Gear + Gadget: The pack racks

Ivar Urban 20 Back Pack
Ivar Urban 20 Back Pack

Business briefcases have long benefited from divided compartments that separate and organize files. The designers at Ivar have adapted that concept to back packs, with a tiered vertical shelf system built into the double-zippered main compartment that provides file-like organization (including room for a 15-inch laptop). The structure has the added bonus of more evenly distributing weight and providing better load stability than back packs with just one big open main compartment.

The packs come in a range of sizes. Particularly nifty is the new Ivar Urban 20, a 17-inch-high, 11-inch-wide and 7.5-inch-deep nylon back pack with well-padded ergonomic curved shoulder straps and thick mesh-covered padding on the back. In addition to the three internal “shelves,” the bag has a roomy zippered external front pocket, and elasticized side pockets for quick access to water bottles, umbrellas or perhaps reading material. An internal organizational panel on the main compartment’s upper back wall has an open stash pocket, 2 Velcro-closure flap pockets for electronic devices, wallets or other valuables, a slim open pocket for pens/pencils, and a hanging key clasp. With all that padding and those extra dividers, the bag weighs in at a svelte 1.5 pounds.

Ivar Urban 20 Backpack is $69.95 at