Kindergarten Backpack

Updated on April 04, 2013
A.V. asks from Silver Spring, MD
21 answers

I'm looking at backpacks for fall. Is the LL Bean Original Junior Book Pack too small for K? Or the right size? I have a petite little girl and am wondering if something smaller will work for her for books without overwhelming her. But no deal is good if it's the wrong size.


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So What Happened?

It may seem odd, but this is how I shop. I am already shopping for next Christmas and her summer birthday. I do let DD weigh in on patterns but sizing is my territory. Once I know what I need, I keep an eye out for coupons and sales and free shipping. I don't want to be looking for this stuff in August when we're trying to get SD back to school, etc.

I'm taking notes. This is all good info. She will go to full day K so she will take a lunch (as she does now, I'm re-using her lunchbox) and will need to take home some folders, but the list for K in our district is minimal re: supplies. She will need a backpack, especially if she gets into the dual language program.

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answers from San Antonio on

I am a Kindergarten Teacher...really bigger is better. They seem to manage the larger sizes and I appreciate the extra size to send large projects and coats home. The too small packs are worthless...some don't even fit a paper pocket folder.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

It will seem too big but get the bigger one. My dd is in first and she still uses the one I bought for k and can fit her library book, sneakers on days she wears boots etc. exciting!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

You really need to wait and see.
I bought my son a "just right" backpack, a NICE one, but it wasn't long enough to hold his Friday Folder, the main source of communication/paperwork between school and home.
So it was just money wasted. I wish that I had waited :-(
ETA: our Friday Folder was big, at least 11 x 17, and other things came home too, art projects and other "large" items. K is big on 3D projects!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

LL Bean packs are great and durable. The Jr size is good for K, but she will likely need the Original size after that. If you don't want to replace it after a year just because of size, it might be better to get the larger one now and just let her look like a turtle for a year.

My 5th grader has been using the same Original since K. My older son got a Deluxe when he started 7th and had a lot more stuff to carry. His old Original is still used for travel because it is in perfect shape after 6 years of use.

LL Bean puts their backpacks on sale in August, usually with Free Shipping.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

As many have said- It has to fit the folder, and my son brought home of bag of projects every Friday, so not too small!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'd go for the junior one. My son has that size and he's not petite-- it works well for him. He only has books come home one day a week (library) and a folder, sometimes his raincoat. It's just the right size for him-- I see kids with huge backpacks in his class, too. They just seem enormous compared to the teeny kindergarten kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I haven't read all your responses yet, but I would look at the LL Bean Original Book Pack Plus. I bought one for my daughter when she started kindergarten and just now (nearing the end of 3rd grade) is one of the zippers starting to act up. I like it because one section can be used for school stuff (folders, art smock, etc. and I also keep a small umbrella in that section), the middle section can be used for lunch, and the small outer section can be used for the snack we have to send. My only complaint is I wish the mesh pocket for the water bottle would be a little taller as sometimes the water bottle wants to tip out of it. Otherwise, I LOVE this backpack. Just got one for my son who is now in kindergarten and expect it to last just as long. I'm waiting for LL Bean to have another sale and I will be ordering the same exact back pack for my 3rd grader to use for the next several years. So I would suggest the bigger version, the Book Pack Plus. Hope that helps. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I agree with the 2nd one. The extra 2" in height will make a big difference. She may not have a lot of books, but she will need to carry a lunch box, stuff a jacket in it during the day, folders, change of clothes, etc.

Get the bigger size.

