See our updated 2015 post → Little Backpacks for Little Kids: Best Small Bags for Toddlers & Preschoolers
Buying your child's first backpack is a rite of passage for both of you. After years of hauling around everything they need - it's their turn to tote their belongings. They feel like a "big kid" but they don't yet need a big kid backpack. Here are some on the diminutive side, around 12"-13" tall - enough to carry the essentials without overloading them.
Many of these companies make similar backpacks in different colors and designs so if you like the size, style and general vibe, check out more of their packs for something that suits your kid.
1. Pink Birds Toddler Backpack by So Young Modern Family $48, Black Wagon
2. Owl Backpack by Franck & Fisher $46 My Sweet Muffin
3. Kanken Mini $55, 24 colors, Fjällräven US
4. Heroes Pack n Snack $27.99, Wildkin
5. Retro Robot Zippee Backpack by SugarBooger $25, Oompa
6. Fox Zoo Kids Little Kid Backpacks $20, SkipHop
7. Mini Backpack Mushroom $34.99 Moolka
8. Runabout Toddler Daysack by LittleLife, $17 (sale), Wiggle
9. Cold Feet Backpack by DabbaWalla $35.99, Moolka
10. My First Backpack Horse $34.50, Pottery Barn Kids
(Images: as linked; collage by Carrie McBride)