Backpacks For Every Lifestyle

Nicholas Birdsong / Washburn Review

One of the unfortunate requisites for being a college student is constantly carrying around massive amounts of heavy textbooks.

Besides marathon binge drinking, it just may be the most physically demanding part of college.

Picking the right backpack to carry around gargantuan books is no light matter.

The first consideration in picking the right tote for texts is all about how it’s going to be used. For the students who don’t have much to carry around, a messenger style bag may be appropriate.

“I was looking for something very easy to get in and out of,” said DJ Jones, Washburn student.

“I didn’t want to be searching through a ton of pockets and I don’t carry around a lot of books; maybe one or two at a time.”

Students who are required to carry heavy loads on their shoulders should be cautious, as overloading a bag can lead to serious problems. Low-back pain, muscle spasms and long term spinal misalignment can result from improperly distributing weight according to the American Chiropractic Association. Students should stick to carrying no more than 10 percent of their body weight and have that weight evenly distributed at all times.

“I have microbiology, anatomy and two other books I have to carry around,” Washburn student Ryan Perry said. “Single straps would be kind of stupid.”

Ergonomic functionality isn’t the only consideration for the backpack savvy student. As an accessory that is carried around nearly all of the time, fashion plays a major role in making the right choice. Besides the usual North Face or cheaper Wal Mart brand backpacks, skater-style bags are one of the more popular choices.

“Hurley is probably one of the biggest ones that I’ve seen,” said Perry. “I don’t really care so much about the brand but as long as I think it looks good then I would probably buy it.”

“I had this backpack I got from Zumiez back in high school,” Washburn student Jessiciah Mendez said. “I just got a new one this year and I got the same brand… It’s kind of like a skater-boy shop.”

Laptops have increasingly been used in class and in response, many packs are made with special carriers for delicate technical devices. Extra padding can help make the difference when it comes to a cracked LCD screen.

Finally, budget is a primary deciding factor in making the right choice. Students on a budget may find that $70 or more for a bag is simply out of their price range. Smart online shopping may enable some students to find the right balance between cost and quality.

Before making the choice it’s important to consider all factors. A good backpack can last for an entire college career as well as prevent those reading intensive classes from becoming a literal pain in the neck.