Skip to content
The Herschel Little America Backpack Review

The Herschel Little America Backpack Review

This bag is simple and stylish, drawing inspiration from classic mountaineering packs. The Little America has all the vintage details without any of the fuss. The exterior straps look fiddly to use, but they don’t actually require any unbuckling. Strong metal magnets sit underneath the flaps so it’s not difficult at all to open and close the bag.

What makes the Little America even more user-friendly, is that you don’t even need to unzip the main compartment. The drawstring closure means you can grab things quickly, and ensures that nothing falls out the top of the bag.

All Little America backpacks are constructed from thick nylon, so they are durable and easy to clean. Spray on a coat of Scotch Guard every couple of months to extend the life of the bag even further. The base is heavily padded, which gives the backpack stability and helps it to sit upright. This is beneficial when popping it down on hard surfaces because items at the bottom remain protected.

The generous 23.5-litre volume of this backpack makes it quite big and tall. If you’re a bit shorter, you might find that the 17-litre Mid-Volume Herschel Little America backpack is more suitable. The design details are the same, but with a slightly smaller laptop sleeve. The mid-size is best with a 13-inch laptop but a 15-inch will still fit in the sleeve nicely, with about an inch exposed at the top. As a rough guide, anyone under 5 foot 7 inches will probably want to opt for the smaller size. Take a look at our video to give you a good indication of the difference between the two options. 

Features are kept to a minimum and the Herschel Little America backpack boasts just the essentials. There is only one external pocket at the bottom of the bag, which aids in housing regularly used items like a phone and wallet. A clip on the inside of the pocket lets you attach your keys and find them quickly. The Little America lacks any external compartments for water bottles, but there’s plenty of space inside for these.

Storage inside the Little America backpack is straightforward. You pretty much pack everything into the cavernous main compartment, but there are also some internal pouches that help to carry electronic devices.

A fleece-lined sleeve inside the bag fits up to a 15-inch laptop and prevents it from being scratched. The lining is super soft and feels like a cosy faux-fur blanket. Two small elastic strips on the side allow the laptop sleeve to stretch, making it easy to pull your computer out. The downfall, however, is that this section isn’t very snug. You’ll find that a 15-inch laptop is fine when walking but moves around a tiny bit when jogging or running.

Two device pockets at the top of the bag can be used for things like cameras or iPods. There’s also a rubber grommet on the side that lets you feed earphones through while an MP3 player rests safely inside.

Everyone uses their backpacks differently so it’s important to know if the Little America will be right for your carry needs. The Herschel Little America backpack is an ideal uni bag. Comfortably pack all of your daily school essentials including a 13 to 15-inch laptop, textbooks, notebooks and a pencil case. There’s also enough room for a medium-sized lunchbox, a 750ml water bottle and a warm jumper.

If you’re thinking about buying a Herschel Little America backpack for work, it’s advisable to compare the two different size options. The larger bag is excellent because there’s so much space, but it might actually be too big for what you need. If you’re just carrying a 13-inch laptop, notebook and lunch for the day, the mid-size Little America could potentially be more suitable.

You should definitely opt for the 23.5 litre bag if you run into work or head to the gym before or after. The bigger size will serve you well because there’s sufficient room for a pair of shoes, a small towel, water bottle and a change of clothes.

Those who travel often will find that the Little America is a perfect holiday companion. Whether you just need an overnight bag or something to carry on the plane, this backpack will fit all the essentials. If you’re just going away for the weekend, there’s adequate space for a couple of outfits, a small digital camera and a medium sized toiletries bag. If you’re flying somewhere, then all the things you usually take on a plane will fit inside nicely. Pop a magazine, book and iPad in there for some personal in-flight entertainment and keep yourself cosy with a warm jumper, scarf and neck pillow.

There’s no wonder why the Little America is one of Herschel’s most popular bags. It looks fantastic, is incredibly easy to use and has tonnes of storage space. If you’re thinking of updating your everyday pack or need a bag for your next holiday, pop the Herschel Little America on your shortlist.

Previous article The Peak Design Shoe Pouch, Ultralight and Ultra-Packable for Travel