SMALL BUT MIGHTY // the elegant Gaston Luga mini backpack

I’ve always been a bit jealous of the way men can just walk out of the house with just a wallet squished in one pocket, phone and keys jammed in the other.

There’s no way I could head out for any length of time without ALL the essentials – money, phone, entire collection of keys, chapstick, hand cream, sunglasses, lipgloss, mints, even my iPad if I was going on a longish train journey

I was told off by my osteopath for using shoulder bags as they cause the spine to twist, causing back and shoulder pain. ‘Wear backpacks,’ he instructed me, ‘they distribute the weight more evenly.’

I knew it made sense on a practical level, but backpacks didn’t exactly scream style, so I blatantly ignored his advice for many years; until I was introduced to the Swedish brand, Gaston Luga. I’m a huge fan of the timeless Scandi-chic look (did you catch my review of the gorgeous Nordgreen Philosopher watch?), and was instantly a fan of Gaston Luga and their range of gorgeous backpacks for men and women, which are made from canvas, water-resistant polyester and vegan leather.

The designs are ideal for everyday use or as an overnight bag: the larger versions are roomy enough to fit a small laptop, camera, headphones, travel documents and all your usual essentials, making it the perfect carry-on cabin bag.

They’re so cleverly designed and full of genius functionality, including a hidden passport pocket and a padded internal laptop compartment. If you have young children, you’ll appreciate how these fit ALL the essentials – wipes, spare nappy, sanitising gel, muslin cloth – while allowing you to keep both hands free to wrangle the kids.

After admiring all the different styles, I finally opted for the Clässy Mini (RRP: £69). It didn’t have as many features as the larger sizes, but this stylish mini backpack was the perfect size to take on day trips – you know, those times when you have too much to fit in your pockets, but not enough to fill an entire bag – and I loved the contemporary, elegant design.

It had an A5-sized pocket inside, a drawstring top and a magnetic clasp that sealed shut at the front, and – despite its dinky size – comfortably fit my phone, iPad mini, wallet and a bottle of water. I first wore it into London, where it proved to be the perfect blend of style and practicality, and – most importantly – didn’t leave me with aching shoulders at the end of the day.

I also loved that the black front flap could be zipped off and replaced with pink or burgundy versions (these are sold separately for £29), allowing you to customise the bag.

It’s the perfect backpack for every occasion. 

If you’re looking for vegan backpacks, or a stylish mini backpack that won’t break the bank, check out the gorgeous Gaston Luga range. Take advantage of their free delivery and use the code ‘JAX15’ to get yourself an additional 15% discount. Buy while stocks last and you’ll even get a complimentary travel bag, worth £29!

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