August is here, which means we’ll soon say goodbye to sprinklers and swimsuits and hello to back-to-school shopping and sales. As you scour the Internet and local big box stores for bargains on binders, folders, pencils and pens save a little extra time to search for a long-lasting backpack.
It may take awhile to sort through the wide variety of styles and brands available, but before the school bell rings you’ll want to find a high-quality bag that is guaranteed to withstand a rigorous day of learning and activities.
How can you find a quality backpack guaranteed to last throughout the entire school year? Here are a few tips to help you choose wisely:
Test the Zipper
Grab a hold of that zipper and zip and unzip it over and over again. Your child will reach in and out of that book bag many times over the days and months ahead. Make certain the zipper runs smoothly, doesn’t get caught and feels securely stitched.
If it feels well made, test a little further by stuffing the bag full of books and then unzipping it just a little. Ask your child to wear the backpack around the store and see if the zipper stays in place. A strong zipper won’t budge, while a weak one will slip a little or possibly unzip all the way.
Also, make certain the zippers have fabric-covering flaps. These prevent water from dripping into the bags on rainy days.
Jansport has been manufacturing backpacks since 1967. The brand is synonymous with well constructed canvas backpacks that can last for many years. Bigger kids may like the Jansport SuperBreak Backpack, while younger kids may feel more comfortable with the Half Pint, a smaller sized backpack targeted for the preschool and kindergarten crowd.
Inspect the bag for loose threads and fraying fabric. A poorly constructed book bag simply won’t hold up to the heavy books and rough every-day wear and tear of children. Look for signs of poor stitching and flimsy fabrics.
Fill the bag with every day school supplies and school books then ask your child to walk around the store wearing it. You want to make certain the bag feels comfortable on your child’s shoulders. Look for padded, wide-set shoulder straps that distribute weight evenly. Some backpacks include an additional abdominal strap that will make the pack easier to carry. Quality bags are typically more comfortable to wear.
To avoid the strain on a child’s shoulders some parents opt for rolling backpacks which are built on wheels. The pop-up handle will extend so that your child can roll the bag through the halls then shorten the length for storage. When choosing a rolling backpack make certain that the handle operates smoothly and read reviews on each product carefully. Many users complain of handles that stop functioning or wobble shortly after purchase. Also, make certain that the bag stays upright when not in use as some of these bags tend to fall forward when not in motion. This rolling bag from L.L. Bean may be a good choice. It received 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Quality brands often come with a repair or replace guarantee, which means if the zipper breaks or the straps tear the company will agree to fix or replace it. L.L. Bean is one brand that guarantees all of their products. They have a wide variety of styles, colors and patterns to choose from.
Quality backpacks are more comfortable, better constructed, easier to use and last for many seasons. If you make the right purchase your child could wear the same backpack from first grade straight through to graduation.