Confession time: I like backpacks, but I don’t own one. Maybe I should back up. My name is Rhys Bufford. I’m a writer, musician, and guy who wears clothes. I’m an East Coast transplant, living in Los Angeles. I have tattoos and a beard. I like movies. But enough about me, let’s talk about backpacks.
A backpack, a.k.a. rucksack, knapsack, packsack, pack, or bergen (thanks, Wikipedia), is a pack that you carry on your back. If you're unfamiliar, it’s the bag commonly strapped to human children in order to transport school supplies, such as textbooks, No. 2 pencils, and glasses with eyes painted on them.
Most of us spend our early lives fused to a backpack. It’s a companion. A colleague. If you’re a nerd, it’s your overweight friend. Maybe your only friend. Then you grow up and you’re on to other types of bag -- messengers, briefcases, purses, totes, weekenders -- leaving backpacks behind like so many fish sticks. You forget the embrace of the knapsack, the comforting weight against your spine, the firm caress of the straps. And then you see it. A backpack that makes you ask the questions you never thought you would have to ask: Can a backpack be more than a pack for your back? Can it be art?
That sexy biomechanical orb is the Isar, from Côte&Ciel. It costs $244, so I can only carry this thing around in my dreams (which I may do, as my dreams often feature me freerunning across some dystopian futurescape, doing parkour in ultra-stylish getups). And that's just one of their many insane/cool/expensive designs.
Despite having revived my love of the backpack, I'm still not sure I need one. As a part of attempting to become an adult, I got a leather briefcase (it doubles as a messenger-style laptop bag) and I'm pretty partial to it now. But if I was going to drop a little coin, I think I'd go with the Monofold City Playbag. It's versatile, functional, fashionable, blah, blah, blah. Look at it:
It's only $89, so that's not too bad. And you can one-up all your friends with Herschel bags. Until one of them shows up carrying this:
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