Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back(pack) to School

I just thought this was cool.

Today I got the Lands' End Kids "Back to School" catalog. If you're not familiar with Lands' End, it sells high-quality, reasonably-priced basic and fairly conservative clothes and winter gear for the whole family. It's your place for solid and striped T's, jeans and khakis that won't show your crack, and fleeces galore. I'm oversimplifying - they have more than that - but you get the idea. GREAT place for swimsuits that cover and support. And their Overstocks is the place for out-of-season deals.

So I was flipping through the catalog. It's got the basic jersey dresses and leggings, turtlenecks and tights, etc. Then I came to this guide-to-backpacks page and was so impressed I had to post it. My kids are not school age yet and don't really need backpacks. But I've got friends with kids starting kindergarten this year - they must have a backpack big enough to hold a folder and a lunch. Other friends have older kids who have to bring home folders, books for homework, lunch and maybe a change of shoes for P.E. How do you know it will all fit?Look what they did. Lands' End took each backpack they sell and figured out what you can fit in it, plus the cubic inches if you need to do your own figuring. Awesome. So, for example, if I have a kindergartener, instead of flipping through all the backpack pages, I can see that the first one, the ClassMate TinyTake, is probably the one for me. Here, I zoomed it for you (I'm technologically savvy like that):
You can kind of see the same thing online here.

And of course don't forget the coordinating lunchboxes, which clip onto the backpacks via a D-ring designed for that purpose! Plus everything is personalizable with a name, initials, number, embroidery symbol or heat transfer patch (similar to the little pictures you could pick out for your class ring...I know mine's around here somewhere...)

Fyi, the current promo is $5 off selected backpacks and lunchboxes, free shipping through August 18 (code HOODIE, pin 1723), and a free "pack pal" (caribeener or similar clip-on decoration) with backpack purchase through August 22.

It's just good design and good marketing. Excellent marketing.

I'd buy one.


MiaKatia said...

Ok so here is how neurotic I am... Do I go with the smaller one TinyTake, because I have a small 5 year old or do I go with the bigger SmallHaul because she will grow in to it and keep it for the next 3+ years. And do I get monogramming because I love monogramming, or will she hate it in three years when I am still making her carry the same backpack. Being a mom is tough :)

Disco Mom said...

Not neurotic! You have to think about these things! I had the same kinds of thoughts last night. It's not like these are cheap $7 packs, they're an investment and you want to make it count. Here's what I came up with, kind of a compromise:

- get a gender-neutral TinyTake, like red or blue, no monogramming unless it's last name, so all K and maybe 1st graders in the family can use it as they come up.

- once she is big enough, in a year or two, get a SmallHaul and let her pick out the color, lunchbox, font, etc. so she has buy-in and will love it and she can use that for the rest of elementary school (repeat for each kid.)

- of course we don't want to think about this happening but by middle school they are growing into older tastes and will probably want something different, but I think 4 or 5 years is a good run for a backpack.

Disco Mom said...

I forgot to mention - hate how you can't edit comments - go ahead with the monogramming for SmallHaul - anything to make it recognizable in a sea of backpacks.

Anonymous said...

You know, I THOUGHT I looked at this, but I guess I didn't because I have been concerned, and Lands End was clearly looking out for me. Our schools require all students (even Kers) have a backpack that fits snowpants+shoes and I have been concerned. Love your idea of getting one with a last name so all the kids can use it in K and when they really need more bag and have more opinions, they can pick out one that will last.

OK--one thing down, so many to go.

-Sydney- said...

What's a mom of boys to do if all they have online for Tiny Takes is pink and purple ??? (pardon me, Fresh Rose and Winter Violet!)

Disco Mom said...

WHAT??? That's not cool. Try calling them 1-800-800-5800 or 1-800-734-5437. Maybe if you order on back order you can still get the promo.

Disco Mom said...

Or you could get the ClassMate Junior for 4 to 7 year olds. They have it in black! (while supplies last.)

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