A Chanel backpack is the very embodiment of classy casual. These designer backpacks are elegant and versatile, coming in all kinds of sizes and colors. However, some design elements are totally iconic, like cushioned leather and chain straps – not to mention the CC logo.
Wearing a Chanel backpack is not like wearing a typical backpack, because people can instantly recognize the high-end elegance. A Chanel backpack is an investment for life, so take your time when choosing the right Chanel backpack for you.
In this article, we’ll profile the 11 best Chanel backpacks worth buying, with all different kinds of looks and sizes. We’ll explain how to spot a fake Chanel backpack so you don’t get conned, and to finish things off we’ll give you some suggestions for the different ways you can carry a Chanel backpack depending on the occasion.
Chanel Backpack Fashion Guide: Contents
From the most iconic Chanel backpacks of all time to fresh, new additions, these 11 styles are sure to conquer everyone’s hearts!
1. Grained Calfskin & Gold Metal Chanel Backpack
A Chanel backpack has to be classy and comfy – something you’ll want to use for decades! This option is made of black calfskin in the iconic cushioned Chanel pattern, with classy gold details and a metallic chain woven with a more solid leather strap.
This bag is medium sized, so it can work wonderfully as an everyday bag, and it has a functional zipper opening and a square envelope pocket at the front to hold smaller items. You can buy this utilitarian bag directly from Chanel.
2. Chanel Gabrielle Small Backpack
The ‘Gabrielle’ line of Chanel bags became instantly iconic, with the initial releasing including both this bucket backpack design and hobo bags. This updated model is made with gold and silver-toned goatskin, which lends it a unique aged metal appearance.
Even the chain straps are dual colored! You can alter the way you wear this bag for every occasion, and it will make you stand out as a true fashionista. Be assured you’re getting an original buy shopping for this bag directly through Chanel.
3. Tweed Chanel Backpack
Because of the signature tweed material, this is one of the most classic Chanel backpacks, despite the fact that its back part is made of blue lambskin. This bag is one of the largest Chanel options, but its inside is lined with satin so you still want to treat it with care. On the inside you have enough room to carry your favorite book and makeup kit. Chanel’s website is the best place to get this bag.
4. Green Calfskin Flap Chanel Backpack
If you like a touch of color, why not opt for a classy green Chanel backpack? It is made with cushioned calfskin and accentuated with the Chanel logo in gold. It features a flap top over a drawstring closure for added protection, over which there is a gold chain handle for hand carrying.
The straps themselves are adjustable leather, and there is even a little outer pocket near the back where you can hide your passport or cards from pickpockets. This bag is available through Chanel directly.
5. Smooth Chevron Calfskin Chanel Backpack
Not everyone loves the cushioned calfskin of most Chanel backpacks, which is when this bag really appeals. It is made of smooth calfskin, and has the geometric chevron pattern embroidered into it without the typically accompanying cushion. It has a top flat with a golden chain handle and leather straps. We really cannot imagine a more elegant and high-class design for a bag! You can get it from Chanel.
6. Grained Calfskin Chanel Backpack
This bag is made of the softest leather, and carrying it would be a treat for anyone. It boasts some key Chanel backpack elements like a small bucket-style design with a drawstring top covered by a flap, and the Chanel logo front and center. Differences come in the form of a combination of chain straps that disappear into a length of belt-style leather straps, and the iconic Chanel logo in leather rather than gold. Order it online from Chanel!
7. Nautical Chanel Backpack
Coco Chanel’s love for all things boat and ocean is well documented. This graphic Chanel backpack displays that love explicitly, with a yacht depicted across its front. The print is black and white against a nude-pink ocean and sky. The bulk of this bag is made of cotton, in a sporty design, with some leather elements as well.
It’s a larger bag, perfect for carrying on vacation – especially if you’re heading on a cruise! This is the kind of bag that only shows up once every few collections, so if you like it, buy it from Chanel soon.
