The big backpack roundup pt 1: Classic and heritage styles

It’s been a while now since I last posted a backpack guide so I thought it would make good seasonal reading. As we have previously established, the goal is to get away from the standard issue black nylon laptop-pack that you’ll typically be given at work. The sort of black hole of style and tast that listlessly hangs from the shoulder or sits on the dirty carriage floor, usually with at least one bust zip. That one, yes.

So without further ado, here are my picks for Backpacks of Autumn/Winter 2015!

Part two, covering modern styles, can be found here.

Part 1: Heritage and classic styles

Filson Rucksack


You can’t talk about backpacks and not include a Filson. This one is made from their heavy duty 22oz paraffin treated cotton twill. It’s dense, it’s strong and it’s water repellent. Symmetrical and retro-styled, with good leather details and brass buckles, this makes for a distinct and usable backpack. Two outside bellows pockets. Made in the USA and available in three different colours. Zip closing. [LINK]


Fjällräven Övik 15l backpack


When you think of Fjällräven and backpacks you’ll naturally think of the Kånken pack, that boxy little pack with the awful shoulder straps that has been remarkably popular for as long as I can remember. Swedish Fjällräven have been making backpacks since the 1960’s though and can make packs with a shape as well, such as this vintage styled one. This reminds me a lot of the old Nordic backpacks from WW2 and up, that rounded shape with the big side pockets. With the updated design, proper straps and fresh colour, this makes for a very attractive pack.  Available in three colours. [LINK]

Monty Carry-All Backpack


Yet another British made pack comes from Monty. Storm grey triple-layer canvas and mid-brown leather. An outside zipped pocket for small kit and a padded internal pocket that takes up to 17″ laptops and an additional pocket for a camera and so forth. Decent adjustable straps complete the picture. Also available in weatherproof bonded charcoal Yorkshire wool/black leather and Heritage Khaki/nut brown leather. [LINK]

Chapman Bags Border rucksack

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From Cumbria in Britain we have this classic heritage style daypack. British rugged, multilayered bonded cotton canvas provides a waterproof outer, nice leather trim and brass hardware gives nice detailing. There is 20 litres capacity in the single inside compartment.A nice alternative to the American variants! Also available in khaki. [LINK]

Home of Millican Dave the Rucksack

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Another of my old favourites is the Dave from Home of Millican. Maybe more of a hiking pack than commuting pack, it has great functionality and strong features. The outside is weatherproofed organic cotton canvas, the inside is recycled polyester and the leather is veg tanned. More pockets that you can shake a stick at (unless you’re a pro stick shaker). The main compartment is accessible from top and side. Good padded straps and more features. Available in two colours. [LINK]


Rooktown Backpack

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We’ve already had a look at packs inspired by vintage Nordic army packs, so how about a pack made of from a Swedish army knapsack from 1939? Cooktown take the original apart and remake it to a slightly smaller capacity and with different features. Takes the vintage style part to a different level. There are two inside pockets, one large enough for a 13″ laptop. The leather parts are original 1940’s pieces that have been refurbished. The thread and rivers are the only new parts used. Quirky but cool, and handmade in Sweden. [LINK]

Part two, covering modern styles, can be found here.


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