Shop Talk: The backpack goes fashion-forward

Courtesy Baggu

Like many folks I know for whom schlepping around an extra bag (or two) of gym clothes, train-ride reading material, and brown-bag lunches is a given, I've really come to rely on my assortment of ripstop nylon Baggu totes—they're cheap, lightweight, and eminently wad-up-able. And up to this point, the Del Mar, Calif.-based company has done brisk business with a pretty narrow array of styles—the original Baggu, Baby Baggu, and Big Baggu—all iterations of the same basic shape.

As these bags have no closures and no real structure, they've never been ideal for travel (although mine did come in very handy on my last beach trip, where a couple Baggus stood in as beach-towel and snorkel-gear totes that took up no room in my suitcase). But now, the company has introduced two new styles that have serious carry-on potential: a snap-top tote with adjustable shoulder strap in heavyweight cotton canvas ($20), and my favorite, a very simple, APC-esque recycled-cotton-canvas backpack ($28), a style that Verena von Pfetten of Styleite, who is currently leading the charge for a backpack resurgence, would likely go nuts for. Both of these new additions have interior pockets, come in nine rich, mostly gender-neutral colors (red, fuchsia, navy, blue, olive, teal, ivory, mustard, and black) and are available now at

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