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Wherever Your Kids Go, We'll Always Have Their Backs

You already know that L.L.Bean school backpacks are built extra tough, but did you know they’re also totally machine washable? Through extensive research, we discovered that our school packs are durable enough to endure years of wash cycles, while still looking like new. So how did we prove it?

We put them to the test. Over and over again.

We asked “Tom the Tester,” lead technician at our in-house research and testing lab, to put our school backpacks through the wash a total of ten times each – and from beginning to end, they came out no worse for the wear. That means these thoroughly washed packs would still pass our famously rigorous testing regimen, maintaining the same abrasion and water resistance, zipper longevity and carrying strength as if they were new. Basically, you can count on every school backpack we sell to be just as durable out of the wash as they are off the rack.

The right way to wash.

Now that we’ve proven that our packs hold up perfectly through repeated washings, we’re ready to show you exactly how to do it. All you need is a mesh bag large enough to fit the backpack (not sold at L.L.Bean, but readily available at other popular retailers) and a regular residential (not commercial) washer. Then follow these easy steps for washing success:

1. Unzip all of the compartments and pockets.

2. Place the empty pack inside a mesh laundry bag.

3. If you’re washing a single pack, place some t-shirts on the opposite side of the washer’s center post to balance the load. You can skip this step if you’re washing two packs.

4. Machine wash cold using your regular detergent.

5. Take the pack out the mesh bag and hang upside-down to line dry.


A whole year’s worth of washes.

Ten trips through the wash. We chose that specific number to simulate a full year of cleaning: one wash every month, with two months off for summer. It’s this thoughtful and meticulous approach to testing that makes L.L.Bean school backpacks stand out from the rest. It’s also because we have testers like Tom who are always thinking of new, innovative ways to extend the useful life of our already long-lasting products. So let your kids get out there and use our backpacks the way they were intended: however they want. We’ll always have their backs.



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