Satchel test: winner of the Stiftung Warentest

Every second satchel has failed

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satchel or school backpack: how to buy the right one for your child

A good satchel can save lives. Bright signal colors and reflective light surfaces made children visible on the way to school. On the other hand, dark colors make the children disappear with the background – especially in the dark season.

Stiftung Warentest checked 22 in February 2019 School bags for pupils from the 1st class. The result was sobering: more than half of the satchels failed the test. The biggest point of criticism here: the visual warning effect. The main reason for consumer protection was that many satchels were too dark and that the students could easily be overlooked by drivers. Of the tested satchels, eight satchels are particularly good. These include the Illuminabär and the Radahär from Ergobag Cubo, the Commander from Scout Alpha, Pegasus Dream and the Space Pirate from Step by Step. 12 the checked satchel, however, were deficient.

You can read that in the article: First we present the test winners in detail. However, since there are also the best models in poor color combinations, we also explain which variations you should stay away from. Then we illuminate the background of the test, give you tips on buying and maintaining a satchel and explain the difference to a backpack.

You can read the full test for a fee at

Schoolbag test: Winner of the Stiftung Warentest

Test winner: Ergobag Cubo Illuminibär and Ergobag Pack Strahlebär

  • Source: Image: Amazon

    Test winner: Ergobag Cubo Neo Edition Illumibär

    Overall grade: good (1.7): clearly visible, is also suitable for small first graders, good rating in everyday use

  • Source: Image: Amazon

    test winner: Ergobag Pack Neo Edition beam bear

    Gesa mtnote: good (1.7): very good visible in daylight, is also suitable for small first graders, weight is evenly distributed

does not contain any pollutants
good visual warning effect

Four of the 22 Satchels in the test come from the manufacturer Ergobag : The Cubo Neo Edition Illumibär , the Pack Neo Edition Beam Bear . With the overall rating “good” (1.7) the school attendants convince both models the testers.

  • Daily use : Both rucksacks did well in this category. This makes them stable, easy to carry and generally useful. Rounded corners prevent potential scratches and abrasions.
  • Optical warning system: The satchel is clearly visible both during the day and at night, the ray bear does even better than the Illumi bear.
  • Other properties: Both backpacks are waterproof and are easy to clean. In addition, they contain no questionable ingredients. With an empty weight of 1.3 kg, you belong to the average.

The Ergobag Cubo Neo Edition Illumibär and the Ergobag Pack Neo Edition beam bear cost in a set with pencil case each on Amazon round 260 Euro. For this price you can get matching set accessories, such as sports bags, pencil case, pencil case, three decorative Velcro motifs and a breast bag. On Amazon there is the Neo Edition Illumibär without accessories for round 170 Euro , as well as the Strahlebär .

2nd place: Scout Alpha

  • Source: Scout

    2nd place: Scout Alpha Commander (DIN)

    Overall grade: good (1.9) well visible, also suitable for first graders, very good material properties

very good visual warning effect
does not contain any pollutants
Stability, dimensional stability and processing only satisfactory
somewhat difficult

The manufacturer Scout Alpha delivered three models for the test. One of them reached the model Commander (DIN) the overall grade “good” (1.9).

  • Daily use: How the models from Ergobag, the scout satchel could be used well in everyday life. The children had no problems carrying, packing or closing it in the test. It is also stable and stable and has no sharp corners.
  • Optical warning effect: During the day the Commander of Scout was only “satisfactory”. But he convinced in the dark.
  • Other properties: The Commander repels water and is easy to clean. In addition, the materials contain almost no dangerous pollutants. It also weighs 1.3 kg when empty.

The set costs the Scout Alpha Commander round 240 Euro at baby market, you can get it individually for round 170 Euro.

Price tip: Step by Step 2in1 and Step by Step Touch2

  • Source: Image: Step by step

    Price tip: Step by Step 2in1 Pegasus Dream (DIN)

    Overall grade: good (1 , 9) clearly visible in daylight, also suitable for first graders, adjustable back length, very good material properties nschaften

  • Source: Image: Amazon

    Step by Step Touch2 Space Pirates

    Overall grade: good (2.0) The comparatively cheap set is clearly visible and has a DIN-compliant design

does not contain any pollutants
Cleaning options only satisfactory
Spave Pirate has no waist belt

Also from the manufacturer Step by Step four models also went Run. Only two variants, the 2 in 1 Pegasus Dream and the Touch2 Space Pirate , receive from the Stiftung Warentest the overall grade “good” .

