Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Backpack vs. Tote Bag Discussion

I'm in the process of slowly collecting various items for going back to college, and recently a question has been lingering in my mind about what I'm going to haul my heavy and space-consuming books in next semester. I have been a dedicated tote bag fan since middle school; I think the last time I actually used a backpack was when I was 11 years old. But, since I'm going to be taking harder and more time consuming classes, I'm being gradually swayed into getting the classic black North Face Borealis backpack...with a pink monogram of course. 
I just don't know which to choose! I have my fair share of tote bags, so it's not a case of getting a new one for the school year...but should I buy the backpack? What do y'all use for your school bag? Is one better than the other? Or, should I just get the backpack and alternate the entire school year between the two bags? Eeek!!

Let me know what y'all think!

Have a great day!!

xx, Hannah

34 comments:

  1. i'd go with the backpack honestly and bring your totes in case theres a day where you may not need a heavy book and have a lighter load. I'm taking all my upper level classes as a history major and thankfully all of my required texts are a bunch of smaller books so i don't necessarily need a backpack, but i definitely used one my freshman/sophomore year. Plus if you ever need your hands for coffee/bagels/listening to music on your phone in the morning like i do, it's easier with a backpack then handing a tote on your shoulder! good luck <3

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  2. I think that the tote is great and classic, and comes in endless forms! I feel that totes are great because they do not cause back aching, think of those heavy books! I heard that a backpack shouldn't weigh more than 10% of you anyway. Totes can get arm-tiring after a while though. They both do have benefits but it should be the one that you feel comfortable with.

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  3. 100% get the backpack. At my school both are pretty common; most girls switch between them depending on the classes they have. Also backpacks are good to have for traveling and wearing on bikes/scooters/vespas and so on.

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  4. This is the hardest decision you could ever make! LOL
    I always find myself questioning about this and even if I usually choose my tote bag, I know that a backpack is the best choice.
    During my school year I alternated the two options. There were days in which a tote bag was simply too small or too heavy to carry around, so I used a backpack for those days.
    I think switching is the best options :)

    http://ginnyschoice.blogspot.it

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  5. First of all, LOVE YOUR BLOG!
    As for the backpack vs tote bag debate, I've used and loved both! The backpack can be used for those days where you have 3 classes than haul yourself to the library for a study session, and than the tote bag can be for when you have one class and a study party with your sisters! Personally, I've preferred my backpack because it feels more sturdy and my shoulders never hurt at the end of the day like with a tote, but a tote always feels more stylish.
    From one Tri-Delt to another, I'd add the backpack to your "school bag" collection
    DLAM!

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  6. I love having both because I do alternate. On days when I'm on campus for a long time and need more books, I'll switch to my backpack because my arm will kill me by the end of the day. Howev on days when I just need my computer, I just carry a tote.

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  7. I was an avid tote user freshman year of college but as my classes got more difficult I switched over to a backpack. I kind of loved it and it has so many compartments to keep all the little "in case of emergency" accessories too. I'd go with a backpack

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  8. Backpack! I would definitely go with the North Face backpack, and if you have a really light day, then I agree with many people above who were saying then use a tote for those days. North Face backpacks are really comfortable and durable!

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  9. You can use both! I recommend backpacks due to the heavy books, but use a tote for days when you don't have to carry as much around.

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  10. I've alternated between a backpack and a tote I just prefer a tote and try to carry less just because I know it's back for my back to carry too much

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  11. I went through all four years of college with either a tote or a cute messenger bag. I actually didn't lug all my books around all the time--I would just bring whatever books I needed for my current class. (And some classes, you might not even need to bring the book every day!)

    I would worry more about transporting your laptop and power cord, etc. I actually used a kate spade tote for most of my college career--my laptop slid in perfectly, and it was roomy enough to stuff in notebooks, snacks, etc. And if I had a book that was too big to fit, I'd just carry it to class.

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  12. I have carried a black northface (with a pink and green monogram obvi.) Through all my years of highschool, and it is perfect. My sister is in college, and she carries one too. To make it more cute or yourself, you could add a Tri Delt button on it.

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  13. I have the black north face borealis backpack and I love it! I find that it is so durable and everything fit's perfectly. Although I'm only in high school, I've had my fair share of heavy textbooks and I was able to fit my jumbo Lilly agenda, 3 textbooks, and a 2" binder in it one time. Plus they look so cute with the colored monograms!

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  14. Go for the backpack because it is easier to carry and your shoulders will thank you. It is really unhealthy to carry all that weight on your shoulders. And anyways the black backpack will go with anything you wear.

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  15. I always use a large Lonchamp! I have an iPad, so I've never really brought along my computer, which makes it lighter. I like that it's (basically) waterproof, so all of my stuff doesn't get destroyed during storms!

