Herschel Andy Warhol backpack

I am not a backpack person. They stick out when they are on your back. I have to remember this extra size all the time so that I don’t knock into things or people. I also like being able to dip my hand into my bag as I walk for my phone or a tissue. With a backpack you have to take it off to do that, and it is much deeper than a bag so it is harder to retrieve things. They are problematic on public transport.

I tend to have hope for each backpack I buy, but they tend to just not work for more than a few days. I then sell them and give up until the next time. Because of my recent back and shoulder problems, it is now more important than ever to carry heavy things in a backpack instead of over in a heavy bag over one shoulder. I try to carry as little as possible nowadays, but sometimes I do need to carry my laptop, headphones, and teaching papers.

Over the years I have had backpacks that I have managed to use for a while. My most successful ones so far have been a faux leather Next one I bought in London in about 2001, and my Marc Jacobs leather domo backpack. I used the Next one until it fell apart, and have used the Marc Jacobs one for about a year on and off.

The Marc Jacobs one is well-designed – apart from not having an interior laptop pocket – but is made of thick leather and is heavy.

I recently found this Herschel Andy Warhol Banana Settlement backpack for $15 (full price is between $80 and $100) at a sample sale, and am going to give it a try. It has a great pink lining and padded straps. Best of all, it is light and has an interior laptop pocket.

I will try this one for a while, in combination with a tiny cross-body bag (like my Coach one) in combination with my backpack.

There were several items in the range, but I am not a fan of a flap-top backpack. It always seems more of a faff.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

13 thoughts

    1. I loved the Tretorn backpack!

      It was a perfect size and shape, and stood up on its own. Plus it was waterproof. The thing I ended up hating was the fact that it had a flap top with a fiddly clip underneath with which you fastened the flap to the bag. ( https://i0.wp.com/thisbugslife.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/IMG_4098.jpeg?ssl=1 )

      It would have been perfect if I were a person who packed their backpack, cycled to work, had it at their feet all day, and then cycled back home with it on their back. But I don’t have that kind of job. I have to stop and open and close my bag at least 20 times a day.

      The flap and fiddly clip were awful when I had to take a planner out of my bag with one hand in the middle of the sidewalk to make a booking, phone against my ear. I have to open and close my backpack all day so that clip got on my nerves after about ten days. Which is a pity as the rest of the design was absolutely perfect, and great quality. I wish they had a zip-top version, or bigger magnets on the corners.

      I sold it for a good price as it was a very popular colour here, that I bought on sale. I would recommend the Tretorn to anyone who needs to carry things from point A to point B.

      1. It’s true that if you need to open and close your backpack so often, you need to have a bag that opens and closes flawlessly. I have to say that I love bags that have a really convenient zipper. I have a Longchamp bag that has the shape of a Pliage but the zipper opens all the way and detaches itself and it’s so inconvenient to close or you need to pay attention when you open it so you don’t open all the way.

        I have two Kipling bags: a crossbody bag and a packpack and I completely fell in love with their zippers. They open and close so easily, just like a dream… I believe they may also have backpacks with laptop compartments.

      2. Sometimes I feel as though I dislike backpacks so much that I always find fault with them – too big, too small, too heavy, wrong design. To be fair though, I dislike large handbags with flaps and clips as well. It’s so much hard work trying to get into them when you are on the go.

      3. I know what you mean… You need them but you don’t like them… It’s not easy finding the right bag for everything!…

  1. I’m a reluctant backpack user and have only ever found 2 designs that I like, both lightweight folding versions. The Longchamp Le Pliage zipped backpack is my favouite – small, slender, lightweight and one that you can’t overstuff. Larger, but still acceptable, are the ones by EcoChic. Although I know thick padded shoulder straps like the ones on your Hershel are “right”, my narrow shoulders need thin straps like those on the Le Pliage bags. Also, padded straps are hard to adjust to the correct length for my short torso – then the bag hangs uncomfortably low on my back.

    1. I love Le Pliage bags as they are so light but their backpacks would dig into my shoulders. I am off to look at the EcoChic ones because they sound nice. Thank you for the tip!

  2. I love your new backpack! I also use a small shoulder bag for the essentials. I have the same combo as you for teaching. Then when I don’t have to teach, I use my small Kanken backpack. But I do agree with you that having the essentials at hand is very important!…

    1. I have never been a backpack fan, but as a teacher with a sore shoulder now, I really have to try my hardest to use on when carrying heavy things. I must admit they are very useful, but I don’t like having a bag on my back. It’s even worse when it is hot and you get all sweaty, and they really know how to ruin an outfit!

      1. It’s true that when it’s hot, it’s not pleasant at all. I was in Mallorca last week and it was so hot (30C every day) and my back was always so sweaty. That’s probably the reason why I bought my new crossbody handbag. I have very bad posture and I think the backpack helps keep my shoulders back…

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