ClassMate Small Backpack
A high quality pack that earns top marks in comfort.
Mfr. Recommended Age: Kids 42-48"
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Strong on comfort
12.5"W x 16.5"H x 6"D
The ClassMate (size small) has a nice size to it. This pack easily passed our capacity test: a little one could fit a folder, small notebook, and a couple books inside and close the bag without the zipper catching on anything inside.
While the main opening of the ClassMate is a great size, the compartment situation is a bit less exciting. There are no separate compartments in the main opening. There is a front pocket that contains a clasp, but it doesn't have any compartments. There's also a fabric overhang that covers the front pocket zipper. While attractive, the overhang decreases the accessibility of the front pocket, making it more difficult to put things in (and to root those items back out). The pack has two mesh side pockets, though, either of which works well for a water bottle. And bonus points for the small fabric loop on the front of the bag for key rings or maybe even a lunch box.
Comfort & Fit
The ClassMate is a comfort standout. It has ample, flexible padding on both shoulder straps and the back area. The front pocket helps distribute weight and the chest belt moves some of that weight off the back and shoulders. The bag handle is padded with a rubbery material that keeps it from digging into kiddos' fingers.
The size of this pack was overwhelming for those at the smaller end (42") of our height spectrum. It worked well, though, for taller kids, and was still a great fit for kids just over 48."
The material is sturdy, the zippers work well, and the colors are great. Also has two reflective strips for nighttime visibility.
The ClassMate is a great bet for kids starting around age 5. It's got top-of-the-line comfort features and quality worth writing home about. While it doesn't have some the organizational features that can come in handy for sending in permission slips, a change of clothes, and the like, this is still a no-regret purchase.