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Remember when school used to come back in session after Labor Day? Every year it seems like the powers at be move the start date earlier into summer. But no matter—with a new school year comes a good reason to update your everyday gear, and going back to the grind often requires we pick up a new trusty backpack.

You may not be enrolled this fall, but that's no reason to deny yourself an essential. Whether you’re transporting books or beer, here are ten backpacks that’ll get the job done in style.

Everlane Snap Backpack, $65

Parrot Canvas Woodland Camo Uwharrie Day Pack, $65

Poler Stuff Roll Top Bag, $70

Jansport x Benny Gold x Pendleton, $99

LayerxLayer Brimfield Bag, $189

Topo Designs Mountain Briefcase, $149

Cote&Ciel Isar Rucksack, $238

Makr Daypack, $245

Archival Clothing Rucksack, $260

Goruck GR1, $295

Check the journal often for more NoMa suggested fall essentials.

Sportsman's Bag

Loyal readers know we are big fans of American outdoors brand Filson here at Nothing Major. Our recent tour of the new HQ and factory only fed our obsession. So we're especially jazzed about the fall collection that just hit. In it, Filson expands its offerings in luggage (more styles and fabrics) while adding some clothing with modern cuts and materials, all built to last a lifetime. We've selected seven items from the new collection we're jazzed about. As for you heritage buffs, you'll be sated too, when Filson drops an archival collection later this month.

1. Short Lined Cruiser Jacket, $295: The Soy Wax construction makes it water resistant and lends it a nice crackled look. The modern trimmer fit is shorter, too. It comes in tan w/ black and red Alaskan plaid lining or in black with dark green flannel lining. Possibly your new second skin?

2. Quilted Vest, $260: Feel free to move around with this water resistant outer shell. It comes in Navy and Orange, both with that great tan contrast pocket detail.

3. Original Sportsman Bag, $360: Filson's best-selling hunting jackets and vest inspired this practical bag. The large main compartment features snap out panels so you can organize it your way. Constructed from 22 oz. Rugged Twill and 12.5 oz Oil Finish Tin Cloth, it comes in Tan/Dark Tan and Tan/Otter Green. 

4. Guide Pants (Shelter Cloth, $240 & Soy Wax, $265): These rugged pants are ready for almost anything nature has to offer. Available in the new soy wax, they feature front cargo pockets with one-hand snaps.

5. Tote Briefcase, $360, and Game Bag Messenger, $285: Just what we needed: traditional construction but ready for the city. Both bags use Filson traditional 22 oz Rugged Twill and 12.5 oz. Oil Finish Tin Cloth plus heavy duty brass zippers and pulls and genuine bridle leather. 

6. Rugged Twill Log Carrier, $80. You'll never gripe about hauling firewood again with this handsome number at arm's reach.

7. Leather Belt, $58: Don't consider this entry-level Filson. It's constructed in Seattle of genuine saddle leather, the type of belt you pass down to the next gen.

See the complete catalog online at Filson.com

Increasingly, shops and municipalities are pursuing bans of plastic shopping bags altogether. Ad agency Mother London takes a different though still aggressive design approach in an effort to end the culture of the disposable bag. The second edition of the Uncarriable Carrier Bags shames plastic bag users by displaying outlines of questionable items such as knives, guns, heroin needles and massive sex toys that could be contained within.

Back in 2008, Mother London's first run of Uncarriable Carrier Bags took a less subtle approach with full branding identities for embarrassing fictional locations like a Phil Collins fanclub, a fast food place specializing in dolphin meat, and a sticky looking sperm bank.


We recently heard of a new line of bags under the name Sons of Trade that sounded a little bit different from what we've seen before. The SOT line has some tech-friendly features, comes in large sizes to accomodate those with active, multi-faceted lifestyles, and in short, they're the kind of rugged bags built for guys who get out there and do stuff, not just post on street corners. We caught up with Sons founder Braden Jones by email to find out more.

Sons of Trade is a very new brand, where did it come from?
We started by creating something for ourselves—for the way we live here in California. We might sometimes have unruly beards, and we aren’t the type to wear suits to the office, but we still appreciate looking sharp. That means carrying gear with a good design aesthetic. So we tried to build a line of products that would be flexible enough for our own lifestyle, which is sometimes living out of a van for a week, surfing up the coast and sometimes boarding a flight for a meeting on the other side of the globe. We are not the only guys who need gear to accommodate everyday life, no matter what that may consist of.

