Non Toxic Kids Backpacks – Non Toxic Backpacks For Kindergarten Kids

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non toxic kids backpack

Non Toxic Backpacks For Kindergarten Kids


I remember when my daughter was a pre-schooler, she asked me to get this backpack with princess prints.  However, it was made of a shiny, glossy plastic that is harmful so I ended up not getting it.  Kids may like certain designs or prints such as Disney princesses or superheroes on their backpacks so you may be tempted to buy a backpack that your child likes. However, you may want to check the material first before getting it for your child.  Surprisingly, many products for children are made with harmful materials or contain toxic ingredients.  Backpacks are no exception and they could also be made of harmful materials.  My daughter is starting kindergarten this year and we were told that kindergarten students should have a backpack that is big enough to hold a lunchbox, water bottle and books the size of a duotang (9×12 inches).  Therefore, I needed to find a backpack that is big enough as well as non toxic, and I researched further.  In this post, I share with you how kids backpacks can be toxic and what non toxic backpacks are available. 



Toxic Materials For A Backpack

Backpacks can be made with toxic materials such as PVC (Polyvinyl chloride). Vinyl chloride which is used to produce PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is known to cause a cancer.  Plasticizers are also used to make PVC soft and flexible and the most commonly used plasticizers for PVC are phthalates.  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors and cause numerous negative health problems such as breast cancer, decreased fertility or developmental issues.  PVC contains additives such as cadmium, lead, dioxins, phthalates which can leach out into the air your child breathes.  According to the Center for Health and Environmental and Justice  PVC is a poison plastic and no other plastic contains or releases as many dangerous chemicals.  Green Peace also called PVC the most environmentally damaging of all plastics.  According to the State of New Jersey, PVC is a major source of phthalate and although it is banned in children’s toys since 2008, the PVC in school supplies are not banned.  That means children are exposed to school supplies that are made of PVC materials.  PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is also called vinyl.  Therefore, when you see a backpack that is made of vinyl, that means the backpack is made of PVC.  PVC is the most toxic plastic and also really harmful for the environment.  



Waterproof Treatments

Some kids backpacks may have waterproof layers or coatings to repel moisture and keep them dry.  Backpacks can be waterproofed by adding a waterproof/ repellent layer or using a fabric treated with a water-proof/ repellent coating. Durable water repellent coating, PU coating, PVC coating or laminate, TPU-film laminates are some popular ways to waterproof fabrics.  However, some of the waterproof coatings can be harmful.  For example, DWR (durable water repellent) fabrics which are often used in outdoor wear, rain wear, backpacks, etc. are treated to repel moisture.  Waterproof or water-repellent chemical treatments often use perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).  Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) including PFOA, PFOS and other per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are toxic chemicals.  PFOA and PFOS can cause cancer (for PFOA) and thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS), low infant birth weights, effects on the immune system.  PFOA and PFOS had been used for a while, however, they are no longer manufactured in the United States due to potential health risks.  However, they are still used in some countries and can be imported into the United States.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, GenX and PFBS, replacement chemicals used for the PFOA or PFOS are also as harmful as PFOA or PFOS.  These toxic chemicals are also harmful to our environment.  Also, as mentioned earlier, PVC is the most toxic plastic. You may want to avoid PVC waterproof coating or laminates.  If you want a waterproof or water-repellent backpack for your child, consider a polyester or nylon material backpack.  Polyester and nylon are water resistant.  That means they are not totally water-proof and they absorb some water but the water dries quickly. 



Backpack Materials

Backpacks can be made of polyester, nylon, cordura, cotton, linen/cotton blend, PVC, etc.  Go for a backpack that is made of a fabric.  Vinyl which looks like a shiny plastic material is PVC and should be avoided.  Cotton and linen/cotton blends are natural materials and fabrics such as polyester, nylon, cordura are synthetic materials.  Although some people may prefer a natural material, some people may want a more practical fabric such as polyester or nylon since they are water resistant and durable.  However, do check if the fabric used have any waterproof/ water-repellent laminate or coatings.  You should avoid a back pack made of a PVC material, a PVC laminated fabric, a PVC coated fabric or a DWR (durable water repellent) fabric.  When choosing a backpack, also consider if your child needs a backpack that can withstand the wear and tear as well as water or liquid spilling.  Polyester may be a durable, water-resistant material if you want a fabric that is water-resistant without a water-resistant coating.  However, you should still check if the polyester fabric is treated with a water-proof or water-repellent coating.  Also, you may want to ensure that the backpack has a side water bottle pocket and also find out if the backpack is machine washable. 



Kindergarten Backpack Sizes

My daughter’s school told us that our daughter would need a backpack that is big enough to hold a lunchbox, water bottle and books the size of a duotang (9×12 inches).  Therefore, the backpack may be about 11 inches wide and 15 inches long (for a child 43-49 inches tall).  However, this is just a general measurement guideline.  Since every child is different, you should measure your child’s height, length from the shoulders to his/her belly button (and add 2 inches) for a backpack length and also how wide his/her shoulder length is (add up to 2inches) for a backpack width.  Also, you may want to check if items your child needs such as a lunch box or books fit in the backpack of your choice.



Non Toxic Backpacks

Companies often carry kids backpacks as well as matching or different lunch bags.  I included each company’s lunch bag links below as well. 


