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ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

How come wearing backpacks up high on your back looks lame?

Asked by ilvorangeiceblocks (860points) September 25th, 2010

I come from New Zealand and here, people adjust backpack straps so that the backpack sits high up on the back.
But apparently in other parts of the world, this looks stupid and so people wear their backpacks down low on their backs. Why does wearing backpacks up high on your back look weird?

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20 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Because it’s how you are supposed to wear it. Looking “cool” often requires that you look like you don’t care; you’re not concerned with rules or how things are supposed to be. By wearing it low, you’re both going against “the rules” and not caring since it takes more effort to get the backpack up high when putting it on than simply keeping it low.

naivete's avatar

I’ve always wondered this as well. Perhaps messing up your back is a form of rebellion or is seen as cool :P

I value my ability to move. I wear my backpack higher up.

lillycoyote's avatar

Everybody most likely looks stupid to somebody somewhere. No matter where you are you can spot a tourist or an outsider pretty quickly. Someone is always going to say or think: “You’re not from around here, are you?” The question is whether or not when you go somewhere you want to just be who you are or you just want to fit in as best you can. There is nothing wrong with either choice. You just have to decide which one is right for you and either study up on fitting in or steel yourself for “coming off as wierd.” At least that’s what I think. But I’m an American. No matter where we go people either love us or they hate us or at least they are willing approach us with an open mind, if we make the effort. I long ago decided that I would not be an “Ugly American” but on the other hand I wasn’t going to bear the responsibility of representing my entire country when I travel. I am an individual. How important is how you wear your backpack in the grand scheme of things?

chocolatechip's avatar

I never even knew you could adjust backpack straps to make them sit higher…

lillycoyote's avatar

Addendum: Lameness is so very relative, why worry about it?

janbb's avatar

i“m so glad I’ve attained the age where I don’t have to worry about appearing lame – just being it. I wear my backpack where it’s comfortable and hang the rest.

Seek's avatar

Think about it this way – the kids in New Zealand are wearing their backpacks correctly, and are at less of a risk for developing spinal scoliosis.

Who’s lame now?

amazingme's avatar

I always have my backpack high on my back. If I don’t, I feel like the weight of the backpack is pulling me down.

El_Cadejo's avatar

As per those saying high up is better for your back I’d have to somewhat disagree. Wearing it high up will cause all of the weight to sit on your shoulders and stress your back out very quickly. Where as if you have it somewhat lower you can reduce a lot of that weight and pressure and have it centered more around your waist. I know from experience hiking, you dont want the weight on your shoulders at all, you’ll be in pain within the first mile but if you loosen the straps up a bit to relieve that weight and have it resting against your lumbar instead its much easier on you.

jerv's avatar

For the same reason many kids wear their pants halfway to their knees and show a foot-wide swath of boxer shorts.

@uberbatman It depends on the size of the pack and how much it weighs, but you are correct in that you can have it too high. Most backpacks I’ve had can’t reach my lumbar unless the straps are so loose that the thing sways a lot and creates dangerous lateral shifts (especially when mountain biking), so unless I am wearing a huge frame pack, I have no choice but to wear it higher than most people would consider “cool” with most of the weight resting around the middle of my back.
I also do one other uncool thing; I use both straps. No way am I going to take all that weight on one shoulder like many people do. Come on, people, it’s a back pack, not a pocketbook!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@jerv very true, i didnt consider that because my bag is on the larger side. Small bags would be bad to have loose like that for the reasons you stated.

Trillian's avatar

I have contacted the backpack fashion police. They are on the lookout for “backpack lamenes.” Apparently it is a serious offense in some parts of the world. It is consirdered a “gateway” offense that leads to other, more serious offenses such as fannypak wearing, glasses with straps thicker than 5/6th of an inch, polyester shorts with brown socks and black loafers, and too tight hip riders with biscuits over the top and midriff shirts.
Droopy pants nine sizes too big with the crotch parked somewhere around the knee and ball caps worn at any direction other than front and center are apparently in a category all by themselves. Deputy fashion police have permission to shoot on sight.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t see how ‘looks’ are relevant. It should be based entirely on avoiding health issues.

jerv's avatar

@YARNLADY True, but if you’ve taken a look at the world in the last 20–30 years then you know that not only does that not happen, some people will spitefully avoid the healthy choice in favor of the cooler option. How do you think we went from bell bottoms to body piercings?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv Body piercings are unhealthy?

YARNLADY's avatar

@jerv Heh, heh, unfortunate but true.

Seek's avatar

@papayalily Bellbottoms have never done this to your tongue.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr They can get caught on something and trap you. Everything has a “what if” scenario that could hurt you. Most of us still choose to walk out the front door every day.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@papayalily i couldnt agree more.

Seek's avatar

Hey, I’m not saying anything against piercings in general… I’m just saying there is distinctly more relative danger in voluntary puncture wounds than in wide-legged trousers.

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