How to be well equipped to go back to work ?
Those of you who have already returned from vacation are certainly wondering how they will equip for the start of the new year. It is a long time ago when, just before the classes started, our parents took us to the shops, scrupulously following the directions left by the school. There was, however, something pleasant about this ritual, we felt that the year was already starting to play : we had to choose between a stick of glue or liquid glue (cheat or elastic balls ?), between notebooks 24 x 36 cm or 21 x 29.7 cm (one day it will be necessary for me to explain why these two sizes exist); but above all, it was necessary to choose the right eraser (which would serve, quickly, lance pellets compressed air). Then came the question of the backpack. Those who chose the traditional Eastpak did not seem concerned. For the others, it was often necessary to leave with regret the backpack of previous years, that of the good and loyal services, the one that gave up the soul. Today, we have replaced our notebooks with computers and the quality of the Eastpak bags has been largely overtaken by some brands … Also, here are my tips for choosing your backpack for back to school.
Set the volume of your backpack
Start with a precise inventory : what will you pack in your backpack of classes or work? Everything has to go : computer (13, 15 or 17 inches ?), charger, mouse, notebooks, magazines, newspapers, books, binders, diary, notebooks, kit, pencils, calculator, ruler, headphones, headphones, touch pad (with cover, without cover ?), wallets, passport, glasses, water bottle, food, clothing …
Will your bag also be used as a sports backpack, or for walks in the city ? Think of everything you have to pack in your backpack exhaustively, in all future potential uses and complete your inventory.
Then it’s very simple : you just need to make a compact pack with your things and measure it. Then multiply the width by the height and the depth, and you will get a value in cm3, which you just need to convert to liters. For example, if I find that I need to store my stuff 17 x 40 x 25 cm = 17 000 cm3 = 17 L, that means I need a backpack with a capacity minimum of 17 liters. You can also take into account that clothes are compressed. If it’s easier, you can also put all your stuff in a shopping bag, or in another backpack before making the measurements.
Define the material of your backpack
Once you have an idea of the volume of your future backpack, ask yourself how you will use it : as a city backpack, to ride a bike or just to work ? Will you use it in open, closed places ? Will it be asked a lot ? Those questions will allow you to choose the most suitable interior organization for your habits, but also to know if you need a waterproof backpack (or just water resistant), an ergonomic backpack or a strong backpack. By “strong backpack”, I mean resistant to abrasion (to rubbing) and / or tearing. For a good resistance to abrasion, it will be necessary to privilege the bags made in Cordura® or polyester 1680D. For good tear resistance, preference should be given to bags made with ripstop fabrics or X-PAC ™. Choosing a backpack made with these types of materials is relevant if you are straining your bags. For a working backpack or a backpack of course, no need to opt for these technical matters. For example, the bags that I have selected for you right after will be fine for everyday use.
Here is a selection of four backpacks, specifically designed by their makers for work, classes or typically as urban backpacks.
1 / Transit Line Travel Pack – Heimplanet
The Transit Line Travel Pack backpack from the German brand Heimplanet is the perfect compromise between a working backpack and a travel backpack. It has many internal storage, including a compartment dedicated to a 15-inch computer.
Its sternal strap, removable waist and foam back make it an ergonomic backpack. On one side is an expandable pocket (for storing a bottle for example).
Thanks to its Dyecoshell fabric, the Travel Pack is robust but also durable, because compared to a traditional production it requires much less water, CO2, energy and chemicals during its manufacture. You can wear it from the top, but also from the side.
Access to the interior is through a very wide zipped pocket, so very easy to access. Also, the lining (inner fabric) is light in color : it allows to locate his business easily.
Some parts are reinforced with Hypalon® (an extremely resistant material). Be careful though, its capacity of 34 liters will suit most of you. For a “daypack”, it is better to prefer a capacity of less than 20 liters.
Feel free to take a look at the Heimplanet page of our site, some smaller models could be just as satisfying.
2 / Hajo Stealth – Ucon Acrobatics
The Hajo Stealth backpack from the German brand Ucon Acrobatics is one of their classics. I love this bag because it is very minimalist outside and yet very functional inside. In fact, there are 2 pockets in stretch mesh fabric, an expandable bottle holder (very convenient for holding the bottle upside down), a key-clip and a location with a very soft fabric to slip in a 15-inch computer; all in a light gray allowing again, to easily find his stuff.
There are also 3 pockets on the front, and a side pocket allowing access to your computer, or inside the bag without opening it from the top. The rolltop closure of this backpack makes it water resistant, but not 100% waterproof (because of its seams, in particular). On the other hand, if this model pleases you, know that it exists in a “welded” version (by high frequency, without seams therefore) completely waterproof.
3 / Gion Small – Horizn Studios
The Gion Small backpack is manufactured by Horizn Studios brand. Originally, this German brand manufactures suitcases on wheels. For testing a few months, I can assure you that they are minimalist, resistant, ergonomic and technical. Their backpacks follow exactly the same direction.
The color of this model is called “cosmic halo”, its material gives the strange impression that it reflects its environment by distorting it, a bit like a work of Jeff Koons, which makes you want to take a picture of it all the time ! This backpack was very well designed : first, two large zips allow very easy access to the main compartment.
On the top is also an access to the computer compartment (you can store one of 13 inches in the version Gion Small and one of 15 inches in the version Gion Medium), but especially: in the upper back is a small pocket “secret”, in which it is very easy to store his wallet, his passport or his mobile phone.
4 / Duo Totepack – Bellroy
Bellroy is an Australian brand, known for its high quality products and especially very clever. The Duo Totepack is no exception to this rule. Very simple in appearance and sparse (only 15 liters), this bag is full of compartments in which you can store a lot of things : a 15-inch computer, clothes, a shelf, magazines, a water bottle, glasses, a kit, a phone, a wallet … Thanks to its snaps and removable straps, you can vary its volume according to your desires and use it as a backpack, or as a tote bag. This backpack is made with DWR (rain resistant) polyester fabric and AquaGuard® YKK zippers. Finally, it is guaranteed 3 years. Here is a very interesting video by Chase Reeves* about the Bellroy Duo Totepack; as well as another made by Bo Ismono*, in which he compares the Duo Totepack to Mr Groove (tote pack from Crafted Goods).
Here it is, I hope you enjoyed this article, and this small selection for the start ! Do not hesitate to share it, to react by writing to us at this address: email@example.com and to follow us on our Instagram account.
Many of you have asked us for accessories for the North St. backpacks. Know that we should receive them during the month of September to equip the interior with the Flanders, Davis and even some other bags.
Happy new year to all and see you soon !
* renowned testers, specialists in backpacks.