Monday, August 8, 2016

Back to school back packs

Luckily, we are beyond the typical back to school scenario, mearly replacing items as needed, tending to reuse what we already have. This blog post came into my feed this morning:


Frankly, I find the approach to be penny wise, yet pound foolish. A $20 backpack will not offer the same mileage as a more expensive one, often needing replacemnt within the same school year. Additionally, a character image one or one that is too feminine/masculine can not be passed on to another sibling as popular character's change (have you noted how much Else and Frozen stuff is out there now?), and few boys want a clearly girl themed back pack.

Instead, my approach has been to buy generic colored, solid colored backpacks from one of 2 companies that stand behind their product with full replacement: Jansport and L L Bean. For $30-$50, I have a back pack that will go thru several siblings before I try to resell it, either at a consignment shop or thru a private sale. Makes more sense to me.


meme said...

We just bought a JAnsport for my granddaughter for this coming school year...I saved the receipt and all the tags because it has a lifetime warrenty. It seems so sturdy. Got it at kohls, on sale, combined with coupon, earned ten dollars in kohls rewards. put the kohls reward toward a pair of school shoes.

NAN said...

I like the cute backpacks for younger kids but buying one from Lands End or Jansport sure makes sense when the kids are older. I actually still have a couple of cutsie backpacks my daughter had in preschool and early elementary. They hold some little dolls (cupcake dolls- remember them?)and books. Grandaughter is now old enough to play with them.

Rachel said...

When Rebecca was first in school we got her the $10 character babackpack and had to replace at Christmas. 2 Christmases ago we got her one from Lands end and it is still going strong. When Jacob started preschool I found him a lands end backpack at Goodwill for $5. Was black with a small football on it. Couldn't pass it up. This will be the 3rd year he is using it. My parents bought Ben a character backpack for preschool last year and surprisingly it is still in decent shape. When it is done I will replave with a lands end one.

thyme2save said...

So agree that we should buy the best backpack affordable. 22 years ago, I bought an Eddie Bauer backpack for DD. When she finished using it for high school and college, she passed it on to her Dad. With 2 of them heavily loading it for school and travel in many countries and states, there is not a snag, tear, or rip in it. That is quality.

Belinda said...

Definitely better to buy quality when it comes to backpacks.

Linda said...

I know of kids that get a new backpack every year because there is a popular character out that is more popular now. Kids did not use backpacks when my kids were in school. I remember getting them crayons for school each year. But, at home they had to use broken, peeled and short crayons. My children thought nothing of it, but then and now some kids want new crayons every year for home use.

Busy Bee said...

We go for durable, too. Of coure, my last one is in college now and I don't foresee having to replace hers.

We just recently gave away her "little girlie" backpacks, but they had held up for years. We were fortunate to find someone who could use them.

I have to admit I have a weakness for bags of almost any sort. I keep an assortment in the car for grocery shopping, an assortment in the closet for travel, and an assortment in the craft room for projects. I love the fun novelty ones for things like that, but you are right -- they probably aren't the most frugal.

TrayceeBee said...

When my girls were little we indulged them with character themed or cutesy type backpacks. But, as they have gotten older (both will be in high school this year), LL Bean has proved to be the most durable way to go. I agree that sometimes paying more for quality is the more frugal long term route.

Precious People Preschool said...

I like the quality back packs. I had a family that would register for a quality back pack instead of a diaper bag. It would come every day to childcare,then moved on to
to preschool and so on. Back packs have a great guarantee much better that purses with
a life time guarantee They mean 2 years was very sad about Coach they mean 2 years. Live and learn.

CT Bargain Mom said...

I still use my leather bottomed LL Bean backpack circa 1986. I've even had them repAir the zipper (they offered to replace the bag) but I said No Way! Hubby has an EMS day pack since college folds up small when we travel. I even have youngest kids day pack which was monagrammed we bought at the llbean outlet - kiddo says the color isn't cool - it's my emergency bag in the trunk of the car.

Quality every time!

Lili said...

My daughters put a lot of mileage on their backpacks, especially now that they're at university, and hauling what looks like half their stuff every day, onto buses, through the halls on campus, in and out of art studios/theaters, then back on the buses again. These things take a beating.
The other source we've found solid, sturdy backpacks with a guarantee behind them is REI. Although university years are limited, we've all continued to use backpacks for traveling, and many of the younger folks use backpacks daily for work. I used my university backpack as a diaper bag (like Patti said). It came with me everywhere for several years.
A couple of things we looked for -- a dedicated, water-resistant slot for the laptop, so if something wet in the lunch spilled the laptop wouldn't be ruined. Lots of zippered pockets (I mean lots). My daughters organize their backpacks like a desk or dresser, particular pockets for specific things. It makes finding your bus pass or phone or toothbrush so much easier, to know it's in a specific pocket, and not in the jumble at the bottom of the bag. And a thick bottom of the bag. because the bags are heavy with books, and because the girls are on and off multiple buses everyday, these backpacks get dragged, some, and the bottom panel wears thin.