Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Collection of Backpacks and Lunch Bags

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Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpacks and Lunch Bags: Preschool Backpack

The Best Backpacks for Kids for Back to School 2011
Preschooler Gracie with her Pottery Barn Kids Preschool Backpack. Heather Knoske

Buy Direct: potterybarnkids.com

We tested out the Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Collection of backpacks and lunch bags to see if they past the test for the Back to School Backpack Challenge. I had each kid test out a different style of Pottery Barn Kids backpacks and lunch bags to find out if the these popular backpacks live up to their excellent reputation.

Preschooler, Gracie, tested out the preschool backpack, carrying it to and from preschool all summer. She was able to fit in all her necessary preschool items including a change of clothes, small toy and snack.

Her mom rated the Pottery Barn Kids Preschool Backpack very highly in most all categories.

  • Size: Perfect size for a preschool who doesn't need to carry books but likes to carry a few comfort items, change a clothes and a snack to preschool.
  • Comfort: Very comfortable on her back and is just the right size for a preschooler.
  • Quality: Well made with strong seams and thick but, the backpack itself is still very light so that a preschooler doesn't feel like she's going to tip when she's wearing it--even when the backpack is full.
  • Style: Adorable! Gracie's mom loved the pink, brown and white polka-dotted pattern.
  • Downsides: The only downside Gracie's mom could think of was that Gracie will grow out of the backpack in a year or so. But she stated that that is probably inevitable with any preschool sized kids' backpack.

Wondering what not to pack in your preschoolers backpack?


What Your Child Shouldn't Bring to Preschool

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Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpacks and Lunch Bags: Rolling Backpack

The Best Backpacks for Kids for Back to School 2011
Gradeschooler Preston with his Rolling Backpack by Pottery Barn Kids. M. Kouzmine

Buy Direct: potterybarnkids.com

Gradeschooler Preston sometimes has a bigger haul to carry than a standard backpack allows, so he tested out the Pottery Barn Kids' Rolling Backpack and coordinating lunch bag, in a cool black and grey, soccer ball pattern. One of the reason Pottery Barn Kids' backpacks are so popular is that they come in a variety of sizes so you can find just the right size to accommodate your child's needs. Preston and his mom stated that the rolling backpack is a great option for when your child needs to carry not only school work and school supplies but also sports' gear, lunch and more. And it's handy for traveling and overnight play dates as well. They too rated the Pottery Barn Kids Rolling Backpack highly:

  • Size: This kids' backpack has tons of room and since it's on wheels, it's easy for even younger kids to haul around a large amount of gear and supplies. There is enough room for all of Preston's school supplies, sports gear and more. And the attachable lunch box is easy to attach and remove on the outside of the backpacks, saving lots of room inside.
  • Comfort: Comfortable and easy to cart around on wheels, however Preston mentioned that it would be nice to have straps on the rolling backpack just in case he wanted to carry it on his back. Unlike some other wheeled backpacks, however, the Pottery Barn Kids Rolling Backpack doesn't feel bulky to cart around.
  • Quality: As with the other moms and kids, Preston and his mom were very impressed with the contraction and overall quality of the Pottery Barn Kids Backpacks. Preston especially liked how fluidly the retractable handle stored away and pulled out. The pole and handle feel solid, and the handle is curved just right to fit a child's hand.
  • Style: The black and grey soccer ball pattern was a hit with Preston. It's boyish and age-appropriate without being childish. It is much more stylish than a character themed backpack and will grow up with him.
  • Downsides: Again, Preston said that he had a rolling backpack in the past that had straps on the back just in case he wanted to carry the backpack instead of rolling it.

How do you choose the best rolling backpack for your kid?


Before You Buy a Rolling Backpack

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Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpacks and Lunch Bags

The Best Backpacks for Kids for Back to School 2011
First-Grader Maddie with her Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpack and Lunchbag. M. Kouzmine

Buy Direct: potterybarnkids.com

First-grader, Maddie, tested out the Pottery Barn Kids Large Backpack and lunch bag. This is their standard sized backpack and is the best choice for most gradeschoolers. It is one of the most popular choices for back to school backpacks year after year, and usually gets great reviews from parents. Let's see how Maddie and her mom rated the Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Backpack:

  • Size: Maddie's mom wrote that Maddie's new back to school backpack by Pottery Barn Kids is the perfect size. She said Maddie easily could fit all of her school supplies, books and more in the main compartment and she was very happy with the organizational compartments as well, stating that the backpack can fit tons of stuff in it. As with the other moms, she also really liked how the Pottery Barn Kids' lunch bag attached to the outside of Maddie's backpack, saving room for supplies and gear.
  • Comfort: Mom reported that Maddie's backpack was very comfortable to carry. She said both she and Maddie were imposed with the padded shoulder straps and padded back pad. So far, Maddie hasn't complained at all about the straps digging on or the weight on her back even though the carry load to and from school in first grade is a lot more demanding than in Kindergarten.
  • Quality: Maddie's mom mentioned that she had been wanting to try a Pottery Barn Kids' backpack for some time. She said that last year, Maddie had a different kids' backpack, from a different brand and it did not last the entire year. She said based on how well it has lasted a summer's worth of testing, and how well the backpack is made, she is confident that this backpack will hold up until the end of the school year.
  • Style: "Very cute!" She and Maddie mixed and matched the backpack and lunch bag with a pattern the coordinated well but didn't match exactly and it looks great. Both Mom and Maddie love the look and style of Maddie's Pottery Barn Kids' Backpack. Maddie's mom said that she sees a lot of kids backpacks in the mall that look childish, but "not in a good way," and she said the Pottery Barn Kids backpacks still look a kids' backpack but far more stylish.
  • Downsides: Mom said, so far neither she nor Maddie have any complaints, but will keep us updated as the school year progresses.

Find out what backpacks I love for back to school 2011: Kids' Backpacks and Bags for School: Back to School Trends 2011