I highly suggest buying backpacks at L L Bean. The quality is really good and the price is not bad either. My kids get at least 2 years out of one of their backpacks. They have nice styles and colors/patterns to choose from and also in different sizes to fit the size of your child. You can also have it monogrammed with your child's name or initials. I pay with an LL Bean Visa but I have one to use JUST with them as it entitles me to not only free monogramming but also free shipping. I buy online so it's very easy and their service is very fast.
I learned the hard way to check the bottom seams and the area where the shoulder straps attach for sturdiness from other brands.
You want to see enclosed seams and or double seaming on the bottom and sides and an "X" stitched where the straps attached.
Or give the strap a sturdy tug and see what happens.
Was recently shopping for book totes at local stores and found that they are now putting the handles on top of the close over flap, but not anchoring the flap down properly (a piddly piece of velco isn't enough), so when you pick this weighty thing up by the handle, the bag part of it will swing away. Baaad engineering.
15 years ago LL Bean is where I got mine for the kids. Lasted 2 or more years! Best back pack == longest lasting for my kids! Best money spent on any backpacks ever for us.
LL Beam might be the place to purchase back packs,but never have names put on them. A stranger will know his/her name. He/she may think they are a family friend and off they are with the wrong person. Haven't we learned from children being snatched by someone who calls them by name. Sincerely, judyajudy/ Judith Walker
All GREAT advice. I've run across so many backpacks that I've collected and given to the homeless, but
each one had it's "problems" ranging from poor style/design, to loose stitching, to weak fabric, UNLESS I found an LL Bean, OR OLDER no-name pack that USED to be stronger than now made.
Should you have any extras, remember the homeless who LOVE backpacks MORE than luggage/bags, UNLESS the piece is black and has wheels or built in rack/wheels.
God bless each of you who help those who have fallen through the cracks and cannot help themselves or find their way out without God and someone's help. It wouldn't hurt to tuck in a few dollars in one of the pockets, to make "care" packs of them along with:
two sturdy combs, one regular nylon, one large teeth, sample sized: deodorants, soap cases(they can get sample soaps and toothbrushes from Charity. toothbrush
end-covers, a few mixed bandaids;, sample pkg. vitamins-minerals/Tylenol/antihistamine/stool softener; plastic mirror, small notepad/address book/pencils/stamps/few envelopes; few varieties of
freezer Ziplock baggies;tiny radio/few extra batteries/small flashlight;MONTHLY BUS PASS, if one
can afford it;a few quarters; tiny sewing kit/safety pins/wide black headband if in Winter/wide terrycloth headband/ballcap if Summer; one pair generic sunglasses/bandana/flat packages of tuna,not cans; dry instant cereals/rice/soups/energy bars/sugarfree gum/tiny bibles, reminders that God both loves them
and knows all they have gone through, can read their heart and mind, but wants them to know Him
better and to forgive all who have ever hurt them.
Giving this sort of thing, even if used, at Christmas is FAR more appreciated and needed than a single Thanksgiving or Christmas meal PER YEAR. Include an encouraging note signing your first name or anonymously, to tell them "God and someone cares for you!" I add a reference to some favorite encouraging scriptures. You will be more than blessed for doing this and children learn such powerful lessons by being allowed to help with every step of the way. One other thing those who could afford it can give is one night's motel room, considered the next best thing to having a family.
God bless your efforts and heart.
I figured someone would write in regards to me saying I get my kids names put on their backpacks. Well our kids are in Spec Ed and always supervised going to and from school and such. They are only with their backpacks for school....so I am not worried about their names being on them and it really helps on the bus and at school to keep the right backpacks with my children.
Of course if you would be concerned about having your child's name on the backpack, then just have initials instead!
Oh and another thing....the LL Bean backpack my son used for both years of preschool is still good, not worn at all; however I did get him a new one for Kindergarten and I let his first backpack be used for Summer School or to take on trips to hold toys, books and such. My daughter is harder on her backpacks but she still got 2 years out of a backpack and that included some summer school and I only pitched it because it had gotten small holes torn on the bottom corners where she would drag it on the ground :-(
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