Rated 3 out of 5 by cscaler Poor design, and I expected more
The wheels were smooth and I purchased the bag with the guarantee that L.L. Bean is famous for, which is what gained it the 3 stars that I am allowing in this review.
However, L.L. Bean could seriously rethink who they have as a designer or engineer of sorts for this bag line.
The straps have to be unhooked and tucked into a pocket every time you decide to use the rolling feature. A more user friendly design would have a mechanism where you could clip the straps up or back, quickly and smoothly, to transition from carrying it on your back to rolling. Nobody has time to bend down and unhook straps and stick them in a pocket, then get them back out and rehook them, especially if you're a business person or student on the go.
The lack of a water bottle pocket was disappointing.
There is also the zipper flap/cover. The hard structure of the bag that extends to the zipper at the top (for the main compartment) prevents that flap from being folded backward. Therefore, every time you try to zip the bag closed, the flap gets caught in the zipper on both sides unless you really turn an angle to it. It's similar to how the zipper flap gets caught on jackets.
The number of pockets/compartments on the front of the bag was moderate, but nothing special. Two slots to hold pens or pencils and a few small pockets.
On a positive (SIDE) note, my husband has had his L.L. Bean Messenger bag for over 15 years. It hasn't messed up hardly at all, and the quality is great. He has carried it every day.
February 11, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by 2Boys2Love Sturdy Backpack for Boys
This is an amazingly sturdy backpack, especially for boys. I ordered one 3 years ago for my now 12 year old and he has put it through a lot lugging tons of books around and going up and down stairs.
He picked the Green camouflage pattern. It was a cool pattern because its one that boys always want. The bad thing was when I needed to return it to exchange it due to a small tear, they discontinued the green camouflage. So I have not returned it for repairs :( - which is another awesome perk because they have a lifetime guarantee!! I cannot believe they discontinued such a common and popular color!! They added an orange camo style - which I purchased for my 8 year old, but I really really hope they bring back the green camo so I can order another one!!! BRING IT BACK PLEASE!!!
Would definitely recommend product and exchanges and returns are always easy with this company!!!
January 6, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by LAWMomofmany Great backpack, but...
I ordered this backpack after my tiny, petite 11-year old middle schooler complained of back pain after carrying her old backpack on her back. She was carrying 23# before a lunchbox & water bottle --- which was almost 30% of her body weight. Too heavy!
This was the best backpack with the best reviews that I could find. She is using it and loving it. The only issue we note is there isn't a pocket for a water bottle. I don't know if this is a airline carry on luggage width issue, but after 7 years of having a pocket for a water bottle, it is missed!
We also wish for more color choices as we have more kiddos to buy this for if it truly ends up a winner! (Prefer dark colors that will hide dirt as these will get used greatly)
Otherwise, it rolls great, she had no problems with the telescoping handle and she liked the color.
We live in the snowy northern Wisconsin area, so I will be interested to see how this holds up in the icy and snow packed parking lots and sidewalks this winter.
October 16, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by lamac Big bag
I like the size of this bag. Large enough for the school books and all the extras. I would like to see an outer side pocket for a water bottle and after a growth spurt could use a longer telescoping arm handle.
September 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Szak The Best Bookbag, PERIOD!
I bought this when it was considered a "traveling book bag" & was classified here as an "airline-carry-on compatible." I believe it still is "airline carry on" compatible...it doesn't say anymore? -Although then, it had the net sides (above each wheel) that you could stow water bottles into. The net sides were nice but, they snagged on a lot of things & so I can see why LL Bean dropped them from this book pack in the current version.
However, based on my experience, this is an excellent bag & I've taken it with me when I travel & I've traveled worldwide too. The rolling feature is great when it is packed too heavy to lug on your back--such a nice feature! It is a durable bag for sure! With all the airports that I've traveled through, it has survived & keeps on going!
Pay no attention to those that complain about switching from back-strap--to--rolling, & the weight of this back pack when they themselves, loaded it full. What does one expect when they stuff it full? Of course it can get bulky & heavy! Duhhh! -Also, the back-straps stow away into their own compartment on the back. This is what that "back section" is for & you can stuff the straps in there quickly, to avoid tripping/snagging or rolling over the straps. I also use that part for additional storage as well--when I need too that is (flat items: book, magazine, etc).
I stand by my experience with this back pack, it is heavy-duty & very versatile, on the go/resting/whatever. Also, it carries my laptop, ipod, clothes, drinks, documents, etc. very easily & securely---it's tough!
August 12, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by HannaB Beautiful design, not too heavy yet..disappointing
I ordered this backpack for my 6th grader. Beautiful design and bright colors but the fabric is a little flimsy and the zippers do not glide well. I was disappointed because I expected more for the price. I will, nevertheless, keep this item because it rolls very well, it has 4 storage pockets plus extra pockets inside the first one. It also includes a strap with a hook to attach keys or a small wallet, this is very convenient.There is no net or pocket holder for a water bottle which is a must in California.On the other hand, there is a fabric handle on top of the backpack which makes it very easy to carry from the ground to a bike or a car. Shoulder straps can be stored in a large pocket behind the trolley system.I do not expect it to last more than a year.
August 8, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by BBur Love it!!!
