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Brand/Type of travel bag? any recommendations?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Brand/Type of travel bag? any recommendations?

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1. Posted by stevebouchy (Budding Member 12 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hey. Im going backpacking this year around the world and expect to be away for approx. 2 years.
I need to get myself a good backpack that will last, plenty of storage but also conveniently sized.
Im after any recommendations!! Please n thank you

2. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 314 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

DON'T get anything bigger than 40 litres, i frequently see backpackers bouncing around with packs bigger than themselves, trust me, anything too big, you'll be ready to ditch it after 72 hours. A general rule for me is: If you cannot run 30 or 40 metres, full tilt with your pack its too big.

Work out everything you want to take, ditch half of it and you'll be set.

Enjoy the planning

Post 3 was removed by a moderator
4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5107 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Recommendation: Go to a real world store, try on many different backpacks, weighed down with the weights the better stores carry for this purpose, so you'll actually have a feeling of what it'll be like to walk around with that backpack on your back. As long as you don't plan on any multi-day hikes, a "travel pack" (zippers all around, rather than a real "top-loading" backpack) is very convenient for getting to your stuff. Pay attention to the quality of the zippers. You'll notice the difference between the heavy duty zippers of quality brands like MacPac compared to the regular ones from the cheapest brands. But that's about the only thing where I'd pay attention to brand; beyond that it should be mostly about if the shape of your back fits that of the backpack.

Many people indeed prefer to travel light like wizzmor1977 above recommends (a 40 liter backpack tends to work as hand luggage, which is a big benefit of this type of travel), and you should certainly consider if you can make do like that, but it's certainly not the only way to go, nor for everyone. I personally frequently carry a 75 liter backpack for long trips. I have the benefit of being tall, which is a big benefit there, but I also highly value the convenience of being able to bring (back) just a bit more (including a stack of books). It's still overkill, and if I'd buy a new backpack now I'd look at something in the 60-65 liter range (next to the 35 liter backpack I have for short and hiking trips), but all the same, totally doable.

5. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 837 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I go for a 35 litre pack, it's limiting for long trips but I prefer that discipline to lugging around too much. But I have yet to find the perfect pack as all the proper Travel Packs are bigger.

I use the 35L in conjunction with a fold up day pack that's around 8L but folds to a bit bigger than a matchbox.

What I'd really like to find is a decent daypack around 20L with an extension to attach underneath to add up to about 40L, this would serve me perfectly as my daypack could remain intact and have decent straps while my longer term gear lives together in the extension. Perhaps it's just me that would like this, as there seems to be nothing on the market.

6. Posted by Galavantie (Respected Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I've been really happy with my Osprey Farpoint travel pack. Super comfy, great quality, zips right open (ie. not a top loader) and added bonus of detachable day sack. Various sizes to choose from depending on how light you can pack. I went for 52L main bag with 15L day sack, which for me personally is perfect. The fabric is designed to be lightweight too.

7. Posted by waikawa (Budding Member 7 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Different trips will have different requirements - weather, activities etc
I definitely recommend being able to carry your bag comfortably and being able to fit everything you need in it.
I have a foldable extra bag that I fit into my main pack when I need my hands free, I use this for multiple things -like going shopping for food, carrying valuables on the plane/bus, storing un necessary stuff when doing side trips etc
It can be a trade off between getting a pack small enough to be comfortable and one big enough to carry what you need.
After 35 years of travel I now have a 35/40L pack without a solid frame I can squish down for carry on (7kgs) but extend to carry all my stuff if needed (about 12 kgs) I use this with my over the shoulder zip up Asian style bag or my 'fanny pack' or my small cooler food bag depending on the trip. (its not about being trendy but about what works best)
I mainly travel in warmer climates now and about 4 months maximum and find this combo works well
When travelling to colder climates it is harder to pack light but I find thermals and a light wind breaker/ rain coat good value space wise.

8. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I travel independently for indefinite periods (several months at a time) via hotels/hostels through 3 climates with a 46 litre carry-on size backpack with LOTS of room left over - all the cinch straps are yanked to their tightest dimensions so the backpack is really only about 35 litres.

That's including a set of nice clothes to crash an Embassy party or high-end club, normal day-to-day casual and hiking wear, beach clothes, personal hygiene products and everything else you need to be safe/comfortable plus a laptop, digital still/video package and all the peripherals.

I have a separate daypack that fits inside the backpack. I use it to carry all my essentials when the main backpack is in an overhead bin, etc.

It's easily doable and you'll see LOTS of experienced backpackers doing the same - or even lighter. Seeing other travellers - especially smaller women - struggle with 70 - 80+ litre backpacks (sometimes with additional huge daypacks!) is insane.

Going light makes sense to me because it allows me to keep my backpack with me (almost) all the time - it's carry-on size for most aircraft and it doesn't need to be checked into the baggage space under the bus where it's out of my sight and out of my control - and it's obviously way easier/faster to navigate a crowded train aisle, keep with me inside the taxi, stow in a small boat, fit into a tuk-tuk, onto the back of a motorcycle and a million other situations.

Everyone's needs/requirements are different though... different strokes for different folks...

Good luck with your research and have fun shopping.


[ Edit: Edited on 23-Apr-2014, at 14:53 by CheersT ]

9. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 196 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I would second what sander has said: try on several different packs and determine what's comfortable for you. A pack that works for me at 5'2 will not work for a 6' tall guy, and vice versa.

It will also depend on what type of traveling you're doing. Are you planning on being in cold winter climates or dodging winter like the plague? That will make a considerable difference in space requirements. Are you planning on sticking with hostels, apts, etc? Or will you be camping and thus have a tent and sleeping bag? The type of travel you're doing will largely define the amount of space you need.

Consider how you want to access your items too! Many people like a double entry, but that's two openings you need to protect. There are top-loading, bottom-loading bags, combinations and other options. More access points means ease of use but is also more locations that could possibly get a broken zipper, clip or clasp. The balance that works for you might not work for anyone else.

In many stores they have cubes you can put into the bags to see how they pack and how they feel with weight in them. Try walking around with them full, and see how you feel about the way they pack up.

I do agree with the other posters that packing light is extremely beneficial, and would recommend that you bear in mind that anything left behind / forgotten can always be bought wherever you're going. But, I'm also a fan of having a bit of extra room in the top of my pack for souvenirs, snacks, a book or two, etc. Keep in mind this straps down.

I will tell you that my osprey pack looks like new after months straight of use & abuse. My sister has a north face pack she swears by, while other friends / family member have others. Its a personal choice. But there are a tonne of reviews out there for a variety of packs. Once you find one you like and feels comfortable, I would suggest checking the feedback online and making a decision based on your needs and quality reviews.

10. Posted by Jaynz (Budding Member 10 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

i have had my berghaus bag for four years, no complaints cost around 100 squid