The greatest dilemma of the iBook generation has nothing to do with relationships or religion. Our most dire predicament is finding a backpack or cargo bag we can take everywhere and doesn’t fall apart after six months. And if it's maybe stylish as well, is that too much to ask?
Straight out of Philadelphia, Reload Baggage Inc., with their ultra-sturdy handmade bags, is here to answer satchel disasters. Best of all, with their customized stitching, Reload creates carry-on-your shoulder tattoos. Standout made-to-order bags on their website include a Space Invaders Micro Mini and a bag series based on vintage bicycle posters. Assembly and artistic flourish is realized right in their Northern Liberties neighborhood storefront.
For the woman lugging around an entire digital video studio, there are the 15 x 19 messenger bags. The company’s backpacks are more square than round, thus using inside space more efficiently. They also feature ergonomic curves, custom-sewn for the wearer’s body. Smaller, everyday bags come in a Noah’s Ark of styles and are just as durable but with a bit more whimsy.
To use the history of jeans as an analogy, backpacks and cargo bags are pretty much stuck in the age of Toughskins and Gloria Vanderbilt. Modish designer bags or utilitarian, most can’t stand up to the daily cramming of a laptop, gym clothes and that brick-weight Genetics 466 textbook. At $250, a Reload messenger bag seems expensive until you remember a lifetime of broken-zipper embarrassments with $70 bags. ¿uestlove of The Roots, a neighbor of the company, also owns a RELoad bag.
Contributed by Kristopher Irizarry