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Anyone use LLBean or Lands End wheeled backpacks as suitcases

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for your dc? I'm considering buy these for my kids, but it's a lot of $ to invest without searching for other reviews and opinions. My kids would use them for trips, overnights, etc. Here are my initial thoughts:



Cute :)

Come in multiple colors so dc can be individualized

Durable/long lasting

Like the extra front pockets

Don't take up as much room as traditional suitcases (more flexible when stuffing into the back of our van)



Cost far more than Walmart's small rolling suitcases


Any other pros and cons?

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Pro - well made, long-lasting (presumably)

Con - just doesn't fit that much.


I'd probably go with actual decent non-rolling backpacks, plus rolling suitcases. The 10 and 8 yo could use a Jansport Big Student backpack, which would work for overnights and such, as well as school books, etc. You can gradually acquire rolling suitcases for them as needed. The little'uns aren't as likely to lug their own stuff anyway, even if it's wheeled.


Just my two cents though. We tend to be minimal packers whenever possible. When little, my kids were responsible for a backpack; as they grew we did larger backpack and rolling suitcase.


NOTE: Rolling suitcases vary *widely* in both cost and weight. Cheaper ones can be substantially heavier before you've even put stuff in them. Shop carefully. Marshalls tends to have higher quality ones for less $. Get a sense of the market so you know when to snap up a deal.

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I don't have an opinion, but I wanted to add an extra 'plus' to Bean: if it busts they will replace it. We have had to replace a couple things from Bean and it has always been a snap. Each time it was something we had owned for over a year, but was clearly due to normal usage. A bit just snapped off. They replaced it with no argument.


I know a couple people who bought those backpacks because if they broke they knew Bean would replace it.

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I'd probably go with actual decent non-rolling backpacks, plus rolling suitcases.


While this is my preferred option, it's not practical for a family our size. We can't fit 6-7 people, backpacks, and rolling suitcases in our van. Everyone gets either a backpack or a rolling suitcase, and they have to be able to manage their own load since when we travel we usually travel with 5 kids and 1 adult (me). We just returned from a week long trip (which is why I'm rethinking our traveling process) and while my 4yo couldn't carry her bag, she was able pull her own rolling bag. We pack lightly out of necessity, but I foresee that packing light may mean different things at different stages and seasons. As my olders get older, packing lightly means bigger clothes, toiletries, electronics, etc - all of which take up more/different room. :tongue_smilie:


I'm trying to maximize efficiency, practicality, and cost.

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We are BIG LL Bean fans--we've probably bought 25 or more backpacks there over the years for us, our kids, grandkids, gifts, etc. We had to take one back after about three years hard use, and they replaced the zipper. All the rest are going strong. Our luggage(6 bags) is all from LL Bean, and it's lasted for at least fifteen years now.


So, we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE LL Bean (and their return policy!)


But...be careful about the kids wheeled backpacks (our kids each have one) as luggage for these two reasons:


1. They don't hold much. (Again, this is just the little kids's ones--that's all we have experience with in terms of the wheeled ones.)


2. Even though they are small, they are fairly broad. When we fly (my kids often use them for carry-ons), my kids pick them up to carry them down the aisle, rather than wheel them, as snag on seats otherwise (not a big deal, especially if you won't be flying, but I wanted to point this out).


But in general, yes, I would definitely go with something from Bean. :001_smile:



I can highly recommend this one: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/63930?feat=504166-GN3 (if that doesn't work, it's the medium Pullman). It's $149 (I know--yikes!), and it doesn't look that rugged, but my children have used theirs several times a year for quite some time now, and they still look great. They are lightweight, so I think Camden started pulling his own by the time he was four. They are bigger, but still soft and fairly flexible. Expensive--yes, but I can't imagine you'll need to replace them before your children are adults. (And even then, LL Bean will fix or replace them.)

Edited by hana
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I have no experience with Lands End.


LLBean--quality is amazing. You will buy those Walmart backpacks over and over. Because they last so long (I've not seen one wear out actually) I might encourage the kids to not be too outrageous in picking colors/patterns. That said there really aren't terribly outrageous patterns at LLBean and you won't be getting character (Hello Kitty, Spiderman) that the child will outgrow.


If for some reason the LLBean pack does break you can return it. Years and years later you can return it. I've heard of people replacing backpacks they bought 20 years ago.

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