I received these products at no cost to facilitate my review.
Herschel Supply Co. is based out of Vancouver, BC. You’ve probably seen their backpacks around: they’re mega popular. You might not know that they make a whole lot more than just backpacks! We got to try out a bunch of Herschel products to help us get back to school and kick it old school this fall.
I’ve had my eye on Herschel Supply Co.’s iconic backpack for some time now. It’s just so … hip! I love the simplicity of the design and the lack of flashy branding. If you’re like me, you choose things for your children that you would have wanted for yourself as child. (This would explain my husband’s Cub’s LEGO collection.)
The Herschel Heritage Kids Backpack & Pop Quiz Lunch Bag
When I completed Cub’s registration for preschool this year, his teachers told me he would need a slightly larger backpack than his Owl Skip Hop bag he’s had since birth. His new pack would need to accommodate an 8.5″ x 11″ folder that he will be bringing to and from class. Perfect excuse to get him a Herschel Heritage Kids backpack! It’s simply a miniature version of Herschel’s classic Heritage backpack, and it’s ultra cool. The Heritage Kids backpack is 13″ tall, 9.5″ wide and 3.75″ deep, with a 9 L capacity. It’s recommended for kids aged three to six.
Cub is in love with his backpack. It may be the way I convince him he’s excited about going to preschool. He always wants to carry it! He was even stopped during our walk by an elderly lady who wanted to tell him what a nice backpack he had. The base of the backpack is synthetic leather, which I really appreciate because he’s going to put his bag down in a puddle at least once this year. The straps are padded and he tells me it’s very comfortable to carry. At his age and size, he will be toting minimal weight on his back anyway.
It is plenty large enough for his preschool snack, drink and his home correspondence folder. The front pocket is substantial—great for his Hot Wheels! If he had to pack a full lunch, he’d likely carry it separately in his lunch bag, rather than putting the lunch bag inside the backpack (because there would be no room for anything else). We received the Pop Quiz insulated lunch bag to match his backpack:
The Pop Quiz has an easy-to-clean inner and has room for a sandwich container and a snack or small water bottle.
The Herschel Heritage Youth Backpack
Herschel also sent us their Heritage Youth backpack which is designed for kids aged seven and up. It has an inner laptop pouch, headphone socket and an inner pocket for a water bottle. It has a large and wide front pocket with room for your wallet, keys and phone, plus an additional slim pouch at the front for your bus pass (or in my case … nursing pads). Having grown up in Vancouver, I appreciate the waterproof zipper detail.
Guess who’s using the Youth-sized pack? Me. It is an awesome daypack for this wannabe hipster mama. I can fit sunscreen, bug spray, diaper-changing supplies, a full change of clothes for each kid and snacks in this 16 L bag.
Herschel also makes pencil cases! I can stow our cloth wipes and bum spray in the Settlement Case until my boy actually needs to bring his own school supplies to class. Okay, I’m lying. I am keeping it for my own pens and pencils. (I kind of love stationary.)
We also love using the Youth-size Heritage backpack for the library. I was surprised at how many books we could fit inside. Naturally, it’s too heavy for Cub to lug, but as previously mentioned, I feel pretty trendy carrying those navy and white stripes myself.
The Herschel Seventeen Hip Pack
In case you wondered, I am saving the best for last. When I was perusing Herschel’s website (easily the hippest brand website I have ever perused), I discovered something I did not know they made. The HIP PACK! Okay, let’s not kid ourselves, I grew up calling this purse that you wear around your waist a fanny pack. I had a black one with neon pink piping, emblazoned with “Whistler.” I still remember picking it out in Whistler Village. My mom had to tie knots in the belt to get it small enough to go around me. I rocked it on our family trip to China.
My Herschel Seventeen Hip Pack may not have neon pink piping, but it does have something I thought fanny packs could never have: style.
I cannot believe I have lived for four years as a parent without a Hip Pack. Particularly four years as a baby-wearing parent. Yes, you can wear a backpack when you’ve got baby on your front. That’s what I’ve always done, and it’s what I will keep doing when I need to have more than minimal supplies with me. But I don’t need the whole diaper bag when we’re at the library or the grocery store. I wear leggings. Leggings don’t have pockets. Where am I supposed to put my phone? Sometimes I tuck it into the waistband of my carrier. Sometimes I tuck it into the waistband of my leggings. In both cases, it slides out … sometimes into my pants, which is … awkward. What about my keys? Well, I have a lanyard which my child uses to try to strangle me. Or I toss my keys onto the passenger seat while I’m getting the kids buckled in, and have, through some kind of good karma, not yet locked them inside the car. What about my money? Well, if I need to carry money with me, then I’ve got to go into the store with the whole diaper bag since that’s where my wallet is, because if I carry my wallet in one hand and hold my son’s hand with the other, how do I carry the groceries or push the cart?
Herschel’s Seventeen Hip Pack has plenty of room for my sunglasses, wallet and massive phone (I have an iPhone 6+). If I also need to bring the diaper bag, then I just keep “my stuff” around my waist. If we go into a store, I can leave the diaper bag in the car. I tried using a small purse for my belongings, but with the carrier on, the strap always slid off my shoulder, and it was awkward to wear the strap across my body while wearing Little Miss Cub. A small backpack is fine—unless you’ve got a human on your back.
I can even fit the bare necessities for the baby in my Seventeen. If I put her in an all-in-two diaper, I can bring a clean insert in an AppleCheeks Mini Zip (and use that to stow the dirty insert if necessary), and I can put cloth wipes and bum spray (which doubles as hand sanitizer) in my Öko pouch, which has a section for the clean wipes and a section for the dirty ones. If you use disposable wipes and diapers, you can easily fit a small wipes case and a few diapers in there! Even with all that, I can still carry my keys, wallet, phone and sunglasses.
When I head up to the cash register to pay, it’s just so freaking practical to have my money right there on my hip. Pumping gas? No more forgetting my wallet on top of the car, or shoving my credit card into my jacket pocket and forgetting it there … and cancelling it and ordering a new one thinking I’ve lost it. When I get to the car, I am not fumbling around for my keys. At the playground or water park I can keep my valuables close without needing to wear a backpack the whole time. When I go to our community garden, I tend to leave my phone and keys in a pile next to our plot (again, leggings don’t have pockets). Now I don’t have to! (I can also store my handy-dandy gardening knife in my pouch, since sticking a knife into the waistband of my leggings or baby carrier seems unwise.)
I am ridiculously absentminded and have become even more so now that I am constantly trying to keep two additional humans in sight in busy parking lots and while crossing the street. With my Hip Pack secured around my waist, baby strapped to my chest and preschooler holding my hand, I’m unstoppable. (Except when I forget I’m wearing it and think I’ve lost all my belongings … )
When I’m not babywearing, I can also wear my Hip Pack across my body like a purse. At first it felt weird to wear it around my waist when I didn’t also have a carrier on … but now I’m addicted to the convenience of having everything I need attached to my hip.
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