Tuesday 21st September 2021
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Shall we take a moment to consider backpacks?

I like the idea of a backpack a lot—they seem like the choice of smart, cool women who have more important things on their minds than what bag to wear. And if you’re shlepping a lot around, they’re so much more comfortable than a big, heavy purse. I think I will go crazy if I try to write my entire book in my apartment so I’ve been scouting out other places that I can work, and thinking about bags I can carry my computer in too, and a backpack just seems to make a lot of sense.

Herschel backpack—shall we take a moment to consider backpacks?

There is something quite appealing about a super-basic, no-frills nylon version.

Rebecca Minkoff backpack—shall we take a moment to consider backpacks?

But this buttery leather pouch-shaped option is quite nice too.

Kara backpack—shall we take a moment to consider backpacks?

Extremely minimal and super-chic.

Mansur Gavriel backpack—shall we take a moment to consider backpacks?

A gorgeous, splurgetsatic blue suede choice from Mansur Gavriel.

Mango backpack—shall we take a moment to consider backpacks?

This one kind of looks like the one from Mansur, but it’s super-cheap.

Elizabeth & James backpack—shall we take a moment to consider backpacks?

And I like that this looks like a bucket bag.




Posted on February 24th, 2017 20 Comments

20 Responses

  1. missannethrope says:

    I love the look and ease of carrying a backpack but they are usually hard to open and retrieve stuff from when you’re on the go. And everything seems to settle at the bottom.

  2. DoDah says:

    Remember when we all carried our tiny Prada backpacks? I think I am going to skip this go-round. They are all adorable but I’m paranoid someone behind me could easily grab my phone, wallet, etc.

  3. Dana D says:

    Those are all lovely…

    But I can’t do it. I don’t like the look. And I’ll admit that it is an age thing because my 23 year old looks stylish with hers.

    I especially can’t do it when I’m traveling. I wouldn’t dream of walking around with my valuables on my back (as stated above).

  4. Jenna says:

    Any idea of the brand of the one in the first photograph? I must have that exact one! (As a mom of young kids, the backpack is indispensable.

  5. Janet says:

    Better for your back, if you choose the right one. And leaves your hands free to carry coffee and whatnot. Me likey. I would prefer a black Patagonia one. Or brown! Thanks for putting this bee (back) in my bonnet, Kimmums. And good luck with your book! xx

  6. Trina says:

    Leather backpacks are beautiful but the leather adds weight. If you’re really carrying things like a laptop/tablet, you can grow to hate your beautiful, leather backpack.

  7. Caroline says:

    Kim, II’ve totally eyeing a back pack now. A clean line leather number is just the thing!
    Hadn’t carried one in years, but picked up a clear one for the women’s march in d.c. Aside from it being a great day,
    carrying a backpack was totally liberating.
    No weird shoulder/neck pain and arms were free for other business.
    I will say that since there were so very many people, I carried my credit cards,etc.. in an inside coat pocket.

  8. georgine bosak says:

    I love my backpack for traveling and for day trips. With kids, it makes it easier to tote lunch and water. They cary backpacks too if we take the train to Chicago. I like my big Everlane backpack because it has side pockets for water bottles and a front zipper pouch for my wallet.

    I do worry about security. And you just can’t whip out your wallet – you have to take the back pack off to get it out. Still, the backpack it so much kinder on my shoulders and back.

  9. joannawnyc says:

    I am a big fan of a backpack along with a little crossbody just big enough for wallet/sunglasses/ID etc. It’s convenient and also fun to play with color combos.

    I would think the Rag & Bone pilot would be perfect for you:


    there’s also a mini version.

  10. Laurel says:

    I think and have always thought that leather backpacks that are kind of purse-styled look weird. I remember when they were in fashion the first time (in my lifetime) and I know they’re fashionable again, but I just can’t hang.

    I like backpacks like the first one though! And another commenter has a good thought about the weight leather would add. Was going to recommend Herschel Supply Co. backpacks, when I realized that’s the brand you picked for the first one.

    Other things to keep in mind: water repellant-ness and padding. A laptop gets heavier and pokier with every block in my experience, so padding or sleeve for it would be ideal.

  11. EW says:

    I love all the known benefits of a stylish backpack the one thing that keeps me from using too much is….back sweat….When it seems a backpack is most useful, like an outing or on vacation sightseeing…if its a little warm-ish, I have to go with a messenger..

  12. suz says:

    Good lord I like all of them.

    I have always liked purse/backpacks. I am of the wear it on one arm type though, which maybe defeats the purpose.

    Much like the giant totes that so many carry – people need to be aware of how much space their pack/bag takes up. Take the backpack off when in the subway. Sorry – that is my massive peeve. PSA out.

  13. c.w. says:

    I recently purchased a “one arm” backpack that you can wear across your body. In large crowds I have worn it with the “pack” part in front of me. It does look slightly weird, but my valuables are right in front of me so I deal with it. My all time preference is still a cross body bag.

  14. Rachel says:

    At nearly 50, all the years of carrying heavy book bags criss-cross my body have damaged my cervical spine. Once I discovered a Hester Van Eeghen backpack (sadly, the one I have is no longer made) I gave up all of my over-the-shoulder bags. I’ll repair until it is nothing but shreds.

    She has a few different styles (though I prefer my slimmer version) here: hestervaneeghen.com

  15. Mouse says:

    I love convertible purse/backpacks. You can carry them under your arm if you’re in a crowded place and/or nervous about theft, and you can carry them on your back when you want to WALK.

    My favorite are local Mainers Rough and Tumble. They have a store in Portland but are also online. Leathers are beautiful but they also have waxed canvas. Great design and good people.


  16. S. says:

    I had to start carrying a backpack for work a few years ago when my schleps across campus with books and water bottle and all got longer and carrying a tote bag was sending me to the chiropractor once a week. And I’ve never looked back: it’s all backpack (almost) all the time for me now. My favorites for larger packs are from Matt and Nat. I mostly use the Brave for work (padded shoulder straps, roomy, nice enough looking, vegan, last forever) but they have a few other excellent styles as well.

    For the rest of life, I’ve had mixed results with Sole Society, which is also vegan. I’ve been trotting around with this little guy for months (it’s darker in real life) and couldn’t be happier: http://www.solesociety.com/kyllie-grey.html Nordstrom also has it in a lovely burgundy, and I wonder if I should buy it.

  17. Jessie says:

    MZ Wallace makes functional & fashionable backpacks. I have used mine for years, starting when my son was a toddler & I still use it years later. It’s not leather, but nylon. It can take a beating & still looks great. Worth the investment IMHO.

  18. Melissa says:

    I was kind of anti backpack until I tried one to carry my laptop back and forth from work. I have the leather backpack from Bartaile which feels chic, but not bulky. I get lots of compliments on it.


  19. erica harel says:

    Hi girls!
    I have been reading all the comments, and with all due modesty, I have to say that my backpack answers so many of the questions that have been raised regarding security, functionality, comfort, weight, and stylishness.
    I invite everyone to take a look at my site, or see EricaHarelBags on Etsy, and see why my backpacks, which are designed for a wide variety of lifestyles – from young mother to student, from working woman to travelers.
    Thanks, Erica