Leather Backpack

  • PQ Style: What is the Difference Between a Rucksack and a Backpack?

    Well... the answer to that is a bit complicated. When we researched the difference between a rucksack and a backpack, we got a huge list of dissenting opinions. We got to the bottom of it and aim to uncomplicate this age-old debate.

    Do you remember learning in school how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares? That's pretty much what happened with rucksacks and backpacks. Essentially, a rucksack is a kind of backpack.

    Rusty on your geometry skills? No worries, let's break it down. We'll define what makes a rucksack a rucksack, and it's similarities to a backpack, and what splits the difference.

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  • Leather 101- Leather Quality

    guide to leather

    There's nothing in the world like leather. It's been used for thousands of years as a textile to create durable, protective, and fantastic looking goods. It is a time-honored material and turning it into useable objects has been honed into an art that is like none other.

    However, if you are anything like us when we started this journey, we had no idea about leather grades, quality, tanning processes, or how to tell a good piece of leather from a cleverly painted piece of scrap hide.

    The truth is, not all leather is created equal. When buying a fine leather bag, leather jacket, wallet, iPad Case, or anything else, knowledge is power. Many so-called "leathers" are not what they appear to be. So this series will explore the amazing world of leather so you can avoid getting burned next time you are in the market for some great leather goods. Continue reading

  • How To Take Care Of Leather

    how to care for leather

    At Pad & Quill, we use extremely high-quality full grain leathers from one of the most reputable leather tanneries in North America. Our leather bags and cases are fully oiled, tanned, and waterproofed from day one. We are confident in the quality of the leather, and it's workmanship, which is why we guarantee it for at least 25 years.

    However, well-maintained leather can last much much longer if it is taken care of properly. There are leather bags from over 100 years ago that are as good now as they were the day they were made and maybe even better!

    All products made from leather will age with time. The aging effect on leather is called a "patina" and can't be replicated by any artificial means. A patina develops from everyday use and handling of your leather product. As you use the bag, it gets marks and scratches, lighter spots where the leather flexes, darker spots where your hands touch frequently, and smoother spots where it rubs. The oils and waxes from the leather move around and balance everything out into a bag that has a character and life-story that is as unique as you are. These leather goods become true heirlooms to their owners.

    This is why we are proud to release three new leather care products: our waterproofing Leather Balm, conditioning Leather Oil, and our deeply restoring Leather Cleaner. With proper care, your leather bags, wallets, and cases will stand the test of time and age beautifully as well.

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  • An American History of the Backpack

    backpack-mainBackpacks are all-American. Sure we didn’t invent the concept, but we did coin the term around the turn of the century. Before “backpack” was common lingo, the German derived “rucksack,” “money bag,” or “packsack” was widely used. While the history of the backpack is an extensive one, the American chapter of its evolution is rich and varied. Continue reading

  • Today my name is Jezebel

    Whenever Siri sasses me, as she is frequently wont to do, my rejoinder is inevitably that of Linus, as spoken to his femme fatale, in A Charlie Brown Christmas, “Jezebel was the evil wife of king Ahab in the Old Testament. In II Kings, it says that her servants threw her out the window and she landed on her head.”

    Just as Linus’ new love interest was intent on keeping him guessing, so Siri Apple Watch changes identities faster then Ilsa Faust in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.  (Loved this character!)  Last week, Siri and her Activity Watch app went all in as psychotic personal trainer.  Mr. PQ and I took some much-needed time away, reviving ourselves in the brilliant, blue-sky town of Breckenridge, CO.  While Apple Watch granted me 9 minutes of heart pounding exercise for 2 hours of bear climbing up a bowl with a 40 percent grade, Mr. PQ was gifted 40 minutes just for ambling down the street to the local coffee shop.  12 minutes for a 3-hour rigorous ascent of Baldy Mountain, while Mr. PQ received 10 minutes for commuting up the jeep trail.  She keeps this up and she will not be getting an upgrade to her wardrobe compliments of our new Pad & Quill Apple Watch Bands.

    Who will be getting an upgrade is my new Pad & Quill Backpack.  We humped our haversacks over miles of rock and trail, ascending to the highest chairlift in North America, and they performed sublimely.  My PQ backpack is now to be named my Favorite Daypack for Adventures.  While I generally carry a Camelbak trail running pack, I was very happy with how my Pad & Quill pack performed in rucking my hydration and nutrition in addition to extra layers and sundries up and down the mountain trails.  While not suitable for a multi day trail excursion (we are working on accessories to enhance that ability) I was pleased with the overall balance and adjustability of this pack.  Unlike its nylon/synthetic counterpart, this leather and wax canvas creation will not be worn out by years of rugged use, weather, and the occasional tumble down a cliff.  A good backpack is an investment, and my field research tells me this one is worth every dime.

    Siri on the other hand…..

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Briefcase to Cafe Racer

    Mr. PQ was busy becoming a major radio star the other evening but I had no idea what his topic was to be, I wasn’t allowed to be at the PQ World Headquarters while he was participating in 9to5Mac’s weekly podcast.  This has nothing to do with the fact that the FIFA Women’s World Cup is competing in Canada this month.  My exclusion from the taping also clearly has nothing to do with my propensity to scream insanely at the television when a goal is scored or mutter incoherently at the oops-I-fell-so-clearly-Christie Rampone-knocked me-over smathlete.   Who am I kidding?  When it comes to world-class soccer, I revert to my 18-year-old Colorado self; this would be the self, weaned on Bronco football, who lived in the mile high city where exuberant cheering is an art form.

