15 Cute Toddler Harness Backpacks you and your toddler will love!

Toddler in winter wear with a toddler backpack harness with tether

Safety v Novelty – here’s what to look for in a toddler backpack they’ll love!

Really want to use reins or a harness with your little one but they’re constantly putting up a fight? Perhaps you need to try a harness backpack to encourage your child to use this essential piece of toddler safety gear.

We previously reviewed the best toddler reins and features that you should look for. However, we know by far the most popular design for a toddler harness and leash is one that comes with a cute backpack.

Why? Simple; kids love cute and cuddly things they can call their own! When you’re imposing bounds – with your child’s safety front of mind – your independently-minded tot needs an item that they love and take pride in wearing.

The great thing about these harness backpacks for toddlers is not only can you choose a product to suit their tastes – from butterflies to dinosaurs or spaceships – they are ultra-practical too!

Your little one will love the responsibility of having their own bag when traveling. On many models that we’ll review here, the leash or tether can also detach, so they have their own easy-to-wear travel bag with a chest strap that will last them well into their pre-school years.

This post is part of our Travels with Toddler product advice series – you can find all our tried & tested toddler gear for travel here

If your kids are a little older then you may want to head across to our review of the best kids travel backpacks or check out the best kids scooter suitcases for a fun alternative

Best Backpack Toddler Harness

We compare all the leading brands of Toddler harness backpacks here or read on for the detailed descriptions and important points to look out for.

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ProductBrandSizeTether & Features
Brica by-My-Side Toddler Safety Harness Backpack with Leash14.1" x 7.8" x 2.8" Detachable Tether 36"
Adjustable chest and shoulder straps
Skip Hop Toddler Leash and Harness Backpack9" x 3.25" x 7.5"Detachable Tether 26.5"
Adjustable shoulder strap
Goldbug Animal 2-in-1 Safety Harness5.9" x 4.5" x 12.6"Detachable Tether is 36"
Adjustable straps
Double chest straps
Mountaintop Kids Toddler Backpack8.7" x 3.7" x 12.2"Detachable Tether 35.8"
Adjustable shoulder strap
Yisibo Kids Backpack with Safety Leash6.7" x 3.5" x 8.3"Detachable Tether is 48"
Adjustable straps
GXTVO Backpack Leash9.5" x 7.5" x 3.2"Detachable Tether
Adjustable shoulder straps
Hipiwe Baby Toddler Walking Safety Backpack8.27" x 7.87" x 2.76"Tether 43.3"
Adjustable shoulder straps
Emmzoe Toddler 3D Animal Backpack 7" x 9" x5" Detachable tether included
Adjustable shoulder straps
TEAMEN Kids Backpack9.45" x 7.87" x 3.94"Detachable Tether
Adjustable shoulder straps
JIANBAO Dinosaur Toddler Backpacks7.8" x 7.4" x 2.7"Wrist Link stretches to 94", also a 47" leash
VASCHY Toddler Backpack8.66" x 3.15" x 9.84"Detachable Tether 42.5"
Adjustable shoulder straps
VONXURY Toddler Backpack9.4" x 3.1" x 7.9"Detachable Tether 20"
Adjustable shoulder straps
Toddler Kids Dinosaur Backpack 7.09" x 4.33" 10.24" Detachable Tether
Adjustable shoulder straps
UATOP Toddler Backpack 11.8" x 8.7" x 6.3"Detachable Tether
Adjustable shoulder straps
Naturally Kids Backpack11.26" x 9.49" x 5.47"No tether - backpack only
Adjustable shoulder straps

What to look for in a backpack harness for toddler safety

Harness: Most backpack-style models attach with a single chest strap across the front of the backpack. If your child is very susceptible to running off or very strong, you may prefer a more structured harness that fits over their shoulders or has a double chest strap.

Durable Tether: The last thing you want is for the tether to snap after the first or second use.  All of the models we review here have a detachable leash, but the strength of the clip that attaches to either the top or bottom of the backpack varies. Choose a toddler harness, backpack, or wrist rein made with extra durable material, and check customer reviews for the strength of the clip attaching it to the bag.

