My Backpack Essentials | Commuter Life

September 25, 2017

When I started my commute last year I used to be that person. That person who walked in her work shoes and carried a full to bursting handbag. I now look back and realise how silly I was!

When my elbows began to play up with my arthritis last winter I was referred to a physio. She talked to me about things I could do to help the pain, mainly changing my commuting habits. Mainly my bag… The look on her face when she lifted my handbag. It was no coincidence that my bad arm was also the one that took most of the weight. She also suggested I switch to trainers, and to change into work shoes at work. That shaved a good 10 minutes off my walk meaning I could leave the house later!

My Backpack Essentials - Fjallraven

As everyone had raved about Fjallraven Kanken backpacks, I began to contemplate one. At first I just used an old hiking backpack. I was the geek at school, one of the only ones with a backpack. Possibly leading to my stubbornness with nice handbags as an adult. However, I had heard good things and read that they helped a lot with back problems, so why not give one a go? Especially with the amazing colours. So that’s when I bought my first one… And then recently I ended up buying my new one because I couldn’t say no to the pink and blue colour way!

My Backpack Essentials - Contents of my Bag

The huge bonus to the Fjallraven is just how much you can cram in it. The boxy shape makes it perfect for the commute and I’ve managed a couple of nights away with it too. Most days it’s not too full. I couldn’t live without the basic backpack essentials obviously… Phone, season ticket, wallet, keys, sunglasses, iPod (his name is Merlin FYI), work pass, planner and a stash of Polos.

My Backpack Essentials - Backpack Contents

(Not pictured but also backpack essentials- my lunchbox, my emergency stash of painkillers, my latest book – as I finished one last week and am yet to pick one for this week’s commute, and my phone charger… left it at work!)

My Backpack Essentials - Fjallraven Backpack

I’m not really a chewing gum fan so Polos are essential for me. They’ve recently created these new Polo Pots, which are super handy and stop your Polos from getting manky in the bottom of your bag… Like mine often do… Paper wrappers and a crammed backpack don’t mix! The Extra Strong flavour really wake you up if you need it and there’s sugar free versions too. So kind for your teeth.

My Backpack Essentials - Polo Pots

Using a backpack really has helped my poorly shoulder. But it’s also made my commute a bit easier. I can pack it so the essentials (like my train pass) is near the top for easy reach when the conductor’s about. They’re also a bit more secure than a typical handbag. And how can we not discuss the colour one more time? I love bringing a bit of brightness to my day.

Are you a fellow commuter? What’re your backpack essentials? Are you a Fjallraven Kanken backpack fan? Let me know in the comments,


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P.S. Post in collaboration with Polo Mints. As ever all words, photos and opinions are my own.


  • Reply Claire October 24, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Are the straps comfortable? I’ve thought about getting one but was worried they look like they might dig in to shoulders!

    • Reply MissPond October 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

      I’ve had no issues at all! I find them better for my narrow shoulders, a lot of other bag straps would slip off!

  • Reply Michelle Twin Mum September 27, 2017 at 11:28 am

    It’s a greta bag, I’ve not heard of them before. I am pleased to say I no longer have to commute as I realy didn’t enjoy it. Mich x

    • Reply MissPond October 8, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      I wish I could give up my commute… Maybe if I win the lottery lol!

  • Reply Erica Price September 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

    It makes a lot of sense to carry a good bag and pop your work shoes in it. I struggle to walk far in anything, but supportive shoes, so I’d be doing this if I didn’t work from home.

    • Reply MissPond October 8, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      Definitely! I wouldn’t do my commute in anything but trainers now.

  • Reply Patrick September 27, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I used to carry a backpack when I worked in music…..carried notebook,pens,phonebook,flyers….extra shirt on cold nights.
    People would know I was coming based on seeing my backpack

  • Reply Tanesha Jade September 25, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I love how organised your bag is, mine is shocking! Backpacks are a must, I got my first backpack this year and can’t look at another one shoulder bag again!

    • Reply MissPond October 8, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      I need the organisation or I’d be a mess haha! I haven’t used a shoulder bag in ages!

  • Reply Laura September 25, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I’ve been thinking of switching to using a backbag on my commute too, but have so far not invested in one. I’m mostly worried of pickpockets in the tube, to be honest – it gets so crowded and I don’t think I would notice if something was taken! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Reply MissPond September 25, 2017 at 11:32 am

      I take mine off on the train and have it in front of me. A zip being unzipped is easier noticed than someone dipping into your handbag! There’s also a concealed pocket in my Kanken, so I put everything in there.

  • Reply jess September 25, 2017 at 9:55 am

    LOVE Kanken bags! I have had mine for 3 years!

    • Reply MissPond October 8, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      They seem to last a lifetime! A worthwhile investment I think 🙂

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