Probably one of the best bags I ever had, which I’m pretty sure lasted almost the better part of 20 years, and I don’t think it actually “died” rather finally met it’s demise during a move and got lost was my LL Bean backpack, the one with a few straps and outside pockets, kind of not the best looking bag, but definitely the most useful. The bag itself I think disappeared from LL Bean for years, or at least I couldn’t find it, however lo and behold, through some random visit to their website I was happy to see that the Continental Rucksack, as they call it, seems to have magically been resurrected. Awesome. This was my go to weekend bag, my school bag, my everything bag, it travelled with me through Europe on a number of occasions, its been skiing with me, pretty much everything and everything. I loved it.
There were a few shortcoming with the original which have actually been addressed by LL Bean in their reboot. The foam pad between the bag and the back was too boxy, and the straps feel linear from top to bottom, not the most comfortable, but you wore it in over time. The new version has been tailored to fit better, the straps and the back pad are appropriately curved to conform to the natural body shape. Perfect fit. One of the few instances these days where the reboot is better than the original.
I picked up the red one cause I had to go old school and that was the color I had twenty years ago. Its still in the wearing in phase and I suspect it will take a year or so to really break in, but heck, its going to last another twenty hopefully so I’m pretty pumped. If you want to go a little more stylish, they do have the waxed canvas version of it, with a full leather bottom.