Sizing Guide for Children's Backpacks

A Fitting Guide for a Child's Backpack
A Fitting Guide for a Child's Backpack. 2006, Chris Adams, Licensed to

A good ergonomic backpack should be no larger than the child's back. To simplify matters, take two measurements of a child's back and use those for the maximum height and width of the backpack.

Here is a guide to how to make those two measurements.

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Find the Height

Find the maximum height by measuring the distance from the shoulder line to the waistline and adding 2 inches.

The shoulder line is where the backpack straps will actually rest on the body. This is located about halfway between the neck and shoulder joint. The waistline is at the belly button.

The backpack should fit 2 inches below the shoulders and up to 4 inches below the waist, so adding 2 inches to the measurement will give the right number.

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Find the Width

The width of the back can be measured at a number of locations, each with different results. For a backpack, the core and hip muscles usually carry the most weight. This is why the backpack should be kept centered between the shoulder blades.

To find the proper width for a backpack, measure between the ridges of your kid's shoulder blades. Adding an extra inch or 2 here is acceptable.

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Size Chart for Children's Backpacks

A Chart of Average Sizes for Children's Backpacks
Chris Adams

If you cannot measure your child for whatever reasons, like if they refuse to sit still or if you cannot find any measuring tools, that means you have to guess. This chart can help ensure that a guess is as accurate as possible.

The chart shows the maximum heights and widths for the average child of a certain age. Make adjustments as necessary.