Education

Back to School 2023: 16 Best School Backpacks, Lunchboxes, Shoes & More

Yes, it’s time to start thinking about back to school again! Whether this is your first time buying ALL the school supplies or you’re a back-to-school buying veteran by now, our Guide to Back to School 2023 will have your kids fitted out for the entire school year.

Backpacks, lunch boxes, name tags, and more – check out our buyer’s tips and top picks for back-to-school 2023.


BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING: TOP QUESTIONS ANSWERED

1. Are certain products required? In general, you will need to supply your child with:

  • A school backpack (and possibly a library bag and sports bag)
  • A lunch box
  • A water bottle 
  • School shoes and sports shoes, plus socks 

mum centralHOT TIP: Check with your child’s school first. Some schools are strict about what type of lunch boxes they require.  This is also the case with school shoes (black only in many instances) and sports shoes are sometimes only white.  Schools may also have mandatory hats and backpacks for their students. 

2. Do I need to buy school supplies? Again, this depends on the school. Many schools will have a supplies list; others have the school supplies, such as pens, scissors, and exercise books included in the fees. 

3. Do I buy clothes slightly too big to last the year? This can be a smart move, especially if you are a whiz with hemming. However, when it comes to shoes, experts recommend buying the right size. You may need to replace your child’s shoes after 6 months (or each term in some instances), but it’s better for their feet to buy the right size. Plus, kids’ shoes take a beating on the playground so replacing them every six months is also recommended. 

4. How do I keep all of this stuff organised? We recommend setting up a school organisation station where you can keep their backpack, hat, homework bags and shoes together and avoid the “mum where’s my hat?” every morning. Check out a few fun ideas here. We also recommend investing in labels or name tags for all items. 

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BACK TO SCHOOL 2023: BUYING GUIDE

BACKPACKS 

Alimasy Wonderland Kids School Backpack

RRP: $69.99
Where to buy: Alimasy

Alimasy-Wonderland-Kids-School-Backpack
Source: Alimasy

The Alimasy school backpack is a unique, spacious three-pocket design which is made from the highest quality materials and built to last. The Wonderland is lightweight and comfortable, supportive and durable. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular among school-aged children. 

Alimasy’s bags are fully lined too with a unique 100% waterproof lining to keep contents dry and naturally repel dirt, mould, and odour.  The ergonomic padded breathable back and padded adjustable straps provide all-day comfort and ensure a great fit every time even as they grow.

We also love the tiny details too including the padded laptop pocket, the name label and the multiple hanging and storage handles. All Alimasy bags have a lifetime warranty and are 100% safe as they are lead-free, BPA-free, PVC Free and Phthalate free.

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE: 10% OFF STOREWIDE
CODE: MUMCENTRAL

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MontiiCo Backpack

RRP: $69.95
Where to buy: MontiiCo

MontiiCo-Backpack-back-to-school-2023
Source: MontiiCo

Another excellent backpack for school, the MontiiCo Backpack comes with all the bells and whistles you want while choosing from 10 cool designs the kids will love. 

Lightweight, spacious, water-resistant, durable and most importantly, MACHINE WASHABLE, these backpacks feature three generous-sized pockets (two large side pockets for water bottles, a padded inside sleeve for laptops and tablets) plus thick, padded, comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps. 

We love the strong and sturdy custom MontiiCo zips, easy carry handle and handy carabiner attachment hidden inside the front pocket. It’s perfect for attaching school hats or wallets, amongst other things. Check out their matching insulated lunch bags and new silicone coin pouches too.

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE: 10% OFF STOREWIDE
CODE: MUMCENTRAL
EXPIRY: 10 FEBRUARY 2023

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LUNCH BOXES

b.box for kids large lunchbox 

RRP: $32.95
Where to buy: b.box

b.box-for-kids-lunchbox 
Source: b.box for kids

The easiest way to ensure those lunches get eaten is to provide the kids with a fun lunch experience. And b.box lunchboxes do just that! Kids love different choices throughout the day, so they’ve designed a lunchbox that offers parents and kids more flexibility.

