Here's the secret use behind the diamond-shaped patches on backpacks

Whether you've noticed it or not, these diamond-shaped patches are actually fairly common patchwork on backpacks. The outlet or pig snout-shaped design is sewn onto most Herschel and a lot of Eastport bags. Interestingly enough, the patchwork is not just for an aesthetic purpose!


Some people already know it can be used to secure extra items to your backpack. It's called a lash tab, and historically, it was utilized by hikers and mountain climbers. "Originally, it was designed to carry an ice ax," said Jamie Cormack, co-founder of Herschel, to Today Style.

Mountain climbers would thread mesh webbing through the slots and hang their ax. It evolved to include water bottles, rope and other items. "But no matter what it is they are attaching, it would be something the person needs quick access to and thus the lashing square, so it's on the outside of the pack," confirmed Ann Daw from JanSport, to Today Style.

The patch is made out of leather instead of plastic or cloth, which may freeze easier. While many of Herschel's consumers probably don't need to use the lash tabs for ice axes, the design continues today as a nod to the company's history.

Related: Unusual uses for coconut oil

Unusual uses for coconut oil
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Unusual uses for coconut oil

1. Butter alternative 

It can be used on toast, in a pan or when making cookies! Coconut oil is a healthier alternative to butter.

2. Oil alternative

Coconut oil is a healthier alternative when cooking. Instead of using olive oil, coconut oil can reap the same benefits.  

3. Makeup remover 

At night, simply dab a cotton ball with coconut oil to remove excess makeup. Make sure to wash your face after. 

4. Moisturizer 

Dab coconut oil on rough, dry or chapped skin. 

5. Overnight conditioner 

Pour some oil into hands and rub it through hair before sleeping. Wash it out in the morning. 

6. Soother for split ends

After showering, sprinkle coconut oil on the ends of your hair for smoother and shinier results. 

7. Teeth whitener 

Coconut oil is a great and natural ingredient for oil pulling. Swish in your mouth for 7-10 minutes before brushing for pearly whites! 

8. Cheekbone highlighter

Dab coconut oil on your finger and apply lightly to skin. 

9. Shaving lotion 

Coconut oil helps reduce inflammation and the possibility of ingrown hairs. 

10. Callus remover

Simply sprinkle some coconut oil on your callus and file away! After the callus is gone, coconut oil can reduce the spot's redness and dryness.

11. Energy supplement 

One spoonful of coconut oil can give you a great start to your day. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to oatmeal, coffee and smoothies (or even by itself) for a boost of energy and a natural ant-inflamatory. 

12. Removes sticky labels 

When you're having a hard time removing barcode labels from glass cups, plastic toys or other items, just add coconut oil! 

13. Makes cleaning pots and pans a breeze 

Having trouble getting rid of grimy and greasy pots and pans? A splash of coconut oil will make your after dinner routine so much easier 

14. Sanitizes wooden cutting boards

When scrubbing cutting boards, drizzle some coconut oil to sanitize and condition them. Then, simply scrub with soap and water. 

14. Cleans leather

16. Remove crayons from walls

Simply dab on a paper towel and cloth and scrub! It will look like it never happened. 

17. Remove gum from hair.

Condition the hair with coconut oil -- it acts as a natural detangler! 


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