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Backpacks vs Briefcases

                             Jack Spade Backpack

This week we are excited to geek out over a conversation that’s been happening a lot recently among business travelers and commuters alike. Lately it seems like the travel industry has never before seen such a break in users between the briefcase and the backpack. Industry heavyweights across the board have been recently showing more and more backpacks; Tumi backpacks and Victorinox backpacks are just two major names that have thrown their hat in the arena of of lines featuring backpack styles. So what’s the deal with the backpack, and how has this casual look managed to transcend its schoolish image for a broader audience? Let’s take a look at just what the backpack has to say for itself in terms of becoming a go-to for travel and transport.

Ease for a Commute

There’s some telling characteristics that may explain why people are leaving behind their more traditional briefs in favor of the backpack. The simple reason that seems to throw its hand in the air is that backpacks represent motion. You sling a backpack over your shoulder and head out the door. Your hands are free, you are ready to move, and your belongings become a part of your daily action. For a commuter that is huge. You have the ability to to grab on to a rail during a bumpy commute, and travel the city with ease. A backpack represents a simple grab and run casualness that can be appealing for a person on the move.

A More Inclusive Travel Space

A travel brief has traditionally been a mainstay for business travelers. But as we've started to carry laptops, tablets, and tech devices while still desiring room for extra packing space for clothes, business travelers have been more and more attracted to the backpack. The backpack is an interesting mix of function and freed space. Although backpacks tend to include specific laptop and tablet pockets, the main zipped compartment always has free space that you can throw things in. A brief has the appeal of a structured space for each object, and a tighter space to fit things in. It’s business functional. However, when you are trying to blend recreational needs with your work life, the backpack allows for that crossover. It invites you to throw it all in and use as pleased.

The Backpack's Got Style

Last, but not least, the backpack has a certain style. While briefs have admittedly taken interesting leaps in fabrication, leather usage, and design, the backpack has a youthful vibe compared to the brief's classic and true to form usage. It’s a young look that is more varied in usage and style. It invites more speculation, its playful, and it’s casual, which is a lot to say for a working bag.

Ultimately, what makes the backpack unique is that it seems to span generations, functions, and usage in an impressive way. While the backpack and brief are two completely opposing design aesthetics: classic versus youthful, organized versus free form, and active versus traditional carriage form, we are excited to see conversation swirling around how a non-traditional work bag can make its way into the conversation, and forge a new identity for the modern worker.