What’s with the backpack hate?

We went to NY for the Labor Day weekend. Had a great time as always – challenge of the subway during non-regular hours, fat and fluffy french toast at Sarabeth’s on the Upper West Side, adventures in a hotel room smaller than my bathroom.

But our trip this time was marred by a severe case of backpack hate at sporting venues. We went out to Flushing Meadows for a day to catch some tennis at the U.S. Open and had tickets for a game at Yankee Stadium (final season!). In both locations, suddenly a backpack was verboten. Now, I know, the pack I use on trips isn’t the most stylish thing, but that wasn’t the issue. It was just that it was a backpack.

I still can’t quite figure it out. You could take in a tote big enough to carry a five-year old or a sling with the same kind of strap, but the second it had two straps on it (making it ergonomic), it was banned. What gives?

The weird thing was that there was no issue with taking a backpack in at the Empire State building or at the natural history museum. Nope. Just at the sports events. I just don’t get it.

So, is this going to be a trend? Do I need to start carrying something else when I travel? A backpack leaves my hands free, distributes weight properly and allows room for everything I might need in a day. Not to mention, it fits under the seat in front of me on an airplane. Where am I going to get all that in another bag? (Not to mention something that my hubby will actually carry half the time.)

So it was off to eBags.com for me. I looked at messenger bags, slings, totes, hell I even looked at diaper bags. (They have lots of compartments and tend to be water-proof. Bonus!) My thought was to stick with something that I could put across my body to get the hands-free part, although the strap through the boobs isn’t a good look. Sigh. I found some good alternatives, but ended up back in the backpack section where I might have found some options.

Some I liked, but can’t see hubby carrying:

Hip MessengerHollySmall Messenger

Bud BagBob Large MessengerJordi Labanda School Chic Messenger Bag

MetroWorker Bee '08Jordi Labanda Brunette Large Crossover

A few good ones that he might be willing to carry:

Shibuya Square ShoulderOswego

Canvas Messenger BagLines Pouch

Cute diaper bags. Struggle to find ones that weren’t too big:

Fun Stripes Coated Double Buckle BagRipstop Messenger Diaper BagMessenger Screened Diaper Bag

Best options I found for me:

Urban Satchel

Still would rather have something not a messenger bag, but this guy is pretty stylish looking and bonus of a padded strap.

Healthy Back Bag  Distressed Nylon Small

These slings make me think of gun bags, but I can see where they’d be better than your average option in terms of single strap bags. But very on the not-pretty side.

Backpack Cherry Pie

I never realized, but there’s a whole collection of backpack bags where the backpack straps zip together to make one strap and get you in the door where backpacks are banned. Downside – straps aren’t padded and I worry about the zipper digging in and being uncomfortable. Anyone have any experience with these? Cute too, but I’m not sure my hubby would carry it. 🙂

The Rocker Convertible: Green

This was by far my favorite (which also means it’s not cheap!). Looks like a seriously fashionable bag, but it’s a diaper bag, full of compartments and the like. Add the convertable strap and you’re good to go with backpack convenience. While still looking better than the average schlub. On sale right now for $96.

(As always with eBags.com, get free shipping using the banner below or $20 off orders of $100 or more using the text links.)

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