- Buyer's Guide
What’s In My Bag Collection: Yoopack
Osaka-based office worker by day, pack enthusiast all the time, Yoopack started collecting bags as a high school student. Fifteen years later, that passion is still going strong. So much so that Yoopack runs “Packs are enjoyed everyday!”, a blog where he shares his carry insights and knowledge to help others choose great backpacks from around the world. And we couldn’t wait to delve into his own collection…
What was the very first piece in your collection? And do you remember where and why you picked it up?
The first backpack was a Karrimor HYDRO 20 (early 2000s). In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was popular in Japan for students to use outdoor daypacks for school. Back then I was also looking for an outdoor backpack for school. At that time, my own conditions were that it must be a cool design and not worn by other students in school. Convenience was secondary.
It was a Karrimor HYDRO 20 that I found in an outdoor goods store “Trout & Bird” in a local department store. The Karrimor HYDRO 20 has an unusual and three-dimensional design, a high-quality back panel, and a thick shoulder harness that I had never seen before. Also, there is a pocket for storing small items, and I hadn’t seen anyone who was carrying it at school. I bought this backpack. Perhaps one of the reasons for the purchase was the discount on the sale. I don’t remember much.
I was obsessed with the appeal of outdoor backpacks that can be used in town. Yet the reason I decided to make a full-fledged collection of backpacks was trivial. One day, I entered a lottery held at an outdoor shop. Since the backpack was expensive, there were many applicants and I thought I wouldn’t win. But I did scoop the prize, a The Works Mountain Monkey. Since then, I have been collecting backpacks for nearly 15 years.
When did you begin to feel more than what might be called an “average obsession” for bags?
For a while after collecting backpacks, I liked to pull the bags in the collection out of the closets and see them side by side whenever I bought a new backpack. However, when I was a college student with nearly 20 bags, my feelings changed. When I arranged my collection as usual, I felt horrible because I had so many backpacks.
Since then, I have never pulled my backpack collection out of the closet. So I didn’t know how many backpacks I had until I examined them for this interview.
How many bags do you have in your quiver? Can you run us through an itemized list?
Items in the image are marked with a circle.
Karrimor HYDRO 20 (early 2000s）○
Mammut Quarz 28
The Works Mountain Monkey○
Osprey Helios 20○
Life-Link North Boundary Pack○
Arc’teryx Arro 22（early 2000s）○
MILLET ON THE ROCK 32○
NATALEX SWIFTPACK 35○
Dakine Heli Pro 14（early 2000s）
Haglöfs Roc 35（early 2000s）
Macpac Gecko 35（early 2000s）○
Lowe Alpine Contour Mountain 40
Mountainsmith World Cup（early 2000s）
Mammut Moonlight 20○
Osprey Simplex (early 1990s)○
Osprey Aether (late 1990s)
Mountainsmith Tyrol (late 1990s)
Mountainsmith Grand Tour (late 1990s)
Dana Design Slider
The Works Snowzen
Golite Powder 8 Pack
Dana Design Sluiskin 30○
Lowrider Backpack（Based on Berghaus Nitro）○
Patagonia Gritty Pack Reg○
Gregory Day 60/40 edition○
Karrimor Ridge 25 60th Anniversary○
Black Diamond RPM○
Indigo Equipment Rox 18○
Vaude Daytour 24○
Norrøna Narvik 25○
Mountain Hardwear Fluid 26○
Granite Gear Vapor Day○
Montane Cobra 25○
Bach Shield 22○
MHM Switch 24○
Mystery Ranch Urban Assault○
Klättermusen Allsvinn 30○
Lafuma Syntez 18○
Alchemy Equipment AEL006 20L Softshell Daypack○
Heimplanet Motion ELLIPSE 25L○
Aer Duffel Pack○
DATUM Loader Pack○
Mission Workshop The Rambler○
Incase City Compact Backpack○
Millican Smith The Roll Pack 25L○
Boundary Errant Pack○
Incase AllRoute Daypack○
How do you store your collection?
