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How often to replace a child’s backpack?


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Every year when they are little and you can get by for like $20. When mine got older we spent more on higher quality packs that fit their “style” and got a couple years or more unless a zipper or strap broke.

 

also: I end up repurposing old ones for things like cornhole bags, drill/bits/charger/screws when I have to go to my moms to fix something, etc.

Edited by Rustoleum
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The schools around here do not let the kids use lockers, so their lives are in backpacks. I am not kidding you, both my kid's backpacks were 45-50 pounds, so we learned there was no point in buying cheap backpacks because they would last 2 months and we would have to buy another one. We started buying JanSports every year for both girls, yeah they are $45-$50 a unit, but they work.  We just always budgeted $100 for backpacks each year. 

Now we have relief in our 16 year old daughter is on-line, but our 21 year old still "needs" one for her senior year in college. :D

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3 hours ago, Rustoleum said:

Every year when they are little and you can get by for like $20. When mine got older we spent more on higher quality packs that fit their “style” and got a couple years or more unless a zipper or strap broke.

 

also: I end up repurposing old ones for things like cornhole bags, drill/bits/charger/screws when I have to go to my moms to fix something, etc.

Ours have gotten new ones more often than I feel they need to. I have used the older ones for other items as well.

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Thanks everyone. I certainly don’t want this to turn into a “privilege” discussion or anything like that. 
I recalled getting a new one almost every year when I was a kid. I had a couple Jansport ones that were excellent and lasted. I beat my stuff to hell though. 
My daughters is a bit beat up. It’ll carry books but it has seen better days and is probably better off being recycled into a different function.
It seems it’s not uncommon to get a new one every year or to get more than one year of use out of it. I certainly wouldn’t get rid of it if it were in great shape. 

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3 hours ago, Courtjester said:

The schools around here do not let the kids use lockers, so their lives are in backpacks. I am not kidding you, both my kid's backpacks were 45-50 pounds, so we learned there was no point in buying cheap backpacks because they would last 2 months and we would have to buy another one. We started buying JanSports every year for both girls, yeah they are $45-$50 a unit, but they work.  We just always budgeted $100 for backpacks each year. 

Now we have relief in our 16 year old daughter is on-line, but our 21 year old still "needs" one for her senior year in college. :D

In my kids' HS it's not that the school doesn't let them, it's just that the school is large and it would take too long to get back and forth. Part of me is glad they get this year off 'remotely' or else they would be walking around leaning to one side, since they carry such huge amounts of weight in their backpacks on one shoulder!

 

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52 minutes ago, Mr. Ected said:

In my kids' HS it's not that the school doesn't let them, it's just that the school is large and it would take too long to get back and forth. Part of me is glad they get this year off 'remotely' or else they would be walking around leaning to one side, since they carry such huge amounts of weight in their backpacks on one shoulder!

 

Oh god, I remember being in maybe 5th or 6th grade, we were changing classes and had lots of stuff in our backpacks. For whatever stupid reason, it was cool to only use one shoulder strap. It was so annoying and would always slip off and need re-adjusting. So stupid of me but I guess that was the kind of stupid #### one had to do to be "popular" in 6th grade. What a ridiculous age that is. 

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14 hours ago, Johnny B. Goode said:

My wife and I were talking about this today as our daughter wants a new backpack. She got one to start 4K and is now going into 1st grade. 

Considering a somewhat normal wear and tear, how often would you expect to replace a backpack? 

We did the every year thing thru middle school I think. Kids like them some new backpacks. When they hit HS I told both chose wisely in 9th grade because it was the last one I was buying them. One went North Face, one went generic but sturdy. Both lasted thru HS.

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We keep them until they break.  When the kids were young, we bought cheap grocery store backpacks and replaced them pretty much every year.  When they got older, I got them Osprey Parsec backpacks on a good sale, and they've had them for years with no visible wear.  They cost less than 3 years of grocery store backpacks.  One of the kids had her first year at college and is still using the Osprey bag.

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Let mine pick one of the cheap garbage "branded" backpacks for Pre-school then a new one (if they wanted) for Kindergarten since pre-school in my town is at a different school. Once the cheap one(s) fall apart or they no longer like the game/character/etc. on it, they graduate to a higher quality backpack. At that point, it's a plain backpack (colors are optional) and they get to pick some patches each year that we add/remove to personalize it. We use is as an example in the "value of money" discussion. It's nice to buy just for the excitement sometimes but buying junk is throwing away money, and nothing breaks down faster than those cheap, character backpacks.

Oldest started middle school last year and they don't allow backpacks, anyway. His "good" backpack is still in great shape after 5 years of use (bought at target but I can't find a brand anywhere on it) and still has a few of the first patches he chose. Middle son has a Swiss Gear backpack that is in great shape after 2 years of use, which was ~$30 at my local wholesale store (BJs). 