  • Daily use : Both are suitable for daily use and school use. Thanks to good wearing properties, sufficient storage space and their dimensional stability, the Stiftung Warentest classifies them as “good”.
  • Optical warning effect: The dark purple-neon yellow surface of the Pegasus Dream ensures that the children can be seen on the way to school both in daylight and in the dark. The same applies to the Space Pirate model.
  • Other properties: Both the Pegasus Dream and the Space Pirate are waterproof. Compared to the other models, however, they are not so easy to clean. The Space Pirate also only weighs 1.2 kg, while the Pegasus Dream 14 kg on the Libra brings.

With an Amazon price of round 150 Euro for the Pegasus set and round 140 Euro for the Space Pirate Set the step by step satchels are comparatively cheap and therefore our price tip.

Satchel in the test: 12 of 22 models fail

Of the total 22 tested School bags only scored eight models with the grade “good”, two still achieved the rating “satisfactory”. This was mainly due to the poor visual warning effect, but also partly due to poor material properties.

You should also pay attention to the test winner's ranks. Not all color variations of the test winners are recommended. The models with yellow or orange warning stripes consistently achieved better results than those with pink or neon green accents – the former are simply easier to see.

A bad satchel is also the model after the test Lego Easy Ninjago Team Ninja . The design is based on black and red colors, has no reflectors and is therefore not easily visible during the day or at night. In addition, there is no manual included with the satchel, the back part cannot be adjusted and it is also leaky. No other schoolbag did worse in the test.

How much do I have to spend on a good satchel?

The price is unfortunately not meaningful for good satchels. After all, there were good and bad models in all price segments and from all manufacturers. The sets contain at least pencil cases and gym bags and moved between around 120 and 260 Euro. Only three of these sets cost less than 200 Euro and these performed rather poorly in the test. So all three models get the 200 Euro, the overall grade “poor”.

Satchel test: This is how Stiftung Warentest tested it

The Stiftung Warentest tested in February 2019 all in all 22 satchels for everyday suitability, visual warning, material properties and pollutants. A common criticism of many models: They are neither clearly visible during the day nor at night.

The largest share in the rating was made by the category “Daily use” with 50 percent out. The testers paid attention to the wearing properties, such as comfort of the strap and the back design. The closure of the satchel and the storage space for the school supplies also contributed to the rating of this category. Furthermore, the examiners examined the dimensional stability and the processing of the satchel. Sharp corners and edges pose a risk of injury to children and therefore have no place on the satchel.

The “Optical warning effect” refers to the visibility in daylight and in the dark. In the tests, the consumer magazine refers to a standard that states that at least 20 percent of the front and Side surfaces should consist of fluorescent signal colors.

The material was rated by the Stiftung Warentest with 25 percent of the total rating , The durability flowed into this whether the satchel waterproof and how well he cleans himself leaves. The satchel's pollutant values ​​were included in the rating at five percent.

Satchel test: Ergobag is a two-time winner with its Cubo Neo Edition Illumibär and Pack Neo Edition Strahlebär models. Image: manufacturer

What is a satchel and how does it work?

A satchel is a backpack that is specially designed for students from elementary school age. It differs from conventional backpacks in the following aspects:

  • visual warnings
  • stable shape that protects books and notebooks from dog-eared ears
  • suitable ergonomics that grow with you

The satchel is mainly intended to transport school supplies to and from school. If the manufacturers adhere to the norm, road safety, fitness for purpose and physical properties are guaranteed. With the right ergonomics for normal, healthy children, the weight of the filled satchel can be up to ten percent of the child's body weight.

What should I pay attention to when buying school bags?

  • Reflectors: The reflectors on the satchel are directly related to the safety of the child. The perception of other participants in road traffic plays an essential role. Only with sufficient reflectors can you let the little ones start their way to school with a clear conscience. Fluorescent materials on the satchel make it possible for road users to see them in the light, in poor light or during twilight. The standard DIN 58124 requires that at least 20 percent of the front and side surface of the satchel from fluorescent Signal colors is covered. Unfortunately, some manufacturers do not adhere to this standard: some backpacks are sparsely equipped with signal colors. Therefore, you should pay close attention to the purchase, even if the child is enthusiastic about another model. Ultimately, the only thing that counts is that the children are noticed in traffic.
  • carrying system: An ergonomic carrying system and its correct use ensure that misalignments in children e don't arise at all. The straps should be adjustable in length. In this way, the satchel can “grow” with the child in the first years of school. In addition, additional chest and hip belts ensure optimal weight distribution. The back section and shoulder straps should also be sufficiently padded.
however Image: manufacturer
  • Material: The satchel does a lot in the course of time. Both the weather and the children themselves affect the companion. The schoolchildren often put their backpack down anything but gently. It is therefore important that the material of the satchel is durable and waterproof and does not deform even after several years of use.
  • pollutants: Any kind of pollutants should be kept away from children. Softeners or increased PAK values ​​are therefore not an option on the satchel. In the models examined by the Stiftung Warentest, the values ​​were harmless.
  • Handling: The school children should be able to use the satchel without any problems. For example, they should be able to easily open closures. Many manufacturers have adjusted to small children's hands during production and have installed particularly user-friendly locking systems. Nevertheless, there are models in which the small children's hands have difficulty. Let your child try out beforehand whether they can cope with the satchel.
  • Storage space: In addition to school books, there is a lot more that children take to school. A large pencil case and lunch boxes should be kept in the satchel. Therefore, make sure that the satchel offers enough storage space to accommodate everything.

