When it comes to choosing the best backpack, it can be a tricky task. As is the case with clothing, shoes and accessories, it’s completely unique and personal what will work best for you and suit your needs. But after seeing the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack and getting to try it out for work, socialising and travel, I think there could be such a thing as the ‘perfect backpack’.
Made from high quality leather materials and packed with plenty of storage and style, the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack is the perfect combination of luxury and practicality. But is it as good as it looks? Does it actually function well as a backpack? And is it worth the price tag? I found out in my Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack review.
Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack review: Design & features
I was excited to unbox the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack as it arrived in a fancy dust cover bag. Having a bag over a bag has always confused me but I’m happy I held onto the cover bag as when I’m not using the backpack, I like to keep it stored away nicely to keep it looking as good as new.
The Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack measures 42cm height x 30cm width and has a depth of 19cm. Made from premium nubuck leather and complete with Vachetta leather detailing, this backpack has an attractive exterior design. The interior is just as nice to look at and has a protective lining made of nylon canvas.
The Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack has a main compartment made up of two fabric pockets, pen slots and a padded compartment that can fit 16-inch laptops. The interior is very spacious and sealed securely with zips. On the outside, there’s an additional zip pocket on the front and a hidden zip pocket at the back. This pocket can be found on the inside of the padded section of the bag which sits between the shoulder straps. Not only does this protect your valuables and precious items, but the padded section can also be slipped onto a suitcase handle and other carry-on luggage.
The outside of the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack (and one of my favourite design features) has nickel-silver-finish hardware which you can use to collapse or expand the bag. If you’re not carrying much, you can fold the top of the bag down and click it into place via the tack buttons. I initially thought this might be a bit flimsy and easily come undone, but I haven’t experienced any problems at all. If you have more to fit in your bag, simply unfasten the buttons and you have more room.
Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack review: Performance
I predominantly used the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack for work. I do a mix of office working and working from home, so when I head into the office, I have to take lots of equipment with me. I realised that using a handbag to carry all my things had started to hurt my shoulders and sides, so I was excited to use a backpack again.
When going into work, I bring my laptop, its charger, planners, books, toiletries, stationary, a packed lunch and other essentials with me, like my purse and keys. I found that the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack had room to spare, even when I packed it to the brim. The built-in laptop sleeve is a favourite feature and my device slots in there perfectly. If I had a tablet or other tech device, it could also fit in the slot with my laptop, and the main compartment is ideal for chucking everything into. The smaller front pocket was especially handy for storing easy-to-access bits.
In terms of comfort, the adjustable straps and backing is comfortable and convenient, and the shoulders have thick padding to ease rubbing and too much weight. While trying out the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack, I had one day where I had to carry lots of things around and I really enjoyed the collapsible and expandable feature for that. The bag was fairly light, even when it was full, but it did weigh on my shoulders a bit. However, I wasn’t left with any markings like you do with some backpacks and there was no rubbing involved.
Another great thing about the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack is its material. While it’s not a vegan friendly bag, the leather feels incredibly soft and doesn’t mark easily or at all. I was worried I’d mark the bag with my nails but I’ve seen no scratches, indexes or marks in it while testing it, and it doesn’t stain either which I found after accidentally spilling water on it!
The only negatives I have about the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack is price (which I’ll get to below) and the straps were occasionally a little stiff and tricky to adjust. They can be adjusted somewhat easily but I found that you had to put some welly into it!
Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack review: Price
The Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack is £395 and is available to buy on the Carl Friedrik website. The backpack is available in three colours, including chocolate, charcoal and olive green (the model I tried out) and Carl Friedrik offers a 100 day trail on its bags and accessories.
Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack review: Verdict
The Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack has quickly become my go-to backpack for work and travel. Its expandable size is an excellent feature for busy days and shopping trips, and it can store an enormous amount of things. The laptop sleeve is a personal favourite and its many compartments means you always have a place for something to go. The Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack gets 10/10 for looks and material, too.
Personally, I think almost £400 is expensive for a backpack. Having said that, it’s definitely built to last and it looks and feels luxurious, so if you need something durable that’ll last a lifetime, the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack could be worth the purchase.
Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack review: Alternatives to consider
For a similarly stylish option, the Harber London Classic Rucksack is a great alternative to consider. Like the Carl Friedrik Day-to-Day backpack, it’s made of premium materials, has plenty of storage options and looks the part.
Another brilliant storage option and one that’s more affordable is the EastPak Austin Nylon Backpack. It’s sturdy, durable, can carry a ton and is comfortable to wear. The only downside is that it’s in high demand and almost always out of stock!