The 9 Best Herschel Backpacks

Updated June 24, 2018 by Melissa Harr

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Beloved by everyone from high schoolers to hipsters, road warriors to errand runners, these Herschel backpacks will help you carry whatever you need to haul, no matter where you need to haul it. We’ve included a variety of models, including those that are sleek enough for a modern office, big enough to accommodate textbooks, and fashionable enough to turn heads. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best herschel backpack on Amazon.

9. Herschel Settlement

For those who are looking for something to help them stand out from the crowd, the Herschel Settlement sports an attractive old-school design and comes in unique patterns and colors. Unfortunately, the zippers are weak and wear out easily.
  • easy to wipe clean
  • two internal compartments
  • could be a bit sturdier
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10005-00746-OS
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Heritage Backpack

One of the most noticeable features of the Heritage Backpack is the “pig nose” patch near the top, which is more formally referred to as a lash tab. This, combined with the roomy front zippered pouch, helps make this model both functional and instantly identifiable.
  • comes in solid and patterned fabrics
  • for either men or women
  • can feel somewhat stiff
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10007-01868-OS
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. City Multipurpose

It’s definitely hip to be square with the City Multipurpose. Evoking the scouting aesthetic, it’s just large enough, at 14 inches by 12 inches, to work as ultra-minimalist overnight luggage or as a way to carry all the things you need for a day out on the town.
  • hidden exterior sleeve
  • one-strap closure
  • no interior organization
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10089-01852-OS
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Herschel Retreat

The Herschel Retreat has an adjustable drawstring cinch closure at the top that lets you quickly get to the items inside. There's also a convenient media pouch with an opening for a headphone cord, letting you listen to music from your device without any hassle.
  • contoured straps
  • plentiful color combinations
  • front pocket is perhaps too small
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10066-00617-OS
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Pop Quiz

It’s test time: Which pack provides a traditional school book bag feel with clean, modern lines? The Pop Quiz, of course. And because today’s students don’t just carry paper texts, it includes a 13-inch, fleece-lined, padded laptop sleeve.
  • internal pocket with headphone port
  • compartment for sunglasses
  • straps are a touch stiff
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10211-00869-OS
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Harrison Mid-Size

The Harrison Mid-Size has all of the company’s hallmark features, including the woven ID label and signature striped liner, as well as a design that captures vintage sophistication with both its fabric choices and contoured shape.
  • key clips in front section
  • pebbled zipper pulls
  • might be too small for adults
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10033-01857-OS
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Herschel Parker

If you think of the briefcase as the only suitable baggage for the office, then you might be surprised by the simple, business-appropriate styling of the Herschel Parker. Offered in timeless neutrals, it makes a great choice for when you need to be an adult.
  • prusik cord pulls
  • slim side storage pockets
  • waterproof front zipper
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10264-01570-OS
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Little America

Don't be fooled by the name. The Little America is a large bag with a very spacious interior. It features a unique mountaineering design and soft, comfortable padding on its back and shoulder straps, so it’s perfect for someone who's always on-the-go.
  • protective laptop sleeve
  • durable and long-lasting
  • strong magnetic closures
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10014-01642-OS
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Herschel Classic

The Herschel Classic gives fans exactly what they want: the brand's iconic look complemented by usefulness and versatility. It's not overly fussy, which prevents unnecessary bulk, making it feel light and easy to carry even when it contains heavy loads.
  • locker loop for hanging
  • great construction
  • works well with any personal style
Brand Herschel Supply Co.
Model 10001-01570-OS
Weight 12.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

The Backpack Is King

When it comes to bags, there are more than plenty of choices: sling bags, totes, purses, satchels, duffels, roller bags, waist packs, and on and on. Yet there’s one bag that might be the “one bag to rule them all,” and that is the backpack. It can be everything you need, including versatile, useful, stylish, and even comfortable to carry. So, what is it that makes the backpack so amazing? Just consider the following.

First, a backpack is practical in many situations. Perhaps the most obvious use belongs to that of the student, who must transport books and assorted school day necessities, such as lunch and notebooks. But you can use a backpack in many other circumstances. You might employ one as a carry on when going on a plane trip, a daypack to hold souvenirs or snacks while exploring a new city, or even a computer bag when traveling to the office. Hikers and campers utilize backpacks to hold their gear, although they may reach for models with frames, which help wearers schlep a large amount of weight.

