A public service announcement brought to you by J…

J has a lot of pet peeves.  He hates when people walk and text…he hates bad drivers…he hates when people take up two spots at the train station.  But his biggest pet peeve of all is grown men wearing back packs.  Especially when they put both straps on their shoulders and especially when they are wearing a suit.  It makes him absolutely crazy.

Quite honestly, I never noticed this before I met him, but now that he’s pointed it out to me, I notice it all the time.  And while I agree that it does look goofy for a grown man in a suit to walk down the street with a back pack, the sight doesn’t quite evoke the same kind of horror and revulsion in me that it does in J.  He is seriously bothered by this practice.

The other day, J called me when he got into the office…after walking through Grand Central Station with a million other commuters…and requested that I write a post about “the backpack issue”.  Apparently he saw no less than ten men walking around with backpacks and at least one had the straps clipped in front of his chest.  J could take it no more.

So…by request, I give you this public service announcement from J…

What the hell is up with grown men wearing backpacks…especially with a suit and tie???  People…this is unacceptable behavior!!!  Grown men should be carrying a briefcase…or a messenger bag if absolutely necessary.  They should, under no circumstances be carrying a backpack to work.  Well, unless they are a Sherpa or Bear Grylls.  Then it’s an occupational requirement.  You have to keep those hands free for mountain climbing and survival.  But everyone else should ditch the backpack once they graduate college and never use one again.

While that is J’s opinion, I have to agree with him.  A backpack gives off a very casual and unprofessional vibe.  I do understand that a backpack gives an even weight distribution and makes carrying a heavier bag more manageable.  However, when you are still rocking the same Jansport bag you used in college, you look kind of dumb.  And really…how much crap do you have to carry with you all the time?  Carry less crap and you eliminate the need for a bag.  Problem solved!

Oddly enough, while I was getting ready to write this post I Googled “wearing a backpack to work” and I got a surprising number of hits.  Apparently, J is not the only one who is offended by “the backpack issue”.  On one website, there was even some name calling between a dedicated backpack wearer and a guy who said backpacks are lame.  People seem to be split pretty evenly on this issue…who knew this was such a hot button topic?

So you guys tell me…where do you stand?  Backpack or no?



  1. I love a nice backpack for a short weekend trip or maybe a hike. But not on a dude with a suit. It just seems wrong.

  2. I have to say…it has never occurred to me because we have never lived in a city where people commuted en masse. The last time I saw a guy in a backpack was in college. But I would have to agree. Messenger bag, briefcase or nothing. Even Neal, in his pajama-like fatigues, carries a matching camo briefcase. (Truly if he ever had to commute through a forest you would NEVER see him coming.) I have to warn J, though, that we have a fancy camera-specific backpack that we use for traveling because it hides the camera and has a million pockets. And I’m against, in general, feeling like a pack mule when my husband could do that instead. So there may be a man in a backpack sighting in his dining room when we get up there.

  3. My guy wears a backpack to work. Sorry J.

  4. This will come as no surprise to you (or anyone, for that matter), but the nail-clipping co-irker carries his laptop in a back pack. A very expensive one that he made the company buy and makes him look like a giant, sloppily dressed 5-year-old. I’m a fan of the messenger bag, personally.

  5. As a woman who carries a purse over one shoulder every damn day, I can say that even weight distribution is overrated.
    Especially when it makes a grown man look like a frat boy (Really, is he carrying a ball cap and mini keg in that backpack too?).
    Having said that, Phil takes a backpack to the gym. But only ever to the gym and he carries it over one shoulder.

  6. Chris wears a backpack cause he has to trek all over the city with building plans and other documents. I did, however make him give up the old one he was wearing and bought him a briefcase looking one that can also be carried with a handle. And I know I owe you a phone call. It’s been a crazy day but no excuses! Also John is nuts. Just in case you were wondering :)

  7. This made me laugh a lot. I’m trying to thin of what it is that triggers MIke like this. Some stuff will just get on his last nerve and he gets overly angry about it. I’m always like… you can’t change it… just let it go man. I’m totally zen in that way. But do something that drives me crazy.. and WHAM! I’m the Hulk about stupid stuff I can’t control.

    Mike wears a backpack to work. Well… it’s more of a 1 shoulder back pack, he carries his lap top in it. But to be fair… he doesn’t wear a suit to work and sort of still looks like he’s in college in his polos and dress pants.

    I will agree a man in a suit with a back pack is HORRIBLE!

  8. I am with you on the dudes in a suit. But otherwise I think a backpack is just fine. Especially if it’s adorned with a lot of patchies (but look who you’re asking). HA! J’s social commentary is hysterical however.

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