Pack It Up, Pack It In - The evolution of the backpack

by - Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hello all! Just one last cheeky little festival themed post before I head off to Beacons for the weekend. I've spent the evening feverishly trying to cram my clothes, belongings and my tent, sleeping bag and camp accessories (all kindly provided  by The Lazy Camper, review to come soon!) into 'bag for life's and have now realised that I could do with about four more pairs of arms. This got me thinking: whatever happened to the humble rucksack/backpack? Neatly storing all your bits and bobs, leaving your arms free?

Growing up, the rucksack was the only practical option for me. I was one of those overachieving Hermione Granger sorts in school - I liked to have all my books on me at once, so a flimsy tote or the handbags that all the cool girls seemed to take to school simply wasn't in question. Oh no. Jenessa has always been a very practical girl. In fact, the evolution of my school career can probably be tracked via the following backpacks.

First off was the bubble pack. A 90's classic, mine was metallic gold and looking back, frankly hideous. I remember the strap breaking and resolutely tying it in a makeshift bow in an attempt to lengthen it's life, but alas, a puncture in the plastic sent that one to the graveyard. 

Next up was a lime green Donnay. About the same length of my entire torso at the time, it matched my Gameboy colour perfectly and stood out on the year 5 coatpegs at the end of a busy school day. Is Donnay even a brand anymore? I hope not.

The Donnay was succeeded by a Hello Kitty rucksack that I kind of wish I still had now, Precured on a holiday to America, it was bloody massive, lasting me through year 6 all the way up to Year 7, the year where supermassive backpacks seem to be an absolute prerequisite. What with Hello Kitty having made somewhat of a resurgence, I think I could probably make good use of it now.

The last backpack I can remember came during my emo phase of '07/'08, where skate brands were law and everyone ran bebo accounts with My Chemical Romance background and with 'super random' in their 'About Me' section. This Dickies number with multi-coloured stars still lives on now, although the strap is frayed to hell and it appears to have been inherited by my boyfriend who likes to take it to gigs to carry his camera.

Which brings me nicely up to now. Now, I know these slouchy brown boho leather ones are back in fashion, but they just never look that BIG to me. Like really, what can you actually fit in there? If it doesn't accommodate at least an A4 notebook or folder, a lunchbox and a jumper or cardi then I'm just not that game. All through sixth form and since starting uni, I have always ended up toting round my stuff day to day in a satchel, far from ideal when you realise it's heaviness is making you walk lopsided and the strap is straining for freedom.

It's a bit late for me to order one in time for Beacons, but I shall definitely be contemplating a nice pretty backpack for uni in September. I think it's about time their connotations of nerdy cyclists or overloaded schoolkids became a thing of the past. Here are some of my favourites from around the web (well, mostly Asos). 

1)Roxy via Asos, £14.00
2)Mi Pac via Asos, £20.00
3)Asos, £20.00
4)Cath Kidston, £42.00
5)Mi Pac via Asos, £20.00
6)River Island via Asos, £20.00
7)Asos, £32.00
8)Kanken, £50

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