As borders reopen and wanderlust returns, discover the most stylish travel backpacks for women this autumn 2021…

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The daily commute. A trip to the gym. A weekend getaway … The backpack is a must-have item in the modern age. Convenient and stylish, they’re the ideal choice for lugging around essential items. Light, durable, and practical, they bestow an abundance of space and compartments to store items such as laptops, wallets or water bottles. As borders reopen and travel is now a reality once again, it’s time to have a look at the most stylish backpacks for women this autumn.

More of us are continuing to trade in our totes, shoulder bags and clutches for the faithful backpack. With this in mind, producers from small independents to iconic fashion houses are designing new styles in a range of shapes, sizes and colours. Or, simply giving a modern lease of life to an old classic. This means that we the wearers can pick a bag that suits our personality, needs and budget.

Be it canvas, cotton, leather, recycled water bottles, used tarpaulin or airbags, we’ve hunted down some of the most dashing and interesting backpacks on the market today. Bags that will make your hearts swoon and your shoulders happy on long travels. This is our roundup of the most stylish travel backpacks for women. If your wanderlust has returned and you need a fresh autumn look, read on…

Freitag F707 STRATOS airbag
Photography © Simon Habegger / Oliver Nanzig.

Freitag F707 STRATOS airbag

A We Heart go-to since 2017 when we first got our hands on an F512 VOYAGER travel backpack (which still serves us very well four years on), it’s only natural that we’d include their latest bag, the F707 STRATOS airbag, in our assembling of stylish backpacks for women.

The Zürich-based brand are best known for producing bags made from truck tarpaulin, breathing new life into used materials. However, these super-flexible new foldable backpacks are made using unused airbags. Slightly defected for saving lives, but perfect for saving your belongings, it’s another case of thoughtful upcycling from the Germans. The trusty tarpaulin makes a cameo appearance, too, providing a handy pocket at the front.

Spacious, these 18L bags boast a zippered main compartment, a pocket to the back for personal effects, and as already pointed out, a closing outer compartment under the tarp flap. Due to the ways the bags are made, each piece is unique. Discarded bicycle inner tubes, car seat belts, inner tubes and old tarp ensure that no two bags will ever be the same.

Whilst the airbag may no longer provide security on the road, what this bag will do is ensure a smooth journey whenever you’re carrying it. With an additional strap that enables it to be worn as a shoulder bag, this handy bag is nifty too. A lifesaver of a different kind.

Retailing at £160, this is the bag for your travel or everyday needs. Whether filling it with your laptop and office bits, your gym kit and boxing gloves, or cramming it full of stylish togs for a long weekend away with the girls. Pushing innovation and functionality, we can’t wait to see what this brand do next.

Daniel Chong Backpacks for Women

Made in Madrid, Spain, all Daniel Chong pieces are lined with recycled cotton and feature a scratchproof and waterproof vegan leather finish on the bottom of the bag.

Stylish and colourful, the backpacks typically comprise a pocket for magazines or books, and a front pouch ideal for housing all your necessary travel documents. Also items such as house keys, smartphone, and wallet. Inside the bag you’ll find space for a 13″ laptop as well as other day-to-day bits and pieces.

Whilst the larger bags can withstand up to 15kg, the smaller ones can hold up to 10kg, making this a quintessential carry-on for flying. Not only are these bags beautiful, they’re sustainable, top-notch quality and durable too. Moreover, available in a variety of colourways, shapes and sizes, no matter what your desire, there’s a Daniel Chong bag out there with your name on it..

Numon Large Backpack

This super-light backpack from Numon is perfect for day-to-day use as well as for travel. Big enough to fit a 15″ laptop, it also has enough space to pack a few essentials for a short break.

A zippered pocket is designed to store valuables: mobile, wallet and keys. Meanwhile, two inner and outer pockets add to its functionality. Made from reclaimed upholstery and fabrics made from recycled cotton, no two bags are the same. Additionaly, there’s an option to further ‘personalise’ your bag. You have the ability to choose your preferred outer fabric, lining, zip, and recycled cotton strip. This bag undoubtedly fits your individual style.

Produced in a small studio in Reus in Catalunya, Numon bags are crafted with both passion and love for our environment. Furthermore, they look damn great too. Comfortable yet hardy, Numon accessories combine practicality and beauty..

Ölend Backpacks

The perfect tool for the modern explorer, an Ölend backpack is your friend for life. Producing small amounts of high-quality pieces that are durable and designed to last, the Barcelona-based team blend sustainability, slow fashion, and timeless design. Which means their bags and other accessories are real keepers.

One of our favourites, the Tokio, is made from 100% tarpaulin and features adjustable natural leather straps. A laptop sleeve and small pocket can be found inside. And, with internal padding, you can rest assured that whatever’s inside will remain secure. Available in terracotta, piedra and black, with a white Ölend label on the side pouch, these urban handmade travel backpacks do not disappoint.

Fjällräven Kånken

Practical and dependable, no roundup of stylish travel backpacks for women would be complete without the inclusion of a Fjällräven. The Swedish brand of ‘outdoor’ goods focus on simplicity with all with typical Scandinavian flair you’d expect. Their backpacks are veritable classics.

From Daypacks, which come in a range of versatile styles and practical designs, to trekking, mountaineering, and travel bags. All Fjällräven backpacks are timeless and durable, but the style, material and functional details remain entirely personal. Furthermore, they’re available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. There’s also a price point to suit every budget.

The Kånken is a sure-fire classic, first launched in 1978. Made from hard-wearing Vinylon F, it is perfect for unfailing reliability and daily use for many years to come. Something which creates natural sustainability through longevity. If you haven’t already, treat yourself to one of these timeless icons. You’ll thank yourself a long time from now.

Matt & Nat Bremen Backpack

Living by the motto to “live beautifully”, Canadian brand Matt & Nat incorporate social responsibility, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, authenticity and love in their designs. These values are never more apparent than with the Bremen Vegan Vintage Backpack, one of the very best travel backpacks for women.

The Bremen features a two-way metal zip closure that extends to bottom gusset, a top handle, adjustable shoulder straps padded for extra comfort, and a metal zip pocket to the exterior. Available in four colours, this backpack also comprises of interior lining page from 100% recycled water bottles, making this piece completely vegan and cruelty-free.

This environmentally friendly bag is 13″ in length by 16.5″ high with a 5.75″ depth. It comfortably fits a 15″ laptop, whilst the padded sleeve and tab closure ensure its safety. Furthermore, there’s also enough space for your smartphone, wallet and keys in the interior zipper pocket.

Lastly, the Bremen is just the right size to throw in a change of clothes for a short trip. This vintage piece will make you the envy of all of your fellow travellers. Don’t even get us started on Matt & Nat’s other excellent products…

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