Whether you're buying a new backpack for your kid, or getting one for your own studies, these are the key features it should it have.
In this video from the Consumer Reports YouTube channel, Alex Willen explains what makes a good backpack. According to Willen, the most important thing is how well the pack fits and how it rests on your back. The backpack's straps should be wide, padded, and contoured, and the top of the strap should sit one or two inches below the shoulders. The bottom of the pack should rest in the small of your back, and never go four inches below your waistline (a waist belt can help). Willen says the ideal backpack distributes weight evenly so it reduces strain on your back and shoulders. And if the backpack is for your child, and they usually walk home from school or the bus stop, reflective trim can help keep them safe.
There are a few things you want to make sure you avoid too. Look inside a backpack before you buy it and look for loose threads, sloppy stitching, or raw, unfinished edges, Willen suggests you pick something else.
Getting the Right Backpack [YouTube]