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The Vans Backpacks Buying Guide

Established in the 60s as one of the original purveyors of skate culture, Vans have since found a strong following for their off the wall styling and designs. Their line of bags embodies this spirit perfectly, fusing functionality with some street style. These backpacks will carry all your belongings plus your board and come in leopard print, camo and acid washes. With these basic backpacks, drawstring gym bags and convertible packs you'll always be stylishly hands-free.

Since setting up shop in 1966, Vans has become a sub-culture in its own right. It all started with founder Paul Van Doren’s skate shoe, a laid-back style injected with Southern Californian charm. Today, the brand’s ‘Off the Wall’ logo is an icon amongst skaters and street style enthusiasts. Vans backpacks make it even easier to sport classic Cali style with old-school rucksack shapes bearing the brand’s logo in bold letters. The House of Vans runs regular collaborations with skaters and cult-classic cartoon figures too. Read on for our Vans backpack buying guide, which will help you narrow down the styles that work best for you and show you how to care for them.

The Most Wanted Vans Backpacks

  • Vans Old Skool Backpacks

    The Old Skool comes in a timeless shape with one main compartment and a front zip pocket. Inside, there’s a laptop sleeve and compartments for organising everyday items. It has padded, adjustable shoulder straps for comfort. This style comes in a choice of solid colorways with the Vans applique patch.  

  • Vans Realm Backpacks

    An update on the Old Skool, the Realm backpack is finished with the ‘Off the Wall’ logo on the front. It comes in a spectrum of colours and prints, including multi-colour designs. It features a laptop sleeve and adjustable, padded shoulder straps, as well as a top loop handle.  

  • Vans Benched Bag

    The Benched bag is a versatile classic in a sports-influence drawstring design. Crafted from lightweight polyester, it’s durable and spacious with a 12L capacity. It comes in a choice of bold colours and has the Vans logo screen printed on the front. 

How To Care For Vans Backpacks

Vans backpacks are made to last the seasons. Most styles are crafted from durable polyester fabrics and have padded straps with reinforced seams. They’re easy to spot clean or deep clean at home to keep them looking fresh. Make sure you check all of the pockets for loose items that could cause damage during cleaning.

Before attempting to clean your Vans bag, you should always check the care label on the inside. This will tell you whether your backpack can be washed in the machine. Most cotton and polyester styles can be put in the washing machine. Placing them in a pillowcase first can help protect them during the cycle. Make sure all zips and hooks are fastened before washing.

Wash your backpack on a cold or gentle cycle (30 or 40 degrees) with a mild detergent. Don’t tumble dry, as this can alter the shape and damage any patches. Instead, leave to air dry.

Styles that can’t be washed in the machine can be washed by hand using warm soapy water. Again, leave your bag to dry naturally and don’t apply heat.

You can spot clean your Vans backpack between washes to keep it looking clean. Fill a bowl with warm water and a mild detergent, take a sponge or washcloth and lightly dap at affected areas. Make sure to get rid of suds from the fabric before you leave it to dry. 

FAQ

Is Vans a sustainable brand?

Vans is and always has been rooted in youth culture. It’s this audience that has inspired the brand to make a push towards being sustainable. They set up their Green Sole Operations in an attempt to become more sustainable right through from their headquarters to their factories and retail outlets. Recently, the brand moved to new eco-friendly offices, which helps them manage their carbon footprint from their headquarters. Some products now use Better Initiative Cotton and they aim to use only sustainable cotton resources by 2025. Tags are now made from recycled paper and the brand is moving towards making all shoes boxes and packaging from recycled resources too. 

Are Vans backpacks good for sports?

Vans backpacks are made for life on the move. Some products have hideaway straps that can carry a skateboard comfortably on your back. Most styles have ergonomic straps that have breathable webbing, helping to control your temperature on hikes or walks. Look out for backpacks that have side pockets for your water bottle, letting you keep it close at hand at all times. 

Can a Vans backpack fit my laptop?

Some Vans backpacks are built to carry your laptop. These have a sleeve at the back that is padded with a velcro strap to keep your computer or tablet safe. They are designed to fit a laptop of up to 38cm wide. Adding to their versatility, some bags have internal holders built to keep your pen, mobile and other items secure and organized too.