The history of the backpack

Hoi An Real Leather - Da Bao Real Leather Hoi An: Bootstrap backpack, the first backpack for students

In the early days, when there were no books to carry, kids brought chalk and their slate to school. For this, they didn't need bags or backpacks. With the introduction of school books however, the need changed. But a good no solution was not in sight.

Students who had to walk a longer distance to school, helped themselves, by wrapping a strap around the books to hold them together and prevent them from dropping to the floor.

But the need to carry them more easily grew. Big pieces of linen and other fabrics were used to make carrying the children's belongings more easily. In old movies you see students clutching the bundle of books to their chest.

Until 1938. In that year Gerry Outdoors invented the first backpack with a zipper, as we know it today. It was mainly hikers and alpinists, however, that enjoyed its comfort. Even in the 70s children carried their school books bound together with a strap, a belt or in a satchel-like canvas bag.

Soon after the briefcase was invented. This model merged with the backpack and became known as the so called boostrap backpack. Boxy backpacks, stiff and made of robust leather hide.

Hoi An Real Leather - Da Bao Real Leather Hoi An: Bootstrap backpack with handy outer pocket, main container closing with 2 straps.
Hoi An Real Leather - Da Bao Real Leather Hoi An: Da Bao staffer ready to carry his bootstrap backpack through Hoi An.

1967 - The Year of the Backpack

The year of 1967 was the year of the backpack. Gerry outdoors introduced its first lightweight outdoor backpack and the today popular backpack brand JanSport opened its business. Soon asfter university students were seen across the US using Jansport backpacks for their heavy books, even though these backpacks were still sold mainly as outdoor and hiking accessories. Soon after the company adapted to the students' use of the backpack and made adjustments to the design accordingly.

In 1980 you can say that the backpack has finally become an everyday accessory all over the US, spreading quickly to other countries.

Today the original bootstrap backpack re-lives its popularity, but this time out of fashion reasons, due to its vintage style.

At Da Bao we offer a variety of bootstrap backpacks made of buffalo leather, in various sizes and shades of brown, grey and black color, but also in shiny red (see last image of the gallery below).

Come in and have a look yourself. We’re happy to make one specifically for you in your favourite color and deliver it to your hotel the next day.

Click through the gallery below for a closer look at the high craftsmanship and care that goes into our backpacks.

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