8. Chained Leather Chanel Backpack
Gold chain details have been plentiful on the Chanel runways recently, so we were happy to see some Chanel backpack options embellished with chains! This backpack’s front is covered in calfskin, with grained calfskin used for the half that goes for the flap. The bag’s straps are made of leather, with the parts attached to the bag at the bottom made of chain. Get this cute little bag directly from Chanel!
9. 31 Rue Cambon Chanel Backpack
In 1918, Coco Chanel purchased a full building at 31 Cambon Street in Paris, where she essentially created the concept of the modern boutique. This bag pays homage to the iconic address, with a cotton and nylon bucket bag design that reminds us of an old fabric shopping bag.
It is one of the largest bags on this list, and it is also very casual, so definitely save it for long days and street style looks. It still has the leather straps embellished with chains that are a key part of the brand. This bag is available directly through Chanel.
10. Chanel Oh My Boy Graffiti Backpack
In 2014, Karl Lagerfeld succumbed to the very punk urge to draw all over his Chanel backpack designs and to cover them in pins and woven string embellishments, perhaps the same way some of us did when we were angsty teens in high school. The bag has an ultra-distressed appearance, but it’s still unmistakably Chanel – the logo and the 31 Rue Cambon address are both printed on the bag.
These days it’s hard to find this Chanel backpack, but you might still be able to snag one at Vestiaire Collective, which retails authentic pre-loved Chanel bags.
11. Pink Lambskin Chanel Backpack
You want people to notice you when you wear a Chanel backpack, so a deep pink is certainly an ideal choice. This bag has a very simple, streamlined design, with a zip-top opening and a leather handle and straps. The leather itself is a smooth lambskin covered in a diamond pattern. This bag can be purchased directly from Chanel.
Like with many other Chanel products, as well as with other designer brands in general, there are many retailers out there selling counterfeit Chanel backpacks. It’s important that you learn how to tell the difference between a genuine Chanel backpack and a fake one, to avoid being swindled out of thousands of dollars.
If you buy your Chanel backpack directly from a Chanel store or from Chanel.com, then you’ll know that you’re getting the real deal, and first hand to boot! Skip the worry of checking and authenticating from dubious online retailers, and go only to the source.
The Duster Bag
Even Chanel backpacks come with a duster bag. A true reseller will always hang on to the duster bag, as it is a key part of authenticating a Chanel bag.
The duster bag should be black, and emblazoned with the word ‘Chanel’ in white capital letters. The print should be totally solid and start white, and the font should be the right size and thickness. You should be instantly suspicious if the backpack comes without a duster bag, or if the duster bag isn’t well-printed.
All Chanel backpacks and purses have a serial number. The serial number is always 8 digits or less, and a Google search of the serial number will match up with your bag’s model and the year it was made. The serial number shows up on a sticker, although the location of the sticker varies from bag to bag.
Unfortunately, a Chanel authenticity card is fairly easy to replicate, although you should still give it a good look. The number on the authenticity card should match the serial number on the sticker. The card should be thick and firm, kind of like a credit card.
A genuine authenticity card will always be perfectly aligned, with a gray circle on the top right corner (at least for bags made in 2005 and after). Lastly, be aware that sometimes fake authenticity cards have a hologram effect particularly over the metallic letters, while an authentic card never does.
Have a look at the material of the Chanel backpack you’ve purchased or are hoping to purchase. While not all Chanel backpacks are made of leather, most are. The leather should feel soft and supple, and made of either calf, goat, or lamb.
The leather on Chanel backpacks is rarely coated with anything, so it should have an organic texture that is slightly uneven. If the leather is very shiny or flat, that should raise some concern.
Quality of Embroidery
Chanel backpacks are often covered in a quilted pattern or a diamond embroidery. Since Chanel backpacks are made by skilled craftspeople, the embroidery should be even and strong, especially along the bottom seams. If you see unevenness, that should raise some serious doubts, particularly if the bag is supposed to be new.
