Looking For A New Backpack – Any Suggestions?

So my old backpack (that I use just about every day mind you) finally called it quits after four years. Sure, it’s been having some issues for a while (small holes here and there, one strap beginning to rip, etc.) but this morning was really the end.

I was walking down the street heading towards the station when all of the sudden my back felt a whole lot lighter. The first thought that crossed my mind was “this isn’t good” and the next was “what was that loud crash on the concrete behind me?”

Lo and behold, I turn around to find that basically everything that was being carried on my back is now lying right on the sidewalk. Flustered I gather all of my stuff together and manage to fit it all in a random grocery bag I happened to have tucked into my backpack’s side compartment.

Upon further inspection, I discovered that one of the “small holes” in the bottom of my bag (word to the wise, don’t set your backpack down on rough concrete any more frequently than you have to) had turned into a “giant hole” which basically took up the entire bottom of my pack. Yes, the entire bottom opened up.

That’s my day so far, which brings me to my current dilemma: what should I do for a replacement?

I typically go for more practical, utility-type backpacks because of how much I carry a bag with me, but now I’m kind of up in the air about getting something slightly more stylish instead. Sure, my backpack needs to be practical, but I guess I do care a little bit about my appearance. And, on top of being reliable (up until today that is), if there’s one thing my old bag was, it was ugly.

Right now I have two different bags that I’m looking at:

The first is a pack from North Face – it looks durable and practical, but lacking a little bit in style.

Where as the second, a Fjallraven backpack, is much more stylish (I seem to see more and more around the city every day) but doesn’t inspire the confidence of durability the North Face bag does. Conversely, it’s half the price so I guess I need to take that into consideration as well.

I guess I just don’t know what to do, so I’m here eager for suggestions. Which of these two bags on my shortlist do you think makes the most sense? Or do you have an entirely separate recommendation altogether?