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“K through 12 - start 'em off right!”
Red Oxx K-12 Kat Pack School Backpack - shown in Coal

K-12 Kat Pack Backpack $100.00

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Why buy a new backpack every year?

Buy the Red Oxx K-12 Kat Pack Backpack for life.

Once upon a time, there was the Red Oxx Daypack Backpack. You see them once in a while on auction sites or at second hand stores. Simple, sturdy, and square. Sadly, a couple years back, it went away. New priorities on the production schedule pushed it aside.

Then, one day Lacy, our production manager, decided to upgrade the Daypack Backpack for her growing kids. Her middle school children’s backpacks needed a raised front pocket, a reinforced bottom using our toughest ballistic nylon, a nice upgrade for the shoulder straps featuring a softer, yet stronger hi-tech Uni-Suede, a series of daisy chain accessory loops stitched to the straps and finally, a couple elastic mesh side pockets. Needless to say, her kids were stoked. The redesigned and renamed K-12 Kat Pack Backpack was born.

Working with the same design philosophy we incorporate on all our bags, the K-12 Kat Pack Backpack has our typical spacious rectangular bag shape, a design set in motion by our flagship soft-sided carry-on bag, the Air Boss. Expect a spacious "fatback" school backpack that will easlily haul large, heavy text books.

At nearly under a grand in cubic inch volume (917 cu. in.), the main compartment features the same 420-denier red nylon lining as our other travel bags. The bright color makes searching inside the pack easier and adds a level of toughness and weather resistance not usually found in typical school backpacks, including those pricey famous name brands sold in department stores.

Ever had a backpack start disintegrating from the inside out where the lining tape covers the seams? Our lining seam tape is woven sideways instead of lengthwise, effectively eliminating the loose weaving threads that tend to run. In fact, unless you're going to regularly fill your K-12 backpack with sharp rocks, broken glass and rusty nails, it's doubtful the interior will wear out. If it does, our ironclad "No Bull" Lifetime Warranty covers pack repairs and, if needed, bag replacements.

Have you despaired at seeing your shoulder straps ripping loose? The K-12 Kat Pack has reinforced double box stitching at major stress points: the top of the bag's shoulder contact area and the base's outer corners. Overbuilt? Hardly. Then we added a strip of two-inch poly webbing to anchor the box stitches all across the entire width of the back of the pack. At the bottom, the one inch nylon strap anchors down the corners. If there are any kids alive who can rip out these straps, team USA Olympic wrestling committee will want to talk to them.

Ever had the zipper break on a pack that otherwise still looks new? It's the number one failure zone on every backpack built-- except ours. The #10 YKK nylon self-locking zipper, a touted feature on all our bags, is about as tough and practical a zipper as money can buy. The competition can go "zip, zip" open and close with their cute little straight-line zipper puller testing machine, but when it comes to a kid using a zipper in the real world, we can guarantee it won't be "zip, zip" in a straight line.

These excellent zippers are easily repairable, even in the field; they will hold their place, that is, they "lock"; they are difficult to penetrate, thereby increasing the security of your belongings; they function smoothly in inclement weather and they can be yanked from a variety of angles without losing teeth or becoming separated.

Instead, think-- grunt, yank, jerk, and rip in every direction imaginable. Our zipper will also work in any extreme weather conditions, right down to well below zero. We top off this prized zipper feature with our fair trade Monkey Fist Zip Knots, sized just right for anyone's grip. Every pocket and compartment on this backpack has not one, but two of these fail-safe monsters.

If you've ever watched kids roaming home from school you're aware that their "backpack" is anywhere but on their back. For some reason, kids find dragging a pack not only more fun than wearing one, but a deep-seated challenge to shred their pack to pieces. Although one can't be sure, it's probably due to some secret longing to lose their text books and school assignments along the way.

Our customers like to define our gear as "built like a tank". While obviously you're not going to be toting around backpacks that weigh 50 tons and have three inches of armor plate, the comparison is still valid. For a backpack, they are built tough. Starting with one of the most durable textile materials available, 1000 weight CORDURA® nylon fabric, we hold it all together with super strong UV resistant thread that's double stitched into every seam.

Places where two separate pieces of fabric are stitched together are then bound --that is, we take a long piece of one inch wide nylon webbing and fold it over the edges of the two pieces and stitch them together, this creates a strong seam, or binding, that prevents the pieces from unraveling on the inside of the backpack, or gives it a clean finished look if on the outside of the pack. In addition, each exposed fabric edge, such as on a pocket flap, is also bound using a thicker binding material. Inside edges typically receive a thinner nylon webbing, whereas outside corner edges that are exposed to wear will have a thicker nylon binding. All of our binding material is vertically woven to prevent fraying, peeling or splitting that you may commonly see in the competition's backpacks that brag of "binding" their edges.