Capacity: You want them to be able to fit a few favourite toys in their own backpack or their diaper change gear but avoid packing half their toy box and weighing them down too much.

NB – most products are not large enough to fit a 10″ iPad/Tablet, the largest capacity for most is an 8″ though check by each product if this is a necessity for you.

Comfortable Straps: Choose a backpack with padded straps for superior comfort and a good chest strap to help evenly distribute the weight. Very few could properly be described as a harness, merely a strap to hold the pack on.

Easy to Clean: A bonus for any small child’s item is if it can be machine washed when grubby. Little ones are notoriously messy and chances are, you’re using your harness backpack when you’re outdoors so don’t be surprised to find it decorated in anything from ice cream to mud!

Best Toddler Backpacks

Best toddler backpack for safety: Munchkin Brica by-My-Side Toddler Safety Harness Backpack with Leash

The quality that sets this Brica By-My-Side Toddler Safety Harness Backpack apart is the shock-absorbing removable tether and adjustable chest and side traps, allowing this backpack to be truly fitted to your child as a harness.

Several external pockets and a toy loop only add to the backpack making it our top choice for a practical harness backpack, even if it lacks some of the novelty features that others have. If keeping your child secure is the number one priority then you’ve got it with the Munchkin Brica by My-My-Side Safety Harness backpack.

We love it because:

  • Roomy compartments and pockets, including a toy loop
  • Swivel clips keep tether from getting tangled
  • Shock absorbing tether extends to 3 feet
  • Shoulder straps and side straps are adjustable for a snug fit
  • Available in a variety of colours including pink, green, blue owl and green giraffe
  • Reflective safety strips for added nighttime visibility
  • Perfect size for children 18 months and over
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 7.8 x 2.8 inches

Best for toddler backpack for range of animals: Skip Hop Toddler Leash and Harness

The ever-reliable Skip Hop brand offers a simply adorable range of toddler harness backpacks. From unicorns to owls, monkeys and butterflies to foxes, they have one of the best critters ranges in a small backpack big enough for your toddler’s toys or diaper changing gear. A detachable leash and sturdy chest strap make it equally useful as a safety harness as a backpack.

We love it because:

  • Great room compartment without being too heavy
  • The detachable tether is 26.5″
  • Has an exterior pocket for water bottles
  • Huge range of fun animal critters to choose from
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 3.25 x 7.5 inches (23 x 8.25 x 19cm)

Best for new walkers: Goldbug Animal 2-in-1 Safety Harness

Many children love having a stuffed animal as a comfort toy when they travel, so this definitely fits the bill.  The small storage compartment on this reins backpack for toddlers is useful for snacks and other small toys.

This toddler reins backpack may be harder to wash, as with stuffed animals in general.  The rein is quite short and may not be ideal for very young children in terms of height difference. The storage pocket is very small on this one, more teddy than a backpack but the double chest clip does make it closer to a true harness, best for your early walkers who still need to stick nearby.

We love it because:

  • Double chest straps for added stability and support
  • Available in a variety of plush animal versions
  • Storage pocket on the back of a plush animal
  • Available 36″ tether attaches on the bottom of the harness
  • Intended for ages 18 months and up
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 4.5 x 12.6 inches

Best toddler backpack for capacity: Mountaintop Kids Toddler Backpack

This is a great choice for families serious about their outdoor adventure and seeking practicality above all else. Coming in a huge range of bright colours bound to include your toddlers favourite, this is one of the more comfortable models for wearing, boasting a generous storage capacity and the option to add a safety leash.

