A child totes his backpack around all year long, so finding the right satchel, knapsack, or carryall can be the difference between daily ease and constant discomfort. Find the very best backpack for your child by keeping three simple factors in mind.

Consider Your Child’s Life

How your child uses his backpack will determine the type of bag needed. Older kids who carry heavy books back and forth to school may need more supportive backpacks with ergonomic shoulder straps as well as belts that go across the waist and chest. Young children who typically only need to tote a few papers and a sack lunch can opt for lighter-weight backpacks. Remember to think about activities your child uses his bag for outside of school. If he takes his backpack camping or to swim practice, for example, you may want to select a bag with weatherproof fabric.

Make Sure It’ll Last

Kids go through a lot in a year, and it really takes a toll on their backpacks. Because of the rough-and-tumble student lifestyle, kids’ backpacks should be sturdy so that they last through the school year and beyond. Look for bags with water and tear resistant fabric, as well as reinforced shoulder straps.

It Has to be Cool

Lastly, it’s important for your child to have a say in the style and color of his backpack. A child will wear his backpack almost everyday of the school year, so finding a design that makes him smile is essential. Look for interesting patterns or colors that your child will like. And don’t forget that you can always make a backpack a little more special with a monogram of your child’s initials or a few pins and patches.

Focusing on these three backpack factors will help you find the perfect satchel for your child at the end of summer. Enjoy searching for the perfect backpack with your child, and have a great back-to-school season!