Braden Jones

Who is Braden Jones?
I’m a 5th generation Californian; that’s something I’m pretty proud of. What else? A traveler, a businessman, a father, a husband. A fan of good Scotch. I like making art and being in the water or out on the open road. I still don’t really think of myself as defined, but I know that someday I will be—as we all will be—so I try to be aware of what kind of legacy I’m going to leave behind. But right now I guess I’m living this life I’ve been given, trying to keep it real in the digital age.

Where does the name Sons of Trade come from?
We’re paying tribute to those who came before us: the workers, writers, thinkers, innovators, and tradesmen. And to the time when a man was a man—when creating and innovating was an art form instead of a formula. We are the sons of those men, and we’re exploring what it means to live a life of adventure and hard work. A life that’s anything but dull.


You're making bags, what makes SOT bags different from the rest?
The best bags that I have used, bought, or seen in passing have all come from past generations. The Military, the U.S. Postal Service, old backpacking, and sportsman gear. They’re durable, purposeful, and built to last.  We can’t go back, but we can build bags and accessories for today’s man that will stand the same test of time, built with old world character and materials yet featuring modern tech features. My goal is that in decades to come, a Sons of Trade rucksack, tote, or knapsack will be that bag your son will find in your closet, steal, and take with him to college.

You've got some tech friendly accessories. Where did the inspiration for those come from?
We designed the line to work easily with gadgets because they’re so much a part of life. So it just made sense to build tech gear into the collection so that if you’re on your bike wearing a Satellite Sling, or if you throw an Index Sleeve into your bag, you’re not thinking about your headphone wires getting tangled or your iPad getting scratched. You’re just living.

The Tactical Tote is a big bag—who do you see using that and for what?
It’s actually my daily bag. I’m looking at it right now and it’s holding a couple big notebooks, a camera, my iPad and some smaller stuff like pens, wallet, shades, phone, and keys. And there’s still room for a random roadside find when I wander out. I also use it all the time as my carry on for quick trips to Seattle and New York.

Since it’s pretty roomy and made from coated canvas that you don’t care about getting wet, a lot of guys around here are also using it as a surf bag.

Was it a challenge designing for surfers, travelers, and urbanites alike?
We tend to think that could be three different guys or three parts of one guy. I’m not alone in being a bit of each: I travel a lot, I surf and I find myself in cities all over the world—each time needing a way to carry my stuff. So we designed the collection for guys who want a versatile bag that works to fit their lifestyle. It’s a bag that’s made to be used; it’s the real deal. 

See the complete line at Sonsoftrade.com

We read certain magazines online and in print for their taste in visuals and curation of style, so it makes sense in a way that we'd buy from their online shops, too. The latest tasteful mag to launch a shop is two-year-old Thisispaper Magazine. Thisispaper Shop debuted earlier this month, selling goods sourced from sustainable and local manufacturers in Poland or handmade by the creative team at Thisispaper Magazine itself. The shop is carrying a clean and clever range of kitchenware (mugs, jars) and accessories (rucksacks, bags)—all perfectly suited to your no-nonsense minimalist household. The Thisispaper team says the impulse to start the shop comes from "the need to provide our audience with a way to surround themselves with objects that combine beauty and sustainability and are used in day-to-day activities." And they've stuck well to their informal motto: "Simplicity is king in everything we do. Fashion isn't."

We've culled some of our favorite debut Thisispaper Shop items in the post below.

Start shopping at Thisisipapershop.com


Handheld drills
Pure Mug
Rucksack in Ecru
Honey dripper
Slippers in brown

Single strap pedal clip
Walnut pan
Butter knife

Incase Range Collection in black

When it comes to bags, minimalism has a strong appeal, as long as it's functional. Incase's Range Collection is inspired by cycling gear, but made for everyday excursions. It's big on space for storage, features protection against the elements (weather-resistant coatings, cinch collar on the backpack), plus reflective material, padding, and faux fur, as well as extra stash pockets and space for a U-lock. The collection is also low on goofy branding or ugly logos, very often hard to avoid in messengers and backpacks. The Range Collection in black (backpack, large backpack, messenger bag, large messenger bag, and iPhone pounch) is now available from goincase.com.