Itemized: The Jansport Heritage Series Backpack


Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Hanly Banks writes about the Jansport Heritage Series backpack.


An unemployed friend called me the other day just to chat. Mid-conversation, she stopped herself. "You probably have to go, since you have a life and all." I thought about it for a minute, and then a very depressing thing came hurdling out of my mouth. "I don't have a life. I have a computer." I didn't mean it, and immediately regretted saying it, but there's a fraction of truth to that statement.

My laptop and I have become undeniably close. It knows all of my secrets and search history, we sleep next to each other sometimes when I'm too tired/lazy to put it on a proper desk, and I am madly, dependently in love with it. But I live a double life, and part of me longs to go outside, climb a mountain, and never see the color of brushed metal again. I, like so many other New York City transplants who grew on Tom Petty and the open grid of somewhere-far-away, have a fascination with the past that can be quenched in the only way I know how: by surrounding myself with possessions that remind me of a simpler time. Trouble is, most of my old clothing and accessories are so deteriorated by this point that they are almost inappropriate to wear.

Luckily someone over at Jansport had the same idea, and instead of having to order some ripped-up piece of garbage over ebay, I nursed my nostalgia with a Heritage Series backpack.  The just-launched collection of backpacks marries the spirit of 1967 with the practicality of today's working world. The "Heads Up" bag in buckthorn brown looks and feels like my childhood. It features an old school Jansport logo and optional straps made of seatbelts that could have easily come from my mom's suburban. And when the weekend is over and I've returned from some mystical spirit quest in the woods, the bag transforms into a briefcase eligible to transport my laptop to and from work, like a regular grownup.

One day I will seek greener pastures, but for now I will just put a tiled image of greener pastures on my screen saver and stare at it, longingly.

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Itemized: The Jansport Heritage Series Backpack