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BACKPACK REVIEW

LLBean Junior Original Pink 1.jpg

Budget

Pick

Junior Original

L.L. Bean

Good shoulder and back padding and great organization at a budget-friendly price.

MSRP:  $24.95

Mfr. Recommended Age:  4 Years+

Capacity:   Very Good

Organization:  Excellent

Comfort:  Very Good

Fit:  Excellent

Quality:  Very Good

Buying options:*

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THE SCOOP

The Fun​

  • High marks for comfort

  • Great organization

  • Good price

The Frustration

  • Some stiffness in the straps

The Specs  

 

Capacity: Very Good

11"W x 14.5"H x 6"D

The Junior Original passed our capacity test (ability to fit a full-sized folder, a small notebook, and a couple books), but not with much room to spare. The fit was adequate-to-snug around the top corners of the taller items. This may be a matter of design: online, L.L.Bean aims this pack at the younger sibs of school-aged kids and envisions them using it for "packing treasures around the backyard." 

 

Organization: Excellent

The main opening of this bag doesn't have any separate storage possibilities. But the front pocket has five additional compartments, including two slots for pens or pencils and a smaller pocket that zips closed. There's also a zippable compartment on the exterior of the front pocket that's handy for anything littles might want to access quickly without digging through the entire pack. The Junior Original includes a side water bottle pocket, though it's a bit of a squeeze to actually get a water bottle inside of it.

Comfort & Fit

 

Comfort: Very Good

The Junior Original has a nice amount of padding on the shoulder straps and across the back, though the padding is noticeably stiffer than that found on some of the other packs we've reviewed. The front pocket helps distribute weight but there's no front waist or shoulder belt to move some of that weight off the back and shoulders.  

 

Fit: Excellent

As intended, this pack was a great fit on the smaller end of our spectrum. Our 4-year-old, 42" tester could easily maneuver this pack without becoming overwhelmed by its size. It held up fairly well at the 48" end of the spectrum. 

Quality: Very Good

There's a lot to love about the quality here. Durable material. Nice zipper. Excellent reflective strip. The Junior Original fell a little shy of the top quality mark when it came to the small details, like no lining on the front of the pack, stiff shoulder straps, and tight fit on the water bottle pocket. Overall though the Junior Original is a very high quality pack.

Conclusion

 

The Junior Original is far and away our favorite pack under $25. The back and shoulder straps may not have the flexibility of some of the more expensive models, but they are nicely padded. It's a winner on the organization front, too, with plenty of compartments.

THE PRODUCTS

LLBean Junior Original Pink 1.jpg

Junior Original

L.L. Bean

 

MSRP:  $24.95

Mfr. Recommended Age:  4 Years+

 

Buying options: