Having traveled around a bit, I have picked up a more minimalist lifestyle. Living out of a regular sized backpack, you tend to carry only the essential items – and throw out the rest. Since every item on you plays an important role, it is justified to upgrade those items.
This includes the backpack. Right now I have a blue North Face. I’m looking into paying an uber premium price for a new one – one that can hopefully last a lifetime. A leather rucksack seems fitting as it will age over time. An alternative would be one made out of canvas. Vintage backpacks fit the design style, and quality I am looking for.
This is probably inspired from watching movies like Motorcycle Diaries, and the vintage style bags they carried around. In the movie Che Guevara carries a duffle bag made out of canvas slung over his shoulder. I have one of these, and they seem impractical (uncomfortable + organizing the contents). His friend, Alberto Granado, on the other hand carries a normal backpack. Here are the ones I am considering:
Farm Ruck Sack by MAKR
MAKR is a small boutique that makes leather and canvas goods. The Farm Ruck Sack is an elegant canvas bag with leather straps. Made in the USA it also comes in Navy, Tan, Gray, Black, Brown, and White. Price: $160 and available here.
Flap Ruck Sack by MAKR
The Flap Ruck Sack, also made by MAKR, is featured quite a few times by Scout Seattle – a boutique camping shop. Made out of natural canvas and brown Latigo leather, the Flap Ruck Sack has a full leather bottom. Other colors: Black. Made in the USA. Available here for $410.
Old School Rucksack by Hard Graft
Hard Graft, who are based in the UK, combine leather and wool to create lifestyle goods like iPod/iPhone cases, wallets, footwear, and bags. The photos are what really sell The Old School Rucksack, which sports a classic design. Handmade in Italy, it is priced at $670 and available here.
Green ‘Bhaltair’ Backpack by Paul Smith
I became a fan of Paul Smith after watching a video of him explaining his philosophy on fashion: “classics with a twist”. This green dip dyed vintage leather backpack is my favorite choice – though quite pricey at $1400. It also comes in brown, blue, or purple. Available here.
Vintage Backpack Finds on Etsy
Leather Roll Top Backpack / Rucksack by LeftoverStudio
A roll top backpack made out of goat leather. $125 and available here.
Verne Leather Vintage Rucksack by Verne Leatherworks
Handmade leather backpack crafted in Indonesia. $159 and available here.
Waxed Wool Patchwork Rucksack
A vintage style backpack made out of wool patchwork. $197 and available from here.
While looking around for the ideal backpack to go traveling with, I stumbled across a military, army style camera bag. The City Explorer 002 Ranger is made by Wotancraft who also make leather watch straps. Priced at $449 it comes in navy gray or army green – available here.
It might take a while longer to find the right bag, and save up. But until then, I’m keeping my eye open for premium vintage style backpacks.