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Meet the Local Brand That Wants to Free You From Your Shoulder Bag

P. Mai

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Backpacks are totally having a moment, and your shoulders couldn't be happier about it. Though you shouldn't actually tote more than 10% of your body weight on one shoulder, most of us are lugging much, much more than that in our oversized carryalls. Switching to a backpack means distributing weight evenly across the shoulders, and preventing pain, discomfort, and super-weird alignment issues.

Of course, that posture-positive information leads to a much bigger question: Which backpack is right for you? Enter, P. Mai, a new San Francisco backpack maker that's hoping to find its way onto your shoulders in the near future.

P. Mai claims to have "created a smarter, more tailored solution that redefines the meaning of backpack." Planned in both black and cognac, the backpacks are sleek and minimalist, combining both calf leather and water-resistant synthetic fibers. Unlike most fashion backpacks, the straps are airmesh, (similar to what you probably rocked as some point in your life with a Jansport or North Face). At $389 each, the bags aren't cheap, but the price isn't bad considering the quality. (The brand brags that it's manufacturing in the same factory as Tumi.)

Phuong Mai —the P. of P. Mai— is currently raising money on Kickstarter to launch the collection this fall. P. Mai met its initial $20,000 crowdfunding goal in less than three days, and is continuing to plug toward its stretch goals. If the Kickstarter hits $40,000, there will be an olive and tan option, and, at $60,000, supporters can choose a fourth color for production. (We'd love to see a black on black bag.)

If you want to be in the first wave of fans toting one of these backpacks around town, you still have 15 days to contribute and spread the word to your friends. Come fall, comfort and style will be in the bag.