Edited by Flying Elvis
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43 minutes ago, Tick said:

We keep them until they break.  When the kids were young, we bought cheap grocery store backpacks and replaced them pretty much every year.  When they got older, I got them Osprey Parsec backpacks on a good sale, and they've had them for years with no visible wear.  They cost less than 3 years of grocery store backpacks.  One of the kids had her first year at college and is still using the Osprey bag.

Yeah as a kid I basically kept mine until it broke or I could ask for one for my bday or Christmas (no chance I was wasting a gift on a backpack). I do remember cutting the strap on a backpack once though to speed the process a long.

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10 hours ago, Ilov80s said:
11 hours ago, Mr. Ected said:

In my kids' HS it's not that the school doesn't let them, it's just that the school is large and it would take too long to get back and forth. Part of me is glad they get this year off 'remotely' or else they would be walking around leaning to one side, since they carry such huge amounts of weight in their backpacks on one shoulder!

 

Oh god, I remember being in maybe 5th or 6th grade, we were changing classes and had lots of stuff in our backpacks. For whatever stupid reason, it was cool to only use one shoulder strap. It was so annoying and would always slip off and need re-adjusting. So stupid of me but I guess that was the kind of stupid #### one had to do to be "popular" in 6th grade. What a ridiculous age that is. 

In a normal year, my kids (12th, 11th, 8th) have 3" binders for each class, with their teachers printing copies of everything rather than giving them a textbook. For some reason, the kids feel like they need to carry every page with them all the time. For years, I have tried to get them to have a binder for each day (A&B day schedule) with stuff they are working on and a binder at home for each class, that way they can carry less around and be more organized. Crickets. Or heck, their school gives them a ChromeBook. Scan everything and store the PDFs on your computer. Easy to find stuff that way, nice and light, too!! Obviously parents know nothing. (I know I would likely have been similar.) 

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Yea no chacen they are getting a new one every year. They get a new one when they either 1) grow out of their last one (was only an issue when they were pre-K sze I would say) or 2) it becomes so grimy or beat up or broken that it needs to be replaced.

My 3rd grader has had his backpack since he was in kindergarten. First grader same thing.

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Probably ever year.  My son just finished Kindergarten.  His school backpack probably has another year, so we may let that one ride, but we got a crappy one for camp this summer.  He's DESTROYED the camp one.  It might not last the 6 weeks of camp.

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Up through middle school every year. Partly because character backpacks are a big deal to kids and tastes change fast at that age. Backpacks are definitely a signal to other kids at that age of who you are.

Once middle school, purchase a high quality one and go as long as it will last. 

I got an LL Bean backpack in 7th grade and I still have it and use it occasionally for stuff. It’s still in great shape. Something with a leather bottom and strong zipper is key.

Edited by GroveDiesel
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3 minutes ago, Mr. Ected said:

In a normal year, my kids (12th, 11th, 8th) have 3" binders for each class, with their teachers printing copies of everything rather than giving them a textbook. For some reason, the kids feel like they need to carry every page with them all the time. For years, I have tried to get them to have a binder for each day (A&B day schedule) with stuff they are working on and a binder at home for each class, that way they can carry less around and be more organized. Crickets. Or heck, their school gives them a ChromeBook. Scan everything and store the PDFs on your computer. Easy to find stuff that way, nice and light, too!! Obviously parents know nothing. (I know I would likely have been similar.) 

At long as they are decently organized, be happy. I have so many students who lose everything. 

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The wife insisted on buying Land's end backpacks for the kids when they started kindergarten.  My 4th and 7th graders are still using theirs, my high schoolers don't but that's just because they wanted something else when they started HS (they still use them as travel bags). Those things last, and I think she's had them replaced for free once. 

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11 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

Up through middle school every year. Partly because character backpacks are a big deal to kids and tastes change fast at that age. Backpacks are definitely a signal to other kids at that age of who you are.

Once middle school, purchase a high quality one and go as long as it will last. 

I got an LL Bean backpack in 7th grade and I still have it and use it occasionally for stuff. It’s still in great shape. Something with a letter bottom and strong zipper is key.

Yep. 

Sometimes spending more for quality saves $$$ in the long haul.

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2 hours ago, -OZ- said:

Yep. 

Sometimes spending more for quality saves $$$ in the long haul.

It's sometimes hard to figure out where that does and doesn't apply... but man am I smug about a few of those decisions.  I think the best was Amish furniture from this place in upstate NY.  30-50% more expensive, and our grandkids will likely fight over it when we die.

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1 hour ago, Tick said:

It's sometimes hard to figure out where that does and doesn't apply... but man am I smug about a few of those decisions.  I think the best was Amish furniture from this place in upstate NY.  30-50% more expensive, and our grandkids will likely fight over it when we die.

