Chances are, you’ve seen someone wearing a Herschel backpack. They have signature leather elements including zipper pulls and straps, depending on the series, and they always bear the company’s old-timey logo in a small white patch somewhere you can reasonably expect it to get seen.
The Heritage backpack is one of the company’s standards, as it likes to work with a limited number of different models and then change up the materials, patterns and colors in varying combinations to give shoppers ample choice. This fall, the Heritage got a Plus upgrade, which offers ample padding, both a dedicated iPad and a dedicated 15-inch laptop sleeve, and a mesh organizer pouch for easy visibility of its contents. The Heritage also has a dedicated separate shoe compartment, which is great for keeping your gym runners separate from your other stuff, and which folds flat if you want to use the full capacity of the bag’s main compartment for other gear.
Herschel has created a quality bag with the Heritage Plus, but that’s no surprise given its track record. The model we reviewed featured the eye-catching “geo” print, which is a little like camo but less obnoxious and far more appealing. The contrast black pocket sets off the look. The bag is comfortable when worn, even with a full complement of random gadget gear, a full-sized 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, an iPad Air and a pair of shoes. It’s also a fairly travel friendly bag, and should give you plenty of space for a couple of nights worth of stuff, without the checked baggage fee.
One thing Herschel doesn’t provide in its backpacks are the kinds of cross-chest and waist support straps you might be used to from hiking bags. It’s likely an aesthetic decision, and provided this isn’t a 60L hiking pack, or a camera bag, it’s not going to make much difference to your general comfort level. Herschel’s padded back and straps have a lot more of an impact on general comfort, and they succeed here.
The Heritage Backpack Plus is $74.99, which is more than your average JanSport, but there’s an attention to detail here that shines in overall product durability, having used Herschel backpacks for longer periods in the past. Their unique look is also a big reason to buy, but the features and comfort back up the asking price, in addition to the fashion aspects.