Backpacks put to the test

August 2, 2011 3:06:52 PM PDT
It's back-to-school week here on Stretch Your Dollar and we are helping you get you in gear on a budget.

A new backpack is usually on the list, and we the results of the backpack test. We had to go straight to the source to find out what kids want and need in a good quality backpack, so we handed out some backpacks to several kids to test for a couple of weeks to get their reviews.

The kids at the Foster YMCA Day Camp all want something different when it comes to their backpack.

Xavier Jonson-Thomas like the MP3 player compartment.

"Just put it on and just jam," he said.

But all the kids here agree they need a backpack that's durable, comfortable and stylish.

"I wanna see if it's sturdy enough to hold my books and my other accessories that I have," Jonson-Thomas said.

We picked up several backpacks in several colors, styles and price points that range from $49.99 to $9.99 and then we had students test out the backpacks for a couple of weeks.

First up the $49.99 backpack from Under Armour sold at Academy. Elijah Growe likes that there are several big compartments and then some. After testing out the backpack, he gives it an A+, but at $49.99, it's not a backpack his mom would approve of.

"It's a pretty high price," Growe said.

Next up is the $39.99 backpack from Swiss Army.

"Well, with this Swiss Army backpack it has a lot of room in it. I mean it's comfortable," Jonson-Thomas said.

We also gave Jonson-Thomas this yellow backpack to test. It's $9.99 at Target. For space, Xavier said the $9.99 backpack couldn't be beat. It expanded and had enough room for a lot of books and materials. He also found it quite durable so it scores an A+. For style though, he preferred the Swiss Army backpack.

"For fashion, I go for that one," Jonson-Thomas said.

Messenger bags are a big trend for back to school and the girls love them. Jordan Davis loves one made by High Sierra; it's sold at Target for $34. She gives it an B+ for all around comfort and space, but Lauryn Lewis' $9.99 bag from Academy wasn't spacious enough for all her stuff and the strap kept slipping so she gave it a C.

The bottom line is the $9.99 backpack from Target made by Embark actually had the best review for quality and value.

Backpacks:

Swiss Army Backpack from Academy $39.99
Under Armour Basketball Backpack from Academy $49.99
"Grip" by High Sierra Payback Messenger Bag from Target $32.99
"Empak" Girls' Peace Love Heart Messenger Bag from Target $9.99
"Embark" Backpack from Target $9.99


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