Bag Collectors :: JP Guilbert
Our Bag Collectors series celebrates those individuals who take their appreciation of bags to the next level. In the spotlight is JP Guilbert: Skateboarder, Snowboarder, Cyclist, Photographer, Filmer, Artist, Collector, Music lover, Cigar Aficionado – and a carry enthusiast who has built up one seriously enviable collection…
What was the very first piece in your collection?
The first piece that I can remember is a Madrid Skateboards skateboard bag. It’s a sack to put your skateboard and gear in. It has the infamous flypaper pattern all over it. It served function and fashion.
And do you remember where and why you picked it up?
I picked it up at my local bike/skateboard shop because I was bringing my skateboard on vacation with me. I got it in the late 80’s.
When did you begin to feel more than what might be called an “average obsession” for bags?
It was in the mid 90’s. I had moved to NYC to go to school at F.I.T. and was skateboarding all over the city. If I knew that I was going to be out all day and into the night, I’d have a backpack. If I was only going out for a few hours I had a hip pack. One day I stumbled across a bag that was both by a brand called Triple Five Soul. It was a hip pack that could transform into a backpack. My mind was blown! That was when I realized that bags could serve a specific purpose and weren’t just for holding my stuff.
What do you look for? What makes a bag a must-have?
It usually starts with a purpose. Then I look for a bag out there that can meet the purpose. The constant is always to organize my gear, whether I am skateboarding, riding my bike, out for a night out on the town with my friends, or to hold my camera equipment. The question is what do I want/need to have with me. I will always have my keys, phone, portable phone charger, wall phone charger, phone charging cable, Ollo Clip iPhone lens, wallet, camera and small pouch with necessities with me. So the bag must-haves are compartments and storage. Also, extra space or a tight fit depending on what my plans are for the day/night.
“The constant is always to organize my gear, whether I am skateboarding, riding my bike, out for a night out on the town with my friends, or to hold my camera equipment.“
The other big things are bags that have either a dual purpose or transform into something else. I have several packable bags that I can bring with me when I travel. I even have a Burton jacket that can transform into a backpack.
Do you have a certain fetish? A brand crush?
There are a few brands that are constantly on my radar because for me they don’t disappoint. Burton/Gravis usually have something that I want. The latest Burton bag that I purchased is the Snake Mountain pack. It’s supposed to be a good concert/festival pack that can double as a photo bag. The lower third of the bag is insulated to use as a cooler and comes with a divider so you can use it as a camera bag. I’m using it as a discreet photo bag. And so far it’s perfect. Incase is another brand that I like, I have several messenger bags from them, they take the time to think about organization and where things go.
“One day I stumbled across a bag…by a brand called Triple Five Soul. It was a hip pack that could transform into a backpack. My mind was blown!“
I also admire SAGLiFE. They did several collaborations; the ones I was able to pick up were MASH SF, DQM and Benny Gold. They had many innovative styles and included a lot of reflectivity which is great for being seen at night. And finally Supreme, they launch new bags four times a year and I have several that I really like. My favorite backpack has a mini iPad stash in the back of the pack, a rain fly and tons of storage.
Was there anything from the past that you hesitated on that you would kill to have now?
The SAGLiFE X FTC Megatron 2 bag designed by John Igei is one I wish I had. Burton made a snowboard bag that had a tent in it. And I wish I bought doubles of the SAGLiFE X Mash SF bag.
How many bags do you have in your quiver? Can you run us through an itemized list?
I have just about 100 bags.
Damn! Maybe just hit us with your top 30 or so…
The bags that started it all
Madrid Skateboard bag
Triple 5 Soul hip pack convertible backpack
Gap EDC hip pack
Nike SB backpack
Supreme X The North Face duffel
The Hundreds Messenger skate bag
Nike hip pack convertible backpack
Diamond Supply Co. backpack
Madrid Skateboards Flypaper skateboard bag
Nike SB Skateboard bag
Gravis X The Hundreds Flight Deck wheelie bag
Gravis X The Hundreds backpack
Burton packable Tinder backpack
Burton Mark XIII mini duffel
Burton Mark XIII rucksack
Burton Warren Jacket convertible backpack
Burton Cruiser Lil’ Buddy bag
Burton Cruiser gear bag
Burton Cruiser backpack
Burton tool bag
Burton sling pack
Gravis Plaid hip sack
Gravis Plaid camera bag
Gravis Plaid Metro backpack
Gravis Plaid duffle bag
Burton MNug Snowboard
Incase X HUF messenger bag
Incase X DQM messenger bag
SAGLiFE X DQM bag
SAGLiFE X Mash SF
SAGLiFE X Translate Talon bag
SAGLiFE X Benny Gold
SSCY Bandolier sling
Chrome Niko Sling
Chrome Cardiel O.R.P.
Lowepro Photo Runner bag
Burton Shooter case
Lowepro Trim Trekker bag
Burton Snake Mountain backpack
How do you store your collection?
I have converted my attic into a walk-in closet and they are stacked flat on shelves. The room is air conditioned and cooled at 78 degrees.
Can you tell us a favorite carry memory?
Man this is tough. I keep going back to the SAGLiFE X Mash SF bag. This was the first bag I spent over $100 on. I had to do a lot of convincing to my wife and myself. I ordered it online and it was in my cart and removed about 5 million times. I finally bit the bullet and I’ve gotten use out of it tenfold. It’s traveled with me from skamping (skateboarding and camping) to numerous tradeshows, bike rides, etc. It’s pretty beat up, but I still use it occasionally.
If your house was burning down and you only had enough time to grab one bag, which one would it be and why?
This is a really tough one too. I would say it would be the Snake Mountain bag right now because most of my camera equipment is in it. But I’d already have the SAGLiFE X Mash bag on. hahaha
What’s next on the wish list?
There are a few bags I’ve had my eye on. I was introduced to the brand DSPTCH through their camera straps. I haven’t been able to get anything from them yet, but I am looking at the Slingpack and Daypack. The Incase Ari camera bag looks as if it could be a good way to transport my camera equipment while riding my bike. The SSCY Tack or Tack Sling (can’t decide), I like the idea of a backpack that transforms into a tote. And finally Burton has a small Filson capsule that will launch in the Fall that I have my eye on.
Bags are an obsession for me because brands are constantly thinking up new ways to transport what I need to carry with me in a better way. And as my life moves in different directions I will always feel the need to have the perfect bag for the adventure.