We love it because:

  • Extra soft padded and adjustable shoulder straps, ideal where longer wearing times are required
  • Bar tack reinforced stitching for extra durability
  • Made from water-resistant polyester
  • Top handle for extra grip and carrying
  • Double-zip opening and extra front pocket
  • Generous side pockets on both sides for snacks and water bottles
  • Side loop rope for attaching toys or extra clip-on items
  • Internal name and address label
  • Huge range of colours and patterns
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 3.7 x 12.2 inches (5L)

Yisibo Kids Backpack with Safety Leash

This backpack is just the right size for small children and is perfect for the space-obsessed tot in your life.  It’s roomy and lightweight, and the transparent front pocket adds a fun element to this creatively designed backpack with reins.

The tether is not adjustable, and with plastic elements on the bag is not machine washable but should sponge clean. It’s definitely smaller than others, though does come in a larger version suitable for 3 to 9-year-olds (without tether) if you’re looking for something they can grow with.

We love it because:

  • Fun, engaging designs on waterproof neoprene material
  • Detachable padded tether 4ft
  • Breathable mesh fabric
  • Ergonomic, padded shoulder straps with chest strap
  • Intended for children ages 1-3 years
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.5 x 8.3 inches

GXTVO Backpack Leash

These adorable small backpacks are perfect for your 1 to 3-year-old age group. Available in several cute animal motifs including butterfly, dinosaur, unicorn & mermaid. The shoulder straps are padded and adjustable but it’s not the strongest of tethers.

We love it because:

  • Side pocket to easily access small bottles or snacks
  • Padded shoulder straps that adjust to your child’s size
  • Made from a lightweight polyester
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.5 x 3.2 inches

Hipiwe Baby Toddler Walking Safety Backpack 

This simple and adorable penguin backpack is a perfect beginner backpack for your toddler. It’s small enough to keep them from overpacking but has a great functioning chest strap with clasp and adjustable shoulder straps that will grow with your child.

Although the shoulder straps are adjustable, they are not padded, nor is the leash handle (though it does come in a generous length) so would not be great for prolonged use, more of a novelty item for toddlers on short trips.

We love it because:

  • Decently sized backpack for carrying toys and snacks
  • Long leash 43.3″ (1.1m) giving your little one plenty of freedom to move
  • Comes in pink, purple and classic black penguin design
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.7 x 2.5 inches

Emmzoe Toddler 3D Animal Backpack

Quite uniquely designed compared to other models of toddler backpacks, these critter toddler backpacks come with a generous top opening zip for storing their toys, while still giving parents the option of adding a tether for safety.

Available in multiple cute animal designs including shark, bulldog, lion, unicorn and black bear there’s a lot more optionality here for a child that wants their favourite animal and a generously sized backpack.

Several parents have reported it’s not the strongest tether, may be best as a cute novelty backpack than as a safety device.

We love it because:

  • Made from lightweight neoprene easily washable and quick drying
  • Secure chest harness with clasp
  • Padded adjustable shoulder straps
  • Generously sized storage compartment
  • Second bottom pocket for holding small items
  • Detachable shock-absorbing tether with a padded handle for holding comfort
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 9 inches

KK CRAFTS Kids Backpack

This simple but adorable backpack made of oxford cloth is a generously sized backpack perfect for children transitioning to school bag size. It has a leash and clip attachment to keep them safe walking with you and is generously sized to fit folders and lunch boxes as they grow to nursery school and kindergarten.

We love it because:

  • Breathable mesh back
  • Padded adjustable shoulder straps
  • Made from robust oxford cloth and fun patterned cotton interior
  • Leash clips to the top of the backpack
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.3 x 3.9 inches

Best Kids Dinosaur Backpack with Harness

We really had to give this a section all of its own! So many of the brands we reviewed are made exclusively for our junior dino fans, here are our top picks for dinosaur backpacks that include the option to add a tether.

Best dinosaur backpack for safety: JIANBAO Dinosaur Toddler Backpacks

When it comes to keeping your child close and having different safety options this is one of our favourites. This cute little dino backpack tether gives you the option of using a wrist link to keep your child near or a traditional leash that attaches underneath the bag

It has a slightly smaller capacity than other children’s backpacks, not large enough to fit most tablets but this prevents overfilling. The shoulder straps are not padded which we’d like to see to give it top billing.

