Backpacks were the foundation of Wiktor Haglöf's business. One of the first packs he created was the Ryggsäck N:o 6 which was released way back in 1916. To mark their centenary Haglöfs went back to where it all began. Taking inspiration from the N:o 6, they created the Haglöfs RYGGSÄCK N:o 1. With aesthetics that deftly straddle the dividing line between modern and timeless, the pack was designed to last at least a century itself, a hard-wearing heirloom that can be passed onto future generations.
Only a thousand of the bags have been made, and one of them buckled up for the ride in our road test...
- Name: RYGGSÄCK N:o 1
- Brand: Haglöfs
- Format: Backpack
- Capacity: 35L
- Weight: 1.45kg
- Material: Vegetable-tanned leather; 500D Cordura®
Who it suits
It suits people who are after a backpack which clearly stands out as a premium but holistic option. The story is a great talking point, so if you are someone who wants their gear to have an additional background when asked about it, this is the bag for you.
Tall people will dig this bag! The bag’s size is great for anyone with a larger frame. I am 6’2″ and have found that a lot of backpacks look too small on my frame. However, the Haglöfs is perfect. It is large without being huge and proportion-wise suits larger and broader people.
This is a huge upgrade from the Herschel as a work bag and the quality of materials and leathers scream it out…the price also demands that this should be the case.
Minimalist features internally will also help to define the user. You must be comfortable with only a couple of pockets internally, two external flap pockets and not much else.
“The bag’s size is great for anyone with a larger frame.”
Who it doesn’t
Small people – the bag is big and looks a bit oversized for more petite gents and ladies.
This is also not the best option for anyone with a budget constraint.
A mix of clean and modern, with heritage cuts and elements contrasted with technical fabrics. The leather is amazing and will age with grace. All hardware has a brass feel to it and uses incredibly simple mechanics; these simple mechanics will help enhance the longevity of the pieces. It is also zip and (of course) Velcro-free. Any of those elements which age poorly or are prone to breakage have been eliminated.
“A mix of clean and modern, with heritage cuts and elements contrasted with technical fabrics.”
The big leather panel pull tab closure is the biggest pull out from the front. It can be a bit challenging but it all depends on your aesthetic. This will not suit a suit, but glides into more relaxed work environments with ease.
“Any of those elements which age poorly or are prone to breakage have been eliminated.”
The biggest look that you will need to get comfortable with is the two large pieces of tan leather that will be over your shoulders. They are massive, thick and initially quite stiff. If you wear delicate fabrics be warned, you will be nervous pushing heavy pieces of leather over them.
The bag’s construction is excellent. The paneling shows a great attention to detail and craft.
No stitches are out of place, the seams align well and there are super precise darts for the front pockets.
Internally the high contrast bindings showcase the straightness of the internal construction in contrast to the multi-panel volumetric external patterns.
The hardware is awesome. The simplicity of the front sternum strap hook and loop was initially looking a little slim. However, the lack of size and rotation flexibility far outperformed plastic SR buckles commonly used in sternum straps. It was comfortable and flexed when I needed it to.
The brass studs and triglides / square rings are also of a very high build quality. The leather anchors for the studs give them a solid built-in feel within the bag.
All of the components, from the hardware to the fabric and leather, are made and sourced in Sweden and the quality is superb. Even the binding tape has a high-quality feel to it.
A nifty little feature that adds real character to the bag is a map on the inside of the lid that shows where each of the bag’s components comes from.
This is a stripped-back carry experience. The minimalism of the organization options will appeal to some but put others off. If you are looking for a pack that has organizers, pen holders and places to drop your phone, this is not the bag for you.
However, if you don’t carry a lot or you’re happy to use an additional organizer then this bag will suit your carry style. The two front external pockets are great for quick access, and as with the other pieces, they are cleanly minimalist.
Additional time with the pack has made what was initially a small gripe turn into a bit of a problem. The lack of adequate stiffness in the back wall and sizing/patterning of the laptop sleeve/back panel means that your laptop will fall forward whilst wearing the bag. I was testing with a 15″ MacBook Pro Retina and felt it falling forward the whole time; smaller laptops will also have this issue. Placing a laptop in the main area of the bag would actually result in better performance. If you are thinking you will use the bag for as long as Haglöfs recommends (100+ years) then laptops will not be an issue.
“…your laptop will fall forward whilst wearing the bag…”
However, the forward wrapping of the back panel will be a consistent problem. It’s not initially a deal breaker – given how much this bag is doing right – but it will over time become more of an issue.
The weather resistance isn’t exceptional but it is good. There is a slight chance of the elements creeping into the flap and side pockets.
However, the protection is more than adequate for the most common use case scenario of this bag.
It is not for hiking into the mountains with; it is primarily an urban pack and functions very well in that environment.
- Modern yet timeless design
- Superior quality materials
- Fantastic construction with attention to detail
Not so Good
- Laptop falls forward while bag is in use
- Minimalist organization won't appeal to everyone
This is a bag to extend you out in front of the pack. Backpacks are now widely acceptable inside the workplace, in most levels of business.
Nobody will mistake this as a Herschel bag. You are doing your credibility a favour by selecting such a bag to bring into the office.
Rich in history, clean and direct organization with a superb level of quality… Kind of how you work, right?