It's the end of July and, sadly, back-to-school is right around the corner. Well, I say "sadly" but my heart says otherwise. I can't wait for bedtime routines, a school-provided lunch, and a big yellow bus to take my kiddo to school. She can't wait to see her friends on a daily basis.

One of the things I dread, though, is back-to-school shopping. It's much easier now than when my other daughter was in school. You can order it online and don't have to fight the crowds or search all over Heaven and earth for a #18548 pencil in mauve. Google got you, girl.

I have noticed that my daughter's backpack (now on its third year) is looking a bit shabby, although it works just fine. A summer at the YMCA has not been kind to old Unicorn Backpack. She washes up okay but the insides are frayed and the zippers stick a little. I thought about buying her a new one but I decided to let this one ride it out for as long as it can. I bought it from Target on a whim because it was so dang cute but the next one will be far more sturdy.

I've been on both sides of this - for years I got a new (cute but cheap) backpack every year and by Christmas it was ripped to shreds. Then I put my foot down and made my mom buy me a well built Eastpak. It wasn't until only recently that I retired my high school Eastpak backpack. It went through four years of high school, (several) years of college, Europe, and daily use in my adult life. And I'm 37! There wasn't anything wrong with it either - I just wanted a different color! Against my better judgment, I went with the super cute cheap one and boy can I tell a different in the quality. Once it's dead, I'll pull out the old blue Eastpak once more.

I wondered though, how do other parents deal with the backpack dilemma. Do they get a fresh backpack along with their #18548 pencils in mauve or is like an old friend that accompanies you year after year? I asked my friends on Facebook.

Some of them said that they buy new every year. You get new shoes - why not a new backpack?

Others make their kids wait whether they like it or not. My friend Becky suggested Pottery Barn Backpacks. She told me that they last 4-5 years. Then there are the hardcore parents. Their kids only get a new backpack "after disintegration ." 😂 Some parents don't go til disintegration but only buy one every couple of years. 

My other friend Sarah recycles her L.L. Bean backpacks. "We now use Kaitlyn's from Preschool as a diaper bag and swim bag for Noah. LL Bean are the best and it has been washed at least 20 times and still in perfect shape. Worth the money and get their initial on them."

There's no right or wrong answer to this question. Just curious how your family handles the age-old backpack question!

 

Business Insider rated the top backpacks for different age groups. See more about each backpack here!