Each stress point, such as where the shoulder straps attach to the bag, is double box stitched - which is where we get the "double XX" in our name, Red OXX; a stitching practice we adopted from our time as parachute riggers.

Buy the one and only backpack you or your kids will use from grade school to graduation and beyond. The K-12 Backpack probably is one of the few fatback school bags built with a "ballistic bottom." The 1050-weight ballistic nylon shields the bottom of this backpack from grit and gravel. This is the same material that's used on our roughest, toughest oil rigger and railroader bags. It's even designed in a cup-like pattern to keep the seams from scraping on the ground. Not that scraping the seams would do damage to the UV protected #92 bonded SolarMax nylon thread. The thread that’s so tough it will slice your fingers clean off before you can break it.

The K-12 Kat Pack Backpack has other clever design features. The raised outer pocket was developed to carry any number of the popular modern electronic tablets and e-readers like the iPad, Kindle, and so on. The flat zippered pocket located above it will also fit these tablets. The back area in the main compartment is padded with a dense 4 lb. Volara closed cell foam padding that is not only comfortable on your back, but also protects your notepad laptop computer.

The dual elastic side pockets will securely hold a couple of water bottles, a thermos, camera, hat and gloves, a smartphone or calculator. Moreover, the mesh fabric will quickly shed moisture from a leaky water bottle or condensation.

Out of curiosity, we gathered a half dozen popular name brand school backpacks and book bags from a variety of contemporary backpack manufacturers. First we noted they were ALL manufactured offshore! Not one was made in the U.S.A. The differences went beyond our monster zippers, double box stitched seams and heavy-duty ballistic bottom. The most astonishing difference between the Montana made K-12 Kat Pack Backpack and the competition was the startling simplicity of the Kat Pack's design.

Every other schoolbag had multiple pockets, flaps, buckles and innumerable surefire fail zones built into the complexity of the packs. Said Kat Pack designer and Red Oxx President Perry Jones, "All those pockets, and hardly any of 'em ever get used." CEO Jim Markel then pitched in, "You couldn't build a school pack like these here in the States. It would cost hundreds of dollars in labor to make them."

In the hustle and bustle of our children's lives, having a simple school pack helps to make the entire existence of the convolution of one's school years oh so very ... simple.

The K-12 Kat Pack Backpack was born to be the toughest kid's school backpack on the planet. But it also loves the life of a world traveler. It easily holds a weekend's worth of clothes as your main carry-on flight bag. Since the zippers open all the way down the sides, finding deeply buried items is a no-brainer.

This "carry-on legal" backpack will fit in the overhead bins of nearly any commercial airliner, lounge under just about any kind of seat, taxi, plane or bus, and of course, pass as a "personal item" without so much as a bat of a flight attendant's eyelash. Naturally, it also works great as a day pack, an overnight bag, a flight bag or a work carry-all.

The K-12 Kat Pack Backpack is clearly built to take on the meanest, most ruthless kid on the block. Available in 12 vibrant colors, you and your kids are sure to find a favorite. Since we back all our bags and packs with our "No Bull" Lifetime Warranty, buy it once, keep it forever, and pass it on. This made in Montana backpack is destined to become the world's one and only hand-me-down school bag backpack.

Children's School Backpack Packing Tips:

  • Teach your kids to pack only necessary items each day. Warning: this may lead to under packing as an adult. Results have not been verified or tested.
  • Kids should carry less than 10-20 percent of their body weight in a backpack.
  • Distribute the contents evenly with heaviest items, like books, on the bottom or against the padded back.
  • Carry the backpack above the waist. Adjust the shoulder straps until the bottom of the bag rests just above the hips, or the lowest point of curvature, also known as the cup of the lumbar.
  • If your child bends forward to compensate for their backpack's weight, the pack is too heavy.
  • If your child struggles to put the pack on, it's too heavy.
  • If possible, heavy text books should be stored in their locker until needed for class.
  • Teach children to use both shoulder straps! This keeps the weight equally distributed and prevents sore shoulders and pinched nerves.
  • Each backpack comes with an adjustable chest strap which attaches to the daisy chains on the straps. Using the chest strap can help balance the backpack's load.

Due to high demand, we encourage you to place your order now to get your Kat Pack Backpack on our production schedule. Your pack will then be shipped in under 14 days. Like retirement, it's worth the wait.

Exterior dimensions:
Large main compartment: 11.5"W x 5.5"D x 14.5"H
USA Capacity: 917 cubic inches (1,078 cu. inches with exterior pocket)
USA Weight: 1.9 pounds.