The CC Logo
The interlocked Cs of the Chanel logo are an important element of every Chanel bag, including the backpacks. Any deviation from the original design of the logo will make a fake backpack easy to spot.
The logo can show up as a closure or just as a little embellishment on the bag, as well as in the form of a print. The way the two Cs interlock is important – the right C overlaps the left C at the top, and the left overlaps the right on the bottom. The ends of each letter are totally flat rather than rounded, and if the logo is made of metal, the two back screws should be emblazoned with “Chanel” and “Paris” respectively.
Additionally, the quality of the hardware used for the logo is another signifier – the logo on a counterfeit bag might peel or fade overtime, while it will remain solid and shiny on an authentic Chanel backpack.
The Chain Straps
The chain straps on Chanel backpacks are one place where even good replicators fail. Woven through the straps is a thin length of leather that should always be of the same quality as the leather of the Chanel backpack itself. That leather strap should be sewn together evenly, without any piece of it doubled over.
Especially when it comes to cushioned designs, the embroidery and stitching on Chanel backpacks should always be thick, with a high stitch count. A counterfeiter will rarely go through the effort of using enough stitches on the bag.
The lining inside a Chanel backpack can be made of a variety of materials, but the key is that it’s flawless – it lays flat against the body of the backpack, and it never creases or gets lumpy. It is also very well attached to the bag. Any imperfections are a sign of a fake.
The Chanel logo should also be embossed on the inner part of the bag. Check that it is truly embossed into the material of the bag, rather than printed over it.
Additionally, the logo on the inside should be the same color as the hardware logo on the outside. The font should be the right size: 3.3 cm in height. On the inside it will also normally say whether the bag was made in France or Italy, although not always.
Simply put, your Chanel backpack should look and feel luxe. It should stand upright, and appear solid and well made. Any flaws in construction or anything that doesn’t appear well constructed is a sure sign that your bag is a counterfeit.
Ask a Professional
There are many people whose profession is to authenticate designer bags! You can reach out to the authenticator on the Chanel forum at PurseBlog.com, or you can consult an authentication service like authenticatefirst.com.
Because Chanel backpacks are much more than just your average backpack, there are a few different ways to wear them! The small bag size, paired with the long length of the straps, means you can adjust how you wear a Chanel backpack to work with different outfits and occasions.
This is the perfect way to carry your Chanel backpack if you are going to be out and about all day long, like festivals, day trips, or errand days. Simply wear each strap over each shoulder like you would any other backpack.
Because of the length of the straps, most Chanel backpacks will sit lower on your back so they won’t obscure your shoulders or the outfit you’re wearing.
By pulling both straps of your Chanel backpack together, you can wear it over just one shoulder. This will look like a traditional shoulder carry for any women’s purse that has longer straps, and with most Chanel backpacks it is classy enough to allow you to carry the bag into more sophisticated situations like work meetings or dinner dates.
With some Chanel backpacks the two shoulder straps are actually just one strap that is separated by the cinch top of the bag. You can pull the strap out from the front of the bag so it is one long loop, and then wear the bag as a unique cross-body option.
This can be very comfortable with smaller bags that are not too heavy, and it can look more mature and elegant than a backpack carry, but still casual.
Inner Chain Shoulder Carry
This is another method for carrying a Chanel backpack that only works with a drawstring-style top.
• Pull the straps of the Chanel backpack from the inner part of the bag, so that they face each other.
• Slide your hand through the two loops that they make, and so that the backpack sits comfortably against your side.
This is a shoulder carry that will make your Chanel backpack look a lot like a purse!
This final method will allow you to wear your Chanel backpack like a handbag!
• Pull the straps out of the cinched top of the backpack, so that they come out in four loops.
• Line up the loops, and then slide your arm through them to carry the bag on your elbow, or just grab a hold of them with your hand.
This is another great option for taking your Chanel backpack with you to the office or on a date!
Photos via @lornaluxe, @pamhetlinger, @leoniehanne, @alexandralapp_, @theblondmacaron, @cassdimicco