It’s likely that you’ve seen people wearing the Herschel Little America Backpack on the train or bus during your morning commute. That’s because it’s one of Herschel’s most popular bags. The Little America is a fine choice for your everyday carry, but why is it such a favourite and will it be right for you?


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.

What can you fit inside?

Everyone uses their backpacks differently so it’s important to know if the Little America will be right for your carry needs.

For University

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.

For Work

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.

For Travel

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.

Shop the cool range of Herschel Little America backpacks and Mid-Volume Little America backpacks at Rushfaster.

The following Herschel Little America backpack review was submitted by Eva. See all female travel backpack reviews.

Hi! My name is Eva and I am a PhD student/marketing assistant/travel blogger currently living in Munich, Germany. I spend most of my free time either working on my PhD thesis or blogging and planning new trips. Right now, most of these are shorter weekend trips to European cities with the occasional longer trip, often to the US, every other year.

I have owned many backpacks over the last couple of years for longer and shorter trips or as daypacks: The standard 60 or 70l backpack, a smaller one with 50l, and of course several daypacks. I need a good backpack almost every day, mostly to carry around dozens of books, a laptop, food and drinks. Last year, I finally decided to follow the trend here in Germany and buy my Herschel Little America.

What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?

I bought the 25L Herschel Little America backpack, which usually costs 100 USD. However, I was able to catch a sale on Zalando and paid around 80 USD.

>> Check for prices of the Herschel Little America backpack on Amazon.

Eva’s 25L Herschel Little America backpack

How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?

I ordered my Herschel backpack in November 2015 and at first only used it as my usual daypack to go to work and to university. In January 2016 I took it to Vienna for a short research trip, however, as my carry-on luggage which had my laptop, camera and books in it.

Since then I have been on a three week trip to the US West Coast from Seattle to San Francisco (passing through wonderful Portland, OR) where I also used it as carry-on. In December 2016 I was finally brave enough to size down and solely relied on it for a weekend away in Lindau at Lake Constance and in March 2017 I used it on a conference/weekend trip to Hamburg.

What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack?

To be honest, I never really thought about using it for traveling and anything else but transporting my books and laptop. I had heard good things about the size, it fits 25l which is a lot and was just what I needed.

Another reason was comfort: I had bad neck pain and desperately needed an alternative to my usual combination of a purse and several other bags. Since I divide my time between my workplace and several libraries, I needed a design that was timeless and would also fit into every aspect of my life.

>>Learn how to avoid injuries from heavy luggage.

The inside of the Herschel Little America backpack

What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?

I love that the Herschel doesn’t disappoint: It’s huge, i.e. everything fits in it and it is really sturdy so that I am not afraid of it breaking because I constantly overload it. It also doesn’t feel heavy as soon as it is on your back; it is very well padded and the weight is distributed equally. It is reasonably priced and actually good quality. I also like the look of it, which I know many people do, thus the huge trend in Germany.

A downside may be that it only has one large compartment with a padded laptop sleeve and a very small front pocket, so I really needed my packing cubes to travel with it and to have everything fit in there smoothly. For those who just want to shove their things in there, it may not be the right choice.

Eva can fit a lot in herHerschel Little America backpack, especially when she uses packing cubes.

Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.

I’m an average/athletic build woman, but quite tall at 5’9″. The backpack works just fine for me, but may be too huge for anyone not as tall or more petite. It is a bit bulky when filled. Although the straps can be adjusted, it is a one size should fit all with dimensions of HxWxD: 19.5″ x 11.25″ x 7″.

>>See which are the best backpacks for petite women.

If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?

I took it on its first flight to Hamburg as carry-on and didn’t have to worry due to airline restrictions. It may depend on the flight and airline though: Some of the budget airlines have very strict rules and probably wouldn’t allow me to take it as carry-on. I have flown internationally with it a couple of times with different airlines and never had any issues if I put it in the overhead compartment.

Eva likes the fit of her backpack.

Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?

I’d say it is perfect if you need a backpack for everyday use, for a couple of weekend city trips or if you are a very light packer. Then the size is just right.

Overall, would you recommend your backpack?

I would totally recommend it! My backache is gone and I’m surprised every time how much fits in it if you know how to compartmentalize. The design is timeless so I intend to keep it for a long time to come!

>> Check for prices of the Herschel Little America backpack on Amazon.

About the author: Eva is a PhD student in Munich, Germany. She loves to travel and blogs at Travel the Whole Wide World. You can also follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Herschel Little America Backpack

Founded in 2009 by brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack in Canada, Herschel Supply was named after the eponymous small town where three generations of the family grew up. Herschel Supply is driven to supply everyday travellers with functional and design focused backpacks, luggage bags and accessories inspired by the utilitarian features once found inside hiking backpacks and travel bags.
A key piece from Herschel’s main collection, the Little America backpack remains popular for its functional use and signature design. The backpack features a padded and fleece line 15″ laptop compartment, front pocket with hidden zip and magnetic strap closures with metal pins for added security.
– Men’s Little America Backpack
– Signature woven branded badge at front
– Durable cotton canvas material
– Main compartment with cinch top closure and flap
– Front pocket compartment with hidden zipper and key clip
– Secure magnetic straps with metal pin closure
– Signature stripe interior lining
– Internal media pocket to hold phones and MP3 players
– Fully padded and fleece lined 15″ laptop sleeve pocket to safely store electrical items and to separate items from the main bag compartment
– Custom padded air mesh back padding and adjustable shoulder straps
– Coated signature stripe fabric lining
– Capacity: 25L
– Dimensions: 50 x 28.5 x 17.5 cm
– Material: 100% Cotton Canvas
– Care according to brand.

Little america herschel black

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