PACK IT IN: Sportswear label The North Face is bringing the humble backpack into the 21st century with what it claims is one of its most innovative designs to date. Its Access Pack aims to change the way users interact with their backpacks by offering a range of new features — three of which are patent pending — intended to make the backpack easier to use, more secure and more versatile.

Instead of a zip closure, the pack has a one-touch entry clasp that makes it spring open. Laptops and phones are removed from their individual compartments with the help of an ejector tab, making them easier to find without rummaging, while an exo-skeleton structure protects electronic goods and helps the pack maintain its shape. A tension lock on the shoulder straps removes excess material for a more comfortable fit.

By giving the pack a minimal design, the VF Corp.-owned brand hopes to allow users to carry the pack in a multitude of situations both professional and casual.

The Access Pack launches on July 1 at The North Face stores and select retailers in Europe, as well as on the brand’s Web site, priced at 250 euros, or $270 at current exchange.

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