Back-to-school shopping always sneaks up on us just as we’re enjoying the full swing of summer, doesn’t it? No worries – in typical Smarty fashion, we’ve scoured the web and the QC for some of the coolest finds so your little bookworm will be decked out.
Backpack & Lunchpack Guide:
Pottery Barn Kids – PBK is again top of my list with durability and fashion in one fell shopping swoop. For girls and boys alike, the Mackenzie Collection delivers. That Star Wars theme rocks for the ‘lil dudes. I would recommend the small backpack ($39) for kindergartners and the large backpack ($45) for 2nd grade and up. Don’t even bother with a preschool backpack because most preschools in Charlotte provide their own bags. FYI, their lunchbags are $22. Check out PBTeen if you don’t see a pattern that you like. Very stylish and a little more grown up. PBK & PB Teen are both offering free shipping right now. Tax-free weekend applies online too, so make sure you check with your online retailer. I know PBK & Lands End are honoring tax-free in NC.
Garnet Hill Signature Backpack Collection has very fun backpacks and they tend to be made of lightweight material. I would highly recommend the Backpack Junior ($29.50) for kindergartners since it fits a standard folder and you don’t want it too heavy on their backs. The Backpack collection for $39.50 is designed for ages 7 and up. Garnet Hill is offering a free lunch pack with the purchase of a patterned backpack or backpack Jr thru Oct 5th, these retail for $16.50.
L.L.Bean has had super cool backpacks for as long as I can remember and their Junior Original Book Pack for $18.36 will not disappoint and what a bargain. This bag is perfect for K-2. The Original Book Pack for $22.36 is perfect for ages 7 and up and the Deluxe Book Pack for $31.96 is good for 10 and up.
Lands End has been the backpack headquarters for some time now too, rivaling that of L.L.Bean. Their ClassMate line is what I would look at for elementary school kids. The ClassMate SmallHaul backpack for $24.50 is perfect for K-2. You can promote your kids to the ClassMate StudyHaul backpack for grades 3 and up. By this age, your kids will want to throw everything they can in their backpacks so it’s important to have a little extra room. Lands End lunch boxes range from $14.50 to $19.50. I tend to think Lands End and L.L.Bean have a good boy backpack selection.
Go Green and Reuse:
Again, I’m loving PBK this year! They are now offering Klean Kanteen water bottles to match their backpack patterns. They also have cool Hot-Cold food containers. All of which you can get monogrammed so they don’t end up in lost and found. Last year I was excited about the Crocodile Creek water bottles, but I was not impressed with how they held up. I’m never a fan of any children’s item that requires hand-washing – I tried hard to stick to that rule, and they still peeled off.
I’m also digging the customized Sigg bottles at Cafe Press. Sigg is still my favorite reusable water bottle – the only thing that bugs me is the lid is too small to add ice. But my kids like everything room temp and that aluminum keeps your drinks naturally cold anyway.
Garnet Hill also has super cute personalized water bottles. Love their mono the best:-)
Peep this presh & Smarty reusable and washable snack bag from Itzy Ritzy – so cute and green too!
Happy shopping, Smarties and please, please, share your back-to-school tips!