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Friday, August 13, 2010

Smarty Back to School Gear!

By Jen P, Charlotte Smarty Pants

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 yet, because many preschools require a certain bag or bucket. 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.

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!

Don't forget to register for our August Giveaway! You could be one of five lucky readers who will win a $20 gift card to Boutique of Couture in Winston-Salem. Think new fall clothes!!! Just click here to take a short survey. You must be a TSP newsletter subscriber to win. This giveaway promotion will run through Noon on Friday, August 13. Winners will be immediately notified and announced on TSP a few days later. Good luck, Smarties!


Naomi said...

Check out

They have really great reusable snack and sandwich bags for lunches. I found them last year after worrying about all those plastic ziploc bags being used! They held up great, and we'll be using them again this year.

RLR said...

I give a "thumbs up" for the LL Bean packs. I bought one for my daughter as she was entering PreK-3, and I selected it according to the age guidelines provided by LL Bean. It was truly the perfect size for her, and she'll be using it again this year.
I'm also a big fan of waste-free lunches!

Andrea Halsey said...

We got all the Pottery Barn back-to-school gear for Eva, complete with monogramming and the "classic" lunchbox. Eva is starting kindergarten and I am thrilled with the colors and quality of the gear! Yay PB!

Off to check out snacktaxi!

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