“It’s a really valuable tool, like a car trunk,”Pam Jones, senior designer at L.L. Bean about their Turbo Transit II backpack AKA “the minivan”. It’s LL Beans fastest growing by sales and largest pack ( 2,400 cubic inches) with the capacity of a small dorm refrigerator.
The comic/social commentator George Carlin does a riff about consumerism, saying that we need to buy “stuff” to fill our house, and then need a bigger house so we can get more “stuff”, which then fills so we need a bigger house, ad infinitum.
Training kids to carry a dorm room (oops..I mean fridge) on their back would be a funny extension of that riff…if it were not so sad. I am writing this on Friday afternoon and can see kids getting off a school bus, some with backpacks the size of their torso.
Besides training kids minds into consumerism, we are training them to hunched over postures and the resultant effects on health. Because it is physically possible to load more onto a child does not make it wise or desirable (except for those of us who will help them in 20 years when they suffer from back pain and other posture problems)
How Heavy Can a Backpack Get? Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2011