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From Rugged To Cool: The Backpack’s Climb

A backpack is only meant for hiking, said no millennial ever. From just a basic accessory to a popular fashion gear, this rugged bag has turned truly fashionable and brands are cashing in on that!

backpack-3But backpacks were not born into fashion. Back in the 1950s, backpacks were extremely heavy as they were made of wood and were originally invented only for trekkers and mountaineers.

The human mind is nothing, if not innovative. Asher Kelty, in 1951, got the idea of making a lighter backpack that would make trekking easier. Using nylon, lightweight aluminum tubing, padded shoulder and waist straps, he built a light-weight version that delighted his fellow trekkers. Kelty realized the scope of these light-weight bags in everyday life and began selling them in 1952 under his brand Kelty Pack. Kelty can perhaps be called the ‘Father of the modern backpack’. It was his idea of the lightweight backpacks that inspired other companies to follow suit.

Soon enough, backpacks dominated the city life. If you have grown up in a city, you will most likely remember how school bags evolved within those 12 to 14 years. From the broad rectangular buckled bags of our childhood, the trends changed to backpacks. From schools and colleges to bikers and cyclists, people found a better way to carry their everyday gear. The 9 to 5 working class wasn’t left behind either as they dumped their briefcases and adapted to the friendly backpack.

The backpacks in the 1990s became smaller as they stumbled upon the fashion ramp. A lot of fashion influence came from the 1990s movies where you could see every teenage girl carry along a backpack (remember Alicia Silverstone in Clueless?). The cool accessory of the 1990s, which symbolized fun fashion, has been a favourite ever since.


Popular brands like American Tourister, Adidas, Puma, Nike, The North Face, High Sierra and SuperDry have dominated the Indian market with their smart and stylish backpacks. The emerging trend of sports accessories being seen as fashion statements and selling like hot cakes has only helped grow the popularity of these backpacks. Check out the latest in collection on Myntra!

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