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Messenger Bag or Backpack?


Which should I carry in a preppy, politically-oriented DC campus?  

48 members have voted

  1. 1. Which should I carry in a preppy, politically-oriented DC campus?

    • Messenger Bag
      19
    • Backpack
      29


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I'm going to a preppy DC program that leans heavy towards politics and government work.

 

Should I carry a messenger bag or backpack? I usually carry a lot of stuff with me so a backpack makes more sense, in addition to being less snatchable than a messenger bag/briefcase, but a nice messenger bag/briefcase looks more "professional."

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I have both. I enjoy using my messenger when I'm biking and when I have light loads.  When I have to carry books + laptop, which is rare, I use my backpack. I think its important to have nice carry items, as they last long periods of time and protect/transport your most important stuff ( your work!)

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I have a messenger bag that I used for a flight bag while getting my PPL that I will probably use. With only a maximum of 3 courses per semester + laptop, I doubt I will have too much to carry to make it uncomfortable to do so.

 

As far as you saying a backpack is "less snatchable". Where are you going that requires planning to be mugged?

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Backpack because I don't want to worsen my scoliosis I gave myself because I was in school when it was cool to do one shoulder for book bags.

I use a canvas tote for most days now that I'm done with classes and just have paperwork keys and my access card to carry around

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I want a messenger bag, but I'm curious as to what everyone else is saying.  I am going to go to school downtown, so I probably need something not snatchable, but so far my purse hasn't been stolen, so I think I'll be fine.  I always carried a large bag in college.  Backpacks seem unwieldy to me.

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A backpack for me, because I carry a lot and a messenger bag is uncomfortable. My professors use backpacks too, so I'm not really worried about how it looks.

 

In your situation, unless you are carrying enough for a messenger bag to hurt, I think a professional looking one would probably be better than a backpack.

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I use a backpack, but only because I don't own a messenger bag. I'd say it depends entirely how much "a lot of stuff" is. If you're prone to carrying a lot of books plus a laptop, definitely use a backpack. Otherwise, a messenger bag is definitely classier and more professional looking.

 

On a related note: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=176

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I have a Samsonite Xenon laptop backpack for the days when I have to carry lots of books and papers (mostly teaching days). On other days, I carry a Solo Urban Universal Tablet Sling, which is quite nice-looking and small enough for carrying a small moleskine notebook, some pens, headphones, chargers, and my 11-inch MacAir.

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I used to use a messenger bag through high school and my first two years of college. It became second nature to me. But then I switched to a backpack my junior year, and it was really amazing how much better my back/shoulders felt after just 2 days using a backpack. But I also imagine it's very much a personal choice as far as how much you will be carrying around. And my professors vary as far as what they use--a couple use backpacks, some use messenger bags, and some just use the traditional briefcase that has to be carried in your hand. 

 

It might be best to have both, and maybe use the backpack when you have to carry multiple books/laptop, but have a messenger bag you can use at conferences and such to look more professional? Also depends on what your commute is--if you just walk from your car to your office/classes, a messenger bag might not be too bad. But I take the bus and walk to school, so a messenger bag really starts to hurt after a while. 

 

It also is possible for backpacks to look professional. My professors use simple black backpacks, like this type: http://www.www8-hp.com/h22175/UKStore/Html/Merch/Images/c03513831_1560x1144.jpg

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Backpack because I don't want to worsen my scoliosis I gave myself because I was in school when it was cool to do one shoulder for book bags.

I use a canvas tote for most days now that I'm done with classes and just have paperwork keys and my access card to carry around

 

Haha, I also have scoliosis, and I just wanted to say I don't think you really "gave it to yourself" by using a one shoulder book bag. It might have made it worse, but scoliosis in itself is genetic.  ;)

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I'm an undergrad at the school you're talking about, and backpacks are quite common--including among the grad students I know. A lot of female undergrads just carry giant purses, but not everyone. The graduate students I know are in the ling department, which is more casual than others, but I don't think you'll look out of place with a backpack. Personally, I have a backpack for day-to-day and a nicer purse/tote-thing for anything dressy (interviews, conferences, etc.). I have bad shoulders, so I can't do a messenger/tote every day.

