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Carry Trainspotting at SXSW ’13

by , March 19, 2013

Crowd spotting carry options

Festivals and events are awesome for checking out carry. Especially SXSW, as it more or less becomes the center of the world for about 2 weeks, with nearly 500,000 attendees coming from all around the globe to explore the fields of Interactive, Film, Technology, Social Media, Film, Music and much more.  If you’ve heard about it, it has either been at SXSW or invented at SXSW.  Everyone rocks up with a day’s worth of stuff to trek through the city of Austin during SX, and it’s often creative and interesting folk with some unique tastes… and we want to look at their carry.  We covered this in 2012, so we thought it would be fun to do a Carry Trainspotting SXSW 2013 edition as well.

Some quick insights that I stood out to me.

1) The heritage trend thing is still going strong/strongest.  Specifically, there were tons and tons more heritage “rucksacks” than I have ever spotted before (meaning floppy backpack, usually made from canvas with two leather or faux-leather straps to keep the lid closed).

2) Overall, Jansport still dominates.  There are some other legendary brands like Eastpak that made a strong showing.  But when it comes to backpacks, Jansport owns the market.

3) Less “adventure” packs than I’ve ever seen.  It seems that people don’t automatically go to REI when they’re looking for a pack anymore.  This is a great thing.  People looking elsewhere for carry, and discovering legit carry-focused brands.

4) Backpacks win.  Messengers, even less than in previous years.  I’d estimate that 80% of the carry at SX had two shoulder straps.


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