First of all I have to say that I wouldn't buy a backpack from anywhere besides llbean. The quality cannot be beat!
I purchased our first one of these 4 years ago when my oldest hit second grade. It is still in great shape, despite his being very hard on his things. I anticipate that it will survive the next 2 years of middle school with him.
We just purchased another one for our second son who has reached second grade (in younger grades they use a uniform bag purchased through the school). It looks great! The color is vibrant, and the monogramming looks wonderful!
My only complaints about this bag would be true for any rolling backpack, which are that the handle and wheels take up a good deal of space in the backpack and add a lot of weight. The tradeoff, though, is that my boys get to roll their heavy bags on their walk home and save their backs from aches and pains. It's worth it!
August 1, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Liyuan Super bag for those with 36" long legs or shorter
I recently bought two Rolling Deluxe Bookpacks. The one for me is perfect in every way you could think of as a book bag. The other one is for my 5 feet 11 tall husband. He loves LL Bean book bags because the old one he had lasts 8 years, and it is still in fine condition. The reason I want to get him a rolling one because his book bag gets heavier, and I think using a rolling one would be a relief for his back. He loves the rolling one as much as the old one.
However, the only thing is a huge pity is the handle's length. This rolling bookpack is 36 inches tall when it is fully extended. My husband's legs are 41 inches long, and 36 inches rolling bookpack is clearly not long enough for him. So he has to lower one of his shoulders when he rolls the bookpack. He has to bend down to roll the bag. He couldn't walk tall!!
My legs are 36 inches long, and this rolling bookpack is perfect for me when I walk. So, my recommendation for anyone who wants to get the bag is to measure your legs. If they are 36 inches or shorter, then it is a perfect book bag. If you are lucky enough to have longer legs, then, you probably don't want to get this rolling bookpack because you couldn't walk tall when you roll it.
June 5, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by QualityOrBust Best for Rolling; Not For Wearing
I had the smaller version of this and it was much loved and used, both as a backpack and as a rolling pack. I expected to love this larger version just as much. However, it is so large and heavy that it is best used as a rolling pack only, which is not convenient if you use public transport or ride a bike or scooter. Even with nothing in it, it is bulky and a bit heavy strapped on your back. But pack all you will need for the day and it is just too heavy, especially since there is no waist or chest strap and the frame makes it stand out from your back too far for good balance and ease of movement. Also, switching from backpack to rolling pack means straps must be tucked in or else they will be in the way and trip you up or get messed up by the wheels or pavement. This is bad if you are switching gears quickly to catch a bus or make a connection. This is especially a problem for someone who is tall and has the straps adjusted longer. Although the pack works well as a rolling pack, I needed something that could be carried on the back as well, and this pack is just not as versatile and easy to use as I had hoped. For someone who is just going to use it as a rolling pack, I would recommend it, as the wheels roll smoothly and it carries a lot. But if you plan on wearing it as a backpack (especially while riding a bike or scooter), there are better choices. Since this was too bulky and off balance for an adult, I would not recommend it for a child, unless it is being rolled exclusively!
May 9, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by JenF38761 The best hundred bucks I ever spent...twice!
When my eldest daughter was in Third grade and my youngest was in Kindergarten we went through 8 backpacks in one year between the two of them. When I added the cost of that up, I could have easily bought two of these packs and been done with it. Four years later, and they are still being used (and abused) by my children, but are still in good enough condition to be handed down to younger cousins. I will never buy another backpack from anyone but LL Bean. What ultimately sold me on these packs was the replacement guarantee. If it breaks you get a new one. How could that ever be bad? A company willing to stand behind it's product is nearly unheard of these days. When shopping for these packs, I read all the reviews. I remember one mom saying that her son's zipper got stuck and she had to cut the pack open with a pair of scissors...and LL Bean STILL replaced it. We have had a couple of zipper malfunctions. I have never had to cut the pack open with scissors, but I remember what she wrote and that LL Bean stands behind their products. Any other backpack and I wouldn't have needed scissors to open it. I probably could have just ripped it open. When I look at those backpacks, I see all the money I saved by buying my kids a quality product. Lets just add it up. If they averaged 4 packs each year each so that's 8 packs a year over the last 4 years at about 20$ each per pack. #8 packs x 4 years x $20 = $640# The lunch boxes are just as durable. I throw ours in the washing machine to clean them. You know how when you do that to cheap lunchboxes the inner plastic lining falls apart and comes out and then the box is ruined....not with these. The only reason I am on this site today looking for another backpack is because I bought the smaller one for my youngest daughter and she needs a bigger one now. Her backpack will be passed down to a younger cousin still in great condition...and this is the child who can break anything. I know it's a lot of money to lay out on a backpack for a child, but it is SO worth it. My husband even said, "a hundred bucks for a backpack, you must be crazy," but even he has admitted now when he looks at the math and the abuse these packs take that they are worth every penny. The only sort of negative that I can see is that LL Bean offers these backpacks is such a variety of colors and patterns it's SO hard to pick just one. Finding a color or pattern that will grow with your child #since the packs last forever# is quite hard. We are in the process now of thinking about what color or pattern we want for next year, since I fully expect that my daughter will still be using this same pack when she's a senior.
April 23, 2014