Since its inception in 2009 by Jamie and Lyndon Cormack, the Canadian Herschel Supply Company has made quite an impression on the market with its iconic backpacks that meld fashion with utility.
Boasting a lineup of bags that can handle a multitude of scenarios, from academic hallways to sandy shores, Herschel has established itself as a go-to brand for consumers seeking both style and substance in their carry-ons.
The brand has become synonymous with a particular kind of urban cool, appealing to those who favor a blend of vintage feel with modern functionality.
However, for those who appreciate Herschel’s aesthetic and practicality but are on the search for alternative brands that echo a similar vibe, there is no shortage of options.
The marketplace hosts a variety of other brands that have managed to carve out their own space with offerings that parallel Herschel’s dedication to durability and design, all at prices that won’t break the bank.
Among the myriad choices, brands like Sandqvist, Fjällräven, and Rains stand out, each bringing their unique take on the backpack and bag scene, thus providing consumers with ample opportunities to diversify their wardrobe accessories.
Let’s explore them in more detail!
- 1. Sandqvist
- 2. RAINS
- 3. Fjällräven
- 4. Côte&Ciel
- 5. Tretorn
- 6. Topo Designs
- 7. JanSport
- 8. Timbuk2
- 9. MeroMero
Sandqvist official website
Swedish-founded Sandqvist has cemented its position in the market with a blend of functional design and eco-conscious materials. Established in 2004 by a trio of lifelong friends, the company emphasizes durable, yet fashionable outdoor essentials that respect environmental principles.
- Roald Ground Series Backpack:
- Materials: Organic cotton, recycled polyester, leather accents
- Capacity: Accommodates a 15-inch laptop
- Design: Ample main compartment and dual zippered external pockets
- Aesthetic: Urban appeal suitable for professional and leisure settings
Sandqvist backpacks stand out for their unique combination of utility and aesthetic appeal, marking them as an excellent choice for those in pursuit of a reliable bag that doesn’t compromise on looks.
Sandqvist’s fusion of usability with sustainable practices offers a compelling alternative for the eco-conscious traveler and professional alike.
Don’t miss: 7 Backpack Brands from Sweden: Our Favorites
RAINS backpacks official website
Originating from Denmark, the RAINS brand emerged in 2012 with a focus on producing waterproof attire and accessories that couple elegance with practicality, perfect for days when the weather turns sour.
Their assortment of backpacks stands out with their sleek and refined design, ensuring a sophisticated yet functional choice for consumers who prioritize staying chic while safeguarding their belongings from wet conditions.
Their Trail Mountaineer Bag has gained attention as a versatile option for both wilderness adventurers and urban explorers, catering to all genders. It boasts a variety of shades, ample storage space including a secure laptop section, and external cords for additional carrying capacity, enhancing its utility.
Characterized by its versatile aesthetics that blend well with city life and natural settings, the Trail Mountaineer backpack is an exquisite pick for those who commute to work during the week yet enjoy hiking escapades with friends over the weekend.
Fjallraven Re-Kanken backpack – official website
Established in 1960, the Swedish label Fjällräven originated in the town of Örnsköldsvik to enhance outdoor experiences through straightforward, functional apparel and gear that honor environmental values.
A diverse selection of lifestyle offerings from Fjällräven includes trousers, outerwear, rucksacks, and additional equipment. Their rucksacks stand out for their robustness, apt for a variety of conditions.
Kånken Backpack: A signature piece, the Kånken, launched in Sweden in 1978, crafted from a sturdy material called Vinylon F to aid in preventing back issues in schoolchildren.
- Design Features:
- Shape: Rectangular with complete zip-open capability
- Front Pocket: Generous size for extra storage
- Carrying System: Adjustable shoulder straps and a practical top handle
- Weather Resistant: Protects objects from rain
- Aesthetic: Merging modern vibes with a touch of vintage, it’s available in more than 40 colors, striking a balance between functionality and fashion.
The brand is recognized for its minimalist yet appealing design sensibility. The Kånken has evolved into a cultural icon, known for safeguarding essentials like laptops and tablets in any weather, delivered in an array of vibrant colors that cater to different tastes.
Côte&Ciel official website
Established in the heart of France‘s capital city in 2008, the Paris-based brand, Côte&Ciel, is renowned for crafting exceptional travel gear that champions modern design principles. Their products, an array of travel-centric bags and accessories, are celebrated for their future-forward appearance and practicality.
The brand’s philosophy embraces the fusion of collective creativity and aligned philosophies. Collaborations with globally recognized brands and designers underscore their commitment to this creative synergy.
A look through their product line reveals a selection of backpacks and related accessories that appeal to both functionality and aesthetic flair. Pricing for these backpacks commences at a baseline of approximately $200, indicative of the quality and endurance these items are designed to deliver.
The brand caters to an audience seeking innovation in their travel and self-expression needs, attracting not only creative industry professionals but also those who have a penchant for avant-garde design.
Tretorn official website
Tretorn, a heritage Swedish label, has been in the fashion game since the late 19th century. Catering to the demands of harsh Nordic climates, their product line emphasizes durability and smart design, featuring items such as robust footwear, protective rainwear, and versatile backpacks.
