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Help me find a smart backpack!

(43 Posts)
Feelingchipper Tue 27-Dec-16 19:23:32

As a mum with 2 children, these days I just tend to go for a backpack rather than a smart handbag plus baby bag or whatever. I've been using my small size camping rucksack forever and would like a style upgrade!

Can anyone suggest a smart but spacious backpack with a decent number of compartments/sections? And for under £100 or thereabouts ideally? I've had a look at the Cambridge Satchel sale but their backpacks don't look particularly roomy and I won't be able to organise all my bits and bobs in one of those. The larger size ones are a bit more than I want to spend really too, but I could push the boat out for something perfect that I'll get loads of use out of.

I frequently use my current backpack for weekend trips with the kids (packed to bursting and with the older child also carrying a small backpack). Therefore I'd really love something properly spacious so I can us the one bag for all my day to day needs and short trips!

Pumpkintopf Tue 27-Dec-16 19:26:00

Monsoon/Accessorize have some nice ones in the sale - not sure if they're big enough for what you need though...

Pumpkintopf Tue 27-Dec-16 19:27:07

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 27-Dec-16 19:32:20

Samsonite seem really well made and comfortable. They have one which expands.

PiafPilaf Tue 27-Dec-16 19:33:54

How about a Cath Kidston one? They have some really lovely and practical ones. Or the Radley sale is on at the moment and they have good ones. Their outlet shops are fab too!

BikeRunSki Tue 27-Dec-16 19:34:48

The female lead in the Simon Pegg film "Man Up" has exactly the rucksack I think you're describing, because I want it too! No idea where it's from though.

fluffiphlox Tue 27-Dec-16 19:35:55


Janek Tue 27-Dec-16 19:36:25

I love jack wolfskin rucksacks - they are actually designed to be comfortable, rather than just a rucksack-shaped bag. My dds are on their second ones (now they have grown, so can carry slightly bigger ones, and their first ones were such a success) and i have one too.

They have traditional style ones and more stylish ones too.

squiz81 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:55:40

These may be over budget but are nice

I got one from Amazon for about £25 I think the make was bebemour. I love it, really roomy but with enough compartments. It is a baby changing bag, but doesn't look like one.

veryveryquietly Wed 28-Dec-16 06:58:48

Mandarina Duck make some really nice ones but you have to look out for the sales as some are are crazily expensive (esp now that the pound is so weak). You can also sometimes get some for a lot less on Amazon or Ebay.

Maybe the green version of this is the one from the film still above?

Feelingchipper Wed 28-Dec-16 06:59:30

Thanks, some great suggestions!

Those who use rucksacks, where do you keep your valuables? It really gets most goat that they generally don't make women's clothes with pocketses!

Gingernut81 Wed 28-Dec-16 07:12:31

I got this for Christmas and it seems quite good

Rootvegetables Wed 28-Dec-16 07:19:15

I got a kanken one for Christmas and love it! It has an inside pocket in the main bit which is where I keep valuables.

SillySongsWithLarry Wed 28-Dec-16 07:23:51

I have a Cath Kidston backpack it's great. Roomy, lots of pockets and a bonus slim laptop pocket at the back which I use for storing paperwork and documents nicely.

MumUndone Wed 28-Dec-16 07:32:50

I have a Kipling one which I really like. it's small but fits quite a bit.

pixie32 Wed 28-Dec-16 07:41:33

I was given this bag by my friends when I was pregnant with ds2, I absolutely love it.

Feelingchipper Wed 28-Dec-16 07:49:21

Pixie ooh I do like the full zip opening around the main compartment. Can you explain the foam seat cushion? Do you actually ever use it for sitting on?

SarahMused Wed 28-Dec-16 07:50:23

Try they are theft proof with a zip against your bag but look very smart. The availability seems a bit random but I have had a black leather one for over two years and it has worn well

bingohandjob Wed 28-Dec-16 07:55:06

Have you considered a kanken? I use a big one for walk into/from work and it's great - really simple design, zip opens all the way round so when you lay it on table, opens like suitcase and you can get at everything..I've used it for day trips with packing cubes (ebags on Amazon) if you want more order. I have one with padded straps and honestly, the comfiest backpack I've worn and since using it no shoulder ache. And you can carry by top handles,grab bag style.

bingohandjob Wed 28-Dec-16 07:59:36

Just saw previous message...I use the seat pad ALL THE TIME. Just yesterday, walk in the park and all the cafe seats, park benches were frosted over so out came the seat pad to envy of friends. I travelled across Europe this summer and used it pretty much every day at parks, beaches, waiting in airports etc....and saw loads of folk in Scandi countries doing same. You can get mini kanken for little ones, too.- don't normally go for that cutesy kid/adult matching thing but these are so practical and robust I think they're great. They were originally designed as school bags so specifically to help avoid back pain/be comfy to carry. Definitely get padded shoulder straps though!

pixie32 Wed 28-Dec-16 08:03:40

Oh my gosh I just realised I took the cushion out and through it away... I thought it was packaging blush

LadyLothian Wed 28-Dec-16 08:47:02

I'm in love with the Kanken in violet/purple! A seat pad did you say... grin

I'm disabled and need a bag for work that holds a lot but doesn't hurt. That looks perfect for me.

Thanks for starting this thread op.

pippinchipeater Wed 28-Dec-16 10:27:34

I loved my kanken but found it just wasn't big enough to carry all my shit 😂, I now have a 22l sandquvist which sounds massive but is actually still stylish, it's about 140 though I think.

squiz81 Wed 28-Dec-16 10:47:57

I keep my phone the pocket at the back which is zipped up and against my back. And my purse in the main compartment .

For me the advantage of a baby change one is the special clips which allow me to hang it on the buggy. If you're past the buggy stage though that obviously won't be a deal breaker!

bingohandjob Wed 28-Dec-16 10:48:50

pippin...I've got the kanken big after trying my friend's classic which I quickly found wasn't big enough for lugging winter loads. Suffice to say, she now wants a big!

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