Pocket measurements:

  • Raised front pocket: 7"H x 2"D x 11.5"W
  • Front slip pocket: 10.5"H x 11.5"W

"No Bull" no question's asked Lifetime Warranty.
Designed AND handmade in Billings, Montana USA.
UPS Transit Shipping Time Map.

Witness the birth of your bag and learn about the steps it takes to handcraft your gear.

Meet the thundering herd who build your gear.

Online orders will receive an order confirmation email, a UPS tracking information email and a review request follow-up email eight weeks after delivery. Backorders beyond a dozen days may receive an order follow-up assurance email. During checkout purchasers have the option to opt-out of our quartly email newsletter. Your email address is always secure.

Every great bag needs cool accessories.

Kat Pack Backpack Trivia: While researching a unique name for our new backpack several were selected from a pool of names solicited from our sewing crew. Alas, most proved to be taken by other companies. While tossing out the name rat pack, which was also taken, our Minister of Information suggested calling it the Kat Pack, in honor of our PR Intern at the time Kathleen, who goes by the nickname "Kat". CEO Jim Markel liked it and the rest is history.

Write a Review

4.93 Average Rating
 (28 Reviews)

1 2 Next > 
 K 12 Kat pack
By Robert Donalson, Fort worth, Texas, November 10, 2012

Like every red oxx product I own this one is bullet proof !!!! Quality is just unbelievable. I wanted a smaller day pack for my wife and this one is the perfect size . I like it so much I may buy another one for me. Thanks guys !!!

 k12 for college
By John B, Cleveland Ohio, October 11, 2012

At 35 I am going back to school. I wanted a quality backpack, one i would not have to worry about breaking on me. A bag not so big I can't find anything in it, but will be be able to carry what I need. The. k 12 is that pack. This pack works for kids and adults!
 Excellent product, great value.
By Dave, Minnesota, September 20, 2012

Sometimes simple is best. This is a GREAT quality, well designed, well made, bag -- and is a great value too. All the goodness and all the toughness we are used to, without the bells and whistles that actually complicate your enjoyment and distract from solid, aesthetically pleasing design. I encourage RedOxx to develop more of these "basic" type products that are stripped down to the core and priced so they are easy to say yes to, versus the more expensive bags which require deeper commitment. Great job on this bag. And thanks for keeping it made-in-USA.
By Walter Sereth, Los Angeles, CA, September 20, 2012

Beautifully made, as are all Red Oxx products, At this time I'm unable to give an opinion as to the good or poor qualities of the backpack. I haven't used it. One of these days I'll use it as a backpack, after which I'll be happy to give an opinion about it.
 yippee ka yay
By Anonymous, adventureland, September 13, 2012

So i'll take a stab at giving a review on this new product. Its awesome. The size is great, the straps are beautiful, and the material and make is just as &*^& tough as RO always makes their stuff.

The reason i gave it 4/5 stars: there are two water bottle holders (one on each side) - why? The design would be much better with a handle on one side and a bottle holder on the other. Aside from that, the other major flaw is related to the pack's rectangular design. The rectangle is sweet, but it means that when you have it loaded heavily, the bottom "corners" dig into your back. Check out the cheapo bag manufacturers (those that start with J or E, for example)..

There's a reason the "teardrop" backpack shape is always supremely popular; because the bottom roundedness helps with carrying. Likewise, move the straps to top of the back, not have them 5 inches down, would help with distribution of weight.

Still, awesome bag.
 9 years and still kicking
By Anonymous, , August 29, 2007

My daughter used this bag from 1st to 9th grade. It is a great, durable, all purpose bag, and an exceptional value.
 Great backpack for kids.
By Anonymous, , October 3, 2006

I purchased 2 of these for my daughters after endlessly buying backpacks that fell apart before the end of the year. They're great--still like new and hold books and binders very efficiently. My kids love the capacity and bright colours and I love the zippers that actually work and seams that don't rip!
 Simple, Rugged & Reliable
By Anonymous, , September 22, 2006

The Pros: The bag is simple, rugged & reliable. The Cons: I wish it had side pockets for water bottles. Overall: I am very pleased with the daypack and would definitely recommend it to others.
1 2 Next > 

