Why Men Should Stop Wearing Backpacks

Man with a backpack

Man with a backpack | iStock.com

When we were growing up, we put everything in backpacks. There was no reason to question it because if you wanted to carry something, it went in your backpack. From your first day of kindergarten — when all you had to carry was a box of crayons, a pencil pouch, and a folder with your name on it — to your last day of class in college, you carried a backpack. Over the years, what you carried in your backpack probably changed, but you always had your backpack there to hold whatever you needed it to.

Now, though, you’re out of college, you have a job, you pay your own bills, you haven’t had a Keystone Light in years, and you’re slowly accepting that you’ve become an adult. If you need to transport more items than can fit in your pockets or than you can carry in your hands, should you still reach for your backpack?

Some people would tell you to go for it. They’ll say there aren’t any rules anymore, so do what you want, and carry a backpack around even if you’re headed to work. Who cares how people used to do things? The era of wearing a business suit with a tie to work every day is gone, and a backpack is convenient, so do what’s convenient and familiar.

Unfortunately, that line of thinking is also how we got the the point where guys can’t even be bothered to put on something other than pajama pants to go grocery shopping. Sorry guys, but it’s a bit lazy.

Student wearing a backpack

You’ll look like a student again | iStock.com

The problem with continuing to wear a backpack as an adult is that you aren’t letting go of your childhood and committing to the transition into adulthood. They’re familiar, sure, but every time you wear a backpack, you’re marking yourself as someone who hasn’t entirely left childhood behind.

Even if you work in a casual office environment, don’t use that as an excuse to still hold onto your backpack habit. Yes, it’s a familiar habit, and your coworkers are probably wearing backpacks, too, but you’re always going to look less professional when with a backpack on. It would be nice if your work spoke for itself and professional advancement wasn’t based on anything else, but unfortunately, that’s not the way the business world operates.

You won’t necessarily get yourself fired for carrying a backpack, but you do run the risk of undermining your image, which could affect future advancements. Why would you risk that over a backpack?

Another factor to consider is that backpacks are generally designed with the transportation of school supplies in mind. They’re very good for carrying lots of books, a lunchbox, pens and pencils, erasers, and spiral-bound notebooks around, but what worked well in middle school probably isn’t as good at meeting your needs in your twenties and thirties.

Student wearing neon colors

Neon colors are not a good idea | iStock.com

Now you’re carrying things like a laptop, an iPad, a few different chargers, bottled drinks, the occasional lunch in Tupperware containers, and a lot fewer pencils. Laptop bags and briefcases are much better-suited for what the modern, professional man carries and are much more comfortable.

Even if you’re going camping or hiking, a backpack designed for school use isn’t a good idea. There are backpacks specifically made for long hikes that will be infinitely better-suited to your needs than your trusty old JanSport.

Invest in a new bag, and you’ll look more grown up, more mature, more confident, and more professional. You’ll also benefit from looking more stylish, which can’t hurt either. Obviously, no one can force you to give up your backpack, but if you’ve reached a point in life where you’re no longer taking classes and carrying books around, you should seriously consider upgrading. You’ll probably end up liking it.