A faux leather backpack featuring a quilted chevron design, zip top closure, top handle, and adjustable shoulder straps. Shell: 100% polyurethane. Lining: 100% polyester. Height: 9". Width: 7". Depth: 3". Quilted Chevron Backpack - Burgundy - FOREVER 21
Forever 21 Canada
I don’t want to read the whole thing, give me a one-sentence rundown. Looks great, truly waterproof, but it doesn’t last - the waterproof layer is prone to scratches and tears, which is counter-intuitive for a backpack. Would you recommend it? If you need something for light use - yes. Otherwise - stay away. Where are the pics? Having owned a Rains raincoat before, I had really high expectations for the backpack. The minimalist design and matt texture looked amazing and when it was time to get a new commuting backpack I was set to get a Rains one. Hence, I was quite prepared for some of the potential drawbacks that some other people found with these backpacks. And yet, I was disappointed nonetheless. As I ordered from Amazon, it arrived in a (smaller than expected) Amazon box. Upon opening that, I found the backpack, almost fully flat wrapped in some plastic film.
It being packaged flat was unfortunate, as it wasn’t holding its shape very well and needed to sit for a bit with a pillow inside to ‘unfold’ fully. Once it shaped up a bit, it looked great! Very close to the photos online, beautifully deep dark blue colour enhanced by the matt texture. The feel is a particular highlight - the tactile feeling is extremely pleasant, easily my favourite part about the backpack. The zips were a bit stiff due to the waterproof layer they have, which makes zipping it a bit harder than usual, but added a good degree of confidence to backpack’s waterproof abilities. Experience as a daily commuting bag. The backpack’s size and proportions are great - it is not bulky, but can easily fit a laptop, sweater, notebook, papers and gym kit or a small food shop load no problem. Being waterproof, it added confidence when enjoying the particularities of British weather and after work drink culture - I could be confident that my stuff will be perfectly dry from the rain or spilt beer alike.
One problem I noticed quite quickly was the fact that it stained surprisingly easily, particularly for a waterproof backpack from a company called “Rains” - even rain drops left small, visible stains on the surface after they dried. As a result, wiping it with a wet cloth became pretty much a weekly activity for me. Without that, it would look quite messy in no time, completely running its own aesthetic. Where we are now - 5 months in. If you’ve already flicked through the gallery, you would see that the outer layer has not held up well. And yet, it seems that the amazing outer layer that looks great, feels great and is great at defending backpack’s descriptions from the elements is not that great against two things - time and physics. All over the surface area there are scratches, wrinkles and bubbles where the outer material detached itself from the underlying canvas layer. On many corners it already frayed and even completely tore off exposing the inner layer, essentially rending that part not-waterproof.
I really wanted to like this backpack, and I did for the first 3-4 months while it still looked good and felt like I could rely on it to do it’s main functions well. Now, it is slowly but steadily deteriorating in both looks and function. I have already switched to a different bag for my daily commute, but will most likely take this one for shorter trips until it gets too frayed around the edges to look presentable. I am unlikely to buy another one, and will look into canvas or leather backpacks in the future. Got in touch with Rains, they encouraged to get it returned via the store I got it from - meaning Amazon in this case. They don’t have a direct link to Amazon store so had to go through that. Amazon service has been awesome, got my refund and sent the backpack back - they didn’t have it in stock so couldn’t replace. So now I am down a backpack so will need to be looking out for one.