(Image courtesy of Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01J3ERC1S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Last semester, my backpack of 3.5 years gave up on college (and me), so I had to hurriedly complete a search for a new backpack over winter break. My Amazon search led me to a suggestion to buy the EcoCity Vintage Backpack, and its design has interestingly evoked a mixed reaction from me (so a sincere and ironic thanks Amazon’s collaborative filtering algorithm for recommendations).

What I love: The external design definitely reflects my current aesthetics. I love vintage, so the general feel of the design (with its buckles and leather finishing) is much appreciated. The backpack provides me with two side pockets that are gigantic (my former backpack only provided me with one mesh side pocket that was very small)—the two pockets can perfectly fit a Camelback or huge tumbler, allowing me to carry a lot of coffee and water every day. In that way, the design for the backpack is incredibly functional. The two pouches (one in the top flap and one as a bottom pouch) are also a good idea in principle, allowing more room for storage. That said, in use, the top flap is fairly hard to reach, so I only store a couple of objects (like pens and pencils) in it… which brings me to my next point.

What I don’t love: Beyond the two large side pockets, the EcoCity Vintage Backpack seems to be desirable primarily for its look than its functionality. Inside the backpack, there is a compartment to place your laptop, but after a month of use, I’ve discovered that it’s often hard to put the laptop back into the backpack when the bag is already stuffed with books (a problem when you’re a busy college student trying to rush from one location to another). The backpack is also heavier than most backpacks without any books inside it, so during use, I tend to limit the amount of objects that I carry (a problem when you’re a college student usually packing for the entire day). 

In summation: I don’t have major issues with the EcoCity Vintage Backpack—it’s a fun backpack that does its job relatively well, but it definitely isn’t perfect and lacks the functionality that my previous backpack had. In the end, using the EcoCity Vintage Backpack requires you to redefine what you find most desirable in a backpack—its external design or its utility.