Swim kit could go in a bag that she wears messenger bag style. Shouldn't be too heavy.
I'd go for that bag if she really likes it. To get them to wear a rucksack happily is rather a bonus. Waterproofness could be dealt with, with a compact umbrella.
I think how much they carry depends on the school. Dd has some good old fashioned (but heavy) text books and needs a dictionary and giant folder for French. Some of the schools around here like their kids to have tablets (of the electonic variety) to lug around too.
A big argument against a giant bag apart from the ergonomics is that things get crushed and lost in there. A smaller bag means that books have to be stacked more neatly to fit in. I'm almost talking myself in to getting dd to swap her bag for something less gigantic.
That's a helpful point about the lunchbox, DD wants a huge lunchbox with lots of slots like her friend & I don't want such a pointless contraption (she eats a max 3 small things for lunch!), so I can point out it won't fit in the AS bag with what else she needs. DD swears blind she's seen her friend's Anna Smith bag & it's same size as the bag she has now (falling apart, and I know would have been big enough for DS when he was in y7).
I am wildly against any sort of shoulder bag (unless something complicated like the instrument to carry, too).
Dd's timetable came in post yesterday, quite surprising. A lot of days she has only 3 subjects (so, eg, maths-science-tutor-science-lunch-double history), so that cuts down a lot on how much she'll be carrying, too. PE kit will live at school, although swim kit may have to be lugged back & forth 1-2 days a week.
Dd got an Anna Smith holdall today (cant manage a rucksack as she has heavy instruments to carry that she carries in a gig bag ruck stack style) Hers is made of oil cloth. It looks pretty good for £15. Fairly sturdy, probably quite waterproof and will hold millions of stuff. The rucksacks were very cute but didnt look waterproof at all and probably wouldn't hold a Year 7s amount of stuff, especially if they have packed lunch.
Books would be unusual in my experience (DS also in y8). Primark & Topshop are selling decent old-fashioned style backpacks, I think teens will bring them back into fashion, actually (but DD may not be there with me yet).
It looks a bit small for all the books she will need to carry around in secondary. They may have to carry say 3 exercise or textbooks at a time along with their pencil case, planner, phone, purse, toiletries etc.
You can get bags that style but a little larger which would be better.
It looks a good compromise between trendy and practical considering it is a rucksack. I'm afraid now your DD is secondary you are unlikely to persuade her into anything more back-friendly.
DD likes this. Anyone's DD got one and would parents recommend? I am concerned that it's lots of little pockets but a small main pocket lousy for big notebooks or other stuff. How waterproof or durable are they?