We’re well into back-to-school season for those of us getting degrees or raising kids here in North America. This fall, we tested out Granite Gear’s Higgins backpack, in their Campus line of lifestyle packs. The Higgins instantly appealed to my teen sons, who promptly fought over who got to use this retro, knapsack-style pack at school this year. I was eyeing it too, to be honest, because with its multiple pockets and practical design, it will work excellently for travel days this season, too.

Granite Gear Higgins backpack

The Higgins is 26 liters, and the dimensions are 17″ X 12″ X 7″. You get solid shoulder straps that are trail ready, provided the trail isn’t too technical or long, and a fully padded back panel. Riding a bike with this pack for casual distances (like school and back or work and back) is no problem.

There’s a laptop sleeve that will fit any tech 15″ or under, and a plethora of additional pockets are designed to stash all your other stuff. The hydration pocket isn’t huge (best for Swell bottles and other slim types, in our experience) but is expandable, and the multi-pocket organizer on the inside is perfect for airplane travel, with easy access.

So what’s it made of? The Higgins is constructed of 600D Repela-X fabric, coated for water repellency, so while not totally waterproof, you could definitely be caught in the rain and come out okay. You also get dual grab handles for quick lifting…again, perfect for when you have the bag stashed under your seat on the plane. Daisy Chain webbing externally adds more attachment options…think helmet or bike lock. I love this feature, because even if you opt not to use it, it gives the backpack a signature rugged look.

The Higgins comes in three colors, all of which feature a brushed fabric look for a more muted, earthy tone. Choose between black, deep grey, or highland peat, all of which will go with everything. Buy on the Granite Gear site for a reasonable $49.95, or look on Amazon and at other online retailers for similar pricing.

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