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Every time we visit a Herschel Supply store, we’re greeted with an ever-expanding range of purpose-built backpacks for pretty much any occasion. From mini backpacks to larger, carry-on-friendly models, the Vancouver-founded company creates and builds on their classic designs, changes colour-ways and patterns, all the while with sustainability in mind.

We received two of their latest backpacks, ideal for holiday gifting in two classic styles: Little America and Retreat Small (in a super-cute wintry spruce and plaid combo!).

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Herschel’s Retreat Backpack is made using 100% EcoSystem recycled post-consumer water bottles, has an easily accessible front pocket for keys, transit pass or smart phone, two side pockets (one elasticated for carrying a water bottle) plus an interior padded sleeve that fits a 13” to 14” laptop.

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[Retreat Backpack, Small, in Darkest Spruce Winter Plaid]

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The shoulder pads are EVA-padded for comfortable walks, school, work, travel and daily errands around town. To open the main compartment, you pull on the black tab while grasping the inside back of the bag, then pull again on both the tab and drawstring cord to close.

It takes some getting used to, but it’s a sturdy closure system (recently added to their packs).

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Two faux-leather straps with gold buckles have magnetic closures that when lifted reveal two Herschel-branded gold magnetic buttons that solidly click into place (giving us some peace of mind when we’re in crowded areas).

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It’s a great everyday bag that’s lightweight and easy to wear. We would love to see this backpack evolve to include additional interior sleeves or pockets for small items such as lip balm, a comb, sunnies or other personal items.

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– 15.5″ (H) x 11″ (W) x 5.5″ (D)
– 17L capacity

The Retreat Backpack is available in 13 different colour combinations and in a few sizes and styles. $95 CAD/$80 USD

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Herschel began with the Little America backpack and over the years has built several sizes and collections around this iconic design. We’ve owned a Little America for years on end, probably since 2009, the year it was launched! The Heavyweight Canvas (in Black or Natural) continues the tradition, adding dual water bottle side pockets and genuine leather straps and detailing for added luxury.

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The 24-ounce cotton canvas is resin-coated for durability and the roomy interior sleeve will fit a 15” to 16” laptop. The front buckle-closure pocket and drawstring cord sport a nice leather adjuster and cord tab at the end.

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Even the label is made of leather! A lot of thoughtful details have gone into this bag and we know how much can fit into this bag on travels, making it the ideal carry-on partner.

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Although we’re missing that standard interior key clip from this version, we did notice the leather straps underneath the main compartment have a set of additional snaps on each side, to give the bag some allowance for carrying taller items inside.

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There’s also nicely padded adjustable shoulder straps with antique-designed brass hardware that complements the metal pin buckles on front.

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– 19.25″ (H) x 11.25″ (W) x 7″ (D)
– 25L capacity

$210 CAD/$198 USD

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Herschel products include a 30-day return policy and limited lifetime warranty. Visit Herschel Supply online for the entire range of backpacks, as well as travel accessories, apparel and a complete line of kids items.

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