Toddlers: 24 Months+

Best place for preschool backpack, lunch tote & nap mat?

I'm looking at PBK but I see mixed reviews.  And I don't know what size?  Preschool, small or regular?  And then I noticed there aren't nap mats.  I want DD to have good quality that will be comfortable.  I'm going to be on the look out for sales this week since I plan on starting DD in preschool right after Christmas break.
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Re: Best place for preschool backpack, lunch tote & nap mat?

  • My DD is getting a Wildkin Sidekick backpack for Christmas (I think my mom bought it from amazon).  She won't use it until she starts preschool in the spring, but I read a lot of reviews before choosing this one and I think it will work well for several years.  A lot of the preschool sized backpacks people didn't like because they were then too small to hold a regular sized paper/folder for kindergarten.

    I think that brand also offers mats, but I didn't look into them since DD won't need one. 

  • I bought the smallest size backpack from LL Bean. DD has used it for 2 years for school and I use it as a diaper bag on day trips or when we're flying/traveling. It has held up very well. Her lunch box is from PBK, I'm not sure if I ordered the MacKenzie or Fairfax, but either way I would buy it again. For her nap mat, we have one that looks exactly like this (same colors and everything) but I bought it at a local kids' boutique. The pillow is a little small so I ended up sending another little pillow, but after 2 years it has held up well and survived many many washings.
  • We got a LLBean one for DD's baby shower--4.5 yrs ago--and the thing still looks brand new;  we've used it as a diaper bag for 2yrs and she's been using it for school for 2 yrs.  Nearly indestructible.  I think it's the smallest sized one they have.  They also do free shipping.
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  • We have the PBK MacKenzie brand and love it.  Very sturdy, easy to clean inside, and the matching backpack lets you attach it to the pack.  We don't have a backpack for DD.  We just don't see a need for it right now.
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  • I love the PBK backpacks, but not sure brand is as important as size. For us, full sized backpacks are necessary because the kids bring a folder to/from school every day and it doesn't fit in the smaller bags. These bags also are very versatile as we travel a lot. The kids clothes, a few toys, etc. all fit perfect.

    Lunch totes - I bought a coleman I love because it's easy to clean, cheap and will be replaced when it gets funky, keeps things cold, etc. We also have a cheap character lunch tote from target for the same reason, although things don't stay as cold and it isn't as good quality. I like the looks of the PBK lunch boxes, but not sure about spending the extra $ if it only lasts a year.

    Nap mats were really hard for me to find and I ran out of time and ended up just buying cheap from Target. DD and DS LOVE their nap mats because they have their favorite characters on them. The quality isn't terrible, and at preschool they use them on top of comfy cots so it works. I've heard great reviews on the wildkin nap mats, and seen a lot of cute mats on etsy.

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  • Thanks everyone!  I will look into all of these and hopefully get a good deal between Black Friday or Cyber Monday!  Smile
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