Herschel Nova Small vs Mini

Herschel Nova Small vs Mini: What Is the Difference Between the Two Backpacks?

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links; we will earn a commision, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase through one of our links.

When it comes to hipster and vintage yet timeless backpacks, not many brands will offer an incredibly large collection like Herschel.

The Vancouver-based company produces a wide range of accessories and backpacks with excellent attention to the finest of details.

Among the most popular models that the backpack producer makes is the Herschel Nova, which comes in a wide range of sizes, including the Small and the Mini. so, what’s the difference between the two backpacks?

In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a brief guide that puts the Herschel Nova Small vs Mini in a brief comparison, so you can pick the one that suits your taste.

Herschel Nova Small vs Mini Overview

Both the Small and Mini belong to the same Herschel Nova model, so there isn’t much of a difference between the two except for sizes and design options. The Small is 14 liters, which is 5 liters larger than the mini and weighs a few ounces more. Both backpacks have similar compartment organization apart from the two extra water bottle holders in the Small vs none in the Mini.

ImageProductDetails  Price
Herschel Nova Small Herschel Nova SmallLarger in Size Check Price
Herschel Nova Mini Herschel Nova MiniWider Range of Colors to Choose FromCheck Price

A Brief Comparison Between Herschel Nova Small vs Mini Backpacks

Since both backpacks belong to the same line, you should expect them to be pretty similar in terms of many aspects.

However, the two backpacks also have plenty of subtle differences.

In this section, we’ll compare the two backpacks based on some of the most important aspects of the backpacks.

Size and Backpack Capacity

Herschel Supply Co. Nova Small Pixel Floral One Size

Let’s start with the backpack’s sizes and capacity because this aspect is the most prominent difference between the two.

The Herschel Nova isn’t designed to be a large bag for hauling all your items like standard backpacks or duffel bags.

Instead, it’s more typically used on the weekends to carry your essentials, such as a smartphone, keys, wallet, lunch box, small books, etc.

The Mini is the smallest option in the Nova line from Herschel. It has standard dimensions of 11.0 inches (height) x 8.0 inches (width) x 4.75 inches (depth). These dimensions give it a total capacity of 9 liters.

Due to this design, the bag weighs about 0.84 lbs or 0.38 kg, making it incredibly lightweight and easy to carry around for daily activities and one-day backpacking.

On the other hand, the Nova Small is the second-largest bag of the line, following the Mid Volume, which is the largest.

The bag has standard dimensions of 14.25 inches (height) x 10.25 inches (width) x 5.0 inches (depth). These dimensions give the Nova Small a relatively larger total capacity of 14 liters, which allows it to hold extra items for more comfort on day-to-day commutes and backpacking.

Materials Quality

One of the main reasons why both of these backpacks are relatively more durable than many options on the market is that they’re made from thick canvas to provide this vintage style. Canvas, also known as “oxford fabric”, is known for being one of the most durable materials for backpacks.

In addition to canvas, both the Nova Mini and Small use the same polyester to line the interior of the backpacks.

The polyester lining has the advantage of keeping the backpack lightweight and very easy to clean due to its water-resistant qualities.

Herschell uses YKK zippers in all of their backpacks, including the Nova Mini and Nova Small, so you should expect the zippers to last for a decently long time.


When it comes to backpacks, a smaller backpack is usually more durable because less shear force is exerted on its sides, and the Herschel Nova is no exception to this rule.

However, since both bags are essentially small, the difference in durability between the two is negligible.

Although both models have single stitching rather than double stitching, the durability of the fabric and the thickness of the threads used make up for the difference.

Related Posts:
Kanken Mini & Sling Compared
Kanken Totepack Mini vs Standard Head-to-Head
Fjallraven’s Kanken vs Herschel’s Retreat

Compartments Organization

Both bags have a pretty similar design when it comes to internal organization. The two bags use a single main compartment with an internal sleeve along with an accessory front pocket that uses a zipper of similar quality to the ones used in the main compartment.

However, due to the size differences, the Nova Small also offers two extra water bottle pockets on either side of the bag.

Variety of Options and Designs

Herschel Nova Backpack, Pixel Floral, Mini 9L

While the two size options are available with a huge range of similar colors and design options, it seems that Herschel included more options for the Nova Mini than the Nova Small.

Ideally, the Nova Mini is available in up to 19 color options and design patterns, including a unique Star Wars-inspired theme. As for the Small, the backpack is only available with up to 10 designs and colors.

Straps and Adjustability

Another aspect that both backpacks share is the similarity in their straps and padding design. Both bags don’t have much padding all across the bag because Canvas is inherently soft and comfortable to wear.

As for the straps, the two bags come with dual top carrying handles along with two adjustable shoulder straps.


Lastly, the Nova Small is slightly more expensive than the Nova Mini due to the size difference, although not by a huge margin.

Final Verdict: Which One Should You Go for?

There you have it! A complete guide that walks you through a brief comparison between the Herschel Nova Small vs Herschel Nova Mini.

As you can see, the two backpacks are pretty similar in a wide range of aspects, such as construction materials, quality, and base design.

The two backpacks are relatively small and are designed for carrying a small number of items, so you shouldn’t expect them to carry much.

However, the Nova Small is slightly larger than the Nova Mini, which allows it to house two extra water bottles or extra items.

Additionally, Herschel makes the Nova Mini in a wider range of color and design options, so you should also keep that in mind while picking your favorite of the two.