We love it because:

  • The wrist link stretches to a generous 6.5′ (and can be used separately from the backpack)
  • An alternate detachable 47″ leash is also provided that attaches to the top of the bag
  • Comes in green and pink dino
  • Grab handle on top for extra safety and carrying the bag
  • Suitable from 18 months to 3 years
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 7.4 x 2.7 inches

VASCHY Toddler Backpack

This is certainly as adorable and fluffy as you’ll get in a toddlers backpack! The VASCHY range of plush backpacks includes a green and blue dinosaur, pink unicorn, pink flamingo and pink bunny.

Being plush material, it’s slightly more difficult to clean but it’s still machine washable.

We love it because:

  • Soft shoulder straps with adjustable sizing
  • Sternum strap with press button clasp
  • Generous 42.5″ detachable tether
  • Name tag spot on the back for easy identification
  • 3 pockets and a roomy main compartment for keeping organized
  • Perfect for children up to 3 years, will fit most children to 6 years
  • Product Dimensions: 8.66 x 3.15 x 9.84 inches (4.5L)

VONXURY Toddler Backpack

A soft and secure backpack solution for kids who aren’t normally fans or wearing a harness. The generous 43″ teether will allow your child enough freedom to move

Its small size limits items such as larger tablets from fitting but also means they won’t overstuff it and super lightweight for carrying.

We love it because:

  • Comes in green and pink dinosaur or white unicorn
  • Comfortable padded shoulder straps with a secure chest buckle
  • Handy name tag spot for easy identification
  • Tether is a generous 43.3″ with a soft handle for parents
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 3.1 x 7.9 inches (3.8L)

Toddler Kids Dinosaur Backpack

Keeping with a dino theme, this is a robust design by Toddler Safety that certainly does not lack in cuteness and loveability with its printed canvas and added dinosaur spikes. A generously sized backpack pocket can store their snacks, toys or changing gear.

We love it because:

  • Breathable back material
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • Detachable leash from the bag
  • Additional grab handle on the top of the bag
  • Suitable for children 1 to 4 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.87 x 6.3 x 1.57 inches

UATOP Toddler Backpack

One more with a more generous fit ready for toddlers to graduate to nursery school and their own independent backpack – and yes, it’s another dino theme! Available in several bright and fun patterns, the backpack itself is a simple patterned bag with just a tether attachment for extra safety.

It’s on the larger side for a small tot so although the age range suggest 2 to 4 years, we’d suggest using from at least 3 years+, it will undoubtedly grow with them and be used for years to come after you no longer need the tether.

We love it because:

  • Soft padded shoulders with adjustable straps
  • Made from durable neoprene cloth
  • Detachable leash from the bag
  • Additional grab handle on top
  • Cute little dinosaur spikes and tail
  • Wide opening top zip with a generous main compartment
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.66 x 3.93 inches

Bonus! Naturally Kids Detachable Dino Backpack

We had to leave this one off our main list as it doesn’t actually come with a leash or teether meaning it can’t be used as a safety harness, but if you’re seeking out a simply adorable gift a little one will love for their travels, this is a top pick for toddlers going on pre-schoolers.

This soft dino backpack comes with a dino teddy you can actually remove and separately cuddle. The cute critter range also includes a frog, unicorn, husky and bear. You can find our full review of the Naturally Kids Dinosaur Backpack here.

We love it because:

  • Perfect toddler to preschooler travel bag
  • Comes in several cute critter combinations.
  • Product dimensions: 11.26 x 9.49 x 5.47 inches

Now you’ve got your new toddler backpack sorted, what are you going to fill it with for your next adventure? Find out what I pack for my toddler here!

Want more toddler travel product tips?

After many years of travelling the globe with our own three globetrotters, we have tried and tested many travel products – some essentials, some just nice to have. We recommend you also check out these toddler travel guides to see what’s worth investing in:

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