One mom mentioned getting a backpack with wheels. Our school does not allow these, so check with your school first.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

In kinder they definitely do not need anything full sized. I've bought the Samonite:

But it's too small. It doesn't fit a regular folder. That's all she needed for Kinder. So I bought this one at Sam's Club:

This one is perfect size for a single folder and any other loose papers and it's cheap so it's ultra light. Don't go for weight in any way and they don't need the structure yet so save your money for later years.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I shop like you do too. It saves money and time. I would go with the bigger one. My son has had the same backpack since Kindergarden and he's in 5th grade now. Get a good one and they will last. It might seem big in K but a lot of kids in his class had the bigger back packs. If they aren't full with books they aren't too heavy at all. But with the bigger ones he could stuff an extra set of clothes, his jacket and lunch box in it. Oh, and our school district doesn't allow wheeled back packs til 1st or 2nd grade. It's been so long now I can't remember which.:-)


answers from Los Angeles on

I suggest bigger so she can carry everything from folders to lunchbox to jacket, etc. You can adjust the straps. If you consider a wheeled one do find out if they're OK'd for her school, in ours they're not allowed.

And I'm with you, buy once you know what you need and take advantage of sales/coupons/free shipping, it's so nice when you're done ahead of time and you've saved :)



answers from Richmond on

I shop just like you! I just bought 2 Xmas books yesterday b/c they were regularly $20 and Amazon had them for $3 with free shipping and I had credit from Swagbucks. Love that other people do this too!!! Oh, and my little guy will be starting K in the fall as well so I was curious to see your answers.



answers from Washington DC on

Didn't actually look at the backpacks.... but keep in mind, or be aware that, sometimes these smaller backpacks are too small to hold a paper size folder. So folders and loose papers will have to be shoved in a little.

Good Luck!



answers from Syracuse on

My son has the junior llbean backpack right now for preschool, I don't plan on buying him a new one for kindergarten, and he's not petite.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Most days the backpack is empty. They send the folder home once or twice a week.



answers from Los Angeles on

for kinder the school provided a canvas tote the kids got to decorate and personalize. It was about 11 inches wide and 15 inches tall with no additional depth and handles just long enough for them to put over their shoulder. This size was perfect to hold their homework folder and a snack and no additional items (kids like to take a little extra to school sometimes and this limits that). It is only half day so they do not need to bring a full lunch. Check with the school to see what their requirements are and if there are any limitations. Dont worry about checking things out early. I myself like to keep my eye out for deals early on.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son had to take everything to and from school in a pocket folder. So as long as the interior is big enough to hold a standard size (just a little bigger than 8X11) folder, it should be fine.

All he takes back and forth are folders, library books, and sometimes his lunch when he packs.



answers from Los Angeles on

Before you buy the backpack, make sure that her kindergarten allows them. My son's kindergarten has a no backpack policy and they don't take them until first grade. Other schools in our district are the same.



answers from Honolulu on

BOTH my kids, when they were in Kindergarten, got the LL Bean wheelie backpacks, and with their monogram on it.
Do not get one that is too small, because... it will grow with them/their school books/per grade level etc.
Both my kids, are now in 1st and 5th grade... and they STILL have their same LL Bean wheelie backpacks, and it looks good as new and has never broken, even if my son is rough with it.
AND if at anytime it does break etc., you can return it since their is a lifetime warranty on their products, and they will send you a new one free.

We got my kids a pattern that is not "babyish" so that, their backpacks even at their ages/grade, is still, applicable.
It is a good backpack.
It is WELL worth the price.
As I said, both my kids have had their LL Bean backpacks since, Kindergarten and it is still as good as new. And looks new, still.

Get a backpack with wheels.... it is much easier for kids to cart around, versus it being on their backs. AND also, besides school books/tablets/homework, kids will also be bringing home their in class projects and art work etc., and water-bottle and home-lunch bags too...which will be bulkier to put in their backpacks. Thus, don't get something that is too... small.



answers from New York on

You are rushing the seasons. It has not even gotten warm yet and you are worrying about fall. Before school starts ( it needs to be let out first) every store will have pack packs out. She might want to pick out her own. Enjoy your summer.



answers from Phoenix on

She won't have books in Kindergarten. She will most likely have a folder for homework, communications, etc. The backpack has to fit that, and lunch, and any extras that come home, as others have already told you. The same amount of things have to go in the backpack no matter what size it is. Would you rather have them stuffed and crushed in there?

I think you're overthinking it. She won't be actually carrying the backpack that much and it's nice to get something that will last more than a year.

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