What's the new Fjallraven Kanken?
February 9, 2013 4:08 AM   Subscribe

East London filter: who makes backpacks practical enough for the gym but cool enough for a Hackney bar? Fjallraven is the obvious answer but literally everyone I know has one and it's getting out of hand.

I'm currently rocking two bags - one a tiny Coach handbag and one a generic tote full of gym stuff.

This is tiresome and I want to combine. I need a backpack which I won't be ashamed to be seen with a) at work b) at the gym or c) in a standard-issue pub.

The ubiqitous Fjallraven Kanken bag is the obvious, perfect answer, which is exactly why I can't just get one of those. Everyone else is way ahead of me on this one.

I can't find anything else I like, however, and I suspect I'm not looking in the right places.

So: what brands can I be looking at for an equally minimalist, stylish, understated alternative? I will use this thing every day of my life so am happy to spend anything up to ~£100 on it.

posted by citands to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
How about a Muji backpack?
posted by hazyjane at 4:25 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Herschel:Brooklyn::Fjallraven:Hackney.
posted by caek at 4:52 AM on February 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

I've been eyeing Scaramanga bags, made in Fife. A couple of friends have them and they're gorgeous, really solidly made.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:33 AM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Somewhat on the expensive side, Goruck's Echo seems to be very nice. They have larger ones too.

Also, The Wirecutter has a section with bags.
posted by Thug at 5:47 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have been seriously coveting the product of Etsy trader treesizeverse. Here's something that might fit the bill.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 6:15 AM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Similar to what E the 13th linked to -- bags from Archival Clothing. The cobalt haunts my dreams.
posted by kmennie at 7:20 AM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Any of these fit the bill?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:45 AM on February 9, 2013

I just came in to say Herschel - they're everywhere in Chicago.
posted by bibliogrrl at 10:49 AM on February 9, 2013

Maybe something from Kletterwerks?
posted by altcountryman at 6:08 PM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Herschel backpacks look fantastic and, to me, are the grown-up's Fjallraven Kanken.
posted by undue influence at 8:44 PM on February 9, 2013

Response by poster: Everyone, thank you - you have seriously excellent taste, there is something I love at all of these links.

But we can stop the bus, caek has it. Herschel is clearly the answer! Thank you, this is on its way to me right now.

And thank you, urbanwhaleshark, for introducing me to this, which is too expensive for an impulse purchase but will be this year's Christmas present to myself.
posted by citands at 7:10 AM on February 10, 2013

Late entry here in case others are interested:

Duluth packs (UK distributor) and US. Also UK brand Brady (eg Brady Pennine) - what the cool kids and Ben Affleck are buying. And UK brand Millican (eg Rob the Traveller, James the Duffle Bag).
posted by MuffinMan at 12:12 AM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

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