Bangkok, Thailand — After using my little backpack traveling around Asia for 3+ months, my day bag started to fall apart. Fortunately I was in Bangkok, which can be an excellent spot to shop for discounts, since nearly everything is cheap. A few blocks from my hotel was a place advertising “authentic travel bags,” which pretty comically tells you that they’re not. Caveat emptor!
My friend and I were laughing about it, apparently loud enough that the salesperson overheard and challenged us. The guy selling these bags explained that you know it’s quality because it’s strong; he then pulled on the material to show that it’s strong, and because there’s a website. Apparently those are the 2 criteria he was told that makes an item legit. I found a Lowe Alpine bag that I liked, and to his credit, the material did appear strong, and did in fact have what looks like a website embroidered on the bag.