Firstly let’s get rucksack out of the way. Call anything (which you might call a rucksack or backpack) a rucksack in the US and they most likely won’t know what you’re talking about. I tend to think of a rucksack as something you might take out hiking (ie larger) and a backpack as a much smaller bag, similar to what they would call a daypack in the US. Confused? Read on.
So for the purposes of this post I’m just going to talk about backpacks – as bags you wear with two straps on your back – and bucket bags – of a similar shape, but without the straps, with usually a drawstring closure and a shoulder strap. Some have a top handle and a cross-body strap so you can carry them two ways. Both bags are hands free, and both bags are on trend right now.
There are those who look perfectly natural with a backpack, whether it’s quilted, printed, leather, suede or otherwise, and those who feel totally ill at ease with a bag on their back. I, for some reason, am one of the latter. I have no idea why. I do a lot of walking in and out of the city, and I really like to be hands free, but put a backpack on my back I just don’t feel right. So having tried recently to persuade myself that I really needed a modern backpack, when I totally failed I gave up. And turned to the bucket bag.
Now here’s a bag that is both sporty, easy to carry, hands free, and is almost a cross between a backpack and a handbag due to its shape. The bucket bag too is having a moment, unsurprisingly (for all those who like me eschew a bag on my back) and can be dressy enough to work with pretty much anything, and casual enough to be perfect for weekends.
Note: Just to make matters even more confusing there are backpacks that work using just a single strap as a shoulder bag and call themselves ‘convertible’ backpacks. The best collection is by Elizabeth and James.
The bucket bag is a perfect new bag for those who want to look in the know and are bored with the tote for now and every handbag designer has one or some in their collection. As with designer backpacks they can cost as much or as little as you want depending on a) the label and b) what they’re made of. Many are gone as soon as they hit the stores. Which one is yours?