Child # 1 is a boy, age 9.5 years and going into 4th grade. I would like the backpack to last at least a few years. He needs to be able to carry a lunch bag, a water bottle, homework and library books. Also in the winter it would need to fit any winter clothes he needs to take with him.
Child # 2 is a girl, age 7.5 years and going into 3rd grade. Pretty much the same description as above except she loves to read and will often cart around extra books. I don't think they add much weight or take up much space though.
Child # 3 is a girl, age 4.5 years and going into junior kindergarten. She needs to be able to carry her naptime towel, her lunch bag and library books. Also any winter clothes.
I do not want anything with characters. Child # 1 likes most colours, just not "girly" blues. Child # 2 usually goes for pink. Child # 3 is partial to purple but sometimes pink. She also likes prints. I'm also considering whether it would be worth getting their names embroidered so as to avoid backpack confusion (we had a problem with that last year).
Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdad and mom to DS 24 months, and DD 8 months! .
I'm going to replace it soon (or at least have two) b/c when we go someplace nice I want a nice bag, but I love having a diaper bag that's a backpack. I've been looking at Lassig products b/c they have no PVC, lead, etc. And they are purdy for going to a nice dinner or the fancy shops around here They do make a bunch of kids' sizes.
|I just checked and it appears LL Bean ships to Canada as well so if anyone has recommendations that they like from LL Bean as well I'm all ears!|
I will say that their matching lunch boxes don't hold up quite as well. They don't tear or rip but they lose their shape after a few years and lots of washing.
We do have a Jansport that has held up well. My only complaint is that the fabric tends to hold stains whereas our LL Bean bags come out clean.
Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 14.
I recommend the LL Bean! I know they have a junior size for little ones, too.
ETA: Monogramming? Yes? No? I was thinking yes but then I thought, what if I want to pass it on to someone, even my younger daughter? Obviously I can't pass an Eliana backpack to someone named Emma! LOL
My kids really like the monogram. We just do initials because I didn't want my kids names so openly displayed on it for safety reasons. Some of the initial styles look more like a logo than initials. There is also the option of just putting a big last name initial. It's handy when other kids have the same bag but I will say that we've never had a duplicate bag of theirs at school (only at activities.) If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have let DD pick out a pink back pack and then could have used her bag for DS too!
Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 14.
eta...wrt monogram, be cognizant of the bag color/monogram color. Some of the negative comments refer to the monogram being too close to some bag colors, and nearly invisible.
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My dd is so set on getting one for the new school year. I can see where it would be great to protect her back in high school or whatever when she is carrying TONS of heavy books...but 3rd grade? And if she gets one, then you know ds will want one too.
I just think they are bulky. I could see how it would be good when traveling though so they could wheel their stuff around. But we only travel about 1 time every two years!
We have, and love, Lands End backpack. The quality is excellent and their return policy is terrific. My son's looks brand new even though he used it for a full year of kindergarten.
His has his name embroidered on it.
I would caution against getting one that's too big -- if they don't sit correctly, they're terrible for kids' backs. (My Lands End one fits my adult frame nicely -- but it's one of their bigger ones; it contains a padded laptop sleeve that I love.)
I just ordered and received earlier this month this StudyHaul backpack for DD who's starting kinder this fall. It's a little smaller than DS's but it still has a lot of room. She used it last week for Y daycamp and it held her bathing suit, extra change of clothes, beach towel, bottles of sunscreen and bug spray, lunch kit, water bottle and morning and afternoon snacks with a ton of room to spare.
Mama to my 3 wild things.
I'm happy with our Lands End bag. It's going on year 2, including every day at summer camp.
For my daughter who was 2.5 I got the small haul version, and it was a little big for her at the time. It fits her fine now that she is 4.5 and I plan on her using it for daycare this year and kindergarten the next year. She will probably need a bigger backpack for first or second grade though.
I got my backpack from LL Bean and it is well made as well. I honestly don't think you could go wrong with either company.
I just ordered them both LL Bean rolling packs and am hoping they are better quality.
In our school they recommend roller packs starting in 4th grade when they are switching classrooms (no lockers)