What are the alternatives of school bags?

From first to fourth class usually comes the classic Satchels for use. It has a fixed base frame, which gives it the box-like shape. School backpacks are more flexible and less dimensionally stable. Backpacks are often lighter than satchels. Depending on the manufacturer, there is no great difference in price. The school backpack is often used after primary school.

The use of the satchel for schooling is by no means unfounded. With the purpose of transporting books, notebooks and school accessories, the satchel has several advantages over the backpack. On the one hand, it protects the school materials with its solid shape. This way there are no dog ears that quickly arise in the backpack. The satchel also protects better from water, because it is mostly waterproof, so books and notebooks are protected from the wet when it rains.

Image: Amazon

What accessories are there for satchels?

School bags are often available as a set. However, the sets are different. Some manufacturers offer a matching pencil case and sports bag, others even a color-matching drinking bottle and lunch box. The satchels in the set are somewhat more expensive, but you do not have to buy everything individually. Whether the set variant is cheaper than buying everything individually depends on the manufacturer. Often you can get away with a school bag set a little cheaper. In the list you will find which accessories belong to the satchel:

  • Sports bags: For sports clothes in physical education.
  • Pencil case or pencil case: There are pens, eraser, pencil sharpener , Ruler, etc. bundled in one place.
  • Beverage bottle: Liquid is important. Therefore, the schoolchildren should always have a drinking bottle with them.
  • Lunch box: Even after a good breakfast, children need something to eat during the break.

Teachers usually announce which materials such as exercise books the children need for the school year before the first days of school.

What is the lightest satchel?

Of the satchels rated “good”, the Space Pirate is the lightest with an empty weight of 1.2 kilograms. The accessories for the Space Pirate consist of a pencil case, pencil case and a sports bag. The accessories weigh about 0.5 kg. So the satchel comes empty, but with accessories 1.7 kg . For comparison, the empty Neo Edition beam bear weighs 2.3 kg including accessories.

Although these are not major weight differences, the weight makes a difference for the small children's bodies. Because school books and notebooks, drinking bottles and snacks make the satchel difficult. Therefore, the satchel itself should have as little empty weight as possible. Experts advise that a satchel should only have about ten percent of a child's body weight.

Which schoolbag is the best?

In the test of the Stiftung Warentest, two models from the manufacturer Ergobag achieved the top placement: the Cubo Neo Edition Illuminibär and the Pack Neo Edition Strahlebär. Both achieved with the overall rating “good” (1.7).

How much does a good satchel cost?

For school bags, the price is not necessarily an indicator of quality, since many manufacturers of good models in the same series also produced poorly rated models. The well-rated models individually round 160 Euro and in a set 250 Euro.

Which accessories belong in a satchel?

  • Timetable
  • Pencil case with pencils, eraser, A sharpener, ruler, etc.
  • Notebooks
  • Folder
  • Hausaufgabenheft
  • School books
  • lunch box for lunch
  • beverage bottle

How hard can be a satchel?

Does the satchel meet the DIN standard 58124, it corresponds to the recommended maximum weight of 1.4 kg. If all school supplies are stowed in it, you should weigh the satchel to check the carrying weight. Does your child weigh, for example 30 kg, the weight of the satchel should be less than 4 kg.

You might also be interested in

school bag test winner of the Stiftung Warentest

  • Source: Amazon

    Ergobag Cubo Neo Edition Illumibär

    Overall grade: good (1.7) well visible, is also suitable for small first graders, good rating in everyday use

  • Source: Amazon

    Ergobag Pack Neo Edition beam bear

    Overall grade: good (1.7) very visible in daylight, also suitable for small first graders, weight is evenly distributed

  • Source: Scout

    Scout Alpha Commander (DIN)

    Overall grade: good (1.9) clearly visible, also suitable for first graders, very good material properties

  • Source: Step by step

    Step by Step 2in1 Pegasus Dream (DIN)

    Overall grade: good (1.9) clearly visible in daylight, also suitable for first graders, adjustable back length, very good material properties

  • Source: Image: Amazon

    Step by Step Touch2 Space Pirate

    Overall grade: good (2.0) The comparatively cheap set is clearly visible and has a DIN-compliant design

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