Backpacks and messenger bags: both design staples which have a formed a surprising rivalry in the last few years. OK, we’re not talking the Montagues versus the Capulets here, but perhaps tea v coffee. It’s obviously a matter of personal preference, but if you can’t decide which one to go for, here are a few things to consider.
Let’s start with the trusty messenger bag. It speaks of valiant pony express riders galloping across the hostile outback, delivering urgent mail to the movers and shakers. Nowadays, they are the urban hipster’s briefcase of choice, being large enough to accommodate a laptop and paperwork.
A good quality hipster messenger bag is smart enough to take to the office and make the right impression at client meetings, while still retaining an edge of coolness. The long wide strap allows it to be carried across the body, so you can access the contents without removing it; handy and also safer when on public transport with valuable documents.
The backpack is the choice of the hiker or overnight traveller, as they have plenty of room and extra storage compartments. They are more stable than a messenger bag, with the weight evenly distributed across the shoulders. This makes them ideal for commuting cyclists and those who suffer from posture-related problems.
Backpacks are slightly less compatible with smart work outfits, as they can crease and rumple clothing. They can be bulkier to store in the office and on public transport, and may be more vulnerable to pickpockets. However, they come into their own for day trips in the countryside, being practical and comfortable.
The answer to the great backpack v messenger bag debate really boils down to what you need it for. And of course, the well-rounded hipster probably needs one of each!