Why Do School Bags Have Wide Straps?

My daughter started school a few weeks ago and it was so funny seeing how big her school bag looked when she put it on. One thing which surprised me was the thickness and width of the shoulder straps. Why are the designed this way? It just makes the whole bag look even bigger! Let’s take a look in more detail.

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Why do school bags have broad straps? Why is it more comfortable?

It’s simply down to science. If the straps have a greater surface area then there is less pressure exerted (pressure is inversely proportional to the area of contact). This means there will be less pressure applied from the straps to the shoulders, and consequently it will feel more comfortable for the person carrying the school bag.

Why is it difficult to hold a school bag with thin straps?

If the straps on any backpack, rucksack or school bag are too thin, there will be more pressure exerted on to your body which will make it a lot more uncomfortable, and it will likely dig in to your shoulders and possible leave a red mark for a while, especially if the bag is heavy. You won’t want to carry it for a long time!

How wide are the straps on a typical school bag?

It varies by manufacturer, but you probably want something that is between 1.5”- 2” in width. If you can, look for a backpack that has padded shoulder straps as well, as this will make it more comfortable to put on.

What is the typical school bag weight?

You definitely want to look for something which is lightweight, but the material should be strong enough to support carrying a heavier load. After a quick search on some retail websites, it looks like most school bag weights are just under 1kg.

How much weight should children be carrying?

The general advice is that kids should carry no more than 10-20% of their body weight in their backpacks.

school bag with wide straps

Do you need a sternum strap on a school bag?

Most school bags don’t come with a chest or sternum strap, as a shoulder strap is usually enough. However, if your child is carrying a heavy load a couple of days a week (games kit, heavy books, laptop etc) then a sternum strap can ease some of the pressure on the back and shoulders.

Should children have ergonomic school bags?

It depends on what you are after. Normally school bags which are ergonomically designed will cost a bit more, but you can have peace of mind that they are better for your child’s shoulders and back. The Deuter Kikki Kid’s Backpack is worth considering if you’re after this type of school bag (it comes in 6 different colours).

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