Durability, functionality and aesthetics are the top criteria when it comes to selecting a new back or luggage piece. Who wants to purchase a bag with a zipper that blows out after a couple uses? And who wants a backpack that looks like everyone else’s on the bus? The House has a huge, carefully chosen selection of bags that will deliver. There are even women’s specific bags with feminine prints, smaller shoulder straps and heights geared towards a woman’s smaller torso. We’ve broken down the ins and outs of all things bags…
Types of Backpacks
A backpack is probably the most universal piece of gear in every person’s closet. From a hop on the bus or plane to a hike on the trail, a backpack will make for a much more comfortable and practical trip. With so many styles, brands, sizes, colors and patterns to choose from these days, where do you begin?
Sizing can be confusing. The volume of the pack, or liters, is calculated by multiplying the length times width times height. Backpacks typically range in size from 10L (holds a packable rain jacket and water bottle) to over 300L (holds clothing and gear for multi day trip). We’ve broken down the most common type of backpacks, so you can determine which type would be best for your intended use.
From grade school through college, school backpacks are designed to carry heavy books, computers and to last all semester long and beyond. They often have organization pockets to keep your pens, computer cords and other supplies easy to access. Many have a padded laptop sleeve and a fleece lined compartment for fragile electronics or sunglasses. Brands like Burton, Dakine and The North Face have nailed it when it comes to practical, durable and functional school backpacks.
Daypacks are a cross-over category, where the backpack is designed for multi-use purposes – school, commuting and day hiking. They may or may not have an interior lap sleeve, but daypacks usually have a chest and waist adjustor strap for a custom fit that evenly distributes the weight load. Daypacks often have more of a classic, outdoorsy look whereas school backpacks tend to be flashier with interesting prints and/or colors. For light travelers, a daypack can accommodate an overnight’s worth of clothing and toiletries.
Two horizontal, adjustable straps line the outside front of a skate backpack. They are specifically designed, of course, to strap a skateboard. Many people don’t use the straps for the intended purpose, however, since skate backpacks are just as practical as any other pack with two shoulder straps. For many, skate backpacks are purchased more on looks and durability rather than skateboard carrying ability. Iconic skateboard companies like Vans, Volcom and Etnies have a large backpack following and are the leaders when it comes to skate fashion.
The days of heavy, hard cases luggage are over. Savvy travelers of today demand lightweight, durable and functional travel pieces that won’t cause frustration on their travels. The House has a massive selection of incredible travel bags that won’t look or preform like your grandma’s luggage.
Whether you travel for fun, work, or a bit of both, wheeled luggage has taken the main stage and for good reason. It’s convenient, durable, easy to use and available in a plethora of sizes, colors and prints. It’s almost silly to not have wheels on your luggage these days. And who wants tiny wheels that will cause your luggage to tip if you roll over a tiny pebble? Burton is the pioneer when it comes to durable wheels for luggage. They use skateboard wheels, which are wider, grippy and have soft wheels to absorb shock. Before selecting rolling luggage, determine your traveling priorities. Are you a light packer? Will you be using your luggage primarily for weekend or overnight trips? Do you mind paying an extra weight fee so you can bring a different pair of shoes for every outfit? It’s really not a bad idea to invest in a an overnight and a mid-sized luggage piece to cover all of your traveling needs.
For the young and fit who don’t mind flexing their muscle a bit, a large duffel bag bursting with all your necessities is just part of the travel fun. Duffels are easy to store once you unpack. Just shove them under your bed or in the corner of a closet. They are easy to pack and cost less than rolling luggage. From an overnight boy’s trip to a hockey weekend with the kids, duffels come in a range of sizes to suit various needs.
So, there you have it, choosing travel bags and packs is like choosing toothpaste. So many choices! Consider your destination, your packing habits, what gear you’ll need and your length of stay. Also, keep your mode of transportation and itinerary in mind. If you’re flying and not planning to check your bag, be sure your rolling luggage is carry-on size. For car camping, a duffel bag will be perfect since it won’t need to be lugged around and will take up less space than luggage. It’s always best to plan ahead and consider your needs!