Granted, calling a backpack functional art may be a stretch. It is just a backpack after all. But if there’s any company out there that pays as close attention to aesthetics as function, it’s Ful. In fact, their motto is “Create quality bags with a fashion edge.” And they succeed at both.
Ful was born in the gumbo of music, history and culture that is Memphis, Tennessee and is run and designed by a small group of people who are almost as passionate about music and culture as they are about backpacks. And they use one to – forgive the pun – fuel the other. That’s evident by everyone from Justine Timberlake and Taylor Swift, to old-school Slash from Guns n Roses and Will.i.am turning to Ful for their bags. Ful breaks its bags into a few categories – day packs and backpacks, messengers and duffels. And each is designed to reflect both cutting-edge backpack design and aesthetics.
One area where Ful shines is in accommodating your electronics. So here are a few or our favorite Ful media/laptop/tablet/music-friendly day packs.
Ful Refugee: This is one sweet bag. It’s got an easy-access, side-opening laptop pouch in the back of the bag instead of the front for added protection. It’s got a separate front pouch with pockets to store all the stuff that normally drops to the bottom of your bag. And it’s tough, water-proof bottom keeps everything dry.
Ful Venue: If you’re just going to a coffee shop to read a few music blogs on your tablet, the venue is the one. It’s clean, geometric, rectangular design actually accommodates a 15.5-inch laptop and tablets. And it opens into two packable compartments. If you’re looking for a dependable, compact day pack that doesn’t look like every other bag out there, the Venue is it.
Ful also offers a few larger-size, laptop backpacks that fall somewhere between day pack and travel backpack. So if you’re heading to a music festival for a few days and need to bring some clothes or gear in addition to your laptop, here are a couple of Ful’s best offerings:
Ful Treble Maker: At 28.3 liters, the Treble Maker offers more than enough room for trips. Like the Refugee, its laptop compartment is in the back for added protection and it’s even got a sternum strap and water bottle pocket if you want to take it on a hike.
Ful Tennman: We’re not sure if the Tennman’s 32 liters of storage or its 16-inch laptop compartment made Snoop Dog – now Snoop Lion – turn to the Tennman, but we dig it. This is a full-on backpack – water bottle pocket, sternum strap, large main compartment – that uses a sleek, narrow design to make it perfect for ever day use or travel.
Before we go, we have to mention two more of our favorites. They don’t fall into any particular category. They’re just cool bags:
Ful Heart Throb Rolling Backpack: You’re young. You’re strong. But that doesn’t mean you want to haul stuff on your back when you don’t have to. The Heart Throb offers nearly 40-liters of storage, is super lightweight, and offers most of the features mentioned above. And it gives your back a break when you’re chasing a bus after dancing in Buenos Aires until 6 a.m.
Ful Tremelo Day Pack: We include the Tremolo simply for its cool factor. It looks like just a World War II canvas pack, but is designed with all the laptop-compatible, cutting-edge features Ful is known for. Call it vintage modern. Either way it’s cool.
So whether you’re heading to the work, school or the Berlin Festival, Ful offers backpacks that capture the zeitgeist of culture, technology, music and design.