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The traditionally rugged canvas rucksack first became popular with hikers in the Swiss Alps in the 1930′s. It has made its way down the mountain and become the perfect hands-free carry all to transport laptops, gym clothes, a sweater, jacket, book or any other extra items one might want handy during the day. Both utilitarian and stylish, the modern version of the classic rucksack is constructed from a combination of durable canvas and bright nylons, still distinguished by its elegant leather straps, buckles, and other useful stash-and-go details. So whether trekking though the great outdoors or cruising city streets, here are our picks for the 9 perfect sacks to pack.
ROW 1: JANSPORT ADOBE $75. Inspired by the classic rucksack design and showcasing the original JanSport woven label from 1967, this rugged nylon pack features such modern necessities as a 15″ padded laptop sleeve, tablet sleeve and padded shoulder straps, along with a double hook flap front, multiple exterior zip pouch and side snap-button pockets. L.L.BEAN WAXED COTTON CONTINENTAL RUCKSACK $149. Inspired by their own heritage and first introduced in 1930, this leather and weather-repellent waxed canvas rucksack has the vintage feel of the original along with modern comfort features. Synthetic shearling shoulder straps wick moisture away from skin and cushion heavy loads. ARCHIVAL COTTON DUCK RUCKSACK $230. A modern interpretation of the traditional, this pack is distinguished by its slim profile and simple design, and constructed from sturdy, water-resistant #8 cotton duck.
ROW 2: BROOKS PICKWICK DAY PACK $250. From noted english cycling brand Brooks, the Pickwick is versatile canvas roll-top backpack whose elegant design compliments the refined style of the urban rider. Available in 5 colors, and made from water-resistant treated European canvas, the Pickwick features a handy bottom zip pocket, perfect for storing a small U-lock, and a second pocket on rear of the bag. HERSCHEL SUPPLY CO. LITTLE AMERICA $85. With its mountaineer-inspired design and roomy storage options, this canary yellow rucksack is a stylish partner on rugged hikes or city treks. It features ventilated air mesh back padding and contoured shoulder straps; a fully lined and padded fleece 15″ laptop sleeve; main compartment cinch top closure and magnetic strap closures; and a front pocket with hidden zipper and key clip. DAKINE PULSE 18L $85. This camo pack with its neon orange rucksack buckles features a fleece lined padded tablet sleeve, U-lock and water bottle pocket, and a host of other handy compartments.
ROW 3: POLER ROLLTOP KHAKI $70. This stylish take on the classic roll top features room for a laptop, change of clothes, and even lunch, with an added front zip pocket for extra essentials. Multiple compression straps keep everything snug and enhance the design, while allowing for additional external transport options. MASTER-PIECE OVER SUEDE-TRIMMED NYLON BACKPACK $315. Japanese design meets classic American style in this fun interpretation of the classic rucksack. Sturdy and practical, this green nylon pack features a top handle, brown suede trims, and multiple zip side pockets, front and top pockets, along with adjustable padded straps and padded back. BURTON SNOWBOARDS CANYON PACK $64.95. Heritage style with organizational convenience, this versatile pack offers internal, external, and laptop pockets, and mixes street style with mountain functionality. Made from bright and rugged ripstop nylon, and combined with genuine leather bottom and details, this pack is guaranteed hip and sturdy, as all Burton bags are backed by a lifetime warranty.