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Haha, I also have scoliosis, and I just wanted to say I don't think you really "gave it to yourself" by using a one shoulder book bag. It might have made it worse, but scoliosis in itself is genetic. ;)

I know it normally is. It doesn't run in my family--out of the five of us, my parents and both grandparents only I have it. I started carrying my book bag on one shoulder at ten all the way til I was 18, no lockers, all textbooks and notebooks so at least forty pounds every day. I only have a ten percent curve and it stopped worsening once I realized my back was more important than being in fashion. It's possibly recessive and I just happen to be the one it manifested in but I'm still convinced carrying my bag like that during puberty did it considering the minor curvature.

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So true. I don't understand why it's considered less "professional" or "adult" to wear a backpack, so ridiculous and makes absolutely no sense at all, but unfortunately that's the world we live in.

 

 

I'm an undergrad at the school you're talking about, and backpacks are quite common--including among the grad students I know. A lot of female undergrads just carry giant purses, but not everyone. The graduate students I know are in the ling department, which is more casual than others, but I don't think you'll look out of place with a backpack. Personally, I have a backpack for day-to-day and a nicer purse/tote-thing for anything dressy (interviews, conferences, etc.). I have bad shoulders, so I can't do a messenger/tote every day.

 

My main concern is that the whole department I'm talking about will be on 24/7 hustle mode. I think I'll just do that though, get a messenger for events.

Edited by SuaveSosa
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Plenty of young professionals in downtown DC use backpacks and even wear sneakers on the Metro, for instance, and keep a change of shoes in the office, so while a messenger does look more professional, you certainly won't look out of place with a backpack so long as you look otherwise professional.

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I use a backpack. Specifically, I have this bag:

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000H85NOS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=11153MIZXXSM8&coliid=I1J8WBJW1YSN93&psc=1

 

It has a cover for the bag for when it rains. When you're not using it, it can be stored in the bottom of the bag. I used to use garbage bags with my old backpack and honestly, that made me look awful. I don't use messenger bags because I tend to carry a lot and it hurts if I put so much weight on one shoulder. Plus, I find that my backpack makes a great travel bag. It counts as my personal item much like a purse would so it doesn't really count as my luggage and I can take it on train or plane rides. Also, I prefer to carry my laptop in a backpack than a messenger bag since it's heavy.

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I used a messenger bag for my first few weeks of undergrad, but having to carry my textbooks and laptop like that was murder on my shoulders and back. I already had scoliosis and shoulder problems and that just aggravated the problems. I've carried a backpack ever since.

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I will be using a backpack in the fall. I had a bad back injury a year ago and still have lingering pain from it, especially after a long day on my feet or doing a lot of physical activity. Also had surgery to repair a torn labrum in my shoulder four years ago. I think messenger bags look sleek and definitely have a convenience factor, but that's not worth my health and comfort. My apartment is 1.2 miles from the building most of my classes will be in and about 0.7 miles from the main campus. I plan to walk or bike as much as I can, weather dependent, and need a solid pack.

 

I'm debating whether or not to get a new backpack though. I currently have a Dakine 25L that I primarily use for long mountain bike rides and a bigger Osprey 42L bag that I use for backcountry skiing and light (1 to 2 night) short-hike-access camping. The Dakine is certainly a great size for school, lots of convenient little pockets, a water bottle holder, two big main pockets, and a chest & waist strap to help keep the load stable. It doesn't have a laptop/tablet sleeve though and I'm hoping to get one of them (laptop or tablet). I'm thinking about the Patagonia Black Hole 25L (I love Patagonia products) but I'm open to other brands/packs if you have recs.

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