Friday, 3 August 2012

The German Schoolbags

Never before have I seen such beautiful school bags...ahem.
Now if you remember, once apon a time I had a little ponder over German school bags & their general lack of appeal, weight, size, blah, blah. I couldn't understand why something so ugly could cost so much. Then you helpful readers enlightened me to the world of the Schulranzen and of lists that German schools supply with regulation stationary that *must* be bought and used. Turns out that for quite a lot of money, many people are happy not to have to shop around for coloured pencils and pass holders if they come included in the ugly schoolbag.

Well, guess what? I've very nearly gone and bought the darn things. Nearly, but not quite. It all came about as a result of both kids feet getting bigger. Seriously. Last year I bought Orla a cute little backpack from M&S that basically covered her needs (P.E. kit, packed lunch, occasional additional items) and she took her swimming kit in a different swim bag. It was pretty perfect. And then her feet kept growing, and growing. And all of a sudden towards the end of last term the girl with the biggest feet in the class (of which she is very proud) can barely fit her trainers in her bag along with her packed lunch. Hamish needless to say is only a size or two behind her.

My plan was to wait until we went to the UK before doing a giant school shopping trip which would include school bags for both Orla & Hamish (who will be starting Reception in September), but when looking online most of the kids rucksacks I've seen have been the same size as the one Orla had last year. And then, one day, I was walking through Karstadt and saw the perfect sized rucksack.

Today, I bit the bullet and bought two Scout VI rucksacks. Scout is one of the main players in the whole Schulranzen game. These though are perfect for smaller children who don't have to carry a million thigs with them everyday. Hamish chose a dinosaur design, and is thoroughly pleased with the mesh pockets at the side where he can keep a juice cup, and Orla eventually settled on a butterfly design (it was between that and a unicorn design). So there you go, give me a couple of years, and I'll be transferring them into a German school and walloping great big ugly Schulranzen on their backs, saying, "Aren't they lovely?" as my inner German finally emerges.

The going rate for these smaller rucksacks is 33 Euros each, but you can find them online from prices as low as 19 Euros. I found an online retailer with good prices called Ranzen-Berlin which just so happens to be nearish us, as in we walked for what felt like ages from Rathaus Steglitz U-Bahn station in a thunderstorm to get there but they had absolutely loads of choice and tons of regulation stationary (evident by the people wandering round with lists) and had a massive selection of Schultuten too including ones which matched the school bags!

Scout website
Scout VI rucksack patterns
Ranzen-Berlin (a really good shop if you're in Berlin, but also good online prices)


  1. This made me laugh! At my kids' French school, most of the kids have the most beautiful square-shaped satchels, while mine still trudge around with, well, what look a bit like these German school bags! I need to track down those satchels... the trouble is I need the current rucksacks to wear out first, or I just cannot justify it... I'll have to encourage them to drag their bags along a bit..!

    1. Funnily enough I was just looking at some really lovely french satchels. x

  2. Ah ha! I knew you would crumble ;-)
    I am in the midst of mad schule tute panic right now - no new school bags for us this year.
    Although over the past 12 months I have grown quite fond of Sofie's huge schulranzen. It has stood up well to the rigors of school, and at age 7 she is no longer totally dwarfed by it....
    Your time will come.

    1. I know it. I have been balancing it out by browsing pretty hand-crafted looking but thoroughly extortionate French schoolbags online.

  3. I like the post. Now you can buy school bags online as you will get ample of school bags for your kids.


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