Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On the Subject of: The Backpack.

Bags are carried, backpacks are worn. And not since slinging around the classic LL Bean book bag, writing on it and generally beating the crap out of it as a grade schooler, have a worn a backpack. As a bike rider, I have carried a number of various messenger bags, my ZO and ReLoad(who incidentally offer a nice waxed canvas backpack)being two greats. Off the bike, I've stuck mostly to Filson totes and the like. And there's been no shortage of shine given to all the various "manly" totes here over the years. But the idea of the simple, classic backpack or rucksack has been growing on me as of late. During the mountaineering equipment boom in the 70's, seems every hippie(no offense to hippies.I love you lefty pinkos. wink.)had a sewing machine and a dream, producing their own variations of the classic rucksack. 30 years later, vintage rucksacks can be found at most any flea market or thrift store. While I'm not up in the Gunks, scaling the Trapps all too often(i.e. never), leaving the house can sometimes feel like an adventure in its own right and in this spirit, I did a little digging and came up with a short list of a few of the best out there today.

top to bottom:

Kelty heritage day pack
Altadena teardrop day pack
First Wilderness Experience Catalog

Wilderness Experience packs
Albam Summit rucksack
Woolrich Woolen Mills dat tripper
Jansport Westridge pack
Siel Marschall
Seil Marschall canoe pack
Jansport Right Pack Classic
Jansport Heritage
Jack Spade bookbag
Duluth+Urban Outfitters Hiking pack
Duluth+Inventory Utility pack
Beams+Kelty heritage "mocking bird" rucksack
Archival Clothing rucksack(who also have a fairly keen interest in the perfect rucksack themselves)
Fjallraven vintage 20L rucksack


Pete said...

Dang. Was that Kelty pack that was included in the J. Crew shoot you posted awhile back the Beams version? Was really hoping J. Crew would be carrying that.

Myles Henry Blog said...

so many good backpacks. great post

nakedundermyclothes said...

awesome list you got there, james. rivendell mountain works rereleased some of their vintage designs from the '70's for 2010. worth a lookie.

Ian said...

i remember my dad gave me one of his old boyscout backpacks but i ditched it because i thought it was ugly. but this article really makes me regret that.


A Manly tote - Is there such a thing! I have a grave distain for those so called "Man Bags" and their false advertising!

I found your blog via Dana lee's pictorial delights!!! LOVE

Yours Truly


thwany said...

i purchased a backpack a few months ago after not having worn one since jhs and i absolutely love it! plus my back feels so much better.

GT said...

Just bought that Fjallraven 20L.
Stoked! Wetsuit and booties? Done.

james said...

no need for the gloves+booties now. Been out all weekend in the 2:1 spring suit. Perf.

GT said...

Soaking wet. Soon.
Thursday is suppose to fire.
Alas, work. (sigh.)

james said...

I'm out all week + weekend.

Anonymous said...

This link is not my blog, but this is my backpack from Willis and Geiger.

This is definitely bag love. To quote Ferris Bueller "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.". Although in this case, it's less about means and more about finding one. You will never be sorry. It even has a little detachable case on the strap to hold sunglasses, pens etc.