Alpha of the Pack
"Man has been carrying stuff on his back forever. A backpack is nothing new".
- Nena Kelty
Rightly said! The only difference between backpacks and Stone Age tools is that backpacks are only 130 years old. Many cultures have employed sacks, baskets and bags carried on their backs for centuries, and evidence of a functional backpack, known as the Otzi backpack, dated back to 3300 BC.
The word backpack was coined in the United States some time in 1910s. The German word for it is rucksack, which is mainly used in the UK and in Western military forces. In German, Rücken means "back" and Sack means "bag".
Backpacks have an interesting history of evolution.
In the 1900's, they were called "Book straps", that helped students carry their books to school. Thirty years later when zippers and nylon were invented, out came the first nylon rucksack that became useful for outdoor sports like hiking. In twenty years' time, JanSport designed a nylon backpack which proved to be very popular among students.
1950's saw a decade of leather messenger style bags that became popular among men. Then evolved the printed backpacks with cartoon, movies and comic characters in the eighties.
In the 1990's, the backpack hollywood its way into people's life through the movie Clueless
and was an instant rage among the girls.
For the uninitiated, the 'back' features and the size determine the type and use of the backpack.
"Frameless" backpack is the simplest type that is attached to a set of shoulder straps, and has a variable capacity.
Frame, when present, supports the pack and distributes the weight of its contents uniformly. So, the slightly more advanced "external frame" backpack allows the wearer to carry loads greater than 40lb, giving them more support and better weight distribution compared to a frameless bag. The frame is made from lightweight metal or plastic, and the backpack has a system of straps and netting to prevent contact between the metal frame and user's back.
Then in 1967, Greg Lowe invented the "internal frame" backpack that has a large fabric section around an internal frame of metal or plastic strips.
Another type of backpack called the "Daypack" is a smaller version that can hold enough contents of a day's worth of activities and can also hold items for ultralight backpacking.
Modern day backpacks are more about what they ARE rather than what they carry. People now use it to put laptops, cellphones, iPods and the likes. They've evolved into techno-fashion statements that have to look hip, feel comfortable and hold an ever-evolving array of stuff.
Come browse through beverlyheels to find the backpack you identify with the most. Choose from a hundred different options for your perfect companion.