The Sprayground Epidemic: Bags That Spread Like a Plague

One+design+of+Sprayground+backpack+standing+out+against+Kipling+and+Jansport+backpacks.

Courtesy of Avril Donner

One design of Sprayground backpack standing out against Kipling and Jansport backpacks.

Something about a flashy checkered pattern and unsettling shark teeth seems to have teenagers all throughout South Florida yearning for the “legendary” Sprayground backpack, which turns out to be an underwhelming bag for an overwhelming price. Indeed, these backpacks are nothing short of an ugly fashion trend that unfortunately haunts the hallways of Coral Gables Senior High and many other schools.

“I mean, they were cool at first, but now everyone has them, so they are just basic. But I would absolutely get one, though the price is something else,” freshman Lauren Puig said.

Holding up to 12 liters, the average Sprayground has nothing more to offer against normal backpacks, size-wise. When it comes to comfort, material and quality, these bags are very similar to other average backpacks. Yet, their price is in the higher price range for backpacks, ranging from $60 to $175, comparable to other high-end backpacks like Kipling. However, Kipling and other expensive backpacks have high quality to match the high price and have a lifetime warranty that guarantees that a defective product can be easily exchanged for a functional bag. Sprayground bags, on the other hand, have only a 90-day warranty. That means that the deceived buyer gets stuck with their dysfunctional bag, which is likely to break after 90 days anyway and, worse, a gash in their bank account.

“They [Sprayground backpacks] are not worth it. You are paying $60 to $160 for a backpack that will break in one or two months. My Sprayground backpack does not hold as much as a Jansport and is less durable,” freshman Samantha Sears said.

On one fateful day in 2010, David BenDavid and Eddie Shabot concocted the Sprayground company. At first, it was not anything remarkable, just a simple bag brand selling everyday backpacks. But, as they started releasing more unique designs, business began to boom. Many of their bags feature vibrant, clashing colors that are emblazoned with a fictional character, usually a bear. Other bags feature a set of shark teeth, dollar signs or the infamous checkered pattern.

Sprayground also makes a poor attempt at producing a more sleek and modern design. These bags include neutral colors, embellished with chains, studs, rhinestones, golden zippers and of course the shark teeth and checkered pattern. All of the clashing colors and peculiar decorations used in their strides to be unique result in a genuinely unattractive backpack. What used to be a bag for helping street artists easily transport their spray cans has evolved into a common hallway nightmare for students who value their optical health.

I would never get a Sprayground backpack because, number one, for the price, it’s just a ridiculous offer and the designs are just terrible, in my opinion, and they just look very ugly,”

— senior Isabella Morales

The designers of this eyesore of a bag claim that their art is meant to “tell a story, through inspiration, pop-culture, details, color and thought-provoking concepts that push the limit in design and fashion.” But they have clearly pushed their limit much too far. With over 100 designs, there is plenty of room for mistakes. Many of the looks are repetitive since almost all of the backpacks have either a checkered pattern or a set of shark teeth arrayed across them horizontally.

Sprayground also tries to lure in their victims with collaborations with famous brands, shows, movies, characters and more. Some of their collaborating partners include Jolly Rancher, Star Wars, Powerpuff Girls and Call of Duty. These collaborations have sadly not managed to correct the brand’s propensity for committing visual atrocities.

“I strongly dislike them, they make me uncomfortable. They’re so square and don’t mold into any shape at all, also my Jansport was about $30 and I’ve had it since sixth grade,” senior Ariadna Torras said.

The main difference between Sprayground backpacks and everyday, average bags are the messy designs they are detailed with. At the end of the day, it all comes down to one’s opinion and personal preference on how they like to dress and express themselves. Still, this cannot excuse the cost and lack of quality that is clear in these trending backpacks.

“I think they are okay and some of them have cool designs and I see a lot of people with them,” junior Anthony Fotso said.

The prevalence of these over-priced bags is quite astounding, especially when considering their mundane qualities. These of course do not include the showy designs that jump out at anyone who glances their way. So, if you want to strut your stuff around the hallways of Gables, decked out in your favorite Sprayground backpack, do as you wish, but consider the lack of quality and space, as well as the hole you have left in your bank account and the eyes of your fellow peers.