Rated 3 out of 5 by Baglady55 I had to return the Explorer Backpack
I needed a medium sized backpack for day trips to Chicago, or shopping trips. I saw the Explorer backpack and ordered it in turquoise on sale. It's made well, a nice size, and has a handy organizer pocket. But, the front outside pocket is "open" with no zipper and it's a complete waste, because anything you put in may slip out #as happened to me when the bag tipped over on its side#. My biggest complaint, though, are the outside mesh bottle pockets! They are HUGE! So huge, in fact, that a normal bottle slides right out when the bag is not completely upright. Very inconvenient. Even 2 bottles, in one pocket, are not a tight fit. Sent it back.
December 3, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by Chris208 Disappointed in Quality
This was my first LL Bean backpack purchase and I splurged assuming the quality would hold up for years. They are advertised as going from K-6 and up still 'looking like new.' I bought this one for my kindergartener, and within 3 months the hang loop has 90% frayed and torn out of the bag. He brings home one plastic folder with a few sheets of paper in it, and I send his snack in it as well. That's literally all that it has held lol. They hang their packs on hooks outside the room at school, and they are down low so there isn't any tugging either. I do love the various compartments this pack has, however I could not recommend. If he were to have to carry actual books and heavier objects I would be worried about seams pulling as well.
December 1, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by luckycat525 Excellent backpack for elementary school
Perfect backpack for kids - My daughter used it for all of 2nd grade and she's using it again this year. There are enough compartments to keep things organized and pockets for water bottles. Also, the black bottoms keep it from looking dirty. I wish there were more print color options for girls so I can buy one for my younger daughter next year!!!
August 19, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by MaineGirlinCA Want to love it - but the quality is lacking
I have purchased two of these for my daughter and I have been very disappointed in the quality. Specifically the "hang loop" at the top of the backpack. Maybe it's a California thing - but at our school the kids hang their backpacks on hooks outside their classroom. The first one we had the loop lasted less than six months before ripping out of the backpack. This was for a second grader who was not storing heavy textbooks - or anything really in the the bag while it was hanging. I assumed that there was a flaw with the specific backpack we purchased, so I replaced it with the same one.The second one made it through a school year - but will not likely make it through the next one as it is already starting to fail. We like everything else about the backpack, but given how they are used at our school, this is a major issue. I grew up in Maine and had the same LL Bean back pack from Middle school - college with no issues so I'm super loyal to the brand, but I hesitate to replace her current backpack with any other Bean backpack because they all seem to have this same construction flaw.
August 9, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by skunz72 Great backpack except for the mesh cup holders
I purchased this backpack last summer for my son who was going into 3rd grade. The bag itself is very well constructed and has stood the test of time. My only complaint and the reason behind the 4 stars is that the mesh cup holders are flimsy. It ripped after 2 mos of use. My son still used the backpack for the rest of the year. LL Bean offered to do an exchange or return after a year due to the mesh ripping. Now that is customer service! In fact I'm picking up LL Bean's Explorer backpack for my soon to be kindergartner.
July 29, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Narragangirl Perfect for my second grader
I bought this for my son when he started second grade, and seven months later, it still looks new. I could see it lasting through elementary school, yet it probably wouldn't be too big for a kinder or first grader, either.
April 6, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by BBmom2 Even my son hasn't broken this one!
Got this for my son around January. His 1st backpack only lasted a few months of school (Kindergarten). He used this the rest of last year and now a few months this year and it still looks BRAND NEW. He loves all the little pockets and I'm thinking this will last him a few more years. Totally worth the money, has already paid for itself by not needing replacement.
November 13, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Jerseybeanie Not just for kids
I bought this pack for my commuting- to carry lunch, my papers, books, etc. The smaller compartment in the front is great for a makeup bag, phone, wallet, etc. It is actually quite roomy and suitable to a petite adult. The padded straps are very comfortable. I tried a smaller back but the straps were too short (LL Bean-- please characterize backpacks by height and torso length, not by age). The only negatives are the pouch in the front. I am considering sewing on a snap but it really should have come with some type of closure. The color choices are very limited. I was reluctant to order the red but it is not too loud and the gray and black with the red make an attractive combination. The reflective piping in front and back offer additional safety to the bright color.
October 6, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by bayoumom Almost Perfect
This is a really great backpack. It's just the right size for my 4th grader to carry everything he needs and the zipper compartments are useful and appropriately sized. It's sturdy and it fits him well. The only thing that I would change is the outside mesh pockets. They are not tall enough for a decent sized water bottle. Our bottles fall right out when you sit the back pack down. And the mesh does seem a bit flimsy feeling, though so far they have held up.
August 21, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by AndyCanada Not for Canadian winters
This backpack is awesome, except for the open pocket on the front. It collects rain/snow.
August 21, 2013