- Buyer's Guide
Our Favorite Japanese Backpacks :: Part 1
When it comes to urban carry, Japan has it nailed. It’s been a beacon of inspiration for so many, for so long, so we thought we’d get to work and pin down our favorite backpacks out now. And hey, you might notice familiar brands doing things differently here. The Japanese market gets a whole bunch of exclusive Japan-only product because, well, they know what they like and don’t settle for less. Should we be jealous? Yes, we most definitely should, ha! But we should also admire their impeccable taste, and flair for blending fashion and function.
Gregory Japan run incredibly playful prints on their heritage range. This here is a fine example that gives a nod to their Classic Day Bag, while shrinking the size to a minimalist-friendly 16L volume. A striking option for smaller users or when you simply want to cut down on your carry load for the day. Check out their All Day in 22L if you’re after something larger.
Gregory with a military slant? You bet. And in digital camo print? Take my money. With a host of webbing and pocket options you can dial in the organization to meet specific carry missions. The super compact design also helps keep the load close to your body, ideal if you’re navigating crowds or need to carry the essentials without being weighed down.
The Mystery Ranch Scape Artist, an urban flip on their Scapegoat hunting pack, is a bespoke pack commemorating the 40th anniversary of A & F (a legendary Japanese distributor and flipper of US product to the Japanese market). The U-shaped zipper makes for awesome access to the main compartment, with a range of pockets lending their support in keeping your gear neat and tidy. Definitely a rad addition to any urban EDC.
This RUSH 28, in limited run X-Pac, is a lightweight pack built for running and active pursuits, but with serious futuristic lines. The head-turning aesthetics are complemented by a variety of thoughtful features aimed at enhancing load stability, user comfort and easy access to your gear on the go.
This slick number from Terra Nova is a lightweight hiking and trail running pack with killer access courtesy of a front zipper. Despite its light weight it doesn’t sacrifice practical organization, offering up a choice of quick-access pockets along with compression cords to cinch down the load or secure items externally.
A branch-off brand from MSPC, Brown RC’s Backpack is a commuter pack with a bold and boxy silhouette and good space. The pack’s rugged 1000D Cordura construction will easily stand up to years of use and the wide-opening main compartment makes it easy to pack and retrieve items.
The Shumari 35 is an active pack from Plus One Works geared for board and ski carry. The pack offers a rolltop compartment for storing avalanche safety gear, quick-access goggle and waist belt pockets, and convenient back entry to the main compartment which is also hydration bladder compatible. And with its sleek aesthetics you can move from snow to street for added versatility.
Fancy a day hike? This pack easily tags along. Want a lightweight and flexible EDC pack? The Hogback is ready to step up. The versatile design of this Granite Gear pack moves easily between outdoor and urban environments, letting you carry bulky items like a helmet on the front, or paring things back with a removable hip belt and chest strap when you want a more minimalist setup.
Forming part of the F/CE Dry Line collection, this pack offers a winning combination of welded technology and Japanese street style. The versatile waterproof design works equally well on a boat trip as it does navigating rainy city streets during the daily commute. And with its adjustable rolltop opening you can accommodate a variety of loads to suit changing needs.
The AS2OV Cordura 305D Backpack finds that aesthetic sweet spot that’s smart enough for work without being boring. Want to switch things up a little? Simply add the detachable waist belt and you’ve got yourself a solid travel companion with extra storage for small essentials and increased carry comfort for heavier loads.
Definitely one for organization enthusiasts, this pack offers pockets galore for rummage-free access to work tools, EDC items or travel essentials. Complementing the organization is a burly build that will embrace travel adventures and the daily commute alike, making this a flexible grab-and-go companion for a host of environments.
The eye-catching silhouette of this pack will earn plenty of admiring glances, but there’s solid functionality to back up the stylish looks of this water-resistant pack. The curving zipper provides convenient access throughout the main compartment, while front pockets keep smaller items at the ready.
Want to travel fast and light with the essentials? Or perhaps you’re looking to pack a little extra and enjoy boosted carry comfort along the way? The two-in-one Makavelic Union Backpack gives you the flexibility to do both, combining a backpack and waist bag that can be used together or separately. Added bonus? There’s plenty of pockets for stashing smaller items, and a water-resistant build for protection against the elements.
Looking for flexible carry and organization? No problem for the Neo S-3 Commuter, which can be carried as a backpack, shoulder bag or briefcase to suit a range of settings and needs. Plus with a choice of interior and exterior pockets you can keep your gear tidy and conveniently accessible for work, travel or EDC use.
Slim and compact, this versatile pack can roll with a variety of day-to-day carry needs. And with quick-access pockets on the front you can keep those small essentials within easy reach. The pack is made with 500D Cordura nylon, offering a durable yet lightweight build for daily use.
Check out Part II here
Where’s an awesome place to purchase Japanese carry if you’re in Europe or the US?
Farfetch.com has a great selection of AS2OV.
And Rakutan Global for everything else. 🙂