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Make Room For Fashion: Backpack Envy

When I graduated from high school back in the '90s, I assumed my backpack days were over. Even then I thought they were the epitome of uncool and used to wear mine slung over one shoulder only, thinking that made all the difference. So I was surprised this week when I found myself yearning for a big, comfortable, functional, and possibly cute backpack to get me through a day of travel with my son and my four pound Chihuahua!

Yesterday I flew from New York to California and while I was super excited to see my folks for a few days, I couldn’t help but get that feeling of dread as I started packing all the stuff that I needed to take to the airport, specifically all the things I needed to take on the plane. (You never want to get stuck without a variety or toys, snacks and other distractions on a six hour flight). And then there’s my computer, kindle, camera, all the things I can’t pack in my luggage.

I loaded up my usual, large travel tote, my son’s bag and, of course, my Chihuahua, and when I stood up, I felt like a mule ready for work. So I made a game time decision, I emptied out my husband’s big, black monstrosity of a backpack and I put it on both shoulders (I even used the little snap that closes across your chest for added support – it’s a good thing I’m not single!) Not my coolest moment, but so much easier to walk and stand up straight. That’s when I vowed to find a stylish alternative.

Enter Archival Clothing. A quick perusal of their website and I found an amazing cobalt blue rucksack in an 18-ounce “duck” cotton, which they say is a modern interpretation of the traditional canoe pack. Made in Oregon, its waterproof, has comfortable two-inch canvas shoulder straps and even has semi-rigid back panel that guarantees a comfortable ride and prevents bag flop – wow these guys think of everything.

Similar to Archival, in that old-school, outdoorsy-chic style, is Duluth Pack, which is particularly desirable to me because of the variety of color and size options (it comes in tangerine and in pink!) Made in Duluth, Minnesota, the Laptop Scoutmaster Pack comes with a padded laptop sleeve, an interior pocket for small items such as keys and wallets and comes with a lifetime guarantee!

All this shopping for backpacks makes me want to go hiking! Oh wait, I have that hike through the airport to look forward to at the end of this week. Ha. I’ll just sit back and choose a color.

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The Archival Rucksack is functional, sturdy and stylish. It measures 18 inches by 13 inches by 5 inches and is available in a variety of colors, my favorites are cobalt blue and red.

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Duluth Pack is the real deal, a true outdoorsy company catering to the hunting and fishing types. That’s why I was so impressed to see the functionality and craftsmanship of the Laptop Scoutmaster Pack available in orange, pink and electric blue. Other sizes are available but this one measures in at 14 inches by 17 inches by 5 inches.

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