The Star Spangled Spirit of 76 in an Eastpak backpack

We all love an icon and in the world of urban baggage, the Eastpak backpack must be top of the tree.

From the brand’s roots in 1952 making duffels and packs for the U.S. Army (I bet some of those early bags are still intact somewhere – real collector’s items!) to their adoption across college campuses in the 1970s to their urban credentials kicking through the 1980s to the invention of wheeled luggage (bet you didn’t know that!) to their designer collaborations of the noughties, it’s been an evolution. Afterall, the best brands always manage to retain a link with their roots, whilst constantly looking to the future.

Take the example of the Eastpak Padded Pak’r – undoubtedly the most popular backpack in the world. First seen in 1976 when designer Mark Goldman joined his father’s military bag company and discovered a new niche market – the U.S. college campus, the innovate backpack led the birth of the Eastpak brand with its overnight success.

Described as the original casual rucksack, and certainly an icon of product design, over the years the Padded Pak’r has been seen in innumerable colours, materials, finishes and evolutions.

The latest carnation of the super popular model is the limited edition ‘Spirit of 76’ celebrating 40 years of the Padded Pak’r and its all American roots. Featuring a roomy front supper pocket, the logo patch is embroidered in stars and stripes, and the patriotic interior features a star spangled laptop sleeve that would certainly not have been needed in 1976 (proving the designers at Eastpak never stand still)!

The limited edition ‘Spirit of 76′ backpack is available now at Selfridges and Size! stores. See www.eastpak.com.