From kids to adults, everyone you know is carrying a backpack; here's why it's a rage in UAE

These bigsellers are an essential and a much-loved companion to millions

By Leslie Wilson Jr

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Published: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 16 Oct 2022, 6:24 PM

Lilly is getting ready for her big day. She is all set to appear for the final interview for a job in the UAE that she has long coveted. She wants to make sure everything is right before she sets out — her outfit, her hairstyle, and her bag.

Not just any bag, but her favourite genuine, vintage leather knapsack that she was lucky to snap up for a bargain price back in her native Uganda. Not only is it a bag that suits all her needs, it is functional, durable and elegant. More importantly, she considers it her lucky charm, and even when she is travelling in the Dubai metro, she makes sure it remains well-protected.

The backpack, one of several that Lilly owns, has become an integral part of her life, an extension of her personality.

Like Lilly, millions of kids — boys as well as girls — and adults around the world have fallen under the spell of the knapsack (larger versions are generally called backpacks). Every second person on the street, from blue to white collar workers, is carrying one on his or her back, or off the shoulder.

How did backpacks become a major accessory?

Simply because they are very user-friendly and adaptable. Anyone wanting to carry a laptop, electronic items, workplace supplies, toiletries, books and emergency snacks, can’t go wrong with the knapsack.

While previously women chose to carry a vanity bag; today, many prefer the trendy knapsack because they are more practical.

Graphic by Raja Choudhury
Graphic by Raja Choudhury

The knapsack can hold your daily necessities, take a lot of beating, and at the same time, not compromise on your style statement. They come in all shapes and sizes, designs, and materials of choice. They're also aesthetic, and functional and serve all purposes.

In short, backpacks are the most flexible accessory you can have for all reasons that Dubai-based IT professional Rahul Krishnan lists out below.

How backpacks led to waist packs and belt bags

The backpack was built on the foundation of design creativity and artistic expression, which inevitably led to the creation of the modern-day waist pack and sling bag, worn primarily by tourists who want a safe and comfortable bag to carry essential items like a passport, wallet and mobile phone. Nothing more.

Graphic by Raja Choudhury
Graphic by Raja Choudhury

But due to their convenience, these little wonders have gained in popularity and are worn by many people on an everyday basis. They bridge the gap between knapsacks and pant pockets and at the same time act as fashionable accessories.

Once an object of fun, the waist bag or belt bag helps solve the problem of having to carry a knapsack or also complement one of them.

Whether you’re going out shopping, for a jog, or on a night out, these little wonders help you keep your valuables safe when worn as a cross-body bag. They are fun.


While knapsacks are still the most popular way to carry your stuff and help you stay more organised, the danger is that without you knowing it, they could become a burden on your shoulders and back.

Graphic by Raja Choudhury
Graphic by Raja Choudhury

IT consultants Marakand and Harish have their own opinion about the pros and cons of knapsacks.

“In big cities around the world, where life runs at a fast pace, the knapsack is a vital accessory,” says Marakand. “They are convenient, easy to use, and help you manoeuvre in the crowded streets or metros."

“That’s on the plus side. But over time they can cause more damage than good. Constant use of a heavy knapsack can cause bodily harm.”

Harish could not agree more.

“Everybody has a knapsack and they are pretty cool,” he says. “But I agree with my friend here… When we leave home we tend to pack too many unnecessary things in the bag and end up carrying extra weight all through the day. This is very harmful, if not controlled properly.”

There are always advantages and disadvantages, which you must consider carefully to make a sensible choice with your knapsack.

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