#lifeinthebag | Weekender Backpack

Chris Stricklen (@creedub) is a Bay Area photographer and cyclist who's constantly on the move around town, up and down the west coast, and beyond; always with a camera in-hand. After picking up the Weekender last year for his daily carry, Chris reached out to share his story living with the Weekender Backpack with us through an essay and imagery.

We were so inspired by his words and images that we decided to share his story and those of our other customers through a series of photo-journals. We're calling it #lifeinthebag.

Stay tuned to our bag blog for future installments featuring stories of how real North St. Customers use their bags to keep #lifeinthebag


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In the last couple of years I’ve ALWAYS carried a backpack with me. Not necessarily the same backpack but in the last two years I’ve had three backpacks and only one of those bags truly matters. And to be totally genuine I really liked the first two bags that I owned quite a bit. 


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Ever since I got my hands-on the North St. Weekender backpack, it slowly started to address needs that I didn’t really expect — 180° zip opening, multiple external zip pockets with organization pockets within, internal tie down/clips for those items that absolutely cannot move around in your bag (a well loved/leaky hydro flask that needs to stay upright), the list goes on. All I thought I needed was, “a ‘good’ bag that will last longer than 18 months.”


made in usa weekender backpack

It’s now been 18 months and you can tell that my bag has been used. But if you saw it in person you definitely couldn’t pin down how long or how much it’s been used — essentially every day for the last year. My shoulder padding is still paddy. The rear mesh is still meshy even after getting God knows how many foxtails caught in it. The double top handle (genius feature to include) is still very “double top handley” aka no fraying or tearing at the seams. The zipper welting is still slick, shiny, welty and extremely attractive on this all black utility bag.


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With all this praise, is this bag perfect? It is for me. On a regular basis I keep a 1958 Canon VI-T (6T, not V-I-T) and a Canon A-1. During the winter days I will also pack my long and heavy Rodd & Gunn trench folded up to keep my cams cozy if it’s too “San Francisco cold” (not cold at all) to wear my trench. At times, with all that being said, I’ve also found myself able to stow a pair of size 12 NMDs with all the other standard goodies as well. All of these bits sit oh-so-pretty within the main compartment that is EASILY accessed due to the 180° opening which allows you to place and keep everything perfectly organized and sorted.


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Other goods that I keep with me at all times: Laptop, external hard drive, slim portable charger, Moleskin, a pen, 3 SD cards and some other random t’ings here and there.

I haven’t even discussed the top pocket that PERFECTLY secures my 85mm 1.8 or my 35mm 1.4 L. There’s also a lower pocket that I can use for very slim items or receipts or things to be discarded, if you’re that guy (I’m that guy). North St Bags leaves nothing, that I can think of, unaddressed and that includes the chest/waist harnesses if you’re lugging your needed gear around town or on a hike in Yosemite.

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I think at this point I may have painted this bag as a perfect camera-style bag. It is not a camera bag at all. It’s a perfect do-what-you-need-it-to-do bag, plain and simple! I need it to take care of my photography items safely. I’ve traveled with this bag multiple times sans cameras. The overall volume of this bag is remarkable. I can fit multiple days of clothes in it. The functionality of this bag is top notch. There’s nowhere I haven’t been able to take it with me without it just disappearing into its environment. If there was ever one bag to rule them all this is the bag... and it quite possibly is the best bag that I’ve ever owned!

-- Chris Stricklen


Want us to share how you have your #lifeinthebag? Drop us a note here.

Curtis Williams