Petit Collage Eco-Friendly Backpack – Non Toxic Kids Backpack

Exterior Material: 100% Cotton canvas 

Waterproof Coating: Exterior is coated with a protective, solvent-free biodegradable laminate made from natural polymers (sugar cane). Exterior is water resistant.

BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free: Yes

Conforms to CPSIA, ASTM, and CCPSA standards: Yes

Functional Design: Petite Collage Eco-Friendly Backpack has a side mesh pocket for a water bottle, large interior pocket and a name tag. It also has adjustable padded straps.

Dimension: ‎10.5 x 14 x 4 inches (26.67  x 35.56 x 10.16 cm) 

More Info




Insulated: Yes

Check out the Petit Collage Insulated lunch bag.






SoYoung Backpack – Non Toxic Kids Backpack

Exterior Material: Linen/Cotton blend

Interior Material: Polyester

Waterproof Coating: not coated or laminated with any chemicals or water repellents.

BPA, PVC, lead and phthalate-free: Yes

Machine Washable: Wash on a gentle cycle with cold water. No dryers

Functional Design: SoYoung Backpack has 2 stretchy mesh side pockets, a reinforced bottom for extra protection, and a chest strap with clip for added security. The lined nylon interior has a zippered pocket to store all the small and easy to lose supplies.

Dimensions: 11 x 15.5 x 5.5 inches (27.94 x 39.37 x 13.97 cm)

*For a smaller size for SoYoung backpacks for 2-5 years old is 9.5 X 13 X 5 inches.

More Info


Insulated: Yes

Check out the SoYoung Insulated Lunch Bag.






Stephen Joseph Kids Backpack – Non Toxic Kids Backpack

Exterior Material: Polyester

Interior Material: Polyester lining

Waterproof Coating: No

BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free: Yes 

Machine Washable: Yes

Functional Design: Stephen Joseph Kids Backpack has a large front pocket, an interior compartment, and 2 drink pouches on the sides offer plenty of room for all the necessities. It also has cushioned, adjustable straps and a handy hanging loop. It even has the perfect spot for personalization on the outside pocket and a handy ID label inside to make sure it never gets lost.

Dimension: 12 x 16 x 5.5 inches (30.48 x 40.64 x 13.97 cm)

More Info


Insulated: Yes

Check out Stephen Joseph Lunch Box.






STATE Kane Kids Backpack – Non Toxic Backpack

Exterior Material: Polyester 

Interior Material: Polyester lining

Waterproof Coating: No

Machine Washable: Yes, wash cold, gentle cycle, line dry

Functional Design: STATE Kane Kids backpack has easily adjustable webbing straps, and equipped with organizational zip pockets, slip pockets and pen holders, zippered front pocket, side water bottle pockets, and top locker loop. Its laptop sleeve fits a 13″ laptop and main compartment fits a standard school size folder. 

Dimension: 14.95 x 11.22 x 4.72 (37.97 x 28.50x 11.99 cm)



LONECONE Kids’ Back to School Bundle – Backpack & Lunch Box Matching Set – Non Toxic Kids Backpack


Exterior Material: Poly-Nylon (polyester and nylon blend)

Waterproof Coating: No

BPA, Lead, Cadmium and phthalate-free: Yes

Machine Washable: Yes

Functional Design: LONECONE backpack has large zippers that are easy for small hands to open and close, wide U-shaped openings for frustration-free access to contents, and padded shoulder straps quickly adjust using slide buckles.  It is tested to withstand over 100 hours of use without loss of function.

Dimension: 15 x 11 x 3.5 inches (38.1 x 27.4 x 8.89 cm)

More Info



Final Thoughts

A backpack is something your child brings to school on a daily basis.  Your children is exposed to the backpack material everyday.  Therefore, you may want to ensure that the backpack is not made of harmful materials that can contain BPA, PVC, lead, phthalates, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), etc..  However, at the same time, you may want to consider what type of material would be best for your child’s backpack.  You may want a backpack that is also machine washable, easy to clean, resists moisture, or durable.  You may also want to consider if the backpack fits into your budget or if the design and style appeal to your child.  I really like the SoYoung Kids backpack.  I am planning to have my daughter pick a backpack she likes from the SoYoung Kid backpacks.  If she doesn’t like any of them, I will show her other brands above.  I hope she can pick a backpack that she can enjoy bringing to school everyday. 



For non toxic art supplies for kids – ‘Non Toxic Art Supplies For Kids – Which Art Supplies Are Safe?‘.

For non toxic toys for toddlers, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Gifts For Toddlers.’

For non Toxic toy brands, please read my post, ‘Best Non Toxic Toys – What Are The Best Non Toxic Toy Brands?

For healthy toddler shoes, please read my post, ‘Toddler Shoes Guide and Review – Toddler Shoes That Promote Healthy Foot Development‘.

For what foods to avoid for kids ‘Harmful Chemicals In Children’s Foods – What Foods To Avoid For Children‘.





  • go_new_mommy

    Isabelle has been an entrepreneur for last 16 years in retail and educational industry. She is also a mom. She is a mom entrepreneur who is always trying to find a better, easier way to run her business. She also tries to provide organic and non-toxic living environment for her child. She likes to research for the most non-toxic products or safe alternatives and share them with parents. In addition, she is against animal testing and supports cruelty-free products.

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