A couple of weeks ago, I did something I hadn’t done for a long, long time. I bought a new backpack for “everyday” use. It was not for camping or hiking. Rather, it was to help me cart around my stuff, especially but not only when I’m traveling.
As I have used this rather ordinary, nylon, black backpack, I have loved its usefulness. But, I must admit I’ve felt a little odd taking it into business meetings instead of my classic leather briefcase.
Until now . . . .
I recently read an article in the New York Times called, “Civilizing the Pack Mentality.” According to David Colman, backpacks are making a big comeback among grown men like me. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
So now, it seems, that earnest campus favorite, the backpack, has been picked up enthusiastically by grown men, and design houses are playing catch-up to meet the demand. According to NPD Group, which tracks retail spending, sales of backpacks to men increased 40 percent between Aug. 1, 2009, and Aug. 1, 2011, a striking figure given how few items can claim boosts of any kind. It indicates not only that more men are buying backpacks, but also that they are buying more adult and more costly ones, from the century-old canvas styles available from Duluth Pack, in Duluth, Minn., to the gleaming nylon visions at Prada.
“Men are driving this market,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief analyst. “One of the reasons is the traveling guy buying backpacks for professional use. Instead of a laptop bag, these guys want something that can hold all of their stuff. And another thing is that the backpack has become socially acceptable for a guy to carry. It’s not looked at as something only young people carry.”
Funny. I had no idea I was part of a movement. But I did want something to hold all of my stuff. And I’m relieved to learn that it is socially acceptable for me to carry my new backbpack. So, carry I will.