3 backpacks that double up for school and travel
By Aimee Heckel
If multitasking is the busy mother’s time-saver, multi-purposing is her money- and space-saver.
In the honor of multi-function and money-saving, here are our fave REI backpacks that double up as a practical back-to-school carry-all and a smart travel bag.
1. A single-strap sling pack, like this Patagonia Atom “sling daypack”. Starting around $30, this is a great, all-purpose pack for older kids. Let them pick from seven different colors, everything from pink to blue.
A sling pack is a little more casual (and fashionable) than most backpacks, but cinch it tight and it’s just as reliable.
Patagonia is known for its high quality, so it can endure being stuffed with books — or carry-on clothes for your next flight. The hands-free comfort means it can even go with your kid on their next hiking trip or bike tour. The moisture-wicking straps dry quickly and this pack is even water repellant.
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2. A slim, medium-sized pack, like the Ethnotek Wayi Daypack, $119, at REI.com.
This lightweight pack is the perfect size for students, commuters and casual hikers. The colorful “multi-stripe” Guatemalan-inspired hand-embroidered front panel is fashionable (and matches everything), and won’t stand out as a classic school backpack when you bring it with you on your next adventure.
This pack has a separate padded compartment that holds laptops up to 15 inches big, plus smaller pockets for all your goodies. This bag is durable, water-resistant, nicely padded to protect the content, comfortable and great for boys or girls.
3. A pack with a solid reputation — in bright colors, to make it look more casual and school-appropriate.
The North Face Hot Shot daypack is well known as one of the most beloved packs by day-hikers — and for a reason. The pack, which starts around $87, is waterproof (even waterproof zippers, hello!), durable and built to last. You won’t need to get a new backpack every school year, so even though this backpack is more expensive than a cheap-o at Wal-Mart, in the long run, it can save you money.
Best of all, you’ve heard about back injuries from toting overstuffed packs? This guy has contoured, comfortable straps and a padded back panel.
Looking for more travel coupons? Here is a comprehensive list of travel coupons to save you big on your next trip.
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