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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Courtney Gisriel

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It's been over a decade since I last rocked a backpack, but I recently found one I love, and I think everyone needs to know about it.

After months of upper back pain (caused, in part, by my general lack of physical strength and the fact that I need to carry a 15-inch laptop to and from work every day), I decided it was time to make the transition from a purse to a backpack in January.

In some ways, it felt like a defeat — I hadn't worn a backpack on a regular basis since high school. But, I knew the switch was necessary. So, I went out in search of knapsack that fit my taste.

Turns out, backpacks have gotten a lot more stylish since the early 2000s.

Calpak Kaya Faux Leather Backpack, $89, Nordstrom

When I finally reached the point of no return, I asked around for recommendations, and my sister raved about Calpak's Kaya Backpack. She lauded the backpack for its durability and wearability, and she basically said she never leaves home without it.

I was sold.

It's functional

The best thing about the Calpak Kaya Backpack is that it looks like a luxury purse, but functions like a trusty Jansport.

The backpack is divided into two distinct compartments: a padded section at the back for my laptop and an open compartment at the front for everything else.

The laptop section does exactly what it needs to do. I feel like my computer's protected, and because of the wide straps, I don't have to worry about the weight of it digging into my shoulder.

The laptop sleeve even has a little strap to keep the computer from bouncing around too much as you walk.Courtesy of Courtney Gisriel

The front compartment is equally functional. It has a tall pocket to keep papers tidy and two smaller pockets for pens, lipstick and other tiny trinkets. I've been able to bring full lunches, hardcover books and even pairs of shoes in the main pocket of the backpack easily.

Because the bag is so tall and slim, however, packing requires some strategic planning. For example, I try to avoid tossing a book on top of a sandwich because I'm afraid the force of gravity might render that sandwich a smushed mess.

The front of the backpack has a small zip pocket that I've come to rely on for things I need to grab frequently — like my metro card, my work ID and keys.

I've gotten so many compliments

I know, I know, I'm so vain. But hear me out!

I want to feel good about this thing I've got strapped to my back for up to two hours every day. Random passersby will comment on how nice my backpack looks or ask where I got it. Being able to share my love for this piece instantly lifts my mood.

This is me wearing a backpack but not looking like a backpacker; an achievement I didn't think was possible.Courtesy of Courtney Gisriel

My sister felt the same way.

"I've received more compliments on this single item than anything I've ever owned in my life," she said. "The first time my mom saw it she got mad at me because she thought I blew all my money on a Valentino backpack."

Ha! We do NOT have Valentino money, but it's nice to know this $89 purchase looks that luxurious.

What can I say? Some people appreciate fine art or great food — I appreciate quality accessories at a reasonable price.

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