K-12 Kat Pack Backpack Spec Size Chart

  • "No Bull" Lifetime Warranty
  • Designed AND made in USA
  • Fabric: 1000 weight urethane coated, Dupont certified CORDURA® nylon
  • Weather resistant (NOT waterproof)
  • 400 weight denier soft red nylon interior lining
  • All zippers #10 YKK VISLON® self-locking
  • Thread: #92 bonded SolarMax Nylon
  • Critical seams double stitched and bound
  • Double box stitching on stress points such as shoulder straps
  • Monkey Fist Zip knots on all zippers
  • Embroidered Logo Patches
  • Grab loop handle
  • 4-lb. closed cell Volara foam padding in back
  • Uni-Suede padded shoulder straps
  • "Wear-resistant" 1050 weight Ballistic nylon bottom
  • Padded back with internal sleeve will fit laptops up to 15"
  • Includes Cable Lock
  • Raised front pocket for school supplies storage
  • Deep mesh side pockets for water bottles or school supplies
  • Rectangular design to efficiently hold books, files, notepad laptops, magazines
  • Plenty of room for books, school supplies, even a lunch
  • Daisy chain loops on shoulder straps for keys and other small items
  • Includes adjustable detachable chest strap
  • Two elastic mesh pockets, each sized to carry water bottles or thermos
  • Choose from 12 bright colors
  • USA Dimensions: 11.5"W x 5.5"D x 14.5"H
    Raised front pocket: 7"H x 2"D x 11.5"W
    Flat front slip pocket: 10.5"H x 11.5"W
  • Metric Dimensions: 37cm L x 19cm W x 29cm H
    Raised front pocket: 17.7cm H x 5cm D x 29cm W
    Flat front slip pocket: 26.7cm H x 29cm W
  • USA Capacity (total): 1,078 Cubic Inches
  • Metric Capacity (total): 20.4 Liters
  • USA Weight: 1.9 Pounds
  • Metric Weight: 0.86 Kilos

K-12 Kat Pack Backpack Color Translator

  • Amethyst = Purple
  • Black
  • Bordeaux = Dark Red
  • Coal = Gray
  • Forest = Green
  • Khaki = Tan
  • Mariner = Blue
  • Midnight = Dark Blue
  • Olive = Military Green
  • Red
  • Saffron = Yellow
  • Safari = 1940s Olive Drab

Keep in mind: Colors on your monitor will vary from the actual color of the fabric. The only way to accurately gauge a color is to request a swatch.

If out of stock, orders are typically filled within 14 days. Call 1-888-733-6999 or email for details.

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To the depths of the Amazon basin to the peaks of the Himilayas, Red Oxx Manufacturing is infallible.

Red Oxx Bags are guaranteed forever, be sure to include them in your will.

Red Oxx Lifetime No Bull Warranty - No Questions Asked. Ironclad. Guaranteed. Forever. Period.
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Made in Montana
Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between the K-12, Roadster, and Airborne?
The K-12 is our official school backpack designed for the rough use as only kids can dish out. Instead of being a top loader like our rucksacks the Roadster and Airborne, the Kat Pack has zippers that open the bag all the way down the side for easy access to deep packed items.
Will the K-12 Kat Pack Backpack meet personal item carry-on standards?
Certainly, the K-12 will easily fit into any overhead bin and even under most airline seats. It's not just for school, it's also a great travel backpack.
What's the best way to pack the K-12?
The most efficient way to pack this backpack is to pack items you may need easy access to towards the front or top of the bag. The raised exterior front pocket and flat zipper pocket are designed for storing smaller items. Another option we recommend for easy access is to use the daisy chain accessory loops located on the backpack straps to carry stuff that can be hung with carabiners or key rings.
How many days worth of school supplies will fit in the Kat Pack?
Depends on how good a packer you are. Most people can get a weeks worth of school supplies in the K-12. If you're considering the bag as a travel pack, probably a weekend's worth of clothes.
Will a laptop fit in the K-12? What size laptop?
Virtually any laptop with up to a 15" diagonal screen and two-inches thick will fit inside the backpack notebook sleeve.
What's the red fabric on the inside of the bag for?
Having a bright color on the inside of the pack helps to see what's inside. It also adds an extra layer of weather resistant protection.
Does the Kat Pack have a belly strap?
The K-12 Kat Pack does not have a built-in frame, so a belt strap would not help to balance the load. It does come with an adjustable chest strap.
Are there any interior pockets?
There is only a raised exterior pocket and a flat zippered pocket located on the front of the backpack.
Is there a way to securely lock my pack?
Sure, you can use any TSA approved bag lock or try our Cable Lock for a simple, semi-secure solution. Watch this video where CEO Jim Markel demonstrates how you can use the cable lock that comes with the Dog Tag price tag to secure your bag. Keep in mind, any determined thief can still cut open your backpack with a sharp knife.
My zipper broke. The teeth have separated. Do I send it in for warranty repair?
No need for warranty repair, fix it yourself. Check out this video where CEO Jim Markel shows how easy it is to do it yourself.
Can you ship USPS?
Yes, Red Oxx will ship USPS upon request. Simply state, "Please ship USPS" in the cart comments during checkout and we will adjust your billing accordingly.