13 answers

Backpack Vs. Messenger Bag?

My daughter (aged 17 and going into her senior year) has decided that she wants a messenger bag instead of a backpack for school. She has a lot of books and notebooks to carry back and forth, and the weight has been hurting her back.

This hasn't been a problem until now, when a friend told her how cool a messenger bag would be.

Any experience with one vs. the other? To me, it seems that the weight on only one side would make her back hurt more, because it's unbalanced.

To which she says she won't put *all* of her stuff in the bag, but will carry it in her arms.

It will still be more weight on one side than the other.

She says that she'll carry her flute on the other side for balance.

"How will you protect what you are carrying in your arms from rain?"
"My jacket will be over that."

"Your arms won't be free - and you like to hug your friends when you see them."
She says she doesn't have to hug them. (Yeah, right, lol!)

Sigh.

As you may have figured out by now, she's determined. I just don't want to put out money for this current whim, only to have to replace it when her back *really* causes problems. If I'm wrong, and there isn't likely to be a problem down the line, I'll let her get one, but if I can stand on medical grounds I will!

TIA :-)

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So What Happened?™

Thank you for sharing your opinions and experience - flowers to you all!

Lots of points for further discussion :-)

Featured Answers

Holy cow. No one ever worried about all this when I went to school. We had school bags, book straps and boy did we carry a lot. We also either walked or took the bus or subway. Oh we did this in the rain and snow ( now don't I sound like an old fart). Really let her get what she wants. She is 17. She will deal with it. Messenger bags are the thing these days.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Her spine is still growing...have her look at this pic (I had to find one!):

http://drbraunchiropractic.com/2012/03/30/ever-wonder-wha...

The backpack should due worn high enough (and the pack should not be too big - most of them are!) so that it does not hit the pelvis. Both shoulder straps worn and not more than 15% of her body weight in the bag....this will cause her shoulders to roll forward.

Trust me, she'll be carrying everything on one side and then texting on the other side. Back pain at 25 is not worth the fad now.

4 moms found this helpful

Holy cow. No one ever worried about all this when I went to school. We had school bags, book straps and boy did we carry a lot. We also either walked or took the bus or subway. Oh we did this in the rain and snow ( now don't I sound like an old fart). Really let her get what she wants. She is 17. She will deal with it. Messenger bags are the thing these days.

4 moms found this helpful

A PROPERLY FITTED backpack or a rolling bag are the best option. I am in college right now and there is NO WAY I could lug around all my book and laptop in a messenger bag and not totally screw up my back.
Even if you go with a backpack I would suggest getting a high quality one from an outdoors outfitter - not a cheapie Target one. It should be appropriate for her height and built and have hip straps she can use when is walking particularly far.
At 17 she is almost an adult and needs to make her own decision on what bag to get... however, make sure she knows all the pros and cons and ideally let her try it out. Good stores have weights that you can put into the backpack you are trying so you can see what it feels like.
Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

I teach in a high school, and my students use all sorts of things. Even the students who use backpacks don't wear them the way they're intended; they wear them over one shoulder, so they still don't distribute the weight evenly they way they should.

With teens, I pick my battles, and I don't battle over backpacks. My teen, like yours, prefers a messenger bag. He's carried one for several years now, and somehow he's made it work. My younger son (in third grade) still prefers a backpack even though he generally idolizes his brother.

*As for the rolling backpack that Laurie mentioned, those really would be ideal, but most schools around here don't allow them.

Good luck, and I hope your daughter has a great senior year! It's an exciting time. :)

3 moms found this helpful

Have her pay for what she wants and be done with it. Maybe it will work for her, but maybe it will not. If she pays, she will own it.. And make it work.
She is 17..., she thinks she knows everything, great, have her go for it and end all of this.

She needs to use the backpack and wear it properly., there is no way a flute will counterweight a filled up back pack.

Rolling back packs are best, but good luck getting a teen to use one.

3 moms found this helpful

I would insist on a good backpack. Is she wearing her old backpack correctly, on both shoulders and with the straps pulled tightly enough? I notice a lot of kids with backpacks way down on their backs-- if the straps aren't both being worn and at the correct length, so the weight is correctly distributed, this will cause a lot of problems.

I also have done both (backpack and messenger bag)... in my opinion, messenger bags make a great light-load purse, while heavier loads do need the support of both straps. This might help:
http://backandneck.about.com/od/childrensissues/tp/Backpa...

3 moms found this helpful

I went to college five years ago so when I was old. I carried on some days five courses in my back pack plus my laptop, I looked like I was skiing to give you some idea of the weight. That did not hurt my back. I also had a messenger bag that I used when I only had one class, like my evening courses. That hurt my back even with one class in it.

I say that because if her backpack is hurting her with just high school books there is no way the messenger bag won't hurt more. Oh if you are wondering why I say high school books I took accounting, I am not sure what they make accounting books out of but they seem to be three times the weight of a similar sized text book.

3 moms found this helpful

A backpack is much more sensible. When I was 17 I wasn't sensible. Of course, when I was 17 my parents weren't buying my school supplies for me. Let her buy her own, and let her figure it out!

3 moms found this helpful

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