hashtag ‘life organised’, isn’t that the dream?
since leaving my old agency job in 2014 and starting to run my own company, i’ve been more on-the-go than ever. no longer confined to the office day-in day-out, i’m now running from meeting to meeting and working between coffee shops, our client’s workspaces, my home office and our shared co-working space, where we hot-desk.
this means continually touting my laptop all over town and although i have one of the lightest macbooks around, i’ve still found my shoulder aching terribly after a day spent schlepping across town and navigating the crowded city streets. i’ve been noticing more and more that this shoulder pain was affecting not only my mood but my sleep patterns, so decided that 2016 was the year to resolve this.
on the face of it, the solution was pretty obvious: switching from a overloaded shoulder bag to a backpack; what was less obvious was which backpack to go for. to be honest, i haven’t carried a backpack since i was 12 and the thought of them made me shudder – even though vogue may claim they’re back in style i’d not really spotted any that were both fashionable and practical, until knomo popped up on my radar!
knomo was established in 2004 – at the turn of the laptop revolution – by two friends who wanted to revolutionise the bag industry; to them bags for men were boring and boxy, and bags for women had barely changed since the 1950’s. they knew that the days of working a standard 9-5 were on the way out and that the modern-day workforce needed hard-working accessories that could transition from day to night and function for both weekday and weekend use.
after meeting the team at an event late last year, i popped into their london showroom (coincidently right around the corner from my co-working office!) to get better acquainted with their extensive collection, which includes not just backpacks but also travel cases, laptop sleeves, organisers and phone cases.
it was wonderful to see how much thought and attention to detail has gone into every model. each of their backpacks come with a padded technology section, designed for use with a specific sized laptop or tablet and feature multiple pockets and pouches for organising your things as efficiently as possible. the bags even have a unique myknomo id code which you can register to help reunite you with your belongings should they ever go missing – neat, right?
after perusing all the beautiful designs on offer, i set my heart on the sleek and modern beaux backpack (modelled here by my beautiful friend emma on a rather windy day!).
constructed from lightly tumbled full grain leather that is soft and smooth textured, with a chic contrasting camel-coloured grosgrain lining that gives the bag a wonderfully luxurious feel. inside there is a 14″ shockproof laptop section – along with three additional pouches and a zipped pocket – and on the front there is a further zipped pouch with a penholder and two pockets. let me tell you, it’s pretty much impossible to lose anything inside this bag!
i’ve had my new backpack for just over a month now and can certainly attest to it’s revolutionary effect on my life! not only has my shoulder pain nearly completely subsided (and i think what remains is more due to typing away furiously on my laptop in coffee shops), but i’ve also discovered the joys of being hands-free. with all my daily essentials safely stored on my bag i’m finding it far easier to check my email (read: instagram feed) and carry my morning starbs without spills on my morning commute – #winning.
in order to understand exactly why my backpack has made such an immediate impact on my wellbeing i turned to knomo’s resident expert jonathan nunn, an osteopath with 35 years’ experience, who says that studies suggest women are more prone to bag related pain than men.
“the most common problems from a bag that is too heavy is the strain caused on the base of the neck, which increases the cranio-vertebral angle and in turn leads to postural imbalance along with overstrain on the shoulder and neck muscles, along with potentially pinched nerves in the brachial plexus supplying the hand and arm,” he says. “this all starts with short-term effects of muscle overload that, over time, can effect posture and overall body postural compensation.”
he has some great tips to consider when choosing the right bag for your daily needs:
• the ideal way to wear any bag is to distribute the weight evenly through comfortable wide straps that are easily adjustable
• a good backpack should be sleek and stylish but also fit into your curves, adding an element of stability and security, especially in the lower curve of the back
• larger backpacks have more touch-points across your back which help spread the weight. if you’re carrying a laptop, make sure it’s sitting flush against your back as this will centre your gravity and make sure your shoulders are pulled back straight
• try and make sure there is no pendulum type swinging of a heavy bag as this will put a lateral sway into your walking style and can cause tiredness and postural problems
• bags need good internal organisation to distribute the weight evenly. the bulk of the weight needs to be low in the bag, so the spine and accompanying muscles are balanced
since having my backpack what has amazed me most has been all the “ohh, love your bag!” compliments i’ve received, as well as how many of my friends have also revealed struggling with bag-related back pain too!
i’m certainly a backpack convert, how about you?
[icon name=”handshake-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] my beaux backpack was kindly gifted to me by knomo bags, but all opinions my own. first two images © knomo bags, all other imagery my own.