Backpacks made in America

11 Jan

I’ve been looking for backpacks, both for my own use and for my daughter. Finding American-made backpacks is tough. You’d think the hardcore hunting and camping types would be really into American-made products, wouldn’t you? That’s what I thought.

My daughter has a Jansport backpack we got at Costco last year that has a faulty zipper. I hate to replace it already, but I wasn’t able to fix the zipper.

I’ve been looking for a backpack for when I go on bike rides around the town for holding water and stuff.

So far I found a few brands that seem promising:

Duluth. Very classic-looking canvas backpacks. The kids backpack has a lot of different colors, which I’m sure my daughter will love. And the prices seem very reasonable. The company is based in Minnesota, and while their website doesn’t say, I would bet that their manufacturing is done there.

Mission Workshop. These products look great. Lots of sizes, everything has a bunch of pockets. Unfortunately everything they sell is very expensive, out of my price range to be honest. According to their website, everything is made in Colorado. Their backpacks look perfect for me, but judging from the photos, their packs are too big for my daughter.

Timbuk2. Now this is more confusing. Some of their packs are made in USA, others aren’t. I’m guessing if it doesn’t say “Made in San Francisco” next to the product, it’s made overseas. But the prices aren’t bad, and the surprising thing here is the American-made backpacks have a similar price range as the other backpacks. This gives me more hope.

Chrome. This is a lot like Timbuk2 in that some of the products are American-made, and others aren’t. Those that are made here are made in Colorado, just like Mission Workshop. The prices aren’t bad, but I’m not sure I like any of their designs. The seatbelt-buckle is nifty though, I’ll give them that.

Which did I pick? Well none yet, I’m going to let my daughter check out all the options tomorrow morning. As for me I’m undecided as usual. I’ll probably go with something from Duluth or Timbuk2.

I think it’s odd that of the four brands that made backpacks in America, three of them seem aimed at bicycle messengers, and only one at camping types. It goes to show that stereotypes are often wrong.

– Joe


One Response to “Backpacks made in America”


  1. Backparts: part 2 « Joe of America - January 20, 2011

    […] one is a follow-up to my initial entry on American-made backpacks. I had a reader named Anna e-mail me with a suggestion for American-made backpacks. This is […]

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