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KneeBooted

Backpack or Messenger bag?

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So this question kind of revolves around heeling, but I wanted to make it a general inquiry as I realize people may not accessorize based on their heeling.

Nonetheless, I am curious, if you work in a place where you carry a laptop to and fro, do you use a backpack style bag, or messenger style.

I am currently using a backpack style, and when I was putting together my possible outfits for my flight tomorrow, realized that the backpack look just doesn’t go with a business/business casual outfit in my opinion. I see it as too “young” of a look, as if I’m in school or something. What are your thoughts?

ALSO, if you use a messenger bag style, do you like it and would you recommend it?

Thanks!

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Good question, though as you say, very OT.

I used to have a messenger style (well, really an "over the shoulder" laptop bag) to lug around my laptop. When that one wore out, I bought a more backpack style bag, because its easier to carry, even with one strap on one shoulder - and most definitely if I need to add some extra stuff in there and have to use both straps on 2 shoulders. It doesn't both me that is more student looking. Keeps me young ;-)

 

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When I travel and have to drag the laptop along, I use an inexpensive shoulder bag from Staples which holds the laptop, the power supply, a few accessories, and an extra pair of heels (or other stuff). The cheap bags wear out after a few years and I think I'm on my fourth one. 

I do think a shoulder bag looks more professional than a backpack but you see more and more backpacks these days. Or rather, I've been slugged by more backpacks in recent years as people getting off planes don't know how far back the packs stick out when they swing around!

Steve

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Given that I have to pack cameras as well as a laptop, I more or less have to go with the backpack - a Lowepro that has a padded slot for my laptop. But even on those rare occasions when I am not carrying my cameras I still take a backpack. Probably because that's what I have. That said, I don't think it looks unprofessional, as long as you keep it understated. You see an awful lot of businessmen in the airport lounges with backpacks these days. It used to surprise me a little but now I an used to seeing it. I think most people are; we live in an increasingly informal world. 

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I think most business travelers use a backpack for ergonomic reasons.  It seems ergonomics has had a surge in awareness over the last decade and accounts for most of the increase in backpacks in offices and airport lounges.  In airports, it is to the point now where a backpack over a business suit is more of the norm than the exception.  Though this might change again as laptops are getting very small and light now.  

When I was a student most kids would wear their backpack on one shoulder, which defeats the ergonomics, but when you are young it is all about form over function. Leave it to me to be the weird kid who had abandoned the backpack already by junior high, and used a messenger bag every day.  I liked the look a lot better than dragging a backpack on one shoulder.  The habit stuck - I have never carried a backpack into the office.  I still like messenger bags because it is relatively easy to find a leather one that looks good and fits well under the seat of an airplane.

I think the general style of the bag has more impact than whether it is a backpack or a messenger bag.  There are some nice leather backpacks out there with interesting hardware details that will not ruin a business outfit.  On the other hand, wearing a plastic bag with red stripes makes you look a little like you have left work and are heading for the gym.  

On the rare occasion that I travel with a backpack I use a Swiss military surplus bag.  I love buckles and there is not a single zipper to break on it.  Solid canvas and leather with a metal reinforcement beam.  They just don’t make them like they used to.  Definitely not what you would find in a school campus.  

2E030269-F2BA-48B0-9EA0-993302B43F70.thumb.jpeg.b441a613ed9c41463f0bdd15f7133683.jpeg

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Nice backpack, that. I’d love one of those.

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By now KneeBooted you are probably in the air. As you're carrying heavier items I'd say a heavy duty messenger bag would be good for you. Since I don't carry heavy things when out heeling I carry a handbag which may match my footwear just like the ladies may do. It's your call in the end as to comfort and style. HinH

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The trouble with messenger/shoulder bags is that if you carry anything heavy in them you can really do in your back. I have a very nice, very expensive, very stylish Billingham camera bag big enough to pack a couple of cameras bodes and a few lenses. It looks great, but schlepping that around airports or long days in a city has not been good for my back at all. Now I just use it for storing things or for when I'm not going to be moving around much. A pity. It's a beautiful bag...

