I am thrilled to be able to share with you a new brand I’ve recently discovered. Seventeen London have kindly collaborated on this post with a free product in return for my honest review, which I’m pleased to be providing here. Living with chronic pain has made using and wearing bags tricky, but I tend to find rucksacks more comfortable. Seventeen London is a small UK-based business that ships worldwide, with a fantastic collection of top-quality vegan backpacks that are both stylish and insanely practical.
Spoiler alert: The brand has been warm and responsive, and the backpack is as close to perfect as possible, so it’s a big thumbs up from me!
>>> Find Seventeen London on Amazon <<<
The Chronic Pain Bag Lady : Why Backpacks?
I’d never been a girl with a ridiculously clichéd bag obsession. I do, however, have draws full of bags these days, if you count stoma bags. Not quite as exciting but I am technically a bag girl now!
While bags might seem frivolous or a ‘first world problem’, they’re not just a fashion accessory. They can be incredibly useful, and adding to chronic pain or even just frustration levels with an ill-fitting, poor quality or badly designed bag is an extra hassle none of us need.
I’ve come to find the need for different sizes and styles for different occasions. My social calendar is so full and each event requires a different type of bag: GP appointment, town to run errands, library excursion, supermarket, hospital stay. The chronic illness life really is quite exciting. While it’s hard to imagine things returning to ‘normal’, it is also nice to think about days out and small trips when Covid19 is finally in the rearview mirror, so I’m looking forward to the day where I can use my funky new backpack for something enjoyable.
I’ve struggled with bags over the last few years because of chronic pain. Some of that is fibromyalgia, but I’ve also developed problems with my neck, back and with partial shoulder dislocations every time I lift my arms. While I doubt any bag will be totally comfortable to wear anymore, I’ve personally found backpacks to typically be the least problematic, though I still need to change things up if wearing it for a long period. like using a single strap to ease the pressure off one side at a time. This will, of course, vary for everyone, but it’s just what I’ve personally found.
In terms of practicality, I take a lot more with me these days than I used to as a teenager or during my 20s. That’s not just because I’m getting old and feel I need to account for any eventuality one might encounter when hiking in the wilderness for a month. Now I also need to add various meds, a bottle of water and stoma supplies. With more to carry I need a little extra space and a way to better organise things to save flapping around every time I delve into the bag. Backpacks tend to do the trick, but finding ones to that are neat, practical and the right size can be problematic. This is where Seventeen London ticks all the boxes.
About Seventeen London
Seventeen London is a small business, comprising of a close-knit 5-strong team of backpack enthusiasts. The idea for the brand was first born in 2017 by Oliver and Laura, who were living in London and wanted functional but stylish backpacks for their daughters. After a lot hard work and countless samples, 2018 saw Seventeen London develop their first products for the market. The brand has been growing and evolving ever since, with lots of happy customers to vouch for the quality and style of their backpack catalogue.
They have products that appeal to a wide consumer base of all genders, ages, needs and personal preferences. Their bags can be purchased directly on their website or via Amazon.
This is a small company that pays attention to the details. For instance, included in my bag was the sweetest little block of post-it notes. It’s a small yet memorable gesture that made me smile and really made a difference to my experience. They care about those small details and they care about their customers being happy.
Sustainability & Charity :
All returned backpacks that are in usable condition are donated to charity each year. In 2020, this was to the Milstream animal shelter.
Vegan & Eco :
Good news for animal lovers here because all products are also vegan – no animal derived materials, like fabric dye or leather, are used in the products.
Seventeen London Products
Seventeen London have split their backpack range into a few distinct collections. Each has its own name and style, coming in a range of colours to suit personal preferences. The most popular style is apparently Wimbledon, but they all have their unique appeal.
Collections include the likes of :
Wimbledon / Camden / Canary Wharf / Canary Wharf Mini / Fulham / Ilford
See a pattern here? Very London-inspired. It adds to the novel approach of the brand, making it stand out from the crowd. Much like their backpacks do for their wearers.
The website is understated, being minimalistic and clearly laid out for ease of use. It’s straightforward to browse and search bags, as well as to add to basket and checkout. It’s very pleasant to scroll through the different styles and colours, and I like that each bag page gives ample information on the product. There’s enough there to help you make an informed decision as well as to get a feel for what to expect thanks to some fantastic photos.