    Art forms have been a significant point of conversation in the PQ household, or at least this is how Mr. PQ asserted his claim that surely the best way to be motivated to create world class backpacks and briefcases for Pad & Quill, was that he be fully immersed in the artful, gritty, urban world of the Café Racer.  To do so meant purchasing an artistically rich cafe racer motorcycle, specifically, a Triumph, preferably a Thruxton.  He appealed to my accounting side: “it’s a great tax write-off”.   Sorry babe, the IRS won’t see it that way.  He appealed to my affection for history: “Mom is English, it would tie me to my heritage.”  Honey, scones and tea would do the same but I don’t see you clamoring for them.   He appealed to my sense of nostalgia: “Steve McQueen and Anne Margaret rocked the Triumph in iconic photos and movie shots”. Me, having a lifelong love for Anne Margaret wavered.

    Original Photo by Cal West, 1964. Original Photo by Cal West, 1964.

    Once Mrs. PQ wavers, it’s not terribly hard to push her over.  Especially when the one pushing has worked 70-80 hours a week, month after month, year after year, putting food on the table and a roof over our heads.  There are people who might view Mr. PQ’s new bike as a mid-life crisis, I’d say it’s a ride well earned by a guy who’s taken loyalty and devotion to an art form.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Backpacks, Briefcases and Jurassic World

    “You’re wearing that, I didn’t know you wore that.”  The “that” Mr. PQ is referring to is an exquisite leather and copper bracelet he bought for me while on a recent visit to our manufacturing partners in Mexico.  It is also the “that” which has been on my wrist constantly for the past 6 weeks, how it took him that long to notice is beyond me.  The man is a stickler for fashion details.  This is never more apparent than when he is talking product design and Apple accessories.  Mr. PQ can spot a hand pounded copper rivet on a backpack or a Japanese nickel cast zipper on a briefcase from a mile away.  While the aesthetic details drive his designing mind, functionality governs the genesis of any new leather, tech-lifestyle products.  It’s a match made in heaven.

    The hybridization of some species can be an Indominus Rex type disaster, not so the marriage of 24 oz wax canvas and full grain American Steer leather when it’s crafted into a new line of  backpacks and briefcases.  Allow me to insert a note of gratitude toward Universal Pictures for their release of Jurrasic World, in which Chris Pratt screams across the screen on a Triumph Scrambler , the same weekend we had selected to release our new line of gorgeously versatile backpacks, and briefcases, inspired largely by Mr. PQ’s mid life crisis aka “the beast” aka Triumph Thruxton.

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    To be bequeathed with the PQ ampersand, a backpack or briefcase design needs to stand up to the rigors of a daily commute, passing through 4 seasons of slush, snow, sweat and slop, while still retaining it’s rugged beauty.  Mission accomplished!  We are fairly certain that if you are the poor tourist plucked up and digested by Tyrannosaurus-Rex, your Pad & Quill Backpack would live to tell about it.

    PQ Bags Stillwater-101 crop

    Our new line of Backpacks and Briefcases will go with you from the conference room to the cottage and back again, and will easily become your go to bag for all the adventures you pursue.

    Check them out and we think you will agree!

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Triumph, Pratt and Backpacks

    Mr. PQ forwarded an article to me that was written by a fellow early adopter, he thought it was insightful and humorous.  The author offered some simple, straightforward advice regarding how to introduce one’s friends and coworkers to the wonder that is the Apple Watch.  As I still wrestle daily against the Activity Target of Tyranny, driven to complete all three circles every 24 hours, the haptic tapping of impatience becoming yet one more voice of “I need” and “I want” amongst a cacophony of voices, I probably am not the model spokesperson.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the breakdown of data in the Health app, and I’ve figured out how to skip around to my favorite Miranda Lambert songs while running, so yea me.  However, I can’t escape the feeling of being shackled to the modern world.  So I’ve done what so many others in captivity have done before, I’ve succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome.  That’s the only explanation I can offer for why, on a gorgeously sunny day, I sat inside watching the bulk of the keynote speech of the Apple  WWDC (World-Wide Developer Conference).  I actually caught myself “oohing” when they announced that Apple Watch would do that thing that will make the Watch operate faster.  Fantastic!  Mr. PQ and I are in a race as to who will learn a second language faster: him learning enough spanish to order his own coffee at Starbucks or me learning to speak techno-geek.  Being that he runs on caffeine, I’m guessing he might be more motivated.

    I’m highly motivated to finish my work in time to join the youngest Quill at the midnight showing of Jurassic World.  Chris Pratt is awesome, and the fact that he is riding a Triumph Bonneville while chasing dinosaurs makes him a sexy, urban hipster guy, albeit a little short on beard.  We have a busy weekend preparing for our own global release (I think that is ok to say, Pad & Quill does ship internationally) of a new line of leather and wax canvas backpacks and briefcases designed with the sexy, urban, hipster cafe racers in mind.

    Stay Tuned,

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

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