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5 Korean Backpacks Brands

Backpacks are a popular item for everyone from school children to hikers to those in the working world.  A good backpack can free one’s arms and hands while holding items such as schoolbooks, electronic devices, lunch/snack items, clothing, and other personal items.

There are a variety of backpacks on the market, as there is no such thing as one size fits all.  Backpacks are designed to handle heavy loads for every size and age.  They are created to fit a variety of needs, as well.

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Korean Backpack Brands

1.MCM and Givenchy Brand Backpacks (for the elite)

MCM stood for “Michael Cromer Munich”, a company known for its leather luxury brands.  It was bought by the Sungjoo Group in Korea in 2005.  Today MCM stands for Modern Creation Munich. 

MCM backpacks can be identified by their stylish rivet design.  The backpack is popular among the Asian elite.

While the MCM brand was first introduced and popular in the 1980s, newer marketing efforts have helped a recent resurgence in demand.  The investment in a durable leather backpack is worthwhile.  The MCM backpacks are an ideal hybrid of sophistication and functionality.

Prices for a MCM backpack can range from $550 to over $2000.

Although not made in Korea, the Givenchy Italian brand backpack is also quite popular among the elite.  It can range in price from $750 to over $3000.

2.RawRow Brand Backpack – Korean Brand

South Korean brand RAWROW was founded in 2011. Their offerings include eyewear and footwear in addition to the bags and backpacks.  The designs focus on simplicity and functionality. 

RAWROW’s backpacks have clean, minimalist styles and are perfect choices for everyday use or travel. The backpacks offer practical designs to keep gear organized. 

Some backpacks are made with thick canvas coated with polyurethane.  This makes them both stain and water resistant.  They also make a microfiber line and a rope series that targets customers that prefer lighter bags.

3.Blankof Brand Backpack

Founded in 2011, BLANKOF began creating products from a functional minimalism perspective.  Their goal was to create a backpack and other carry products that were understated and practical.  

The materials are quality in neutral colors.  By maintaining the functional minimalism, they avoid extravagances found in more affluent designs.  The focus is on creating a great product minus the unessential parts.  Practical uses are part of their focus.

The designs can be compared to a utilitarian military style.  These practical backpacks can be used daily for work or play, as well as travel.

4.Builford Brand Backpack

Builford brand backpacks are manufactured by BagsinKorea, a subsidiary of WKS Global located in Seoul.  

These classic style backpacks follow a 100-year history of the Builford brand.  The material used to produce this backpack is a wax canvas for weather and water resistance.

Following the history, this is a durable and strong backpack, typical of the style of an outdoor backpack, yet fashionable for today’s user.

There is a framework to maintain the shape of the pack while carrying heavy loads.  It has easy to access outer pockets for phones, wallet, and other frequently used items.

With a well-designed interior, there is room to safely store an iPad, books, valuables and more. 

5.John Peters Brand Backpack

Another product of BagsinKorea is the John Peters backpack.  This stylish backpack handily carries books, notebooks, and other essential campus items.

With a longstanding history as a renowned New York designer, this brand is popular among the collegiate consumers in Korea.  

The John Peters brand uses high quality materials to keep the backpacks lightweight, yet durable.  Using 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon, the highest grade of nylon YKK custom zippers, a gold standard for quality, the backpacks have become a standard for other designers.

Types of Backpacks

There are various types of backpacks that meet specific needs.  Photographers may look for backpacks that will carry their camera(s) and accessories. 

Students may need a backpack that will hold books and protect their laptops. Athletic and fitness types are designed to carry clothing changes and sports gear.

People that travel may want a backpack that is easy to store in a train or airplane and has secure yet easy access to travel documents and identification.  These backpacks may provide safe storage of electronic devices, office materials or clothing and personal care items.

Hunters and motorcycle riders can find backpacks to carry their supplies.  There are even backpacks designed to store emergency supplies for quick evacuations.

