July 30th, 2009

L.L. Bean Critter Packs

When Milo started Kindergarten last fall, we needed a big kid backpack. We had been using a Kelty Minnow, which was perfect for preschool, but wouldn’t even fit Kindergarten accoutrements like, oh, folders.

I was trying to avoid the genre of backpacks that are Transformers and Spider Man. Not because there’s anything wrong with them, but because they just don’t suite Milo’s interests. Milo, who would rather sit and stare at ant hills or weave around jellyfish washed up on to the beach than engage in any action figure play, needed something on the tame side.

When I saw the LL Bean Critter packs, I knew they’d be perfect for my animal-loving kid.

Sporting embroidered creatures from geckos to sharks to pink butterflies, they come in a variety of colors. They’re made of lightweight nylon with a reinforced bottom. And they are tough.

After a year of use, our Little Critters pack looks as new as the day it was delivered to our door.

The pack boasts a front pocket, two side pockets and a mesh water bottle holder that I never knew I’d love so much. The elasticky net keeps water bottles upright. Upright = no leaks. Which equals no water floating around the bottom of the pack. Which equals no mold. Which makes this mom very happy.

The inexpensive monogramming service that LL Bean offers is also a great idea for kids prone to losing things (ahem). No need to fill out pesky ID tags in Sharpie. Our pack is emblazoned with MILO, which has saved our forgetful rumps more than once.

Also of note are the sturdy zippers and cute rubber pulls, which makes it easy for little hands to get access to homework and glitter bedecked art projects.

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m thrilled with this Little Critters backpack purchase and couldn’t recommend it more heartily.

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This Weeks Tip

This tip can be filed in the category of “things they never taught you in Home Ec.” Want to get the most juice out your lime? Put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before you squeeze, and you’ll get nearly twice the juice.