Showing posts with label Backpacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Backpacks. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

New School Uniform Items at Lands' End for Back to School in 2016-17

This year, it was Lands End that was first in my mailbox, the School Outfitters catalog arrived in early June when my daughter, and many other kids here in Virginia, had 2 more weeks of school. Now that we've finally fished the school year and our first week of the summer camp schedule, I sat down to study the catalog for the 2016 Back to School season.

Here is a list of the new items featured in this year's school uniform catalog:

Girls Long Sleeve Stretch No Gape Shirt-Light Sea Blue

No Gape Stretch Perfect Shirt

Girls in middle school and high school that must wear a button-up blouse will appreciate the thought and engineering that went into this new shirt.  Lands End is introducing the patented No Gape TM button technology in a girls shirt with a straight dressy collar made from 97% cotton and 3% spandex stain resistant fabric in a feminine fit. The picture shows a hidden button placed between 2 buttons at the bust offering complete coverage.  It is offered in a shirt sleeve, a 3/4 sleeve and a long sleeve style in either white or light blue. It girls version retails for $32-$38 and the women's between $38-$48.
Boys Lands' End Perfect Chino Pant-White

Stay Tucked Perfect Chinos

If I had a son, I would definitely get him a pair of these pants.  In my Best Bets series, I have a list of features to look for when shopping for pants for school.  These are 100% cotton and treated to resist stains and wrinkles.  They also have the Iron Knees (r) interior patch for durability and the inside adjustable waist to grow with him. The new feature is a waistband gripper to help keep his shirt tucked in.  Smart!  They retail for $35 for little boys and boys and $45 in men's sizes.

School Uniform Boys Tailored Fit Plain Front Pant-Khaki,10

Tailored Fit Plain Front Chinos

All the great features in Lands End chinos, but these are cut "slimmer through the body but not tight."  These are a great choice for slim boys. They are available in navy and khaki and retail for $30 - $40.

Girls Short Sleeve Poly Polo-Red,L

Performance Poly Polo

Uniform kids in warmer climates may want to try the new performance poly polo made from 100% polyester with moisture-wicking and antimicrobial finish. They would also work as a nice alternative   on PE day. It is available in 7 basic uniform colors and it retails for $25 - $32.

Digital ClassMate Medium Backpack - Solid-Rich Aqua

Digital ClassMate Backpack

New this year in Lands End Backpack lineup is an update to the classic ClassMate backpack.  They added a padded laptop sleeve. It is available the medium and large size in great patterns and colors.  It retails for $44 - $54.

Digital ClassMate Roll Top Lunch - Print-Dark Sapphire,5X

Roll Top Lunch Bag

If you are in the market for a new lunch bag, check out the new roll top bag. Like other Lands End lunch bags, this soft-side bag is designed to keep food cool for up to 5 hours then roll up small to be stored in the backpack after lunch. It retails for $15.50 and is available in several fun colors.  I have a feeling that this particular style will be especially popular in Steeler Nation.

3M Scotchlite Reflective Performance Apparel

Lands End partnered with 3M to encorporate the Scotchlite Reflective material into the piping and trim on the items in the active performance collection. This is a nice safety feature that is great for kids that may be staying after school for sports activities.  It makes even more sense after we change the clocks back in the fall and it begins to get dark earlier.

Interlock Moc Turtleneck

The unisex moc turtleneck is great under sweaters or jumpers in the colder months of the year.  This one is made from interlock cotton fabric like the uniform polo shirts.  It is available in white and navy and is priced between $18-$24.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

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.


  • 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.  

  • 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.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrate Earth Day with eco-friendly products

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  Below are a few products from Uniform Mom affiliates that make it easy for our families make smart choices with products for home and school:

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ECOlunchbox is delighted to announce the launch of our Blue Water Bento collection for release in Spring 2014! The first product to market in our colorful Blue Water Bento collection is our Splash Box™ featuring our classic stainless steel lunchbox bottom plus a novel silicone lid. Since ECOlunchbox first introduced to market its line of plastic-free, eco-friendly lunchware in 2009, its mission has been to help families reduce their dependence on plastics by providing high-quality, plastic-free lunchware alternatives.

To learn more about the benefits of reducing dependence on plastics, check out educational information on their website.