There are boy or girl and character themed backpacks.  Mesh, canvas, or leather backpacks are options.  There are backpacks with wide or narrow straps, drawstring straps, and added belts to secure the pack at either the chest or waist.

Specialty design backpacks are available as baby carriers, pet carriers, and as coolers for a favorite beverage.  Hikers and remote campers can choose larger backpacks to carry camping gear, tents, and food.

How To Choose The Right Backpack

There are several important design features that one should consider when buying a backpack.  Answer the following questions to determine what type of backpack you will look for. 

What is the purpose for your backpack?

Knowing the backpack’s purpose and use is important.  This allows you to consider all the items that you may need it to carry.  

Does it need to be easy to access or secure items; or a combination of both?

If the items need to be accessed quickly and easily on a regular basis, you will want a backpack that has easy-open compartments. 

If, however, you have important documents or items of value to carry, you will want compartments with secure closures.  Some backpacks offer compartments with both ease of opening on the outside and secure compartments inside.

Some backpack compartments close with zippers, others with simple Velcro, and a few use a heavy snap.

Who will be wearing the backpack?  What size does it need to be?

Knowing the right size is important.  Designers create backpacks with a body style in mind.  A child’s backpack is created to fit their frame, while different size packs are designed for women and men.

What are you willing to pay?

Backpacks come in a range of prices.  The features you need, the size, the materials, and durability will impact the price.  As with any purchase, you can watch for sales and discounts.

Backpack Features

There are a number of features to consider when purchasing a backpack.  Comfort is among the most important.  If a backpack causes discomfort or pain to the shoulders, back, or neck then your investment is irrelevant.  You won’t continue wearing something that causes pain.

Depending on what you need to carry, backpacks can offer expandable or “rolltop” features.  This allows you to fit oversized or bulky items into the main compartment of the pack.  The material used to make these backpacks is generally more durable to withstand the larger items, as well as offering some protection from weather.

Backpack Shoulder straps

The purpose of the shoulder straps is to distribute the weight of the backpack between both shoulders. 

Most of the packs are designed for a person’s width and height, but since torso length can differ, the straps will be adjustable to fit.  The shoulder straps are made to fit the width between the shoulders.

A variety of strap designs is also a feature to fit each person’s preference and style.  Some are padded, some are wide and others thin.  

  • Straight straps are popular when the backpack will not be used for long term and heavy loads.  The straight straps are generally found on more fashionable packs.
  • Curved straps generally are more ergonomic in design.  These are most often padded to add to the comfort for long term wear and heavy loads.  Most backpacks with curved straps will be found in travel and outdoor packs, but can be found in laptop backpacks, too.
  • One-piece strap design is constructed of one piece of material that connects to a “bridge” across the top.  In some designs the bridge acts as a handle to carry the backpack.  It is a fixed design, so you cannot adjust the strap width.  

Note that this design cannot be worn high on the back because the bridge will begin to cut into the neck and shoulders.  It is important that you try this style for fit before purchasing.  It is popular as a day pack for travel or outdoor use.

Backpack Waist Belt

This can also be referred to as a hip belt.  It is generally found in backpacks that will carry heavy loads such as outdoor, hiking and camping packs. 

The belt attaches around the top of one’s hip bone.  It helps balance the weight of the backpack from the shoulders.

Backpack Chest Belt

Also called a sternum belt, this one attaches across the chest to take some strain away from the shoulders.  The chest strap can help reduce the chance of the shoulder straps sliding off. 

In addition, it stabilizes a heavy backpack from swaying.  Chest straps are found on backpacks that are heavy with loads like schoolbooks.

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Finally, a reminder to consider the style of the backpack you choose.  Make sure to select the right shoulder strap design to fit your needs. 

Tighten the straps so the heavy load is closer to your back, keeping them low and centered in the backpack. Your choice should be comfortable, stylish for your needs, and a good long-term investment.