Their lunchbox features a large compartment that fits a whole sandwich, a whole fruit compartment with a stretchy silicone seal plus moving dividers so you can customise the compartment sizes. Each lunchbox also comes with a gel cooler pack plus the leak-proof silicone seals lets you store runny foods like yoghurts. 

Regardless of what the kids are into this week – sandwiches, wraps, pasta, salads – b.box lunchboxes can store their snacks safely. Easy to open, fun to use and freezer safe too! Just be sure to hand wash (no dishwashers). All parts are also easily replaceable too! 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE: 20% OFF*
CODE: MUMCENTRALBBOX20
EXPIRY: 15 FEBRUARY 2023


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*Not applicable to licensed product, or in conjunction with any other offer.


Yumbox Original

RRP: $44.95
Where to buy: Mini Hippo

Yumbox-Original-back-to-school-2023
Source: Mini Hippo

Yumbox, the original leak-proof bento lunch box makes it possible for anyone to pack a nutritionally balanced meal in minutes. It’s perfect for tapas-style school lunches, toddler meals, snacks and small adult meals. If you’ve got a little one starting kindy, this is also a great choice. 

Designed to last, the Yumbox is durable and offers kids exactly what they want for lunch – choices! The compartments are ideal for all sorts of foods – meats and cheese, crackers, fruits, veggies, mini wraps and so much more! Plus, Yumbox makes the chore of packing lunch less challenging and fun.  

The Yumbox Original 6 compartment has been designed to assist parents with nutritional balance and portion control, all in a colourful, leak-proof bento box. It’s available in a range of colours and sizes for both kids and adults alike at Mini Hippo. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE: 10% OFF STOREWIDE
CODE: MumCentral
EXPIRY: 1 MARCH 2023

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Ecococoon Stainless Steel Bento Box 5 

RRP: $79.95
Where to buy: Ecococoon 

Ecococcoon-Stainless-Steel-Bento-Box-5 
Source: Ecococcoon

If you’re after a stainless steel lunch box, then Ecococoon’s Bento Box 5 is a winner! This heavy-duty lunch box is made from 18/8 stainless steel and delivers durability to the max! It comes with five compartments of various sizes for sandwiches, snacks, fruit, snacks and anything else your children are requesting this week. 

What makes the Bento Box extra magical is the removable silicone seal in the lid, stopping thicker liquids from leaking, resulting in less-than-desirable soggy crackers and sandwiches. Pick one up for every member of the family – they are great for adults too! 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE:
10% OFF STOREWIDE

CODE: MumCentral23
EXPIRY: 28 FEBRUARY 2023

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Little Lunch Box Co Bento Boxes

RRP: From $29.95
Where to buy: Little Lunch Box Co

Little-Lunch-Box-Co-Bento-Boxes
Source: Little Lunch Box Co

Fun to pack, and fun to eat, Little Lunch Box Co bento boxes are ideal for kids of all ages. Their lunchbox range includes Bento Twos, Bento Threes and Bento Fives so you can choose the right size for your child’s appetite. They also have a range of Bento accessories like Bento Cups and Dividers to craft an even prettier bento lunch every time. 

Little Lunch Box takes the stress out of preparing lunches and also encourages healthy and versatile eating. Their Bentos are leakproof,* easy to clean, top-shelf dishwasher-safe and lightweight. Best of all, they’ve got a range suitable for toddlers all the way to hungry teens. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE:
10% OFF STOREWIDE

CODE: MUMCENTRAL
EXPIRY: 10 FEBRUARY 2023

* Leakproof compartments allow you to pack dry food next to wet food such as yoghurt and dip without the risk of spoiling!

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WATER BOTTLES 

b.box for kids Tritan drink bottle 600ml

RRP: $25.95
Where to buy: b.box

b.box-for-kids-Tritan-Drink-Bottle-600ml
Source: b.box for kids

b.box’s unique big kids’ 600ml drink bottle is ideal for school kids. Its unique triangle shape bottle is designed specifically for little hands, making it easier for kids to grip. 

Not only is it easy to use but it’s also built to last. Every bottle is made from Tritan™ for lightweight and extra durability, to survive life’s bumps and falls. 

