Herschel is the big name for backpacks this year, but if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd while still following the latest trends, Best Buy has plenty of other options for you. Plenty of other longstanding backpack companies like Burton and JanSport offer similar alternatives, in shades and designs that you can’t necessarily get in a Herschel bag.
If what you’re seeking is a classic zippered Herschel bag, the Burton Kettle backpack is a very close approximation. It comes in a wide variety of colours and fabrics, from a wine-red burgundy to a sandy brown. Most of the backpacks in the Kettle line feature a padded laptop pocket, an exterior pocket, and an interior pocket for things like smartphones and pens, but some of the bags come with extra bells and whistles.
This burgundy 20L backpack has a quilted exterior, for instance, and it has a padded, contoured shoulder harness designed specifically for women–so if you find that your backpacks are always too big or they squish you in strange places, you may want to check it out!
There’s also the black Burton Snake Mountain Backpack, which looks similar to a Herschel but has a bottom cooler compartment. It also features a 17″ laptop compartment in the back and a padded upper compartment with removable dividers (making it perfect for storing camera gear!)
My backpack doesn’t technically need replacing this season, but I totally have my eye on the Snake Mountain 23L. It’s at a great price point for a dedicated camera bag, and I love that it just looks like a regular backpack! Plus, being able to pack a lunch and carry your school notebooks or a laptop is handy for after-class photoshoots. If carrying around both a laptop and camera is too heavy, the multi-functional look means that you’ll be able to use the bag as a backpack throughout the week and a camera back on the weekends, which just adds another layer of versatility.
Like the classic Herschel bag, the above options from Burton feature a laser cut latch point on the front of the bag, so you can strap extra gear to your backpack if needed … or you can just let it hang out and look cool. If you’re not a fan of the latch point, though, I’d recommend opting for a simple JanSport SuperBreak 16.7″ Backpack instead. The bag’s silhouette is similar, with a lightweight design and a front pocket organizer, and it comes in cute colours like dark red and teal!
If you’re a fan of the Herschel Little America backpack rather than their Heritage bag, however, then you’re going to want something with straps. Don’t fret, though, because there are alternatives for those as well! The Burton Tinder backpack is a great option for a non-Herschel bag of this style, and it features a fold-over top with clasps in everything from a quilted red to a slate & teal mix.
(I actually prefer the Burton Tinder backpacks to the real thing, but shh, don’t tell the fashion police that!)
The Burton Tinder pack has that same great vintage design and drawstring closure, which Burton finishes off with a built-in laptop compartment and top accessory pocket. There’s even a small mesh pocket hidden away inside for holding smaller items, which can be very handy!
Even if you don’t get your hands on a Herschel bag this season, there are plenty of other alternatives and upgrades that you can find at Best Buy instead. These are just a few of my favourite options, but there are plenty more in the Best Buy backpacks section.