Friday, 11 September 2015

Back to School with the Kipling Clas Seoul Backpack

Back to school means only one thing for my teen girl - time for a new backpack (I think she gets her love of all things bag shaped from me - it is no secret that I love a new handbag!).

Over the past few years since she started High School she has been through a few bags, none of which have really lived up to her expectations - too small, uncomfortable to wear or the worst, falling apart after only a few weeks (thanks Amazon cheapy satchel!).

We were therefore delighted when Kipling offered us the chance to review some bags from their Back to School range, and beyond thrilled when not one but two of their Clas Seoul Backpacks turned up in a very large box on my doorstep last week (as I say, me and bags...).

We wasted no time in putting them to the test with both my teen girl and my now pre-teen boy.

Apart from the absolutely stunning metallic emerald colourway that we were sent, the first thing I noticed about the bags is how incredibly well made they seemed compared to some of the bags the children have previously owned.  There are loads of little details from the grab handle on the top of the bag, which is embossed with the Kipling logo, to the key holder and even little clips that hold the excess strap webbing out of the way on the straps at the back.  Instantly I could tell that this was a quality product.

Grab handle at the top of the bag

The inside of the Clas Seoul Backpack does not disappoint either.  The main compartment is divided into two sections, in addition to which there is a padded laptop holder with a velcro strap for protection.  Although my children rarely take any tech items to school I tried my 14 inch hp chromebook inside to see how well it fitted.  It fitted easily although the strap only just met up with the velcro on the pocket - it would still be enough for me if I were to take it out like that, and a smaller laptop or tablet in a case would definitely fit in with no problems at all. This is good to know, bearing in mind that a bag like this once purchased could easily last all the way through Junior School and into the High School years and maybe onto 6th Form and Uni too.

Inside the Clas Seoul Backpack main compartment

The front pocket of the bag has a key clip and smaller slip pockets for pens, wallets and phones.  There is also a fairly deep zipped pocket on the inside and if that wasn't enough there is one on the outside too!

Inside the front pocket

In fact, there are pockets galore on this bag.  One on the side - again big enough for a smartphone and a similar one on the top which could be used for tissues and a lip balm.  There are certainly enough to keep even the most forgetful teen (not that mine are - ahem!) organised.

Outer side pocket as modeled by teen girl's smartphone 

One area that is always of concern to me is the straps of the kids' school bags - just how comfortable are they?  Given how much stuff they have to cart around with them at High School I always try to make sure that the bags we buy are both supportive and strong enough for all the books they need to contain.

I was really surprised that the Clas Seoul Backpack is not only stylish, but that the straps are nicely padded and have an anti slip type fabric on the underside so that they stay put on young shoulders.  Size-wise there is also a good deal of adjustability ensuring the bag will last my two a while.

Padded non slip straps

So, how did the bag pack up?

Well, to give you an illustration, we put all of teen girl's school bits for a typical day inside.  Notebooks, pencil case, lunch box, water bottle and an umbrella in the main compartment and A5 planner and colouring pencils in the front pocket.  As you can see below, there was still a massive amount of room for any other bits and pieces she might need to carry.  My pre-teen boy's needs are slightly different in that he still has a book bag for Primary School.  He is a fairly sporty sort and carries all manner of kit for football, running club and regular P.E. lessons too.  The Clas Seoul Backpack fits all of this in with ease and is much easier for him to carry than a normal drawstring P.E. bag to boot.

All packed up with teen girl's things

This pocket is so huge that her A5 planner barely fills it!

All in all we are massively impressed with the Kipling Clas Seoul Backpack, both inside and out.  My girl has since taken hers off to school where it has received many an admiring look from her fellow teens (this is most important apparently).

While she has been through many bags, in terms of both looks and functionality this meets all of her needs perfectly and so I think this one might finally be a keeper.

My only gripe - I now desperately need a Kipling bag for myself!

This bag gets her seal of approval (finally)

The Kipling Clas Seoul Backpack in Metal Emerald is priced at £94.00 and can be bought from the Kipling website here.

We were sent two Kipling Clas Seoul Backpacks from their Back to School range for the purpose of this review.  All words and opinions are our own.

Tried and Tested


  1. this bag looks great and I can see my boy would like it if only for the colour! #TriedTested

    1. Yes, the good news is they do it in loads of cool colours and patterns!

  2. These look fantastic! I really like the colour and the bag does look so well made x

  3. I quite fancy that for myself, looks like a great, sturdy backpack #TriedTested

  4. What a great backpack! Looks like it fits a decent amount too! At £94 though I think it'd be a little pricey for me to justify using for school but maybe thats just me? #TriedTested

    1. Its like a tardis! I should have mentioned that there are other colourways on their site that are cheaper. Having said that I must have spent more than that on the four other backpacks my daughter has had, and they have all fallen apart or become too uncomfortable to use within weeks - so far so good with this one!

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  6. Last but not the least, when buying bags for kids, the colour and design play an important role. Always take into consideration the likes and dislikes of your child. Even better take him along if possible when you go shopping for a new bag. School bags for kids generally look best in bright colours and patterns. brand dukan

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