There’s a whole heap of great features too – an easy push button to open the lid, an angled straw top to ensure kids can drink to the end and a spill-proof bite valve for no accidental spills. The robust carry handle makes it easy for kids to carry and remove from bags plus all the parts easily disassemble and can be popped into the dishwasher (top rack only). 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE: 20% OFF*
CODE: MUMCENTRALBBOX20
EXPIRY: 15 FEBRUARY 2023

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*Not applicable to licensed product, or in conjunction with any other offer.


Ecococoon Spill & Leak Proof Drink Bottle

RRP: $35.95
Where to buy: Ecococoon

Ecococcoon-Spill-&-Leak-Proof-Drink-Bottle
Source: Ecococcoon

Ecococoon’s Spill & Leak Proof Drink Bottle is the perfect size for thirsty kids, coming in either 350 ml ($35.95), 500ml ($39.95) or 600ml ($44.95).

What we love about Ecococoon is that their drink bottles are spill and leak-proof, even without the lid on. This is thanks to the ingenious one-way valve in the spout and leak and spill-proof cap. No more wet school bags, car seats, or beds! The valve also stops gross food backwashing into their drink bottle too, and we know how much we appreciate that!

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
FREE: BOTTLE COVER WORTH $14
CODE: MCFreeBottleCover
EXPIRY: 30 JUNE 2023

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Tinc Leak Proof Lockable Lid Drink Bottle

RRP: $25.00
Where to buy: Tinc

Tinc-Leak-Proof-Lockable-Lid-Drink-Bottle
Source: Tinc

We love the Tinc range of leak-proof drink bottles – they’re strong, sturdy and cute to boot. Each features an adorable little design (perfect for easy identification) and holds 500ml of water.

The flip and clip lockable lid prevents leaks, yet it is also easy enough for kids to open and close on their own. Each comes with a strong carry handle too, is dishwasher safe and is made of BPA-free plastic. Choose from several different colours and quirky characters. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE: 20% OFF STOREWIDE
CODE:
MUMCENTRAL

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LABELS & STAMPS

Oz Labels Vinyl Stick On Name Labels

RRP: From $18.00
Where to buy: Oz Labels

Oz-Labels-Vinyl-Stick-On-Name-Labels
Source: Oz Labels

Every parent needs a system to keep track of their children’s belongings and name labels are a winner! Oz Labels provides a range of personalised name labels for kids going back to school including stick-on labels, iron-on clothing labels and sew-on clothing labels. Plus, their quality name labels are dishwasher and microwave safe.

What we especially love about Oz Labels is the multi-name feature which allows you to enter a list of names, and print only 1 or more labels for every child in the household. So easy too – just type, click and drag and easily design your own name labels. All their orders also come with free shipping too! 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE: 20% OFF VINYL STICK ON
& CLOTHING LABELS
CODE: MUMCENTRAL
EXPIRY: 28 FEBRUARY 2023

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Stuck On You Self-Inking Medium Clothing Name Stamp

RRP: $44.95
Where to buy: Stuck On You

Stuck-On-You-Self-Inking-Medium-Clothing-Name-Stamp
Source: Stuck On You

If it’s a name stamp you’re after, then Stuck On You’s Self-Inking Medium Clothing Name Stamp is a great choice. It allows you to ditch the blotchy marker and stamp just about anything – uniforms, socks, shoes, books, bottles, hats, bags and more! Best of all, it works on fabrics, paper, plastic – you name it! 

It’s a self-contained stamp so you don’t need to get messy with an ink pad plus it’s non-toxic, permanent and wash-resistant. The name stamp has also been dermatologically tested so it’s a great option for kids with skin sensitivities or kids who hate those scratchy tags. 

You can personalise your stamp with a first and last name plus a fun icon to help little kids spot their stuff.  

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SHOES AND SOCKS 

Clarks Daytona Senior Shoes

RRP: $159.95
Where to buy: Clarks

Clarks-Daytona-Senior-Injection-Shoes 
Source: Clarks

Shoes are one of the most important things on your back-to-school product lists. Clarks Daytona Senior Shoes is Clarks’ #1 best-selling shoe and are available in 234 different sizes (6-width fittings) for the perfect fit. 

