Based on the huge
big discussion this summer on my Facebook page, I went and did the unthinkable. Despite the honest reviews my peers responded with telling me to avoid the Pottery Barn Kids rolling backpack at all costs, I did exactly what they told me NOT to do and purchased Kiddo a rolling backpack from Pottery Barn Teen. I mean, PB Teen is made much better than PB Kids, right?! C’mon, humor me.
Kiddo has been reminding me every year since first grade without fail that in third, the students are allowed to have rolling backpacks. Part subtle hint, part wishful thinking, this has become a milestone for her, and I knew this year she wasn’t going to settle for anything less. OK, and I didn’t want her to settle for anything else. But the real question was, “Where should I order the rolling backpack from since my friends boo-hoo’d my Pottery Barn Kids idea. Some suggested L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Jansport and Hannah Anderson. I had L.L. Bean backpacks my whole preppy life and love them, but the print bags are kinda blah this year. Lands’ End only offered one wheeled backpack and we did Hannah Anderson last year. Pottery Barn Kids and Teens really corner the market on rolling backpacks.
Considering I couldn’t find any reviews online, and at the time there were no reviews on the site, I turned to my Facebook friends. The responses varied, but not one was positive:
“Awful! M**’s lasted about two weeks before a hole & broken zipper. They did refund me, but will never buy their rolling backpack again!”
“They don’t fit in lockers and I’ve heard mixed reviews about the quality.”
Hmmm. Now that’s discouraging. But I had suspected this already. We had bought a non-rolling one 3 years ago from Pottery Barn Kids and it was awesome. Then last year we went to buy a new one and they were flimsy, so not worth the money whatsoever. I was disappointed and felt really let down by one of my favorite brands, I felt embarrassed for Pottery Barn for manufacturing something so cheap looking.
Then Kiddo’s best friend’s mom texted me from the Pottery Barn Teen store shortly after my Facebook post. She said they look so much better than last year and I trust her taste and recommendation. So the news excited me!
Rolling backpacks are expensive. As in REALLY expensive. Like $89.50 expensive. Then again, they could be considered luggage. Why this came as a shock to me, I’ll never know considering ALL school supplies are pricey. I dropped a whopping
$60 $70 on pens, pencils, binders, you name it from Target. And last year it wasn’t much better, if memory serves me correctly (which I highly doubt it does,) I was around the $55 mark. Sigh. $89.50 with shipping is like $100. I needed to ponder this more.
But I couldn’t. And it was keeping me up at night. See Kiddo started school August 10th, so I need to make a decision because these bags sell out fast. Then the craziest thing happened. I decided to bite the bullet and take a chance at 11:45 p.m. That’s right, I crawled out of bed, filtered thru my inbox looking for a I had a 20% off coupon code that was going to expire in 15 minutes, and went to order the bag.
O M G!!! In the last hour they placed the bags on sale WITH free shipping! AND my 20% coupon worked! So now the Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Peyton rolling backpack was $50 + tax. Suddenly, I felt so awesome about my decision.
So what do I think about the Pottery Barn Teen rolling backpacks?
Pro: I love the style we ordered and Kiddo is THRILLED with it. She’s tall so the sturdy telescoping handle is the perfect length. It takes some getting used to, but I like that the wheels and straps zipper away when not in use making it a traditional backpack. This will be a fantastic carry-on bag for flights, navigating thru airports and especially roomie for when we travel. She especially loves the padded laptop pocked and iPod® holder with port for her Beats wires. And I’m a fan of the rugged, water-resistant 600-denier material. Ummm, have you met my daughter? Material is really important.
Cons: I can only find one. The matching Gear-Up Peyton Classic lunchbox doesn’t have an carabiner clip or d-ring to attach to the outside of the backpack like some of the rest of them do. It’s not horrible, but noticeable when you are used to having this option. I also made sure to have them monogram the bag with Kiddo’s initials strictly to deter theft. The monogramming was fine/OK (the lunchbox was much nicer,) but the imprint space is much smaller than the virtual sample depicted so be warned.
Update: On day three of school, the metal zipper pull on the iPod pocket came completely off. Seems like I missed having stock by just a few hours. So bummed because otherwise it is a fantastic bag.
Photo credits: Nicole Standley
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