Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lands' End Featherlight Backpack and Neoprene Tote, a Review

I'm working with Lands' End as a Brand Ambassador during the 2014 Back to School season. They gifted me school uniforms for me to evaluate so I could share my opinion of the items with you. All opinions are my own.
(c) Rene Shonerd. All Rights Reserved.
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Chevron is so IN right now.   The colors in this bag are kid friendly, fun and feminine.  The 
Print FeatherLight™ Medium Backpack, in Fuchsia Plum Chevron, was an easy choice from the new colors and patterns of the Lands' End backpacks this fall.



I bought my daughter a backpack from Lands' End when she started Kindergarten.  I liked that they are one of the few brands that offered backpacks in various sizes.  We shopped in our local Sears store which had a more limited selection than Lands' End online.  While a small Classmate backpack bag might have fit her frame better, she picked out a medium sized Classmate backpack that was in stock in the store that day. The medium was big, but not overwhelming for her size.  The medium size is recommended for kids 4 feet tall to 5 foot, 6 inches tall.   You can read my original review of that bag which she is still using two years later.  It is light in color so it shows some dirt, but structurally, it is still in great condition.  All of the zippers still work, the seams are still sewn tight, and the mesh pouch on the side is still intact.  It has served her well for year round use at both school and summer camps.  She used it in kindergarten and first grade.  During those years, she was required to carry two folders back and forth to school each day.  The bag is big enough to tote a stack of text books, so it sometimes seemed bigger than she really needed at that age.  Now that she has a new bag to use this year, we'll hold on to her original bag to use as a backup.




This new Featherlight Backpack has a new, trendy pattern, but it also has different features.  This bag has a padded laptop slot inside that you could use to tote a traditional laptop, a tablet, or another electronic device.  But even if you don't have any electronics to tote around, you can place folders or notebooks in it keeping them separated from gym clothes and other items.  The other noticeable difference is that this Featherlight bag seems thinner and looks less bulky on her frame than her Classmate style bag.  From the videos, it looks like both styles of bag can hold a fair amount, so it might be the adjustable side compression straps that make it appear thinner.  Most days, she totes around a few folders and papers. Occasionally it carries home an oddly shaped art project or we tuck a small umbrella in the side mesh pocket.  We expect the amount of homework will increase this year, so she might begin to have a workbook or two to tote around.  This bag is perfect size to hold everything she needs and fits her school aged frame perfectly. Here's a video from Lands' End showing what this bag can fit:



I "borrowed" the bag to bring home my work laptop this week.  I commute by walking about a half mile to the Metro station, ride Metro into the city, and then walk a few more blocks to the office. When I use a standard tote bag to carry my laptop, I really notice the weight of it and the strap digs into my shoulder.  My full size work laptop fit perfectly in the laptop slot of this backpack. The padding on the straps is wonderful. Combined with the padded back panel with the mesh lining, it made lugging the laptop on my half mile walk home a breeze. Thumbs up from me!  My co-workers noticed the bag and commented on the hip pattern and trendy colors too.




My daughter loves everything about it.  She can't stop playing with the bungee cord on the front of the bag. She tested it out this week packing it full of stuff needed for summer camp. It easily fit a large fluffy beach towel, her swim suit, goggles, sunscreen, bug spray and a poly folder for her arts and crafts projects. She loves the feel of the padded back and the mesh lining on her back.  That bungee is perfect for keeping a sweater or light jacket handy yet securely tied on.



Of course, she loves the cute pattern and colors. For the past two years, there is one other girl at her school that had the same pattern backpack as her.  Knowing this one will also be a popular style, we got it personalized with a monogram of her initials.  She loves that she'll always be able to find "her" bag from among the pile of bags at after school care even without all the decorative trinkets she hangs on the loop at the top of the bag. She is so excited to have a new backpack this year!


Based on a great experience with the quality of her first Lands' End backpack, I am confident this one will hold up well too.  I expect it will last her several years. We'll get another when she's grows taller and is ready for a large, or full size bag.  The Featherlight style backpack is available in medium and large sizes and various colors and patterns.  There is also a wheeled version and a messenger style. The regular retail price of the medium size bag is $44 and in my opinion, worth every penny.  It's even more worth it, if you can grab one when they are on sale.



FEATHERLIGHT BACKPACK FEATURES

  • no-tip design; water-repellent finish; plus an ergonomic design for comfort.
  • Die-cut EVA foam padding in the shoulder straps for superior comfort; padded back panels with air mesh lining for breathability
  • Tech savvy! Two internal chambers, one is padded for a laptop
  • Light but tough! Solids are 210 ripstop and 420D nylon body
  • Adjustable sternum strap keeps shoulder straps in the perfect position for comfort
  • Extra! extra! Bungee strap gives them external carrying capacity — great for quick access to a jacket
  • Side compression straps stabilize their load
  • Reflective trim also helps keep kids visible
  • Handy loop for clipping on a lunch box saves room inside the pack
Girls' Neoprene Lunch Tote - Fuchsia Plum Chevron
Girls' Neoprene Lunch Tote -
Fuchsia Plum Chevron
Lands' End also offers coordinating lunch boxes in the EZ wipe style, the soft side style and the neoprene tote.  We have a soft side one that she's been using for 2 years already.  So, we opted to try the neoprene totes.  I wish I could say that I am one of those Moms that pack a creative and healthy lunch, but I'm not.  Like many other kids her age, she is a picky eater and sticks to known favorites.  But she has commented on some kids that bring a hot thermos of soup, stew, or mac and cheese.  This neoprene bag would easily carry her typical lunch fare, but it could also easily hold a small thermos of hot food, a juice box and a snack.  I intend to pick up a new hot food container to try this year, and I hope to find a new lunch options to change things up and add variety to her packed lunches.  



So, about the NEOPRENE LUNCH TOTE-
  • It is completely collapsible, easily fitting in a kitchen cabinet when not in use.  
  • It is very lightweight.  
  • It is also comfortable to carry.    
  • It zips closed across the top.
  • It is made from 100 polyester with rubber backing.  
  • It is tested to ensure safety from lead & phthalates.

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