original one from her kindergarten days has held up nicely. She still uses it when we travel, or when she goes on adventures in the woods behind our house. My son is going into first grade and is excited for another school year with his backpack, which looks good as new even after a year of wear. 

Buy: Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpacks, starting at $54.50