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.