Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally, A Durable and Well-Made Book Bag!

Are you tired of buying new book bags in September, only to have them fall apart by Christmas?? 

Me too! 

The straps rip.  The seams fray.  The bottoms wear thin.  And they generally look ratty and leak important papers long before we’ve gotten our money’s worth.

Well, last summer, I came across some great reviews on L.L.Bean’s book bags, or Book Packs, as they call them.  Some said the bags still looked new after a whole year of use. (Yeah, right)  Many said they still looked new after years of use.  (Mm-hmmm.) 

I imagined reviewers with delicate little girls who handled their book bags with little white gloves.

Knowing my boys, and how abusive they are to their book bags, I was doubtful we could ever be so lucky. 

But I was also REALLY tired of buying poorly made bags and needing to repair or replace them before the school year was halfway through.

So I crossed my fingers and took the jump. 

I ordered a set of L.L.Bean Original Book Packs for roughly $28 each.  One in black.  And one in navy blue. 

They weren’t much more expensive than the ones I was buying at the department stores.  So, I splurged and had my oldest son’s name embroidered in the blue one for an extra $6 bucks.  Just for fun.

The verdict??? 

We are now well into the second year of using these book packs.  And as unbelievable as it is, they still look, dare I say it? 

Almost new!

llbean back pack 3The only place I can find any sign of wear is a tiny amount of roughing up along the front of the shoulder straps, and that is barely worth mentioning.  There are no holes, no rips, no frays, no loose stitching, and not even any thin places.  Oh, and the zippers still work perfectly!  

I am sold! 

However, even more than the quality and durability of the book pack itself, I love the reflective strips!  You can see them (above) reflecting the light from the flash. 

L.L.Bean uses 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material (on both shoulder straps and across the front pocket) which is highly visible to motorists at night. 

On dark foggy mornings, waiting along our busy highway for the bus can be dangerous.  These strips make all the difference.  I took this picture to show you just how much of a difference it makes.    LLBean Back Pack

I won’t be buying another book bag without this feature ever again. 

I may not be buying my boys another book bag at all if the ones they have continue to perform well! 

That is, unless the boys want a larger one to carry more books, because they want to study more.  (Don’t laugh.  It could happen.)

And if so, I’ll be shopping at L.L.Bean.  The little bit of extra money up front will save me much more later on!! 

Check out L.L.Bean and see if there is a book pack there your kids would like.  They have tons to choose from in many colors and styles.  You won’t be sorry!  Hey, it might even make a wonderful Christmas gift for someone on your list! 

Getting quality practical book bags that LAST definitely works for me!!

You can check out We Are That Family for more Works For Me Wednesday tips!

FYI, this review is totally spontaneous and I’m not being reimbursed one cent for my opinion.  I’m not even getting a free bag…                                                           

though I wish I were


Mari said...

They look wonderful! Too bad my kids don't need these anymore. :(

Sharon said...

what a good thing to know! I never would have thought about the reflective strip... but you're right, it really shows up!

One other bonus is that LL Bean has a money back guarantee... so if you EVER have any problems with it (even ten years from now) you can return it for a full replacement.

i love those guys!

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Yes! We have the preschool version that my 1st son used for 2 years and now my younger son is starting to use. It does still look brand new!! Too bad it is monogrammed with the older brother's name! Oh the things that 3rd child has to endure! Maybe when he's in real preschool and not just Mother's Day Out I'll somehow get it changed to read his correct name!

Raise Them Up said...

About llbean's Guarantee. I bought a winter coat from them about 8 years ago that I just love to death.

The zipper broke last winter and they fixed it free of charge!

We love llbean!

SJL~ said...

My son is carrying the LL Bean backpack that I used in Jr. High and High School, so they last FOREVER!!! I bought one this year for my daughter too!

The Real Me! said...

It's funny, coming from Maine I thought of L.L. Bean bookbags before I read your whole post. LOL! I'm glad you discovered their quality merchandise. A little more pricey but worth it!

Dee said...

We have two boys also who are really rough on their bags also. I love the reflective tape feature. Great tip! My boys have been using their "Jansport" backpacks for years with no trouble.

Jenny said...

Hi. Just stopping by from WFMW. :)

Catherine said...

I had one of these through middle school, high school, and college! I'm not sure what happened to it, but I think it is still being used by someone, somewhere! Definitely worth EVERY PENNY!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

I love the clean look of the LL Bean backpacks. I think I will buy one for my son next year. I also adore their monogrammed tote bags!


I had no idea they had a guarantee. We love to try on the ginormous backpack they display at LL Bean at the start of the school year.

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

I finally broke down and bought my son a Under Armour backpack for big bucks. And I too was so glad, it was nice to have a decent backpack for him this year and I didn't have to buy one. It too looks new!! I checked out the LL Bean ones, but he is such a sport kid I decided to go with a more sporty bag. Regardless I wish I had bought a decent backpack for both of my kids years ago. You are one smart mom!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I love LL Bean. My mother bought my daughter a back pack from them when she was in 2nd grade she used it every year and it is still in great shape. She's in 8th grade and begged me for a new bag so I gave in even though her old bag is still in nice condition. I bought my son a backpack from there also and its 3 years old and still looking great. I highly recommend them. Lizzie