Shipping & Delivery
Seventeen London deliver worldwide and what I particularly love is that it’s free standard delivery in the UK and a for few other areas, too!
- UK – Free Standard Shipping via Hermes 48 Tracked or you can speed things up with Next Day at £5.99 via Amazon partnered shipping.
- Germany, Spain, Italy & France – Free standard shipping through Amazon Logistic Partners.
- Rest Of Europe incl Ireland – £5.99 Standard through Amazon Logistic Partners.
- Russia – £12.99 Royal Mail International Tracked (5-7 days).
- United States – Shipping to the US is via UPS International at £19.99 (5 days).
- Australia & New Zealand – Royal Mail International Tracked Shipping at £19.99 (6-10 days).
- Rest of the world – Royal Mail International Tracked Shipping at £19.99 (6-14 days).
★ ★ ★
My Seventeen London ‘Camden’ Backpack
It’s hard to choose a style when they all make you drool, but I went for the Camden design in black. I was hoping for a backpack with a more mid-size feel to it that was neat and practical, while still suiting my style. I got all of that and more. Much more.
The Camden : Key Features
A few key features about the Camden backpack:
- Neat but a generous 12L capacity
- Detachable straps that can be worn in different ways to make this a highly versatile bag
- Two sleeve pockets at the rear so you can hide one or both straps
- Inside is a 13” padded laptop sleeve, should you wish you carry a laptop or tablet
- Multiple internal zipped pockets, sleeves and organisers. Also included is a hook for keys
- Magnetic front pocket and zipped pouch
- Available in 6 different colours
- Side compartments for the straps, which could alternatively hold a bottle of water
- One year guarantee with all products
- Measures 38cm x 28cm x 11cm
- Vegan product, with the bag made from a water-repellant nylon
There are a few things here I’ve never seen before in another backpack, like the ability to hide one or both straps or the hook inside for your keys. Each feature is well thought out and so practical it makes me giddy. I’m one of those people who loves organisation, but always ends up feeling disheveled and disorganised whenever I go out. A bag like this is perfect for making things easier, tidier and generally just less stressful!
The size makes this a regular backpack but the construction makes it appear more mid-sized compared to the mini backpacks and the typical large ones that can seem too bulky. According to Seventeen London, the size is suitable as an airline carry-on bag, which is handy for whenever the pandemic is behind us travel becomes a safe possibility again.
Black is back, baby. I’ve been getting out of my comfort zone and bringing more colour into my life, but I still prefer black for a lot of things as it’s understated and goes with anything. The first thing I noticed with this backpack was just how neat yet casual it looked. It suits me perfectly, combining the classic appeal with a slightly rugged vibe. It calls to my inner teenager as it reminds me of a satchel I used to have in college and how I used to feel during my mid-20s when I was more carefree, mobile and adventurous. Nostalgia is a double-edged sword sometimes.
This is compact on the outside yet surprisingly spacious on the inside, kitted out with ample pockets and nooks for pretty much anything and everything, apart from the kitchen sink (though you could probably squeeze a small one in there).
It looks more like canvas but it’s a little shinier given the water-repellant nylon, which is very handy to have, particularly in the forever rainy UK. While it’s a hardcore little bag, it’s also relatively lightweight, which is another important benefit. You don’t want to start with a heavy bag before you’ve even squeezed your kitchen fixtures in there.
Seventeen London take ethical issues seriously, and they’ve made sure their bag is eco-friendly and animal friendly, too. The bag itself is made from durable and water repellent nylon, while the pullers and logo are constructed with Super PU, a top-quality vegan leather lookie-likey material. Fully vegan and totally awesome.
From appearance and usage, I’d happily say this is a top quality bag made with thought and care. Straps feel sturdy, zips work smoothly. Everything feels very solid at first appearances.
The laptop protection sleeve inside will fit a 13” laptop or a tablet and keep it snug; the bag is tough enough and the straps strong enough to manage the weight with ease.
I’d anticipate this being a reliable bag to see you through countless uses and years of companionship. For peace of mind, the year warranty is reassuring.
* Update : December 2021 *
It unfortunately came to my attention that the two poppers on the front pocket of the bag were not attached, meaning the flap couldn’t be safely closed as the base of the popper had come off the surface of the fabric and magnetised to the upper part. I contacted the brand who promptly replied and offered their apologies – this is a product fault affecting the Camden line. They’re aware of it and have taken steps to remove these from their site until 2022, when the new version will be released with supercharged poppers that are securely attached. If you’ve bought a Camden bag and have noticed a problem with the poppers, please contact the brand.
