Early in my career, I'd leave for work in the running shorts, with a thermos of coffee and my work shirt and pants stuffed into a small day pack strapped tight around me. (I'd keep my change of shoes at the office.) I'd sprint a mile and a hlaf from my apartment to the very last bust stop, where I'd catch a ride through a tunnel across a river. Then, out on the other side, I'd run another mile and a half up to the office, weaving around those racing to work by actually racing to work. Nothing better prepares you for the professional hustle than treating your commute like a high school cross country race. I'd pick out brown-shoed, white collar dudes a block and a half ahead of me, stalk their position and blow past them, just as I hoped to do in the job.
It was fun. I'd get to work and get a workout in under the same token. I could combine two inconvenient but necessary things into one, and imbue it all with the smug superiority of having thought to do so. It just took some minor logistical planning: find a gym near the office to shower and change at, stash shoes at the office, and get a decent pack I could wear while running.
When my little pack finally gave out, and the waist and chest straps frayed, I gave up the run commute. At least I did until I got my hands on Eddie Bauer's Butter Pack 16L.
As part of the outdoor brand's First Ascent line, it was made with serious input from trekking and climbing guides to meet the needs of a minimalist ascent pack. Turns out those needs match those of a desk jockey in New York trying to jog his four miles to the office: Lightweight (just 11.25 ounces), ample room and divided storage (including a vertical phone pocket that's easily accessible even when you're wearing the pack), and secure-stay-in place straps around the pack itself to keep your stuff from jostling around your back along with chest and waist belts that don't ride up.
Now, strapped into the Bauer Butter Pack, I zip from the office back home, with my gear in tow, as all the other miserable commuters wait for a train.
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