Backpacks

Wheeled vs. shoulder backpacks: which one should I select?

The school year is returning and you're in the Backpack to School state of mind. Your child grew into and outgrew their last one, so it's reasonable that you're wondering which backpack will be the best, most practical option. In addition to patterns and pockets, you have another choice you likely didn't have to consider back in your day: "To Wheel, or not To Wheel?" School backpacks now come in a choice of strictly shoulder straps, cross-body bags or new wheeled options. Which is best for your student? Take a look as we break down the options.

What are the perks of wheeled backpacks?

Pop a wheelie when you head back to school this year. Rolling backpacks are perfect for students who have plenty of books (and more) to lug down those long stretch hallways. A Lands' End ClassMate® Large Rolling Wheeled Backpack can fit it all with 1600 cubic inches of space. Not only does it have wheels but it also has shoulder straps hidden in a zipper compartment so when that course load is a bit lighter, you can wear it like a regular backpack.

Wheel benefits.
Let's say the science and math teachers assign textbook homework the same day. Carrying those can be tough on a middle schooler's shoulders, especially with someone who might have back problems in the family. Wheels take on that weight and reduce strain. Plus, if the course load is not as strenuous, your child can use the shoulder straps. It's the best of both worlds, and it's a prepared option.

A backpack like no other.
In the past, wheeled backpacks were uncomfortable and didn't always have wheels that lasted. Other brands use wheels made of cheap plastic, are hard to maneuver, and the bottom of the bag would see wear and (literal) tear much faster. Lands' End uses inline skate wheels for that extra smooth ride and the bottom is reinforced with 1200 denier polyester. One thing we don't recommend is taking it to the skate park (or do, but you didn't hear it from us).

Added bonus.
You don't have to buy new luggage for that upcoming flight. This is a great travel companion for the airport and is small enough for carry on.

What are the perks of shoulder backpacks?

Shoulder backpacks are the classic option. Sure, there's way more back and shoulder padding on these than there were when you were a kid. But that's good news. There are also added features borrowed from serious hikers, like sternum straps, sturdy water bottle pockets and extra loops to hook on a lunch box. Look for higher quality features and you'll have a backpack that lasts long after graduation. Consider a Lands' End ClassMate® Large Backpack in a solid color or easy-to-spot pattern. It is designed with plenty of pockets for easy organization and reinforcements for all the dragging and slinging it's bound to encounter. Your kids will likely retire before it does!

Shoulder saving benefits.
You remember the days when you had to carry around a 40-pound backpack up and down three flights of stairs all day long. You even considered changing your schedule so that you could have your shoulders back for a moment. Lands' End saw this as a fixable issue and added sternum straps to help disperse the weight of the backpack to the chest and upper body. It's a much better option than feeling like the top floor is Mount Everest. Studying is hard enough.

Superior Interior.
Backpacks with a laptop compartment, organizational pockets for pens, a clip for keys, and a universal water bottle pocket size for every size backpack are just a few of the reasons why Lands' End backpacks are worth the investment. If you are looking for just one easy-to-fill large open interior, in a size that fits your child now, check out Lands' End. You'll love the selection.

Wheeled backpacks vs. shoulder backpacks: here's where the Venn Diagram meets in the middle.

  • Both wheeled and shoulder backpacks are made with safety and comfort in mind. There are reflective components on backpacks for low light situations.
  • Grab handles on top make it easy to carry the bag onto and off the bus. Perfect for keeping it upright in cubbies or on locker hooks too.
  • Mesh water bottle holders on both sides to keep hydrated all day long.
  • Lunchbox clips on the outside to keep those occasional spills from harming the important schoolwork inside.
  • Water repellant, sturdy polyester in case of those unexpected rainstorms.

These are quality backpacks that will find themselves so useful that we can't tell you all the great places and things they'll end up seeing. Carry on, dudes.

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