These manufacturing issues can and do happen. It’s a shame but it’s par for the course sometimes despite the best of intentions. It tells you more about the brand in how they then deal with this error – they’ve been responsive, very helpful, and focused on resolution. I can’t fault them for it at all.
Seventeen London very kindly offered to replace the bag. Given the new Camden line won’t be released until next year, I thought I’d go for a different style to also give you a feel for what else they offer. This is the glorious Wimbledon bag, which I fell in love with at first. As with the Camden, it’s comfortable, very well thought out with ample pockets and high versatility in mind.
Sexy Straps : Wear It Your Way
The straps are the pièce de résistance here. Your typical backpack can only be worn as standard, both straps secured into place with the bag on your back like a tortoise shell. The Camden has straps that can be unclipped. By the base of the bag, at the end of the straps, you’ll find the clips. Push to unclip and you can conveniently reclip the left over to the right (or visa versa) and convert it into an across-body bag! The spare strap can be hidden down in the side pocket. Pretty cool, huh?
Towards the top of the bag you’ll also notice shorter carry handle straps, so you can take the bag off your back and just carry it like a regular shopping bag. It’s pretty handy if you need to be getting in and out of the bag regularly, so it’ll save you continually taking the bag off to do so.
I find these aspects so useful because sometimes you need to give your shoulders a break, and changing things up a bit with how you wear it can make all the difference.
This is an exceptionally functional, multi-purpose, practical bag. I was surprised as just how many pockets there were when I first took a look through it. It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone in to making the design as ergonomic and user-friendly as possible.
The various features cater to lots of needs and situations, so you’ve got an easy access pocket for something you need kept handy like a bus pass, the padded laptop interior, a hook for keys so they don’t get lost at the bottom of the bag, side pockets for the straps if you swap them around (though these could equally hold a drink bottle or umbrella), plus of course additional compartments for stashing valuables, accessories and other goodies safely inside.
Everything can have a place with this bag. No more shoving everything into one section and spending ages faffing trying to find a stick of gum, keys or your library card. You can organise your bag how you see fit, and there are lots of options at your disposal.
Having owned various backpacks, this is easily the most practical and well thought out that I’ve ever come across before. It’s also superior in quality and I’d anticipate it wearing well, so I’d consider it a worthwhile investment. The price is around the £40 mark, which I’d say is excellent value for money. It’s a tad more expensive than some very basic bags, but far cheaper than others where you’re paying mostly for a brand name, sans any bells and whistles.
When I received this, I genuinely thought it would have been more highly priced than it was. Usually I think just the opposite! With Seventeen London, you’re getting quality, peace of mind, ergonomic enhancement and oodles of features.
It’s also worth considering that the purchase supports a small business and that you’re a customer with a name to these guys, not a number. They’re there to help with any queries or issues, and it feels like a more personal service.
You can find the Camden version on Amazon. Costs around £39.99.
This will be a shorter review because aside from the unfortunate issue with the popper fault, I’ve not actually been able to find anything I dislike about the brand or any incidental downsides to the product. Hurrah!
★ ★ ★
Seventeen London :
Seventeen London seems to me to be a brand that combines technical expertise with a warm regard for their customer base. They’ve been helpful, friendly and responsive to my messages, and it’s clear that customer satisfaction has driven product development, with each backpack having been thought out down to the small details. I also applaud the brand’s commitment to eco issues as well as their charitable donations.
As for the backpacks themselves, I have only positive things to say there, too. I’ve been surprisingly dazzled by the Camden and Wimbledon bags, which exceeded my expectations and them some. Both are über functional and practical, yet stylish and distinctive. They’re reliably robust, yet lightweight and comfortable. The detachable straps I’ve shown here on the Camden are also a fantastic way to personalise how you wear the bag, which is all the more important when chronic pain is an issue. Whether used for exciting day trips or just hospital visits, it’s a backpack that’ll see you through many occasions with ease.
Seventeen London have got it ‘in the bag’ with their business. I wish the brand every success in the future and I know they’ll have many happy customers worldwide with the fantastic range they offer. I’m thoroughly impressed by their backpacks and I absolutely love them. Highly recommended.
Find Seventeen London
Find Seventeen London on Amazon :