Herschel Retreat vs Little America - What's the Difference?

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Herschel Retreat vs Little America
Herschel Retreat Herschel Little America
Dimensions 17” (H) x 12” (W) x 5.75” (D) 19.5"(H) x 11.25"(W) x 7”(D)
Volume 19.5L 25.5L
Weight 1 lb 11 oz 2 lbs
External Pockets Front storage sleeve Front pocket with hidden zipper and key clip
Laptop Compartment Yes Yes
Water Bottle Pockets No No
Price Check the latest price on Amazon Check the latest price on Amazon

Those in the market for a new backpack will stumble upon both the Herschel Supply Co. Retreat and Little America backpack models in their search. Both backpack styles are very similar in design, carrying capacity and style. So what’s the difference? Here we will dive into an in-depth Herschel Retreat vs Little America comparison and answer some common questions in the process.

 

Herschel Retreat vs Little America

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Carrying capacity and size

One of the main differences between the Herschel Retreat and Little America backpacks is their size and carrying capacity. Herschel’s Little America has a roomy main compartment that can carry up to 25.5 liters. While the Herschel Retreat has a smaller overall carrying capacity at 19.5 liters. When it comes to dimensions the Herschel Little America stands higher at 19.5 inches inches in height with the Retreat coming it at only 17 inches.

 Herschel Retreat vs Little America - The Little America has a larger main compartment.

Herschel Retreat vs Little America - The Little America has a larger main compartment.

As for exterior pocket storage, the Herschel Retreat offers a front storage sleeve for small and thin items while the Herschel Little America has a full-zip front pocket with a key clip. When compared to the Little America front pocket, the front sleeve on the Retreat is substantially smaller. You’ll also notice that the front pocket sleeve does not zip close like the front pouch pocket in the Little America backpack. 

 The Herschel Supply Co. Little America has a much larger front pocket.

The Herschel Supply Co. Little America has a much larger front pocket.

Laptop Compartment and Tech Carry

In spite of their difference in carrying capacity, there is no difference when it comes to their tech carry features. Both the Retreat and Little America include a padded and fleece lined laptop sleeve that can fit laptops up to 15 inches. 

Another great feature that is included in both backpacks is an internal media pocket with headphone port. Owner’s of either backpack can run their headphone cable through a small port in the side of the backpack when worn. 

 Both backpacks feature identical fleece lined laptop sleeves and internal media pockets with headphone ports.

Both backpacks feature identical fleece lined laptop sleeves and internal media pockets with headphone ports.

Materials and enclosures

Both the Herschel Retreat and the Little America are top-loading backpacks. This means that their main compartments can only be accessed from the top like a “bucket” or rucksack without the use of zippers. Both bags use the same adjustable drawstring closure mechanism to secure the contents inside. The Retreat and Little America also feature magnetic strap closures to keep the leather straps in place when the bag is closed. When it comes accessing the main compartment, there is no difference in access between the Herschel Retreat and it’s slightly larger sibling the Little America backpack. 

Materials on the Little America and Retreat are the same. Both are made from polyester and feature either faux-leather or rubber straps. Bag materials may slightly vary depending on the color pattern but there is often very little difference in materials when it comes to either bag. 

 

Herschel Retreat vs Little America Mid-Volume Comparison

When it comes to size options, Herschel Little America and Retreat are available in full size versions and their respective mid-volume styles. These Mid-Volume versions are perfect for those with smaller frames or for people who like the look and utility of a smaller backpack.  Here we will compare Herschel Little America Mid-Volume vs Herschel Retreat Mid-Volume with a quick comparison chart.

Herschel retreat mid-volume backpack

Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack

Herschel Retreat Mid-Volume vs Little America Mid-Volume
Herschel Retreat Mid-Volume Herschel Little America Mid-Volume
Dimensions 17"(H) x 11"(W) x 4.75"(D) 16"(H) x 10.75"(W) x 5"(D)
Volume 14L 17L
Weight 1 lb 7 oz 1 lb 14 oz
External Pockets Front storage sleeve Front pocket with hidden zipper and key clip
Laptop Sleeve 13" Inch Laptop Sleeve 13" Inch Laptop Sleeve

As you can see in the chart, the same similarities and differences still apply to the Mid-Volume versions of these backpacks as they do to their full size versions. The main difference is their dimensions and carrying capacity. One thing you'll notice is that although lighter and smaller in volume, the overall dimensions of the Herschel Retreat Mid-Volume is actually a couple of inches more than the Herschel Little America Mid-Volume.