Skip to main content

Brenthaven –The Ultimate in Form & Function

When Brenthaven began making wilderness packs over 30 years ago, their products were aimed at explorers and adventurers.  Now the way we explore and seek adventure has evolved. Today, they craft their bags, and more, to survive the rigors of our active lives and digital lifestyles.

Their new collection named Collins is a true pairing of form and function. This collection with it’s oxford grey exterior and buttoned-up grey and white ticking striped interior, eliminates that awkward feeling of walking into a business meeting sporting a very collegiate backpack. This very dressed-up take on a backpack not only looks awesome, but is the ultimate in functionality.

Related Videos

After taking their convertible backpack on a test-drive for the past few weeks, we are big fans of the five exterior pockets (one to slide in the partly detachable shoulder straps) and three interior pockets, as well as white ticked interior that is inside is so bright you can actually see everything.  One of the pockets is padded for a laptop, another for a tablet, and finally, one for your cell phone/glasses. The black zipper across the top glides like a speed skater, and keeps everything neatly inside. Bonus points: This backpack converts to a tote bag and sits up-right for easy access, so it’s actually, two bags in one. No more lifeless backpacks for meetings #ever.

The Manual asked the Creative Director of Brenthaven, Timm Fenton, about his design point of view for the Collins collection:

Tell us what inspired you to create this collection.

The Collins collection aesthetic represents a level of sophistication that is comfortable to wear and carry everyday.  The design direction was inspired by ready to wear fabrics and provides a high durability while maintaining a soft hand feel.  The chambray fabric weave denotes a subtle two-tone effect that is enhanced through the deep grey coupled with the black trim appointments.

What are some of the aspects of the collection that are unique?

The natural interior ticking is in high color contrast to the dark exterior which allows the consumer to organize and visualize their mobile tech accessories.  The Collins collection demonstrates Brenthaven’s commitment to serving the needs of the urban entrepreneur who appreciates great design, functionality and high quality.

As for the brand history, in 1980, a bearded, Brent Harris established Brentley Softpacks, in Bellingham, Washington. Then in 1994, they rebranded to Brenthaven, and went from outdoor packs to bags that were more aligned to carry laptops, but still have a retail store in Bellingham.  The brand is also sold in Apple stores across the U.S. and via their website.

Check out the Convertible backpack and other bags from the Collins collection

Editors' Recommendations

Best cheap backpack deals for October 2022
classic backpack

If you're looking for the best cheap backpack deals, you be happy to find there are many choices. The backpack universe includes packs for hiking, biking, commuting, and more. For this overview of the current best cheap backpack deals, we focused primarily on backpacks tech backpacks for commuters or people who work from home, and backpacks for travel.
Today's Best Cheap Backpack Deals

How To Choose A Backpack
Backpack capacity is best determined by the size of the person who will be wearing it, but there are variation based on personal preference and habits. A middle school student who likes to carry their all books to and from school every day will need a larger backpack than a student who rarely brings books home. Student athletes may want a gigantic bag to carry sports clothing and gear, though in that case a second bag is often an option. One factor regarding size is specific to electronics, considered separately just below. Commuters will want to consider how much weight and bulk they want to carry on a daily basis.
Laptop And Electronics Readiness
Computers, Chromebooks, tablets, and other electronics are expensive. Even though most devices can take moderately rough handling, the best solution when choosing a backpack is to pick one with a padded protected area that fits the device. Most laptops will fit in a sleeve designed for the most common 15.6-inch display size, but a few are larger, so be sure to account for screen size (measured diagonally). Because many tech-focused people and some students carry more than one device, there are also backpacks with multiple protected sections. Two additional handy electronics-focused features to look for are an opening for a USB charging port and an easily-accessed zippered compartment for adapters, cables, mice, and other small accessories.
Backpacks are constructed of a variety of materials, including nylon, polyester, canvas, cotton fabric, leather, and more. If you're choosing a backpack for a student, keep in mind the material will need to withstand rough treatment and often be put or stored in areas where they will pick up dirt.
Backpacks often have a variety of handles and extra straps, but padded shoulder straps that don't dig in when the backpack is loaded with books can add a lot to its comfort.
Water Resistance
None of the cheap backpacks below are waterproof, but some are constructed of water-resistant material. If anyone will be wearing or carrying the pack in the rain, at least minimal water resistance is a good thing.
Style is another personal preference consideration, but try not to sacrifice function and comfort just for looks.

Read more
Amazon Style lacks the human touch: Why that’s a problem for retail’s future
How retailers can include the virtual and personal
A retail employee helps a customer out with an iPhone.

Amazon first opened Amazon Style Glendale (California, outside of L.A.) earlier this year. While the tech-forward brick-and-mortar store sports upgrades to old-school big box stores, some customers have reported being disappointed in the experience, according to The Guardian.

While Amazon Style does have front-of-house employees who can assist shoppers in their search (much the same way traditional retailers do), shoppers can also experience the store via their smartphone by scanning QR codes to send clothes to the fitting room or straight to pick up. Once in the fitting room, shoppers can select looks without having to leave. The store delivers on-the-spot algorithmic service that traditional brick-and-mortar models often can't meet, but retailers in the future will have to incorporate that sort of technology with an even greater human touch — more like a personal shopper experience — to offer that personal touch critical to the sensory experience of seeing, touching, and feeling products.

Read more
The Chainsmokers Limited, Mood-Altering Shades With Futuremood
A model sporting Futuremood's Aura Boost sunglasses, developed with The Chainsmokers

Powerful bursts of pumping electric bass and lyrical pop goodness from The Chainsmokers are sure to elevate your mood. Now the duo is bringing the good vibes via accessorized fashion and style as the dual cofounders of the new sunglass brand, Futuremood.

Futuremood pioneered using colored sunglasses to stimulate moods by regulating lights and color with halochrome lens technology. Austin Soldner and Michael Schaecher met at a newly formed San Francisco research and development lab created by the high-end audio tech maker Bose. The pair collaborated with world-leading lens manufacturer Zeiss to ideate and realize Futuremood’s mood-altering sunglasses that, according to company studies, have shown to alter your state of mind. Alongside DJ and production duo Alexander "Alex" Pall and Andrew "Drew" Taggart, there’s no stopping achieving your particular shade of Zen with Futuremood shades.

Read more