My kids are so hard on backpacks. From the moment they start school in Kindergarten, their poor backpacks are mistreated- left in the rain, thrown on the floor, walked on. We empty them out, wash them, and they are good to go again.
I got tired of buying two less expensive backpacks a year and just switched all the kids to Jansports. I haven’t regretted it a bit! My youngest is 4, the backpack is nearly as long as she is, but I know it will last her multiple years. I picked up the middle child’s backpack and was surprised to discover it was so heavy. 2 encyclopedia volumes and a pocket full of actual rocks, because of course he was walking a mile home like he was prepping for a backpacking trip. The good news is, the backpack lasted. Despite being sorely mistreated, these are sturdy backpacks that clearly have room for everything!