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Old 06-29-2012, 06:22 AM   #1
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School backpack suggestions?

Just ordered an LL Bean...it looks like it is very good quality and will last awhile, but there are no outside pockets to hold a water bottle so it's going back. Any suggestions for a high quality backpack? I've been looking at Pottery Barn but all those straps (to attach a lunch box--we won't use it) look annoying. Our last backpacks came from Land's End and I wasn't thrilled about the quality, although it had good functionality.

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Old 06-29-2012, 06:26 AM   #2
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Re: School backpack suggestions?

We love our LL Bean backpacks. I'd look at the styles to see if there is another one that would work for you. The junior backpack doesn't have the outside pockets for a water bottle, but DH and DS#1 both have ones that do have them (don't know off-hand exactly what style). If that's a make or break for you, I'd read the descriptions.
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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Re: School backpack suggestions?

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Originally Posted by Dawndelion View Post
We love our LL Bean backpacks. I'd look at the styles to see if there is another one that would work for you. The junior backpack doesn't have the outside pockets for a water bottle, but DH and DS#1 both have ones that do have them (don't know off-hand exactly what style). If that's a make or break for you, I'd read the descriptions.
It is a deal breaker for me...after I got the Jr. in the mail yesterday I read the description and carefully looked at each pic, and the ones with the outside pockets are too big for my kids. I planned to purchase a Deluxe, Original, and Junior...I got the Junior first just to make sure I liked the quality & construction.

My kids carry a water bottle to school every day and I'm not willing to take the chance of it leaking inside their backpacks, so no outside pockets is definitely a deal breaker.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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Re: School backpack suggestions?

I love the Pottery Barn Kids backpacks. The straps really aren't that bad, even if you don't use them. I love all the storage pockets. I ordered LLBean this year and I was disappointed....not nearly enough pockets. The shoulder straps on the PBK are much more padded and I like the chest strap.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:51 AM   #5
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Ds will most likely use my old handouts backpacks. I have about 6 of them from highschool that still look brand-new (17 years later)

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Old 06-29-2012, 09:05 AM   #6
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Re: School backpack suggestions?

I don't know how old your children are but if you want something that last I can recommend the Tulare by JanSport. I've had it for over six years, use it everyday and it's not overly big, same height as regular backpack but expands with enough compartments to allow ton of space.

Pretty much identical to this current model: http://www.jansport.com/js_product_d...cid=1&pid=TVV0

The side water bottle can fit 32 oz Nalgene but I would say up to 24 oz and slightly smaller water bottle will fit better.

Build quality is one of the best; took me forever at REI after checking just about every backpack but the zippers are big and never gave me a problem while the backs are padded heavily and the shoulder straps have these gel inserts that's very comfortable. Pretty much the go-to backpack for everything from biking, hiking and day trip with the family. I can fit my work boots, change of clothes, towel, my DSLR camera and bunch of small random things in the front compartments.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:10 AM   #7
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We like LL Bean. Water bottles are not permitted here.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: School backpack suggestions?

I have a Jansport that has lasted for a good ten years so far. I got it when I was going into being a freshman in high school and its still going strong...used it all through high school & college, and I currently use it for traveling every single time we go anywhere that I'll need something bigger than a diaper bag for the kids. I don't see the exact one I have, it almost looks like a cross between the Tulare mentioned above and the Skagit here : http://www.jansport.com/js_product_d...id=10&pid=TUH7

So yeah...another vote for Jansport.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #9
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Re: School backpack suggestions?

Did you look at this one? http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/75461?feat=506219-GN2 Its a similar size to some that you were looking at.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #10
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Re: School backpack suggestions?

My kids use LL Bean. Ideally we would have backpacks with bottle holders, but we worked around it. We live in Hawaii and it is recommended that kids bring water daily. We use Kleen Kanteens with sports caps and loop them onto their back packs with an S-Binder. DS1 used his LL Bean last year and it still looks new and has held up nicely.
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