I've been in search of the perfect backpack since before fashion week. After years of carrying incredibly heavy bags from city to city, I'm simply fed up with aching shoulders. And of course, my preppy tendencies mean that I love the look of a rucksack.
But it hasn't been an easy search. There's been a ton I've admired--from Marc by Marc Jacobs' runway version to Alexander Wang's black leather style, but it was hard finding one that actually made sense to buy. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, I wanted something light--but sturdy enough to carry a laptop--and I wanted it to look good. This wasn't an easy as it sounds, especially for someone who's very, very particular about her accessories.
So it was kismet when a Duluth Pack landed on my desk. Duluth, a Minnesota brand that's been around since 1882, sells lots of outdoor equipment, as well as plenty of made-in-the USA canvas luggage and carry-ons. The style that Duluth sent me (yes, it was a gift) is called the Scout Pack, and it rings in at an affordable $85.
Why I liked it: It's big, but not overwhelming. It's flat like an envelope, which means the weight of the items is more evenly distributed. And it looks good. I like utilitarian bags, jackets and footwear, so it works well with my existing wardrobe.
What's more, it's handmade. I think, after months of deliberation, I found my backpack soulmate.