Having waxed lyrical about the strength and durability of our Classmate® Backpacks, our US colleagues decided to put them to the test with some of the harshest critics they could find. Here, US writer Robert tells us about a Sports Day with a difference…
“One sticky afternoon a few weeks ago we took a busload of kids to Bethel Horizons, a gorgeous, 548-acre camp just a stone’s throw from our Dodgeville headquarters. There they put our ClassMate® Backpack (Boys) + (Girls) through some of the toughest (and funniest!) tests we could dream up.
Creative Director Randy masterfully channeled his inner camp counsellor, dividing the kids into red and blue teams and keeping everything under control with a large bullhorn.
First up was the Backpack Tug-of-War. We told all 13 kids to pull as hard as they could, and though the backpack did give in the end, one kid screamed, “We’re not faking, it’s really tough.” Trust me, they gave it their all to see just how much punishment the shoulder straps and reinforced seams could take.
ClassMate® Backpack Next came the Backpack Throw. Randy demonstrated two possible throwing techniques: holding the grab-and-go handle and spinning the pack around like a hammer thrower at the Scottish Highland games, or throwing underarm after giving it a good swing. As it turned out, each kid had his or her own technique. Bags flew everywhere and our camera crew had a few close calls!
The Three-Legged Race really put the ClassMate’s durable fabric and construction to the test and the packs passed beautifully, even with the kids stomping on the inside and tugging on the straps.
Last came the Pack-and-Dash Relay, an event designed to push the pack’s carrying capacity to the limit and show what it fits. At each stop, the competitors had to unzip the backpack, load up books and folders, and zip it closed before passing it to their teammate. Just to make it a little more challenging, the course went uphill.
It’s no surprise we went through two boxes of ice lollies. The red team was joined briefly by a toad, which eventually hopped off into the woods. Later, a butterfly adopted one of the girls, returning to her hand after the three-legged race. In short, it was a perfect sports day, and in the end, we grown-ups lost track of which team came out on top; Team Red or Team Blue. Perhaps Team ClassMate® was the real champion.”