I love German backpacks. I covet them all … the Deuters, Vaudes, Herschels, Fjallraven, Ergobags, Scouts, etc … Nearly everyone here carries a backpack of some sort and it makes perfect sense. You have to pay for a bag at nearly every store you go into and a lot of people don’t own cars preferring instead to ride a bike or take a tram/bus. Germans are frugal and environmentally friendly; they aren’t willing to pay .10 to a euro per bag for every purchase. When you buy shoes you have to let the cashier know if you want the box. They won’t give it to you unless you ask CAUSE RECYCLE! Anyhow the point is you have got to be able to stash your groceries and other stuff somewhere while you walk or bike, so a good backpack is almost a necessity.
I’ve been dying to purchase some for us, but we came with awesome backpacks. Tom Bihn‘s to be exact.
Disclaimer: PH reviews bags for Tom Bihn. They graciously provided us with these backpacks. I’ll probably post a review at some point because they truly are awesome bags.
Tom Bihn bags are awesome, expensive, and in my opinion worth the cost. I love my Cafe Bag and my Aeronaut. That being said since we already own awesome bags it doesn’t make any sense to buy new ones. Most of the above mention bags are way over the 100 euro mark. Not going to happen. Except when it happens ….
Little J’s backpack was the first to be replace. I bought him a LLBean Junior Original Backpack before we left America. It’s cute. It has fishes all over it and his name on it, however the damn thing just doesn’t fit him. It falls off of his shoulders. It’s awkward. The straps are flimsy. He hates carrying it. He has carried it a grand total of once. If we were back in the States I would take advantage of their 100% guarantee and return the thing. I was very tired of having to carry around his backpack, so I finally broke down and bought him the Deuter KiKi backpack. It’s fracking adorable. It fits Little J perfectly. The straps are thick and padded. It has a chest strap. His water bottle fits inside one of the side pockets. The best thing is that he loves to carry it. He’ll most likely need something bigger when he heads off to American Kindergarten next fall, but for German Kindergarten it’s perfect.
Today I replaced the boys’ backpacks. Make no mistake their Tom Bihns aren’t going anywhere. Those things are awesome, but here is the deal sometimes being the only kids in your whole school that can’t speak the language is hard. It’s hard and it’s isolating and sometimes it’s the little things like carrying the same backpack everyone else is carrying that makes things a touch easier.
About 95% of the kids in the boys’ school carry either a Scout backpack or an Ergobag backpack. I wanted to buy them some the minute we got here, but they are pricey. Super pricey. Like in the 115 to 250 euros pricey. I couldn’t really justify one when they already had backpacks. And remember with twins I have to buy two of everything.
Well today I was out looking for a new wallet and I went into Karstadt and low and behold there was a huge table with Scout backpacks ON SALE! When I mean ON SALE! I mean ON SALE! I was able to find TWO backpacks for 30 euros a piece. So I splurged and bought them each one. They were so super excited to get these.
Let me show you what they look like cause they do not look like a typical American backpack.
They are definitely a little wider and boxier. There are two very wide side pockets for water bottles or whatever other crap that kids shove into them. If you look inside, it’s super deep and wide. I love that. Things can’t get LOST! You can see right down to the bottom.
The back is sturdy and the straps are thick. It’s made to hold a lot and to take a beating and keep going. I love how sturdy the whole bag is. It doesn’t flop over when you set it down.
So here is the bag filled up.
Lastly you aren’t just buying the bag when you buy one of these, depending on which model you get you get EXTRAS. You always get extras, just some models come with more extras. The boys’ bags came with a gym bags, federmappes, and a wallet. Yes, they will use the gym bag. Even the first graders are expected to change into their ‘Sportsachen” (gym clothes). They have to have their gym clothes and tennis shoes that are only used for the gym.
This is a federmappe. These things are awesome. I love them. The one on the bottom of the photo is Rory’s old one. He’s obviously lost a lot of it. I’m not letting them use their new ones yet. I’m putting them aside.
As for me I’m eyeing the Herschel and Fjallraven bags, but since I just put myself on a no-spend month I’ll have to make do with the cute little wallet I found in the clearance bin. My old one was ripping in two.