Preparing for a new school year is a whirlwind. Take out some of the guessing game and late-night online shopping with our easy guide for back-to-school gear. From backpacks to lunch boxes to water bottles, you can start and end back-to-school shopping here with our BinkyBro gear guide. Let’s go!

Backpacks

BinkyBro

BinkyBro offers some of the best toddler backpacks in the game. It’s hard to find a small silhouette in a backpack without the obnoxious prints. BinkyBro has backpacks that fit just right for preschoolers and early elementary-aged kiddos. (Not designed to hold school binders.)

There’s blue and brown corduroy, canvas solids, and theeee cutest patterns in gender-neutral checks or feminine pink daisies and smiles. And the price point is just right at $30.

L.L.Bean

The Junior Original Book Pack from L.L.Bean is the definition of a classic, only in pint size. This backpack made for kids ages 4 to 7 comes in four bright and bold colors—neon pink, kelly green, red, and royal blue. Because it comes from one of the most tried-and-true outdoor companies, you can put this backpack through the wringer (AKA elementary school).


Retailing at $34.95, you can add a monogram to personalize your kids’ backpack for an additional $8.

Lunch Boxes

Herschel

Lunch boxes need just a few features: insulation, easy-to-clean material, and a closure. Simple! Herschel’s Pop Quiz Lunch Boxes do just that and keep it simple with clean features and cute color blocking, as well as kid-approved, trendy patterns.

Importantly, this lunch box will fit easily in almost any backpack, even toddler-sized ones. It retails for $30, but is sometimes on sale for $20.

Bentgo

A bento-style lunch box has dividers that separate food inside the box. This works especially well for small children because you don’t have to individually open food packaging once you open the bento box.

Bentgo’s Fresh box comes in six solid colors and is a great choice for preschoolers to adults. It’s available on Amazon for $30. (Hellooo two-day shipping!)

Water Bottles

Nalgene Kids

If you’ve gone on a hike before, it’s likely you’re familiar with big plastic Nalgene water bottles. But you may not realize they make the most fool-proof, leak-proof sippy water bottles on the market. The Nalgene Kids Grip-n-Gulp water bottle is practically indestructible and only has one simple removable valve part to clean.

It comes in several prints and solid see-through colors and is available on Amazon or any major outdoor retailer for $11 each.

CamelBak

Once your kid has graduated from a sippy style, a straw-style water bottle is a great choice. The CamelBak Eddy+ Kids is a highly recommended choice for a plastic water bottle, and it is also available in stainless steel, although it is more expensive and the heavier weight of steel may not be as easy to carry for little ones.

The plastic version is available on Amazon for $13 and $15 from REI. It comes in lots of color and pattern options, so your kid can choose a style they’re excited about to bring to school.

Getting back-to-school basics can be overwhelming—and sometimes expensive—but making stylish, solid choices that will last the school year will make both kids and parents happy.

September 15, 2022 — Matthew Fisler