Particularly noteworthy is the Wings Daypack by Tretorn. Fashioned from water-repellent polyester, this backpack features cushioned shoulder straps for enhanced comfort. It’s specifically designed with ample space, boasting a dedicated compartment for laptops and a smaller one for personal items like keys or wallets.
External features include dual side pockets with drainage capability, ensuring swift drying. With a carrying capacity of 16 liters, the Wings daypack serves equally well for everyday activities or travel purposes.
Designed with aesthetics in mind, yet without sacrificing practicality, Tretorn backpacks strike a fine balance between function and fashion. Their products generally come at prices that won’t break the bank and are often available at reduced rates during sales events.
6. Topo Designs
Topo Designs’ official website
Topo Designs emerged from the aspirations of outdoor aficionados Jedd Rose and Mark Hansen, who held a deep respect for the wilderness and a need for reliable outdoor equipment. Their vision was to meld timeless aesthetics with practicality and resilience, ensuring a bond between the user and their possessions.
The journey began in 2008 when Rose took to his Fort Collins basement with a newly purchased sewing machine to start crafting backpack designs. Concurrently, Hansen scoured Denver to find like-minded businesses interested in collaboration.
They eventually partnered with fledgling Colorado companies that were eager to shape their budding enterprises cooperatively, leading to the conception of Topo Designs’ inaugural product line.
The philosophy at the core of Topo Designs is the creation of gear that’s not only visually appealing and functionally versatile but also hard-wearing, ideal for urban escapades, trekking trails, or globe-trotting adventures. The brand is committed to delivering high-quality products that users can depend on.
Topo Designs’ pricing is competitive, aligning with market counterparts. The array of backpack options accommodates different budgets without compromising on style or substance.
The Topo Designs Mountain Pack, a prime example of the brand’s offerings, encapsulates their approach with its straightforward, well-constructed design, meant to serve as a trusted companion on any journey.
JanSport official website
Founded in 1967 in Seattle, the company JanSport emerged from the collaboration of three friends: Murray Pletz, his partner Janis Lewis, and his cousin Skip Yowell. The inception of JanSport was marked by Pletz’s innovative design of a backpack frame utilizing aluminum, which earned him recognition from the Alcoa Company.
Pletz had vowed to name the enterprise after Janis should his backpack design achieve success, which it certainly did. The trio endorsed their backpacks within the mountaineering community, facilitating annual climbs such as the 1972 ascent of Mount Rainier.
These events, primarily fueled by Yowell’s passion for nature, fostered camaraderie through group mountain climbing, a tradition that JanSport proudly upholds as record-setters for such events.
By 1986, JanSport had joined the VF Corporation, broadening its reach beyond avid backpackers and climbers. JanSport backpacks have since gained significant traction among students for their robust and capacious design, ideal for transporting academic essentials. This reputation has solidified JanSport as a go-to brand for students’ backpack needs.
Timbuk2 official website
Timbuk2 emerged from the vibrant urban scene of San Francisco in 1989, the brainchild of a cycle messenger, Rob Honeycutt. His vision was to take the useful features of the bags used by messengers and make them available to a wider audience. What began in the Mission District with the iconic Classic Messenger Bag has transformed into a symbol of urban adaptability.
The company is not just about bags; it’s a symbol for a community traversing metropolitan challenges with agility. With a promise to eschew landfill waste, Timbuk2 stands out for its environmentally aware practices, repurposing old bags since 2014. The brand champions sustainability by teaming up with The Renewal Workshop to rejuvenate bags that can’t be repaired or donated.
Timbuk2’s pledge to durability is as solid as its commitment to eco-friendliness. Each bag is fashioned from sustainable materials and is accompanied by a lifetime warranty, thanks to rigorous durability tests. They pride themselves on crafting products that endure the rigors of daily life while also expressing the wearer’s unique style.
Design innovation is at the heart of Timbuk2’s ethos, employing a diverse set of designers with expertise in various design fields. This infusion of fashion, industrial, and outdoor design expertise ensures their bags are not only unique but multifunctionally suited for everyday wear, promising a blend of individuality and utility.
MeroMero official website
MeroMero has been influential in the market since its inception in 2016, creating sophisticated yet durable bags, backpacks, and accessories. These products cater to the dynamic lifestyles of urban adventurers and new parents, aiming to blend functionality with eco-conscious design.
Crafted with sustainability at their core, MeroMero’s offerings are designed in Annecy, France, and they place great importance on ethical production practices in Vietnam and Europe. Longevity is a key consideration, with items intended to endure diverse life adventures.
The brand is a unique fusion of outdoor, cycling, fashion, and childcare markets, highlighting its commitment to innovative and multifunctional designs. Their approach includes using certified sustainable materials, engaging in responsible manufacturing, optimizing low-impact logistics, and collaborating with like-minded partners.
The accessibility of MeroMero’s pricing adds appeal, offering products at prices that don’t exceed $100, making the brand’s smart, stylish gear a go-to choice for conscious users looking to maintain an active lifestyle.