Maggie Bags Small Recycled Seatbelt Eco-friendly Backpack
The Maggie Bags Small Backpack is wholly made from recycled seatbelts. These bags are available in a diverse spectrum of colors from neutral tans to vivacious lime-greens. The exterior of the bag features Maggie Bags’ patented diamond seatbelt weaving and logo emblem, in addition to two adjustable shoulder straps and a loop for hanging. The top of the bag has a zipper that closes shut. The inside contains a purple satin lining with a zippered pocket, cell phone pocket, pen pockets, and key pocket. The bottom of the bag has four metal studs to protect the fabric from wear.

Maggie Bags Small Recycled Seatbelt Eco-friendly Backpack - $54.00 from: The Ultimate Green Store.

Small and lightweight, the 12oz Klean Kanteen is great when space is limited. The 12oz Kid Kanteen is made from high quality, 18/8, food-grade stainless steel that's totally free of BPA, lead and other toxins. Because stainless steel itself is safe, there is no need to coat the inside of the bottle with a plastic or epoxy lining, which is one of the main differences between a stainless steel Klean Kanteen and aluminum bottles. Rounded corners are easy to clean with no hard angles where dirt, germs or bacteria can stick.

Shop for non-toxic products and create a healthy home. wants you to celebrate Earth Day with 15% off Recycled Products.
Enter promo code AFMD4ED at checkout.  Offer valid 4/20-4/30/14.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lands' End Backpacks for School

When we began shopping for my daughter's first school backpack, I checked out a few options online.  I read an article somewhere where a Mom said her kid goes through several back packs per school year.  She was buying inexpensive backpacks with the latest character at her local discount store.  After some quick math, you realize that you could end up spending more money on these poor quality items in one school year, than you would if you bought one quality bag, especially if you grab one on sale.

The next thing I realized is that most backpacks that you find at major retailers only come in one size.  These bags are sized for older kids and adults.  If you have a younger child with a smaller frame, it will look larger than them and will hold more stuff than they should physically carry.  You occasionally see smaller preschool sized bags, but the in between sizes are harder to find.  Several retailers make quality back packs sized appropriately for elementary and middle school kids such as Lands' End, LL Bean, Pottery Barn and other specialty stores.

(c) Rene Shonerd.
All Rights Reserved.
Last summer, after viewing a few online that I thought my daughter might like, we visited the local Sears store to check out their selection of Lands' End backpacks.  She liked the aqua one we saw online, but they only carried it in the larger size.  Even she agreed, it was too big.  We settled on a smaller white one with a pink and orange polka dot pattern.

The design of the bag itself is basic and fully functional with everything you would need in a school bag.  It has two zipper compartments.  A bigger one in back to hold her folders, a change of clothes, or even her lunch bag.  The smaller area in the front of the bag is useful for smaller item like crayons and playdate cards. The bag has a strap with a snap closure across the front which is useful to to clip on another bag, as well as a smaller loop near the top.  Another must-have feature is the mesh water bottle holder on the side. In my opinion, the most critical feature in a backpack is the straps.  This bag has nice wide straps with padding; the length of the straps can be adjusted to fit your kid as they grow.

My daughter used the bag everyday for school last year.  She also used it everyday for camp this summer. As you can see, most of the fabric on the bag is white and it still looks clean. I'm very pleased that it has held up beautifully for an entire year.  Since it is not yet showing signs of wear, I bet it will make it through at least another year and will be replaced only when she tires of this pattern.

For the 2013 Back to School season, Lands' End has all new, redesigned, best backpacks in class. Below are two examples of the different styles. Find the right backpack and lunchbox for any size kid --shop today.Plus, receive free shipping on your orders over $50.

Solid ClassMate  Medium Backpack - Red, Solid ClassMate Medium Backpack - Red,
ClassMate® Medium Backpack is designed & tested to carry everything your kid needs for class and more. Additional features not listed above include: no-tip design; water-repellent finish; plus an ergonomic design with padded shoulder straps & back panels for comfort. 600-denier polyester body with 1200-denier base. Spot clean. Imported. 18"Hx12 1/2"Wx6 1/2"D. 1670 cu. in.

School Uniform Solid FeatherLight  Medium Backpack - Aqua Pool, School Uniform Solid FeatherLight Medium Backpack - Aqua Pool,
FeatherLight™ Medium Backpack is designed & tested to carry everything your kid needs for class, while lightening their school load. Additional features not listed above include: no-tip design; water-repellent finish; plus an ergonomic design for comfort. Spot clean. Imported. 18″Hx12″Wx7 1/2″D. 1500 cu. in.