Aaron Alvarado
Erika Owen
February 05, 2017

As much as you'd like to think you know everything about the gear you own, chances are you don't. Even the most familiar object—say, a backpack—can house a hidden function.

While veteran hikers may know about this little secret, many of you backpack-wearin' travelers may not.

Almost all backpacks seem to have those diamond patches on the front of them—leather, fabric, it could be any material. You may not actually notice it every time you wear your backpack, but there it is: that slitted patch, just hanging out, often unused.

Its function is simple: extra gear storage. 

Coordinate your aesthetic. Photo: @soleclassics #HeritageBackpack #HerschelSupply

A photo posted by Herschel Supply Co (@herschelsupply) on

Marie Claire took a look at the design detail's history, discovering that they're actually called “flashtabs” or “pig snouts.”  The slits are used to hold rope that's carrying whatever else you can't fit inside the pack, like water bottles, sleeping bags, clothing, you name it. This may not be something you'd use on your way to class, but when it comes to ever-growing baggage fees, an extra spot to squeeze some travel essentials is always welcomed. 

Marie Claire also suggests using them as tangle-free earbud storage—now that is something we could all use.

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