I have a problem with bags.

More specifically, I have been searching for the perfect bag and have yet to find it. In the process I’ve ended up with more bags than I know what to do with. I’m to the point that I have so many, my wife doesn’t notice when I bring home the new “the one” only to find it’s not the one and toss it on the pile.

It all started with my first decent quality bag, a North Face Hot Shot. I think I got it in 1992 or ’93. To be truthful, I wanted it because my friends all had the same bag, and I wanted to fit in. But, it really didn’t fit my needs as a school bag.

The next year, I bought a North Face Klettersack.

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It was actually less useful as a school bag, but over the years I’ve found that it’s simple, utilitarian design has made in one of my most indispensable bags.  It needed the zipper repaired sometime in the late 90s, and I had to replace the cinch string with an old boot lace sometime in the early 2000s.

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20 years after I got the bag, the Audubon patch I sewed on is so worn it’s barely readable, and electrical tape is holding together one of the buckles, but it’s still going strong as my daily gym bag. Over the years it’s been used as a triathlon transition bag, climbing haul bag, surf backpack, weekend bag, day hiking bag, and diaper bag.

While the Klettersack has left me wanting more internal organization, it’s simple utilitarian design has made it one of the few bags I’ve used continuously since the time I bought it. Maybe it really is “the one?”