‘Back-to-School’ Line In 2014 From Performance Pack-Maker Granite Gear

Based in the small northern Minnesota town of Two Harbors, Granite Gear is known most for its ultra-light backpacking products and wilderness goods. Next year, the company announced a move aimed at the mass market.

The company hopes to lend some of its design savvy to kids toting books at high schools and on college campuses. Load-absorbing shoulder straps, durable fabrics, and water-repellent zippers are among the features.

Recently acquired by BRZZ Gear LLC of Lincolnshire, Ill., the leap into packs for students marks a 180-degree turn for Granite Gear. Said Granite Gear’s VP of Sales, Rob Coughlin, “We see a tremendous opportunity within the back-to-school market to provide a technical bag that truly meets the loading and comfort” needs of students.

Granite Gear student backpack

An outdoors aesthetic is part of the design. One pack model (pictured above) has daisy chain webbing and an ice axe loop.

There will be 13 backpack models in the line. They will have dedicated pockets for notebook computers and electronic chargers.

In a press release the brand cited: “Each bag offers an angular shape and taller frame. These qualities, which mirror traditional backpack designs, provide better load carrying comfort and equal distribution of weight across the back.”

The Back-to-School line from Granite Gear is expected to ship by March, 2014. Pricing will be around $80 when the “technical” book bags hit stores in the spring.

—Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.