Crafted with full-grain leather to withstand all-year wear with leather lining for breathability, it truly is the perfect school shoe. It ticks all the school shoe boxes too – a padded collar for extra comfort, a soft PU moulded footbed and micro-fresh technology to fight bacteria and prevent foot odour and mould.

With a lightweight sole and a spare set of laces, your kids will be set for the entire school year. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
SAVE: 20% OFF STOREWIDE
CODE: NONE REQUIRED
EXPIRY: 5 FEBRUARY 2023

T&Cs apply. Available at Clarks in-store and online.

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Ascent Apex Max 3

RRP: $159.99
Where to buy: Ascent Footwear

ascent-school-shoes-back-to-school
Source: Ascent Shoes

If you’re after a school shoe that doubles as a sports shoe, then the Apex Max 3 is ideal. Made for kids that don’t walk, but run, jump, swing, climb and kick, this shoe will have your child’s back when it really matters.

Ascent school shoes are sports shoes in disguise with plenty of cushioning to take on daily adventures both at school and after school too. Endorsed by medical professionals, Ascent Shoes provide the correct amount of support and cushioning for growing feet.

They are also hard-wearing, made from full-grain leather and dyed black all the way through, preventing grey scuffs so they look smarter for longer! Plus, Ascent Footwear offers a 6-month* outsole guarantee meaning they are guaranteed against wearing through the outsole from normal day-to-day use. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER
FREE: ZIP TRAVEL SHOE BAG & SHOE SHINE**
CODE: NONE REQUIRED

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* T&C’s apply.
**Gift with purchase automatically applied at checkout


dot on a sock School Socks

RRP: $25.00 for 5 pairs
Where to buy: dot on a sock

dot-on-a-sock-School-Socks
Source: dot-on-a-sock

While some schools have specific socks in their uniform (high schools especially), most schools prefer plain white or grey socks. The easiest way to keep your kids’ socks organised and together all year is with a colour-coding system, such as the clever system from Dot on a Sock.

These clever colour-coded socks contain a dot on each sole. Each size has a different coloured dot, making it easy to match and pair your socks by size quickly and easily. It’s a real game-changer when you have several kids with different size feet and don’t want to spend your spare time juggling and matching!  They come in different colours too – choose from white, grey, black and navy, with either ankle or crew cut designs.

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OTHER PRODUCTS 

MOOV Head Lice Defence Spray

RRP: $14.95
Where to buy: Most chemists (see stockists)

MOOV-Head-Lice-Defence-Spray
Source: Ego Pharmaceuticals

Back to school is also the start of peak head lice season so it’s a good idea to stock up on a preventative head lice product as part of your back-to-school routine. Last thing you want is to be scrambling when the dreaded head lice come home! From the #1 selling head lice brand in pharmacy, MOOV Head Lice helps prevent head lice for up to eight hours. 

MOOV Head Lice Defence Spray is applied like a leave-in conditioner and sprayed directly onto your children’s hair daily for defence against head lice. This provides up to eight hours of defence, making it ideal for school time. The low-irritant spray makes hair unpleasant to lice, whilst conditioning the hair. It leaves little residue, is fragrance-free and is non-greasy so children will hardly even know it is in their hair.

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SunSense Performance SPF 50+ Sunscreen

RRP: $7.39 (on sale at Chemist Warehouse)
Where to buy: Most chemists (see stockists

Back to school 2023 product guide
Source: Ego Pharmaceuticals

A wise choice to pop into the pocket of your child’s backpack is a small bottle of sunscreen. SunSense Performance SPF 50+ is a great choice, especially for active kids. It helps protect the skin from UV damage, has a light and non-greasy formula, and is suitable for the face and body. It contains Nicotinamide (Vitamin B3) to moisturise the skin. Suitable for the Aussie sun, it’s fragrance-free and water-resistant for up to 4 hours. Plus, it’s been dermatologically tested and is Australian-made and owned

Always read the label and follow the directions for use. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk. Frequent re-application is required. 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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