Then, most backpack straps don’t slide down off the shoulders the way that the straps of other bags do. Handbags and tote bags are especially prone to this issue, whether their straps are long or short. Messenger bags may alleviate this, but a cross-chest strap is simply not comfortable for everyone and may require frequent adjustments. A properly-fitted backpack, on the other hand, stays on your back, right where you left it.

And of course, a backpack can provide most of the crucial features that the wearer desires. If you love fashion, for instance, you can rock an on-trend style. More concerned about functionality? Then you might look for models with organizational systems and usability features. With some of the better backpack brands, including Herschel, you can even tick all of your boxes with the same model.

Finally, a backpack doesn’t have to take up a lot of space when not in use, unlike rolling luggage. Fold it down flat and stick it in the top of your closet or under your bed, then forget about it until you need it again. Plus, a backpack doesn’t have wheels that can break or fall off, and if it does need repairs, it’s likely that you can perform them with only minimal sewing skills.

Small Details For Sturdy Styling

For many people, the only thing better than a backpack is a Herschel backpack. They’re known for their appealing combination of style and functionality, which has led to them become something of an icon in the luggage realm. You can see why Herschel backpacks have earned such great popularity when you take a look at the little details.

Perhaps the most iconic of the Herschel touches is the signature striped liner; some say it was designed to call to mind the striped engineer overalls of yesteryear, in keeping with the brand’s nostalgic styling. No matter where it comes from, this cheery interior fabric shows attention to detail and provides a distinctive look.

Another detail to look for on Herschel backpacks is the use of fleece-lined sleeves and slots that help you safely transport your most sensitive items, including computers, tablets, and sunglasses. Built into the construction of the bag, these compartments save you from having to use a separate case for protection. Most are padded, as well, for extra peace of mind.

One of the comfiest features on a Herschel backpack would be the padded straps. Although vintage bags, after which modern Herschel pieces are styled, tended to have thinner, unpadded straps, most Herschel packs offer fully padded and contoured straps for the wearer’s comfort.

A small detail perhaps only backpack aficionados will notice, the zippers on Herschel backpacks vary, but offer high-quality touches, including full-grain leather pulls. If you don’t love zippers, not to worry — many Herschel backpacks feature adjustable drawstring closures. So you don’t have to fiddle with zippers and drawstrings to listen to your music, many designs feature headphone ports.

Any discussion about Herschel’s details would be incomplete without a mention of the label. It isn’t loud or flashy, but its understated styling does manage to announce the brand’s presence boldly. You can find this label affixed proudly to the front of most of their classic backpack models.

A Very Brief History Of Herschel Backpacks

You can thank the Canadian team of brothers Lyndon and Jamie Cormack for bringing the world Herschel Supply Co. and its timeless backpacks. Founded in 2009, the company is based in Vancouver and boasts worldwide distribution; you can buy Herschel goods at retail locations in bustling cities across the globe, including Milan, Hong Kong, and Paris.

Herschel Supply Co.’s roots reach back farther, however, as the brand takes its name from the name of the small town that’s been home to three generations of the Cormacks. The brothers’ great grandparents arrived in Herschel, Saskatchewan in 1906, building their life in this small village that today boasts a minute population of around 30 people.

This connection to the past can be seen in the company’s style, which focuses on capturing throwback designs in a modernized way. The brothers have noted that they don’t want to simply mimic old designs, in fact, but rather create bags that reflect today’s needs while embodying classic nostalgia. This is why a Herschel backpack offers vintage visual appeal but still gives a safe and efficient way to transport today’s electronics.

Herschel Supply’s popularity and styling have also allowed them to branch out into other types of items beyond just backpacks. The company’s offerings are varied and include wallets, laptop sleeves, headwear, outerwear, messenger bags, passport cases, and much more. They’ve also partnered with several cultural icons to create distinctive collections, such as those for Major League Baseball, Disney, and Coca-Cola. As these collections may be produced for limited periods, designs in these lines can become difficult to come by once they are no longer in production.

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Last updated on June 24, 2018 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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