backpack backpack, backpack backpack, yeah!
January 2, 2012 12:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a good and sturdy book bag like this one that I can use as a purse after I graduate.

I am looking for a sturdy but stylish book bag to take with me to grad and elementary school. I love this bag from B&N because it's just the right size (14x14x4) and the fabric and handles seem very stalwart. Canvas seems to hold up best against all the junk I gotta carry. The thing is that I don't like that ginormous logo, though. Ultimately I carry a fairly hefty binder, at least one textbook, my iPad, and my phone/wallet/keys/chapstick with me, and I'd get a backpack but I haven't found one that I like. (Then again, I tend to look in the little kid's section because I want a Batman backpack super bad but those are all so small.)

Where then can I find something similar, preferably in canvas, that's the above size or slightly larger for less than $50? The B&N one is $35 ish but I don't know if it's in stock in the brick and mortar stores anymore. Thank you!

Yes, I've looked at Timbuk2. No good canvas bags. :(
posted by These Birds of a Feather to Shopping (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What about the totes offered by Land's End or LL Bean (I think this one looks very professional)? I've bought other bags from Land's End and the construction and durability have been fabulous. My dad still has a canvas bag I bought him 20 years ago, and he used it to stow his gear when he went to sea 6 months of the year. I bought a canvas purse from Lands End at least 15 years ago, and even though it saw daily use for about 5 years, is still going strong.
posted by angiep at 12:32 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

An LL Bean one with your initials would be just the thing.
posted by devymetal at 1:27 AM on January 2, 2012

How about a Crumpler tote bags - the line is called "Headaitch"? (Not the messenger bags).

I find the Crumpler stuff fairly indestructible so it will last. If you look around, you should be able to find the medium ones for $50 in the older colours, or small new ones are $50 (see here). Most of the new ones are plain colours, old ones are either two or three different colours.

Medium is 16 x 12 x 9 inches, small is 12 x 10 x 6 inches.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:00 AM on January 2, 2012

There are a ton of canvas totes and messenger bags on Etsy.
posted by justonegirl at 2:09 AM on January 2, 2012

Chicago's lovely Levenger store would be my choice for things like this, mainly because the quality of their gear is so high. (They will also ship across the bloody ocean, which I have grown to appreciate lately.)

Here's one that looks a lot like your example, and there are a dozen more if you click around. Something black and/or leathery like this might be even better for your new life.
posted by rokusan at 4:21 AM on January 2, 2012

Klein Tool Bags may not suit your style, and the carry handles are usually too small to get over your shoulder, but they're about as durable and practical as canvas bags come.
posted by caek at 5:37 AM on January 2, 2012

Yeah, I think the LL Bean Boat and Tote Bag is the ur-canvas tote - it's even the icon for the shopping cart on their website. The B&N bag you were looking at is right between the medium and large sizes, which are $25 and $30 (without any extras). You can also get zip-top and custom versions.

As for durability, my family has had several of these for 20-30 years now and they're still going strong.
posted by clerestory at 6:08 AM on January 2, 2012

Another option, if the B&N bag is what you really want, is just to have someone crafty sew a piece of matching canvas over the logo. Simple and cheap.
posted by fake at 6:15 AM on January 2, 2012

Overland Equipment.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:21 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Duluth Trading, whose quality is if anything superior to Land's End and L.L. Bean, has a variety of totes as well.
posted by dhartung at 9:41 AM on January 2, 2012

I have been carrying one of these for years (as a bookbag through high school and college, and as a purse thereafter).

Marimekko also makes a bunch of other great bags.
posted by bubukaba at 10:24 AM on January 2, 2012

Thanks all! I ended up striking a goldmine at both Roxy and Urban Outfitters of all places and am going with this full-on backpack instead.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:05 PM on January 15, 2012

I lied. I got the b&n bag. It's glorious.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:06 PM on February 18, 2012

« Older All Aboard the U.S.S. Las Vegas!   |   A little help on a statistics paper on inflation... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.