Furniture, homes, cars - but quality here includes Toyota and Honda, basically things I want to keep more than 5 years. 

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I usually subscribe to the “buy it nice or buy it twice“ mantra.  But not with kids stuff because they tend to lose things or break them or stain them etc.

my gradeschool daughters were happy to keep their backpacks for a couple years until their tastes changed and they wanted a different design.

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If they are little kids, I would get a cheap new one each year.  I would argue there is a negative psychological impact when a kid is not able to have new shoes or a backpack.  I don't care what situation you are in.  Once the kid is in the classroom, he/she sees all of the other kids with new stuff and it smarts a little (or maybe alot if you are raising a bad child).   Once kids are in high school, buy a good one and let it last all four years.  I could see the point of not getting new stuff this year if you are really strapped because of COVID.

 

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4 hours ago, arrow1 said:

Is it still under warranty?

For years, we got our kids new LL Bean backpacks by tapping into their lifetime guarantee. We did not go the slime ball route (ie, get a new one on Day 364 of a one year return policy). Our kids would use them for a couple of years and the bags would start breaking down, so they would "replace" them for close to free. The way it turned out, the newer ones would cost more, so they would credit the purchase price of the old one to the offset the cost of a new one. Saved a lot of money that way.

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51 minutes ago, popeye said:

In my day you had a 6 year hand me down Trapper Keeper binder and you were happy!  #WalkingUpHillBothWaysToSchool 

Trapper Keeper binder, dumb things I gotta do notepad, official NFL #2 pencils, my Six Million Dollar Man metal lunchbox and of course I remember, for a long time, before we got backpacks in the 80's, I remember our 70's bookbags were bought through the school (or maybe it was the Sears catalog store where we bought everything else) but I remember it was a thick canvas with like a leather bottom but the bookbag had a drawstring and the damned thing looked like a longshoreman's bag. . . arrrggghhhh me mateys. . . sorry I'm from the past. :(

Edited by Sullie
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1 minute ago, Sullie said:

Trapper Keeper binder, dumb things I gotta do notepad, official NFL #2 pencils, my Six Million Dollar Man metal lunchbox and of course I remember, for a long time, before we got backpacks in the 80's, I remember our 70's bookbags were bought through the school (or maybe it was the Sears catalog store where we bought everything else) but I remember it was a thick canvas with like a leather bottom but the bookbag had a drawstring and the damned thing looked like a longshoreman's bag. . . arrrggghhhh me mateys. . . sorry I'm from the past. :(

NFL pencils were kept in my desk by division and standings within the division  :coffee:

<oldmanrant>

Also - the only highlights we'd see (outside the 3.5 minutes devoted sports that started at 6:22 PM following the weather) was at halftime on MNF or George Michael Sports Machine. 

</oldmanrant>

 

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12 hours ago, GroveDiesel said:

Up through middle school every year. Partly because character backpacks are a big deal to kids and tastes change fast at that age. Backpacks are definitely a signal to other kids at that age of who you are.

Once middle school, purchase a high quality one and go as long as it will last. 

I got an LL Bean backpack in 7th grade and I still have it and use it occasionally for stuff. It’s still in great shape. Something with a leather bottom and strong zipper is key.

Yes this is about where I am at. Cheap character ones for now and if I got a nice one I’d expect it to last some time

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On 8/9/2020 at 5:51 PM, Johnny B. Goode said:

My wife and I were talking about this today as our daughter wants a new backpack. She got one to start 4K and is now going into 1st grade. 
 

Considering a somewhat normal wear and tear, how often would you expect to replace a backpack? 

One per year K-8.  Now that my son is in HS, I bought 2 last year because he wore through the first one, not his fault though.  I did find a heavy duty one on Amazon and that one has held up pretty well so far.

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18 hours ago, Snorkelson said:

In 4th grade there was a kid in my school who carried a briefcase and dressed in a shirt and tie every day like some sort of 10 year old Dwight Schrute. Don’t let your kids do that.

We have a freshman at my school who does that. He is also barely 5 feet tall. His goal is to be President one day and he said that his dad told him when he was young how important first impressions are so he always dresses up in case he meets someone new. He is the class President and actually seems to be well liked and respected. There are a lot of really mean kids at the school too, I was shocked with how well he has been treated.

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

We have a freshman at my school who does that. He is also barely 5 feet tall. His goal is to be President one day and he said that his dad told him when he was young how important first impressions are so he always dresses up in case he meets someone new. He is the class President and actually seems to be well liked and respected. There are a lot of really mean kids at the school too, I was shocked with how well he has been treated.

Let’s face it: 1989 4th graders were probably worse than 2020 frosh. 

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