Sometimes a Backpack Engenders Exasperation

The idea that backpacks might need genders hadn't occurred to me until I started paying attention to CamelBak, the maker of these "hydration systems" -- that is, bags with internal water bladders. Assuming that men are the default option when it comes to sports, the company doesn't even bother to label its masculine collections as such. But unless the "Hunting" line and "Outlaw Series" are being targeted toward desperately dehydrated housewives, their intended audience is clear enough. A man who wears a CamelBak, they seem to say, lives life on the edge. Depending on what pack he chooses, he could be a Menace. He might be the grim reaper of Chaos. Sometimes, let's be honest, he can be a bit of a Rogue. CamelBak's "women's fit" line is, of course, kept separate from the Outlaws and the Hunters; in fact, it's listed on the Web site directly above "Just For Kids." Want to go on a rugged hike? Try the Dream. Check out the Charm's "great colors" (silver/pink, sky blue), or pick up an "adorable" Pixie, which takes "cues from the runway." If you're really feeling parched, try the Moxie. It comes in waterfall blue and, according to the Web site, "holds enough water for 2- to 3-hour hikes, rides, or trips to the mall."

I cannot stand -- cannot stand -- the stupid names sports companies give to their women's lines. Luckily in this case, the San Francisco Chronicle let me express my frustrations on the page.