Rolling around with a social enigma


Anthony Landahl

The roller backpack

Anthony Landahl, Staff Reporter

Due to a recent injury, I was required to roll around a roller backpack. To my surprise I was teased by friends. It was nothing but a mere backpack with wheels. Why did my friends tease me? Why was my roller backpack the center of some kind of inside joke?

To find out more about these questions I decided to ask 21 students here at RB what they thought about the roller backpack. Of the 21, 100% said they did not own a roller backpack. It seems, when I observe students in the halls, no one uses a roller backpack. I can conclude that this makes it an exclusive piece of baggage.

So maybe it is just because it is an out of place luggage item that causes my friends to tantalize me. If I carried a Dora The Explorer backpack through the halls, I’m sure I would get a few smirks. It is not just the fact, though, that no one carries this backpack that gives it a stigma. Many of the student surveyed complained about the problematic and awkwardness of the backpack.

“They are too much of a hassle to roll around with you everywhere,” one student said. ”They are noisy and obnoxious and if you need to put it in your locker I don’t think it would fit,”

“It is just far easier to have my backpack attached to my body instead of rolling behind me, which takes up space, makes it difficult to navigate through crowds, forces me to readjust at every stairwell and is generally a hassle,” another student said.

For every negative aspect to a problem there is always a side that is positive. Only 10% of students surveyed said they would take a roller backpack if offered, but several students made positive comments on the behalf of the roller backpack.

“It may be more useful to someone who has a back injury or medical problem,” said one student, “or someone who needs a substantial amount or heavy materials for classes,” Indeed they are right.

“Limiting the backpack’s weight to no more than 10 percent of a child’s body weight and urging the use of ergonomically correct backpacks are possible solutions,” according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). In order for students to prevent back injury from backpacks, roller backpacks are one way to erase the backpack weight entirely. 

Some school districts have begun banning the use of rollerpacks because they clutter hallways, resulting in dangerous trips and falls,” the ACA warned. 

It is the everlasting irony and inconvenience that makes the roller backpack a social enigma: A scientifically convenient bag for your back that is also a hazard to other body parts. It seems like it is the world against the roller backpack with a majority of teenagers and medical associations sharing the same negative opinions.