Trendy backpack or tote
May 1, 2012 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Trendy Backpack

I am looking for a trendy nice backpack or Tote (though i prefer backpack), basically for books and travel. The goal is not to get something that looks all overloaded and frumpy. The regular ones look really bulky once filled in. Are there any nice and unusual styles that are trendy? Bonus if i can carry it on my bike (i used to see these really cool messenger bags, they maybe small for my stuff, i need to get my laptop into it)

Thank you for your suggestions :)
posted by pakora1 to Shopping (19 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This is my current backpack, Mamba Shift in denim by Booq. It is very interesting, stylish and comfortable, and it's holding up well after about 6 months of constant use so far. It fits my 15" laptop in a padded compartment, and the non-laptop compartments can hold some useful stuff (like a lunch, a textbook or two, spare tootphaste) but not too much useful stuff. I find it comfortable to wear while riding my bike as well.
posted by permiechickie at 9:16 AM on May 1, 2012

Brooklyn Industries is my go-to for bags. The website is a little short on backpacks, but they look pretty sleek even with a bunch of shit in them, and are surprisingly tough.
posted by griphus at 9:16 AM on May 1, 2012

I've mentioned this one by Built NY before, it's neat, my husband has it.
posted by Dragonness at 9:18 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Longchamp Le Pilage tote is super trendy right now, but perhaps not quite what you're looking for. Is that look more like what you're interested in, though? Trendy rather than... well, rather than function-over-form?

If so, I know Longchamp does backpacks. These are also hot where I am at the moment, although I can't vouch for quality.
posted by AmandaA at 9:27 AM on May 1, 2012

Based on what you've described, you might like a Fjällräven Kånken.
posted by doomtop at 9:29 AM on May 1, 2012 [10 favorites]

I have the Buzz by Tom Bihn. It's a slingpack which makes it easy to put on and take off with one hand (perfect when commuting). It's profile is very slim and it has an internal compartment for a laptop.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:33 AM on May 1, 2012

Maybe Title Nine's 10 x 15 x 4.5-inch Breakneck Backpack? (the name is probably meant to refer to "breakneck speed")
posted by homelystar at 9:40 AM on May 1, 2012

I am a fan of Incase laptop bags, which I routinely use for non-laptop purposes, and which come in many sizes and colors. The laptop padding prevents it from bulking out. The downside is that you look like you might be lugging around a laptop, if that's a concern.

Anecdata: I have used slingpacks in the past, and while they look cool, the single cross-strap is not so practical in a lot of situations. It's not that easy or quick to pull your strap over your head every single time you want to wear it (you can't exactly one-shoulder slingpacks). Also, it's no fun to end up with strap-sweat across your chest. But that's just me.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:50 AM on May 1, 2012

If you're talking about sporty, corporate style, then there are some good answers above. My interpretation of 'trendy' would be closer to the girls-in-vintage-dresses-and-Oxfords-on-Dutch-bicycles aesthetic, in which case you might want to consider something like a leather satchel backpack. Also in style at the moment are unstructured canvas backpacks with leather detailing - I've seen loads of them around in clothing stores recently. Try looking at the 'backpacks' category of fashionable online stores like or search pinterest for 'backpacks' to get an idea of what's 'trendy'.
posted by lovedbymarylane at 9:50 AM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Whoops. Yeah, I totally thought you were a man, sorry.
posted by tracert at 10:15 AM on May 1, 2012

I've been incredibly happy with my Dakine day pack. it's small, slim, has a laptop pocket, is well-made and has worn really well. I use it for my walking commute to work, and it fits everything I need without looking bulky.

The trendiness of the patterns might be a little young - I'm not sure what kind of trendy you're looking for.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:24 AM on May 1, 2012

When you mentioned bike messenger bags, Timbuk2 and Chrome came to mind.
posted by bwilms at 10:58 AM on May 1, 2012

Try Vera Bradley!
posted by lotusmish at 11:21 AM on May 1, 2012

I really want a Duluth Scoutmaster or Daypack backpack, either of which might fit your requirements. They're a bit pricey though. The Fjallraven has a kind of similar look for a lot cheaper.

Also, Saddleback Leather have a backpack, but it costs ALL the money. There are probably other nice/pricey leather options too.
posted by Magnakai at 11:24 AM on May 1, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks so much, some great suggestions here.

The style and ones I really liked is this and this. Too expensive though, any cheaper options?
posted by pakora1 at 12:28 PM on May 1, 2012

Lululemon has two black backpacks that look quite a bit like the ones you just linked to, although slightly less minimalist and a fair bit cheaper (around $100), here and here. I have one of their other bags and the quality is really great.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 3:25 PM on May 1, 2012

I asked a similar question a few months back. I went for this Cote et Ciel 15" rucksack, and have been very very happy with my decision
posted by 0bvious at 3:28 PM on May 1, 2012

The Kanken backpacks are currently very trendy. I don't own one, but I know several people who are happy with them.
posted by insectosaurus at 5:47 PM on May 1, 2012

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