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6 hours ago, Shyheels said:

Nice backpack, that. I’d love one of those.

I just did a quick search on eBay and there are still quite a few out there.  

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2 hours ago, p1ng74 said:

I just did a quick search on eBay and there are still quite a few out there.  

Are they just called Swiss military surplus?

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2 hours ago, Shyheels said:

Are they just called Swiss military surplus?

Yeah I just seached “swiss military rucksack” and got a bunch of hits

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Thanks. I tried the same. They seem really quite nice. The prices are all over the place though

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I use both depending a however physiotherapist will advise that a bag over only one shoulder should be avoided to achieve good back care. Think it depends on the weight really, a back pack is more comfortable for anything heavier. Here in the UK you see many people heading to work with a retro style back pack like the ones in the photos, often new from designers made to that style.

My experience of courier bags is if they are made for the job (cycling) then they are made from materials that quickly wear your clothes where the bag sits. A courier bag is easier to get at your stuff though as you can slide it to the side or front of you. I suppose it depends on the weight your going to carry and if you'llbe in heels as one style might be more practical and easier to handle.

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On 10/26/2018 at 7:22 PM, Shyheels said:

Thanks. I tried the same. They seem really quite nice. The prices are all over the place though

I think some of the variation depends on the condition and from what vintage era they are from.  Some sellers may have set the price high because they believe there is some collectible value.  No need to go there for a bag to wear around daily.  Almost all of them have hardly been used, so even the less expensive listings will be solid functional bags.  

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That’s what I was figuring. They’re nice bags and suit my style

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So years ago when I worked for Lexus, we got these really nice backpacks that were made my OGIO. Now I have since switched, mainly because there were too many pockets and it just looked cluttered. My wife had found me a backpack that was clean and simple lines by a company called TigerNu, but the quality just seemed to be lacking. Within 6 months, the inner pockets were starting to fall apart after minimal use. That’s what has prompted this ‘quest’ for a new bag. After reading everyone’s responses, it helped me reflect on the one time I had a messenger bag with a padded shoulder strap (probably 15 years ago.) While I did enjoy the look, I can vaguely remember the pain when it had a full load.

So I was mentally prepared for another backpack, but didn’t know what I wanted. While I was in line to get a coffee at the airport waiting to fly back out to California, a UPS pilot made it a point to compliment the backpack I had with me, the TigerNu. He liked the clean look of it and that it didn’t give off a ‘busy’ vibe.

I had ruled out OGIO and Swiss gear because I couldn’t recall a ‘clean’ laptop backpack. After browsing other sites and not happy, I came across this... I am sold on the style, but not sure which color to go with? I figure black is always good, but maybe the wine is a good choice too?

I would love the input!

https://www.ogio.com/womens/soho-womens-laptop-backpack/spr4704963.html

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Since when have backpacks become gender specific? I can understand the company wanting to appeal to women by having something that is lighter weight perhaps or in pink, but announce that it is for women ignores and insults half their potential market, and that's just stupid.

Nice backpack, by the way. And it won't show wine spills! LOL

Steve

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9 minutes ago, Steve63130 said:

Since when have backpacks become gender specific? I can understand the company wanting to appeal to women by having something that is lighter weight perhaps or in pink, but announce that it is for women ignores and insults half their potential market, and that's just stupid.

Nice backpack, by the way. And it won't show wine spills! LOL

Steve

I laughed when I read your response because I thought the same thing! I am fairly certain that’s why I didn’t see it in the beginning, because it was listed as a woman’s backpack. Silly times we live in.

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Yes, the seem to do it by colour. Naturally the backpacks in the more interesting colours and shades are “women’s” pack packs while men are left with a choice of black, plain old red, everyday blue and pine green - maybe. 

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