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Children's Place Backpack Review

Children's Place Backpack Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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The Children's Place Backpack
Pricegrabber
Honestly, at the price of the Children's Place backpack (under $20), I never expected it to last more than one school year, but it lasted five years! At the time, I was in the cycle of buying kids new backpacks every year. In part this was because that's what my kids wanted but also because I was always looking for the bargain and as a result ended up with a cheap backpack that didn't last.

Unfortunately, the year I made my first purchase of Children's Place backpacks I only happened to buy one for my youngest, who at the time was going into preschool. The other kids I got whatever backpack they had picked out at a big box store, and I paid more for them. Their book bags barely lasted the school year.

What I learned from this experience is that their are two equally important elements to buying kids backpack that last: quality and long-lasting appeal. See more tips on choosing a backpack.

Quality

It wasn't just the price on the Children's Place backpack that made me think it wouldn't last; the material seemed flimsy and thin. However, in the long run this made no difference to its durability. Most of the time when a backpack fails it is the seams, or even more likely, the zippers and latches. However, the fabric can fade in the wash, which never happened with this backpack. In the long run, the lightweight quality of the fabric was a plus because it would dry quickly when washed and air dried.

As for those zippers and latches, they held up for the duration. When we retired the backpack, it was because my 8-year-old wanted a different style than she did when she was 3. Fair enough!

The backpack is roomy enough (measures 16.5"H X 11.5"L X 6"D) without being too large for a preschooler or toddler. Middle schoolers with lots of books and/or binders probably won't find it large enough. (For older kids, see these other high-quality backpacks.) From looking at the available styles, it seems, these backpacks are meant preschool and elementary school kids.

The padding on the shoulders was good, making it comfortable too. And the number of pockets inside and out were just right. Too many: Things get lost! Too few: Everything gets crushed together.

Long-Lasting Appeal

The style my daughter had is not longer available but basically it was a primary color version of camouflage. It was colorful and attractive, but it wasn't babyish or too girly. And I think this is an important reason that she didn't want to upgrade to a different style sooner. The pictured backpack is the pretty much the boys' version of what we had. The full-size backpacks at The Children's Place have these classically appealing designs. There are no characters but interest-themed (i.e., sports, peace signs) designs or other patterns like leopard or camouflage prints that have long-lasting appeal.

Many of the current styles of the Children's Place backpacks in the store's baby department are cute animals with faces. Kids may grow out of these styles before the backpack wears out. (Note: These styles are smaller (11.5"H X 9.5"L X 3.5"D) and meant for toddlers or preschoolers.) The full-size backpacks, which are the ones I recommend, are not too large for a preschool child, so I would skip the baby ones even for a toddler or preschooler. Often these kids have oversize papers coming home in their backpacks, which get crushed in toddler backpacks.

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