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  16. I've tried both the backpack and tote, but I find the backpack more useful! When I got the tote it was really cute, but it couldn't handle lots of book weight. For school the backpack is great because it is very easy to organize, can hold more stuff, and it can carry more weight. Hope this helps :)

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  17. I have recently purchased a Patagonia Violeta backpack in sky blue. I LOVE IT! The zippers are lime/yellow so I'm getting it monogrammed that color. Why go for black when you can have color? :)

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  18. I'm having the same dilemma! I'm an incoming college freshman and all throughout high school I found that a backpack was better because I had all my books for my 7 classes with me, but in college I only have up to two classes a day (at least for my 1st semester!). I have a large Longchamp that I'm going to use on lighter days and a black L.L. Bean backpack I'll use for days when I need to lug more stuff around!

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  19. backpacks all the way! i used to carry a tote bag (and sometimes still do) but the backpack is so much easier on my back, especially when i'm lugging around a computer, text books, and just stuff for multiple classes. plus, i think it's so much sturdier and better protection for when it rains!

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  20. The Backpack!!! Have you looked at the North Face Recon as well.

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  21. I personally carried a boat and tote most of college except for my freshman year. With the tote, you have less places to put random things/less ways to lose things. The book bag had way to many areas to stick things.

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  22. I have a North Face backpack and used it almost all of freshman year. I took it to school sophomore year and alternated depending on my class load/where I was going. It can be super useful to have totes and a backpack! I hate using totes when it rains. Also, a backpack holds a lot more than a tote so its better for going to the library with!

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  23. I got the North Face backpack for school this year and got it monogrammed, super cute!

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  24. If it has a monogram on its perfect! I say go with the North Face and rock that monogram!

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  25. You definitely need both. They both have different places to go and items to carry. As an Exercise Science major though, I can promise you the book bag is way healthier, and you will reduce your back problems in the future ;) Just in case you want the cute advice versus practical advice. To be honest, I have both and still use my tote bag when it's a light load!

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  26. Definitely monogram the North Face! I think it's much easier than dealing with a tote.

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  27. I used a tote throughout undergraduate, but I was a history major, so I never had thick textbooks to lug around. If you have a lot of heavy textbooks you think you will have to carry, I'd say get a bookbag as well. My vote is for both: the tote for lighter days and the backback for heavier days.

    http://preppygradstudent.blogspot.com/

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  28. I would go with the backpack. I use a vera bradley laptop backpack and love it! It distributes the weight of heavy books evenly on your shoulders, which is better for you. I would bring your tote to use on days that you know will be lighter.

    xoxo
    mQs
    shorelifeofm.blogspot.com

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  29. Go with the Monogrammed Backpack! I was always the same way, and this year I decided to get a black LL Bean [w/ a turquoise monogram, no less] and it was the best decision I ever made! Still fashionable, just more comfortable and much more realistic when walking around a lot. Go with the backpack! If you bring a totebag, you can switch it out if you miss it too much

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  30. I just graduated in May with a degree in molecular bio, so I totally understand the heavy books argument. I bet you already have a million totes already, so you can carry those to class if you want, but for the midterms and finals week trips to the library where you're carrying 50 lbs of books AND coffee AND your computer, you're gonna NEED that backpack. Happy back to school shopping :)

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  31. Hey Hannah!
    I had the same debate when I started college last year. Since freshman year of high school, I've used the same L.L. Bean backpack (it was a HUGE trend in Eastern North Carolina). When it came time for freshman year of college, it was time for me to update. I debated and debated and debated if I should buy a good backpack or buy a good tote bag (like the L.L. Bean one...LOVE it). Since I was originally going to college to get my degree in music, I didn't think I would need it. My mother, on the other hand, told me to get a good back-support backpack. Like always, my mother was right. I ended up going from thinking about majoring in music, to trying to get into a nursing program, and now I'm pre-med...which means a TON of heavy science books.

    I have fallen in LOVE with The North Face Surge backpack. Sure, it's not as popular as the Borealis backpack, but it's such a great backpack. I believe it's the bigger of the two backpacks and I love, love, love the back support they have in it. I've had at least 20 pounds of books, notebooks, and binders in it and my back doesn't hurt at all. It's awesome. It's got three zipper areas: one for a laptop, one for the books, and one organizational/agenda area plus an outside zipper area to put things like notecards and odds and ends in (it's actually really big). It's been able to hold my anatomy book, anatomy lab book, my chemistry book, and a medium binder plus my agenda.

    If I were you, I would personally go with a backpack that will support your back. The further you get into your degree, the more weight will be on your back. Besides, you won't have to worry about it falling off your shoulder like a tote bag would. I would buy a backpack now, and if you don't like it go back to one of your old tote bags, and then later (like Christmas) buy the tote bag you want. It's a win-win situation.

    I hoped this helped!

    -hannah

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  32. Backpack are good when you have lots of things to bring especially on travel unlike tote bags that are light and handy to carry.

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  33. Where do you get the North Face monogrammed? Do you buy it and then get a local person to do that?

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  34. Hi Hannah! I love both these bags. But, if you ask me, I would carry backpack if I need to travel with heavy books. I will carry tote bag incase is a non-teaching environment at school and I need to carry lightweight study material.

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