When I was at my parents’ house, I used the closet of my room. At first, I didn’t know how to store the bags, and just put them in a plastic bag or cardboard box.
When I got married, I brought some backpacks to my new home. The storage place in the new house is also in the closet.
Recently, I have heard a lot about the hydrolysis of the PU coatings, so I try to store the collection with a dehumidifier as much as possible.
The closet has recently become full, so I may have to consider another storage space or leave some backpacks in my parents’ house.
What do you look for? What makes a bag a ‘must-have’ for your collection?
The most important thing is a cool design. The backpack must of course be functional to carry things, but if it is cool, I can be attached to it even if it is a little inconvenient.
I want to carry many brands of backpacks, so I decided to buy only one backpack for each brand (of course, there are exceptions). Therefore, if there is a cool design that represents the brand and is full of originality, I will purchase it. If the representative design is not so cool, I’ll consider other models. Functionality is important, but even if it is a bit lacking, affection for the bag will cover it.
What turns you off a bag or carry piece?
No matter how cool the design is, it’s a shame if the back panel and shoulder harness are not solid. I originally liked outdoor daypacks because I am attracted to thick shoulder harnesses and cushioned back panels. When I was a high school student, I put a lot of unexpectedly heavy items such as textbooks on my shoulders and back.
From that point of view, I felt that the back panel of the outdoor daypack and the thick shoulder harness that seemed to be overspec’d at first glance were overwhelming specifications for high school students who had to carry heavy loads at that time.
On the other hand, I got used to it, and I felt that the thickness of the back panel and shoulder harness of urban backpack brands was unsatisfactory. Now that I no longer carry textbooks, I have been carrying PCs and files instead. Putting in heavy loads has not changed. So, I feel that a back panel with high cushioning and a thick shoulder harness like an outdoor daypack is also useful for city use.
Recently, many urban backpack brands such as Incase and côte&ciel have solid back panels and shoulder straps, and they have been purchased because they are very functional.
All-time favorite brand and why?
For outdoor brands, Osprey and Arc’teryx. Mystery Ranch, The Works and Dana Design are next on the list.
It’s always a great brand that delights with innovative designs. I especially like the backpack designs of these brands from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Osprey was the coolest model with a StraightJacket system at that time, and I think that the Arc’teryx Arro 22 is a pioneer of the urban black backpack produced by outdoor brands.
Mystery Ranch continues to produce hit products that match the era, while changing its brand name, and its creativity has not faded. I think these three brands are cool outdoor brands that must keep an eye on their trends.
I feel that urban bag brands have momentum in the new brands. Boundary Supply, Peak Design and EVERGOODS are very cool and I always expect new designs.
Was there anything from the past that you hesitated on that you would kill to have now?
There are many, but the most regret is that I didn’t buy the Simplex for Osprey’s StraightJacket system.
When I went to an outdoor goods store about 15 years ago, Osprey’s Simplex, the Arc’teryx Arro 22, and Arc’teryx RT25 were lined up for sale. Osprey’s Simplex was in the process of changing to the new logo at that time, and they were selling out the old logo. At that time, I had very little money and only one of them could be purchased. I was troubled very much and purchased the Arc’teryx Arro 22.
However, there was no opportunity to purchase a new Osprey Simplex at a sale price, and it was the last chance to buy it because it was discontinued. Even if dead stock remains now, it can’t be denied that too much time has passed. I just hope for a re-release now.
If your house was burning down and you only had enough time to grab one bag, which one would it be and why?
This is a difficult problem. I might choose the Boundary Errant Pack. This backpack is a model that I got through crowdfunding recently, and I think that it is the most elaborate backpack I have now.
However, most backpacks including this are in the closet, so I think that I would actually bring out the Mission Workshop Rambler for commuting.
What’s next on the wish list?
I have no time to list all the backpacks. I want a bag that can carry backpacks.
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