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Backpacks deconstructed: understanding what features make up a better backpack

At Lands’ End we know how stressful the start of a new school year can be. New teachers mean new expectations and more homework. Not to mention the struggle the whole family faces switching gears from lazy summer days to the constant on-the-move school grind. Getting back in the swing of things can be hard, which is why we do our best to make the transition easy. Do yourself a favor this year and get the kids new, age (and interest) appropriate backpacks to make going back to school as effortless as possible – at least for you. Read on for our backpack breakdown to help you better understand what features make the best backpacks at every age and stage.

Early Elementary:

Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to finding the right sized backpack for your little learner it’s not exactly elementary (as one Sherlock Holmes might say). First and foremost you want to make sure the backpack is not too big. Otherwise you risk the bag becoming cumbersome and uncomfortable for them to wear – resulting in you carrying their stuff.

Set your littlest of learners up for success this school year by sending them off in an elementary school size backpacks for kids. At we’ve broken the kid’s backpacks down by age: Ages 4 to 5, 6 to 12 and finally 13 and up. If it’s easier to shop by clothing size, you could do that too: Little Kid, Big Kid and Adult. And all of our bookbags come with padded, adjustable shoulder straps so their school bags can grow with them throughout those formative years. Which, we can tell you, will happen before you know it.

Middle School:

Inquiring minds grow fast in middle school as the academic agenda starts to heat up. Send those big brains off to school with larger book bags to help them keep up with the demanding workload. Our ClassMate Medium Backpacks go beyond carrying capacity. Made from durable, 600-denier polyester with a reinforced 1200-denier polyester pack cloth bottom, these bookbags are designed to take all of the dropping, dragging and tugging their school day has in store. We also offer rolling backpacks allowing those over achievers some relief from carrying their heavy books. But if carrying is the way to go, rest assured their growing frames will be protected. Our shoulder straps are securely stitched with an adjustable sternum strap (where available) intended to keep straps in the perfect position for comfort – no matter how much homework is in their future.

Along with harder courses and budding extracurricular interests, middle school also brings with it a unique existential crisis that only a pre-teen can know: Who am I? And how do I express it? Give your kids the freedom to flex some personal expression at school with a backpack embroidered with something that’s special to them. All of our backpacks at have the ‘Make It Personal’ option, offering you a variety of texts and icons to choose from to help them stand out from the pack.

High School:

A high school student is probably one of the busiest people on the planet. Between school, sports, friends and fun there’s hardly any time for rest. Make their busy life a little easier with an extra large backpack fit for all of their interests. Our ClassMate TechPack Extra Large Backpack is roomy enough to fit books as well as their gadgets. These are backpacks with a laptop compartment that’s specifically designed to protect their laptops or tablets. And did we mention the wraparound mesh side pocket – ideal for carrying a reusable water bottle to keep them hydrated while they take off running straight towards their hopes and dreams?


It’s no secret that college kids can change the world. After all, it was at a University of Washington campus store where backpacks found a new purpose in life when co-eds started using the designated hiking bags to keep their books dry from the frequent Seattle rains. College kids are full of bright ideas – which is why they need something versatile, durable and organized to help them make the most of their potential. Our stylish Canvas Backpack is made from sturdy 20oz. cotton canvas with adjustable straps and a magnetic snap closure to keep their essentials secure. Interior pockets keep them organized while the sleek profile makes them feel (thus look) confident. At we also offer durable and stylish nylon backpacks that is more than ready to go wherever the day takes them if that’s more their style – and we know that style definitely has something to do with it.

At Lands’ End we know that when it comes to their education, there’s no compromising. That’s exactly why we don’t – ever. Don’t waste another minute worrying if they’re ready for that bright future. Get them a Lands’ End backpack today and show them that when you put in the time to get things right, the only results you get are quality.

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