You can’t leave the house without all of that shit lashed to your back, so you may as well look good doing it!
Herschel “Pop Quiz Backpack”
Providing the same carefree ease and emotional regression of your old school backpack, Herschel offers this fun, modern update on the classic bag you once crammed with crumpled science worksheets and plastic-wrapped sandwiches. Now it can hold all the shit you carry around today as an ostensible adult! The inside boasts mesh pockets to organize all the totally necessary stuff for your almost entirely digital job, plus a clip to hold your keys to the many places where you can’t just distribute the supplies you might need in a given day, apparently. What fills the rest of this bag is left up to you and your deep-seated need to cling to a world that can still be contained within the bindle of a security blanket slung over your shoulder. Don’t forget a wadded-up hoodie!
Herschel Supply Co. “Pop Quiz Backpack,” $69.99
SwissGear “Stans Backpack”
Navigating the world’s most treacherous terrains requires being prepared, which is why this backpack boasts not one but two water bottle pockets—because hardened adventurers know the next Walgreens could be as many as three blocks away. In addition to keeping you hydrated, the pack’s cell phone pocket, elastic sunglasses holder, and carabiner for hanging additional shit will keep everything you might need within easy reach at all times, while also being strapped to the outside of your body. It’s the same principle adopted by soldiers who need to carry their basic survival gear while keeping their hands free for combat, and it applies to you too for some reason!
SwissGear “Stans Backpack,” $39.99
Arc’teryx “Khamski 31” Ski Backpack
If you live anywhere that gets a little cold sometimes, you’ll obviously need an enormous fucking ski backpack. This model’s sturdy aluminum bar and high, jutting back panel will show everyone it shoves to the side of the subway car that you’re definitely mountain-ready, should the next station have been inexplicably replaced with a mountain. “Come, fellow survivors!” you’ll exclaim in that scenario, boldly leading your fellow commuters out of the crevasse. “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves!” Yes, thank God you purchased this giant fucking backpack and filled it to the brim with essential shit, like Beats headphones, a charger for a phone you don’t have anymore, several expired Clif bars, three half-empty tubes of hand lotion, and your “idea journal.”
Arc’teryx “Khamski 31” Ski Backpack, $229
Saint Laurent Leather-Trimmed Camouflage-Print Rucksack
While function is important when it comes to being constantly shackled to your earthly shit like a living Marley’s Ghost, it doesn’t mean sacrificing fashion, if that’s another burden you’ve chosen to carry. This Saint Laurent backpack is both utilitarian and unnecessarily expensive, with a hip, camouflage gabardine exterior that, ironically, will stick out like a tacky thumb wherever you choose to wear it, which is most likely an outdoor music festival. And while you may never know how many vintage cameras, colorful bandanas, and nitrous oxide canisters you might need to survive six whole hours of listening to bands in a public park, at least you can be sure you’ll look obnoxiously trendy while doing it.
Saint Laurent Leather-Trimmed Camouflage-Print Rucksack, $1,150
Eberlestock “G4 Operator” Backpack
Still, is that enough? What if you find yourself on the street or at Lollapalooza wearing a backpack that doesn’t have enough storage for your laptop, extra clothes, or for large, PRC-117-type radios? You weren’t really planning on leaving the house with just your phone, wallet, keys, and maybe a small handbag for cosmetics, were you? What if you need to just “bug out” for a day or two? Shouldn’t you always be carrying a backpack—and shouldn’t it have a zip-out shelf, long pockets to mount your tripod and rifle, and side-mounted sleeves that can hold either water canisters or ammo racks? You don’t want to be caught out without every last bit of shit you need, do you?
Eberlestock “G4 Operator” Backpack, $449
That’s why the savviest commuters know backpacks don’t get any better or more indispensable than a Drivesuit, which slips on comfortably with the help of just a few technicians, then locks into a pod that’s attached to the shoulders of a massive robot who can bear everything your frail human pockets cannot. Simply strap into the suit’s polycarbonate shell and allow its circuitry to create a neural link between you and the robot backpack, then marvel as it crushes everything in its path while carrying a load well beyond your own endurance, such as your Altoids. You don’t want to put those Altoids in your pants, right? Better get this backpack then.
Drivesuit, approximately $110,000,000,000