Backpack designs and technology aid students, runners

Craig Tracy, supervisor at Cougar Tech, holds a Dakine Campus 33L backpack, which BYU students use while studying abroad. (Natalie Bothwell)

Backpack manufacturers are catering to students and other people on the move by offering compartments for technology, water reservoirs and other tech for convenience and comfort.

Backpacks are essential for BYU students who study on campus as well as abroad and can be a help for runners as well.

College students

Students participating in BYU’s study abroad programs will use Dakine’s 33L Campus backpack this year because of its optimal size and various colors, according to Lynn Elliot, director of international study programs.

The Campus backpack and others available in the Cougar Tech department of the BYU Store offer insulated cooler pockets, sleeves for pencils and fleece-lined pockets for sunglasses.

Students with laptops benefit from the backpack’s protective laptop sleeve. Craig Tracy, a Cougar Tech department supervisor, said there are “lots of little just nuances to the bags that most people don’t ever know until they start really looking at (them).”

Camelbak’s Quantico and Coronado backpacks are more suited for student use like this backpack Mallory Reese, BYU Outdoors Unlimited’s social media specialist and a rental clerk, shows. (Natalie Bothwell)

BYU Outdoors Unlimited sells Camelbak backpacks, many of which feature Camelbak’s trademark hydration bladder. But BYU Outdoors Unlimited has recently started to sell two Camelbak backpacks that are more student friendly.

The Coronado and Quantico backpacks both have spaces for laptops and tablets but lack a hydration bladder.


Runner’s Corner, a running specialty store in Orem, sells backpacks specifically designed for the sport. Runners can use these lightweight packs to carry essential materials over long-distance efforts.

The vest-like packs carry items such as water bottles, electrolyte pills and food, according to Tristram Jones, a Runner’s Corner manager.

Manufacturers must make the packs fit so they don’t bounce with the jarring running motion.

“If the pack is bouncing and moving on you, it doesn’t matter how good any of the features are,” Jones said. “You cannot wear that.”

Runner’s Corner sells a variety of running specific backpacks. (Coben Hoch)

Jones said the backpack manufacturers’ first priority is probably to “make it fit like vest,” and from there add all the features.

“But if you can’t make it fit like a vest, there’s no point in even making the rest of the pack,” he said.


Mallory Reese, a rental clerk and the media specialist for BYU Outdoors Unlimited, said the Quantico and Coronado backpacks are primarily designed as commuter backpacks. She said they don’t have the hydration sleeves like Camelbak’s other backpacks.

The larger Quantico backpack has a space for a water bottle though.

Reese said the backpacks’ lightweight design, organizational capacity and various pockets make them “a great pack for work or school.”

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