Alas, it's August...time to give back-to-school some necessary attention. We have a few tested favorites in our family, and that's all I'm recommending here today! These have weathered--well--weather, throws, dirt, spills--you name it! And these brands and products are still going strong.
Backpacks and Lunch Bags
Last year, we experimented with a brand outside of these three, and I was not impressed. So, when my kids need new backpacks or lunch bags (due to wear and tear, size or style changes), they can select from three brands--Lands' End, L.L. Bean and JanSport.
The Lands' End ClassMate is lightweight but sturdy. Its only drawback is that the front pocket is a tad small, and can only fit a snack or some pens. The side pockets work well for water bottles and it holds up to the washing machine, in my experience.
I've been totally happy with both Lands' End and L.L. Bean lunch bags as well, but a surprise overperformer is the JanSport Big Break Insulated Lunch Bag. This lunch bag looks like their classic backpacks, but miniature, and it holds a surprising amount!
My go-to for years have been these reusable lunch containers. They come in a variety of trendy colors and fit a sandwich plus side items. Even young kids can remove and replace the lid, and when they get home--they go in the dishwasher! What more could you ask for?
I throw in these Bentgo Ice Packs, and everything stays cold. If you've got more than one child bringing lunch each day, I highly recommend grabbing two sets. I do love that their bright colors make them easy to find in the freezer each morning!
Occasionally, when I know it's a tiring or stressful week, I add one more surprise to the day's lunch! These little lunch box jokes are wonderfully cheesy, and pretty inexpensive for the set of 60 cards.
The final back-to-school shopping necessity is a water bottle or two. Over the years, we've had nearly every brand, and they've usually served their purpose well enough. But now that we need water bottles for school, and then we take them off to sports on the weekends, I've streamlined to only admit dishwasher-safe, stainless-steel versions. We've narrowed it down to two favorites.
These Thermoflask 2-packs are my personal top pick, and I much prefer the twist on lid (no straw to wash and find in the mornings). I've purchased them several times at Costco, but they aren't carrying the larger version right now. Thankfully, this two-pack is available on Amazon. Kids can decorate with vinyl stickers, and they fit in backpack pockets.
If you're feeling a little more festive, or looking for a giftable water bottle, then these dishwasher-safe designs from Swig are another great option. They vary in price depending on the color, but the Artisan one is heavily discounted (at the time this is published)! It's very modern and professional looking, so you may just need to purchase that one for yourself and grab Rad Racer or Mermazing for the kids!
What are we missing? Any favorite trusted brands in your household? Let us know on Instagram. Now is the time to inventory your gear, and make sure you have what you need when that first day arrives!
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