There are two things I frequently get unsolicited compliments on: my skin (where’s my Why Is Your Skin So Good?!) and my M.R.K.T. backpack.
I first came across M.R.K.T. through a Strategist story on the Best Backpacks for College Students, where one Paris Martineau of New York University talked up her M.R.K.T. Kendrick Backpack. I was immediately enamored and bought the now sold-out, laptop-carrying Evan Backpack, which I still use as my go-to carry on whenever I’m taking an extended trip.
I love that backpack so much that when I decided it was finally time to give up my purse for a mini-backpack, I went back to M.R.K.T., knowing it’d have something affordable and long-lasting that wouldn’t break the bank. This time, I purchased the Mateo Mini Backpack (which now happens to be 60 percent off, along with a whole bunch of M.R.K.T. bags), and I haven’t stopped getting compliments from friends and random strangers ever since.
The backpack is a master class in good design. It features a front and back pocket, adjustable, magnetic button closures, another pocket under the flap where I keep my pens, and the inside of the bag expands like an envelope, so I can fit a small umbrella, a water bottle, my makeup bag, a notebook, my large wallet, a magazine or two, and my sunglasses. Best of all, in addition to the straps, there’s a thick, ergonomic handle on top, so I can hold my bag well above the ground on a crowded subway.
The whole thing is contained in a soft, felt package that’s durable and water-resistant. At this point, I can’t imagine ever going back to a purse.
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