Try before you train... backpacks
From gym trips to long country hikes, team Cosmo test out the best bags to accompany you on all your adventures
Fjällräven Tree-Kånken, £120
This new Tree-Kånken model is made from 100% plant-based fabric. I used it as a gym bag – there are straps at the bottom for attaching a jacket or yoga mat, loops on the front for a bike light and a reflective logo. It’s got a large main compartment, front section and side water-bottle pocket, but I’d have liked a few smaller pockets as well. Claire, Editor-in-Chief
Patagonia Arbor Roll Top Pack
30L, £110 The Arbor’s vast main compartment rolls over and fastens with a clip – more streetwear than youth hostel. It’s got padded straps, zipped pockets for small items and loops to clip extras onto. I hate it when backpacks don’t have a side pocket for a water bottle, but this had two – so one extra for a small baguette. Or just me?
Hannah, Chief Sub-Editor
Eastpak Padded Pak’r, £45
Where was this backpack when I was a student? Not only does it feel like it’ll last for years, the price is great, too. Its padded shoulder straps meant I could stay surprisingly comfortable carrying a lot of camera gear. I do wish that it had an additional compartment inside to keep things a bit more organised, though. Tyra, Junior Video Editor/Producer
Millican The Core Roll Pack
20L, £80 I love this bag so much I have it in two colours – the sky blue is perfect for summer. It’s spacious, with a large main compartment, an inner laptop sleeve and lots of hidden pockets. I can confirm it’s faced both grubby pub floors and long hikes, and comes away from both unscathed. Oh, and it’s made from 100% recycled materials, too.
Sophie L, Bookings Editor
Rains Rolltop Rucksack, £89
Not only does it keep your belongings bone-dry – perfect for unpredictable weather – this bag also looks undeniably chic. It has an extra cross-body strap to help evenly distribute the load, plus a secret compartment at the back designed for storing your valuables. While the top clip is a little fiddly to open on the go, it does add extra security.
Natasha, Fashion Editor
Sandqvist Forest Hike, £179
This number has all of Sandqvist’s minimalist style creds, handy sleeve pockets and – most importantly for us serial over-packers – loads of space. As someone who likes to take a three-course meal, water, blister plasters and a change of top on most of my hikes, having this much room, as well as padded straps to stop chafing, is the dream.
Amy, Executive Editor
The North Face Borealis
Backpack, £90 I could pretty much fit my entire self into this bag. It has two large, deep compartments, a fleece-lined sunglasses pocket, a removable waist belt, reflective details for safety, a quick-draw smartphone access pocket and external bottle holders. Plus, it comes in four different shades, including this lush “Green Mist”. Jessica, Art Editor
Vans Karina Corduroy
Backpack, £37 This is the perfect everyday backpack – it’s got a laptop sleeve inside and an organiser pocket at the front (you’ll never lose your lip balm again). It fits all my essentials, and I love the gorgeous rust shade. A word of warning, though: the soft cord material might not hold up well in the rain. Rebecca,
Deputy Chief Sub-Editor