Back-to-school season has arrived—and it's time to make important decisions, such as: What's the latest I can sleep-in and still get my kids to school on time? Do fruit gummies count as a healthy snack? What backpack can withstand a year of being dragged around by my child? While you'll have to figure out the first two questions yourself, I can help you answer the third. I've been quizzing my mummy friends (including other YMC bloggers) and these are the top 5 backpacks on our lists:
1. Original Book Pack, $29.95, L.L. Bean
I first discovered these bags when my college roommate offered me one of her leftover backpacks from high school. I used it every day, and despite being stuffed full of heavy textbooks, it still looked new. My kids' L.L. Bean backpacks were purchased three years ago—I put them through the washing machine at the end of every term, and they come out stain free, with no loose threads or fraying. (p.s. I've had friends order similar-looking backpacks from Lands End, BUT the material does NOT hold up as well).
2. Mackenzie Large Backpack, $45.50, Pottery Barn Kids
These backpacks come in the cutest prints, featuring everything from poodles to sharks. They are on the pricier side, but the quality and adorable-ness factor make it a worthwhile investment for many moms, including YMC Editor-in-Chief Ali. She says, "I splurge and save in specific places for BTS. One place I always splurge is a backpack, since it gets the most wear and tear each year." Hailey has the same philosophy: "I just splurged and bought a pottery barn kids one. It's adorable and so well made ...then I decided to make up for that by buying a $7 lunch bag from Target."
3. Skip Hop Zoo Pack, $19.95, Target
Speaking of adorable—if you need a backpack for your toddler, you have to check out the Zoo Pack range from Target. Skip Hop are famous for their amazing diaper bags, and you get the same high quality and great designs from these backpacks. They're perfect for teeny shoulders!
4. Dome Daypack, $19, MEC
If you're looking for indestructible, you can't go wrong with picking a bag from a Mountain Equipment store. These bags are VERY popular with YMC parents. Danielle says, "My kids have been using the same MEC backpacks since kindergarten (going into grade 5 and 6). They look like new. Also, I like that they are light—some backpacks are heavy before you put anything in them."
5. Jansport Superbreak Backpack, $34.98, Staples
Ending the list is another classic. Jansports were popular in my high school, and they're still going strong! Candace chooses them because, "They're guaranteed for life and I refuse to replace backpacks every year for trends." Jeni thinks they're the perfect bag for her high-schooler: "Despite heavy textbooks in high school last year, it has held up very well. And it's easy to wash because it is lightweight."
BONUS: They didn't make the top 5, but honourable mention goes to backpacks from Eddie Bauer, Dakine, Roots and Beatrix NY.
What is your favourite back-to-school backpack brand?