Herschel Supply Co. is a purveyor of stylish-yet-functional bags and accessories for the modern woman, emphasizing utilitarian style.
It took less than a day to realize that the Herschel Supply Co. Form Crossbody resembles a teddy bear backpack. Something about the size and placement of the pockets makes it a great addition to the Build-A-Bear Workshop accessories department. You can’t unsee it after you’ve seen it.
This crossbody sling bag has become one of our favorites for travel and EDC (everyday carry), despite—or maybe because of—its flaws.
We’ve been driving it around Detroit, Michigan, for about two months and on excursions to Canada, Maine, New Mexico, and Illinois. So, let’s get started with the complete review.
Aesthetics & Materials
As we’ve previously noted, the teddy-bear-backpack-ness of this bag is its most striking aesthetic element. There isn’t much more to say. It isn’t the most fashionable purse on the market, but it isn’t obnoxious either.
It comes in four colors at the time of this review. They all have interesting names, yet they’re all blue, camo, gray, or black. Surprisingly, we haven’t tested the black, instead choosing the gray (to keep you guessing!). However, we’ve wished we’d gone with our regular black since it adds a layer of class. The bag is ok for more suitable places now, but it’s more casual than Haute.
While it’s technically a sling bag, it’s more like a purse (or murse). Depending on your style and preferences, this might be good or negative.
The white Herschel tag is a little too prominent for our liking, and it already has a few loose threads, detracting from the otherwise excellent artistry.
Let’s chat about the materials while we’re on the subject.
Polyester is used for the outside, inside, and lining. While polyester isn’t always a poor material, it isn’t always as durable or light as nylon (a similar synthetic fabric). We haven’t observed any signs of wear yet, but it won’t last as long as a more durable bag. It won’t, however, see the same amount of wear as a more durable bag.
All the zippers are YKK, and the cord pulls are Prusik, which is smooth and, more importantly, robust. We don’t expect any issues with the buckles, which Duraflex makes.
Components from Outside
Let’s start with the shoulder strap’s most visible component on the outside. It’s a hit-or-miss situation. We enjoy how the area of the strap that touches your body is made of a thicker, softer material than the remainder of the belt, assuring comfort and decreasing the risk of ruining your clothes. On the other hand, its detachability and adjustability leave much to be desired.
We appreciate that the strap can be removed to make the bag more compact. It’s also entertaining to fidget with, albeit it’s a risky game since you risk dropping the bag on dirty flooring (so twitch at your own risk).
When you remove the strap, you’re left with two hanging strap sections that connect half of the buckles to the bag, which looks as strange as it sounds (think floppy antennae). Although the imprint of the fasteners will be visible within the sleeve, you may tuck them into the storage sleeve, where you can also hide the disconnected strap.
We hadn’t used the storage sleeve often since we’ve never needed to remove the strap (one time, we used it to temporarily store a wrapper when a trash pail was nowhere to be found), but it’s there if you need it and hardly obvious if you don’t.
When it comes to adaptability, Herschel falls short. The bag hangs loose and touches the hips even when fully fastened. That’s not ideal for busy marketplaces or buses, when it’s safest to keep the bag close to your body and away from pickpockets’ sticky fingertips.
Finally, the bag has a loop at the top for easy holding and hanging (and to really cement that teddy bear backpack look). There are no complaints here.
The Inside of the Bag
While we’ve been testing the Form Crossbody’s huge size, it’s not quite that big. It has a 2L capacity on the inside. However, because of its interior structure, it will hold more than you think, and it will keep all of your belongings neat and clean, which is a huge benefit for travel.
First, let’s look at the biggest compartment. A rear sleeve and a little pocket are included on the inside. We’ve stored our phone, passport, and boarding pass inside the sleeve. We stuffed some ibuprofen inside the smaller pocket since you never know when you’ll need it.
The main pocket is just right for a wallet—specifically, the Matt and Nat VERASM Wallet—a pair of hefty sunglasses, plus a snack or two (again, you never know). It features a three-dimensional form that allows you to neatly stow your belongings without fear of them being tangled. It also has two zippered closures, which we love. But, you know, it’s the tiny details that create a bag.
There is no other organization in the center pocket. We’ve kept a tremendously expensive pen, headphones, and glasses in this room. Everything remains where you placed it because of the pocket’s cube shape—a significant benefit!
Last but not least, there’s the front pocket. Because it’s a little more challenging to get to than the other two, we suggest storing goods inside that you won’t need as regularly. We’ve kept our FinalStraw, keys, and mints in this location (gotta have that minty fresh breath).
Herschel’s bright red “striped cloth lining” can be found in all pockets. This is something we like since it makes viewing and accessing your items much more straightforward.
Testing & Durability
We’ve been trying the giant Herschel Supply Co. Form Crossbody for about two months, as we said at the start of our review. It’s fantastic for day-to-day use but even better for travel. It’s the perfect size for a personal item, letting you bring everything you’ll need on a flight. Almost everything. We wished the main compartment was a little larger so we could put a book in it (it will fit newer Kindles).
We weren’t expecting it to last as long as it does. We haven’t tried much Herschel Supply Co. gear here at Pack Hacker, but we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of this item. Except for some loose threads on the logo tag, everything looks almost as lovely as it did on day one. Sure, it’s a minor quibble. But it’s a significant one.
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