This year my oldest son started First Grade. It was very exciting for us as this is his first time in all-day school. For preschool and kindergarten, the fun character backpacks worked out just fine, but they don't hold up that well. This time I knew I wanted something that was both stylish and durable so we could get a few years out of it. So I turned to Lands' End. We have always been happy with everything we have purchased from Lands' End; from kid's snow gear to the ginormous canvas tote that I use as a diaper bag. So I knew that a Lands' End kids backpack would be perfect.
Lands' End offers a wide variety of backpacks in sizes that will fit your small kid all the way up to you big kid. I was sent the ClassMate StudyHaul Backpack to test out and so I went and purchased the coordinating lunch box to go with it. Of course I had to have them both monogrammed with my son's initials. After analyzing pretty much every single backpack they make, I went with this one because the size seemed good and I loved that the lunch box attaches to the outside of the backpack. I had no idea what to expect from first grade as far as books and supplies so I didn't want to take up the inside space with his lunch.
|ClassMate® StudyHaul is designed & tested to carry everything your kid needs for class and more. Features like multiple pockets, a removable organizer pouch and side mesh water bottle pockets keep everything in their place.|
The ClassMate StudyHaul has 2 compartments: the main and then a smaller front compartment. The front section has a pocket plus a detachable pencil case. On both sides of the outside of the backpack are mesh water bottle holders and on the strap is an MP3 player holder for slightly older children.
Now some of the reviews on the Lands' End site mentioned that the size of the bag was small, but it is absolutely perfect for my First Grader. I did not want something that was going to be huge and hang down low and just be uncomfortable for him to wear. There is plenty of room inside as I was able to place a binder, thick book and a pair of sneakers in the main compartment with room for more.
Now for the ClassMate StudyHaul lunchbox, I am amazed at how much I have been able to cram in here. The main compartment is insulated and is big enough for me to get a Laptop Lunch box inside, with an icepack underneath. There is a mesh pocket in there where I put his cloth napkin. The front compartment is not insulated which makes it good for a snack. I am able to get a 2 cup plastic container of fruit in there.
As I mentioned, the main feature that drew me to this set was the ability for the lunch box to clip onto the outside of the backpack. The clip is located at the top of each and is easy enough for even my six year old to snap together. You can then use the elastic cords to secure it to the backpack. Those cords could alternatively be used for holding a jacket. Below is what the backpack and lunchbox look like when attached to each other.
In addition to having your child's name or initials monogrammed onto their backpack, you can also have cool heat transfers put on like a basketball, butterfly and more. This is a great way for your child to really make this bag their own. There was a bit of a mix-up with the initials that were supposed to be on our backpack, but Lands' End was great and sent out a corrected one right away.
We are now one week into the school year and both myself and my son are so happy with the backpack and lunch box. He loves the way it looks and I love the functionality of it. Since he literally only carries a single folder back and forth to school each day in his backpack, I have been putting the lunchbox inside rather than on the outside. But since I know I am going to get at least one or two more school year's out of this, I don't mind. I imagine we will get good use out of that feature in the years to come. Once he does outgrow the backpack, I figure he can use it for day trips to Grammy's house or for carrying his Nintendo DS and games in.
Right now Lands' End backpacks and lunchboxes are on sale for up to 40% off. The ClassMate StudyHaul Backpack is on sale for $21.99 and the ClassMate StudyHaul Lunch Box is $9.99.
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Please note that the opinions and views expressed in this review are my own and based on my personal experience with the product and/or company. You may encounter a different experience with this than I did. Lands' End provided me with a free backpack to review.