For some, the name Eastpak requires no introduction; synonymous with high-quality, affordable luggage with a huge range of design and finish options, Eastpak has long been the brand of choice for students and stylish individuals to carry their essentials around, whatever they may be.
The History of Eastpak
Like many other of the most enduring designs in the clothing and apparel world, the story of Eastpak begins with them manufacturing goods for the military. Under the much less catchy name of Eastern Canvas Products USA, Ltd., the brand and its founder, Monte Goldman, manufactured a range of backpacks, duffel bags and other equipment for the US Army, which, like many other surplus products, found their way onto the backs of cash-strapped college students as a cheap and tough way to carry their books around. Monte’s son, Mark Goldman, had been taking notice of this growing trend when he joined the family business in 1976, and decided to change the brand’s direction drastically, becoming a fully-fledged lifestyle label targeted at those very same students. Their first product was the now-iconic Padded Pak’r daypack, which, with its rounded, compact shape, suede bottom and front zip pocket came to define the backpack as we know it.
As the Pak’r became more and more popular, demand increased for more varied styles and patterns, and in 1985 the brand expanded from its timeless traditional colours into more bold, abstract and fashionable territory, which became became the brand’s hallmark going forward. At the beginning of the 21st century, this flair for often outlandish colourways and patterns was parlayed into the first of the brand’s many designer collaborations, with Belgian designer Walter van Beirendonck, in 2004. Since then, such collaborations have become a regular part of the brand’s output, with influential Belgian designer Raf Simons helming a total of five thus far, along with brands like APC, Vetements and Ami also contributing their own twists on classic Eastpak designs.
Alongside the iconic Eastpak daypack styles like the Out of Office and Back to Work, the brand offers a number of other luggage options for larger or smaller loads.
The One Shoulder Bag
If you need a compact way to transport your travel essentials, the stylish The One mini bag is ideal. Another of Eastpak’s best selling products, this compact shoulder bag has a main compartment with useful interior and back zip pockets to hold mobile phones, passports, sunglasses or other travel necessities. The Constructed version is a bit more rugged, made from ballistic-grade nylon for exceptional durability to withstand whichever adventure you decide to take it on.
Bum bag, fanny pack, side bag…whatever you want to call them, these surprisingly useful bags have transcended their somewhat uncool ’90s associations and can be seen on runway models and street style influencers alike. Eastpak produce numerous versions in various configurations, but the Bundel is hard to beat in terms of good looks and capacity, packing 3.5L of storage into a compact body; you’d be surprised how much you can fit in one of these! Perfect for hands-free commuting, this bag gives you quick and easy access to all of your daily essentials within its zippered pockets, while leather accents give it an undeniable vintage appeal. For something even more compact, the Springer is small, lightweight and durable, perfect for festivals or outdoor events.
For a higher carrying capacity, only a backpack will do. If a laptop is part of your everyday carry, a traditional daypack may not cut it; having a pack with a dedicated laptop sleeve is essential. Fortunately Eastpak have all the bases covered as usual. The Macnee backpack, for example, combines a military-inspired rolltop design with modern specifications, providing secure housing for up to a 15″ laptop along with a slew of pockets and compartments for any essentials and accessories, in a durable woven polyester material.
Shop our full collection of Easkpak backpacks and bags