A Teen Fashion Essential – The Rucksack

It’s always exciting when something stylish yet practical comes into trend, and this year the rucksack has to be the most obvious example of this. Last summer we were supposed to be rocking mini satchels and clear handbags, but finally it’s out with unfeasible and time to celebrate a fashion accessory that can actually make life easier – particularly for teen fashionistas.

The rucksack has an interesting history (also known as the backpack, packsack and knapsack) it originated from its most basic form as a cloth sack secured over the shoulders with two straps. It was designed to be used for carrying heavy loads by hunters. The word rucksack comes from the German language, with ‘der Rucken’ meaning ‘back’ and ‘sack’ meaning bag. Historic rucksacks date as far back at the Copper Age in Alphine Italy, where archaeologists have found wooden frames that wood support fabric sacks for military and mountaineering exercises.

Today rucksacks are less substantial – with no use of wooden supports! In place of hunting tools and military gear, look inside a shoulder-slung rucksack and you’re more likely to find graffiti covered school workbooks, MP3 players and hoodies.

A rucksack with mountains in the background

Rucksacks have always been common place in the classroom, but gone are the days where all you could choose from were military-inspired shades and masculine textures! Now the high street is awash with fun and funky designs for all ages, some of the key rucksack trends to look out for include:

Aztec prints

One of summer’s biggest trends, you’ll find plenty of different Aztec prints to choose from when browsing the high street rucksack selection. Whether you’re looking for traditional tribal shades like orange, red and navy blue or funky neon twists on historic patterns – you’re sure to find something to suit.

Fringe detail and leather studded

For a rebellious take on the rucksack, look out for the leather studded and fringe detailed designs that are big this season. Duffle rucksacks are particularly popular in this style.

Printed canvas

Forget plastic camping-style backpacks, a lot of these seasons rucksacks are produced in quality canvas printed with patterns and motifs. Expect a lot of geometric shapes, stripes and floral repeats.

For both teens and adults alike, backpacks can work from day to night. Carrying materials and work equipment by morning and spare clothes and toiletries by evening – they make an excellent overnight choice and a handy hand luggage solution on plane too. Then of course there’s the whole movement of travellers named after these handy accessories – backpackers! The practical nature of a rucksack is clearly proven when you consider that some people transport their whole life across the globe in one.

The current rucksack trend isn’t just for girls either. Men’s backpacks have been in fashion for the last year or so, an alternative to over-the-shoulder bags and dull suitcases. Favourite masculine looks currently on the market include canvas rucksacks with leather accents, camouflage prints and plenty of tribal-inspired geometric patterns. Be sure to get your young man a pair of shoes to match too!

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