With a little more than a week before the new school year, traders are observing the increased interest of buyers in school supplies. Among the most frequent purchases are not only notebooks, but also new backpacks. Experts advise how to choose the right backpack for a child and why it is not always appropriate to have one from previous years.
According to stationery sellers, children outgrow not only clothes, but also school backpacks, so the need for a new backpack is not only due to the desire to renew the carrier that is carried almost every day.
“Children grow quickly, their height and body shape change, so it is impossible to finish school with only one backpack. If we compare a backpack for a first grader and a fifth grader, we will see many differences – not only the size and weight, but also the ergonomic solutions. For example, a school backpack for a first grader is lighter, it can have not only a strong anatomical back, but also a hard bottom. On the other hand, the backpacks of older students are often softer and bigger,” comments Alius Borouchinas, sales manager of the “Charlot” store chain.
According to him, when preparing for the new school year, it is necessary to assess whether the child needs a new backpack. If the second grader can still fit the backpack he had in the first grade, it is very likely that the third grader will already need a new one.
“We usually have a height measurer in the stores so that children can choose the most suitable backpack for their height – neither too big nor too small. Parents have to be reminded that buying a backpack for growth is not a good decision – it can harm the child’s posture. A backpack of the right size should fit tightly to the child’s back, its height should not protrude above the shoulders, but should be 2-5 cm below them, the bottom of the backpack should end at the child’s waist”, says A. Borouchinas.
Backpack straps are also important
When choosing a backpack, it is important to take into account not only the size of the backpack, but also other aspects – quality, comfort, the ability to adjust the straps and additional accessories.
“When choosing a new backpack for a child, it is recommended to pay attention to its straps, so that they are no narrower than 3.5 cm and padded so that they do not dig into the child’s shoulders. It is extremely important that the belts are of adjustable length, because when the cold season begins, you may have to lengthen them due to wearing a jacket or coat,” advises Greta Kalvaitytė, marketing manager of the bookstore chain “Pegasas”.
For those who want to make it easier to carry a heavier backpack, you can purchase special backpack straps that fasten on the chest – thanks to them, the backpack fits more closely to the child’s back, making it easier to carry. However, it is important to remember that a full school backpack should not exceed 10%. child’s weight.
According to G. Kalvaitytė, it is extremely important that the child wears the backpack correctly – with both straps on his shoulders: “When carrying a backpack with a belt over one shoulder, the entire weight of the backpack falls on him, so the child bends over. Wearing a backpack in this way can not only stretch the muscles, but also encourage irregular posture.”
When choosing a backpack, it is also important to evaluate its comfort from the child’s perspective, whether it has enough compartments and pockets to store the necessary things, whether it will fit a drink and a lunch box, if you need to bring snacks to school. Currently, school backpacks have not only reflectors or key holders, but also integrated USB connections or even headphones.
Backpack trends are dictated by beloved heroes
According to traders, although there is a larger selection of school goods in stores already in mid-July, the biggest influx of buyers is received in the last weeks of summer.
“Usually, buyers tend to take their time getting ready for school before the summer fun is over – although the sale of school goods starts at the beginning of August, we get the highest number of visitors in the second half of the month, right after Žolinė, or even in the last days of August. Preparing for school is different again: some people tend to shop in one go – from the necessary office supplies to sports clothes, others – consider different offers more and only then choose the most suitable option. However, we urge you not to leave shopping for school until the last day”, says Dominykas Mertinas, Head of Marketing and Communication of Akropolis Group.
The representative of “Charlot” also urges you not to delay your shopping – although there are enough school backpacks for everyone, the first buyers have the opportunity to choose from a larger range of new backpacks. This is especially relevant for children who want a backpack with the hero of their favorite cartoon.
“Manufacturers of backpacks take into account the trends of cartoons and computer games every year, which heroes are “on the wave” for children. It is not uncommon for parents to give in to their child’s whims and buy the backpack they want, not realizing that it is not suitable for the child. We recommend that buyers look for a compromise and pay more attention not only to the appearance of the backpack, but also to its fit and comfort for the child,” emphasizes A. Borouchinas.
G. Kalvaitytė also agrees with him – now the assortment of school backpacks is so wide that it should please every buyer’s taste.
“You can choose from pastel colors to extremely bright or backpacks decorated with your favorite heroes. Extremely popular backpacks that can be completed with a pencil case and sports bag of the same style. We can often offer a drinking cup, lunch box or fountain pen for such a set. We notice that buyers are increasingly paying attention to sustainability – they willingly choose backpacks made from recycled materials”, shares the Pegaso representative.
When asked about the prices of backpacks, whether they have not changed due to inflation, the interlocutors assured that the prices of a part of the range of backpacks have remained at the level of last year, only the production of a few manufacturers has become slightly more expensive.