When SCRUFFS got in touch to let me know about its top summer picks, I wondered if they had contacted me by mistake; after all, this was a hardwear company that specialises in men and women’s workwear – and I pretty much sit behind a desk all day trying not to get fat.
Plus what would a travel and interiors blogger do with outdoor workwear? I didn’t waste any time finding out – after having a quick browse of the website, I clocked this pretty cool bag (the Classic Rucksack) which looked like something I could make very good use of – especially if it did what it claimed to do.
You see, the trouble with me and bags is that I always tend to buy cheap roomy ones which I use to carry the world and her mother in. It always makes me smile when people do a ‘What’s in my bag?’ blog or vlog – and they pull out 5 items. Yes, they obviously rig it up to look like they only carry 5 immaculate looking items, but seriously, if I did one, it would have those with OCD running for the hilltops. You name it – I carry it.
There are two problems with this – (1) I can never find anything because my bag is so jam-packed with crap and (2) When I do my weekly walk to the train station (40 mins) I end up nursing sore shoulders by the time I get on the train.
For some reason, I have never thought about upgrading to a rucksack. I quite like the look of my big, roomy shoulder bag, despite the shoulder strap having broken twice in 3 months due to the weight of it. But I was prepared to give it a go…
The bag is your bigger-than-average rucksack, so it’s looking good for me – and the colour (navy) isn’t offensive either. On further inspection, I discovered lots of pockets and compartments – finally…I can declutter my shoulder bag and get organised once and for all!
After carefully organising my new bag, I set off on my 40-minute stroll and something felt like it was missing. I kept wondering if I had left anything behind and then I realised what it was; this was the first walk I was taking without my hand having to clutch a strap – my hands and arms were free and I could swing them freely.
It felt good – so good in fact that I actually think my free swinging hands made me walk faster – I made the walk in 36 minutes – beating my personal best by 4 minutes. The padding for the straps and back also meant that I didn’t have some kid’s Happy Meal toy prodding me every second step, which is usually the case.
The other thing that I noticed was that despite all that I had managed to cram into it, carrying the rucksack felt very easy. You know when some bags are half empty and they still feel weighty? Not this one.
The design of the rucksack for me is the highlight – there are a lot of plus points going for it that suit me down to a T. First of all, it’s water resistant – and we all know that British weather can be unpredictable.
Given that I carry at least two gadgets around with me (usually my Macbook and iPhone) when commuting, keeping them safe and dry is my number one priority. The rucksack has also got a protective sleeve just for laptops meaning if there’s a leak in the main compartment then my laptop is still safe.
The other ‘thumbs up’ is that it actually has its own built-in cool bag, meaning that I don’t have to faff around with finding my lunch bag – it can go straight in the special compartment – what a great idea! I have a feeling this particular bag will also used for the family days out that we frequently take. And a bag that offers dual use has got to have something special going for it.
It’s also got more compartments than you can shake a stick out – crucial for my tissues, lip balm, chewing gum, iphone recharger, hairbrush, headphones, keys, purse…Oh, and the adjustable shoulder straps mean that for someone petite like me (in stature, not girth!), it’s a comfortable fit and doesn’t slip around.
I did expect this little beauty to come in at around the £40 mark, particularly because of its ability to hold all my gear without seeming to strain at the seams, but I was pleasantly surprised that the RRP was £24.95 – available online.
The Classic Rucksack ticked all the right boxes – functionality, style and value. Okay, it’s not going to match every one of my outfits I choose to wear for the office, but I’d rather choose comfort (and ultimately health) over looking like a style queen. And if a bag can knock a few minutes off my personal best when I commute on foot to the station, I’m not complaining.
Disclaimer: This product was given to me as a review sample. I’m always honest in my opinions, regardless of whether or not I bought or was gifted a product or service.