During a European backpacking trip, my friend's cheap rucksack burst open on a Barcelona train platform. With our train departing in fifteen, he sprinted to a nearby department store to replace it while I guarded his pile of crap. He returned in the nick of time carrying a garish, fluorescent orange and yellow number made for mountain climbing. "What the hell, man," I said, helping him load it up.
"It was all they had!"
That was in the '90s, and in the years since bag manufacturers have diversified, realizing that not everyone shopping for a rugged backpack wants one that can be spotted from a rescue helicopter. I'm reminded of this by the recently-announced Nomadic Pack shown here, borne out of a collaboration between surf lifestyle brand VSTR and NYC creative studio Partners & Spade. While the Nomadic Pack has that same top "cap," overall shape and similar compartment location as my friend's mountain climbing atrocity, it's done up in a much more urbane style while deftly side-stepping the Army/Navy rip-off look.
While some aspects of the design are a tad aspirational—being able to carry a laptop and an included hammock in the same bag is outside the bounds of realistic usage for me—I'm digging the removable messenger bag, and find the overall look far preferable to what's been on offer in previous years. I'm sure my friend would agree, as I got a lot of ball-busting mileage out of his last-minute purchase.
via cool hunting