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luggage reccomendations?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific luggage reccomendations?

1. Posted by LUV4DMB (Budding Member 16 posts) 10y

What's best to use as far as luggage. I've been travelling, but not really the sort of trip where you're moving long distances frequently. Usually I have more of a home base and travel out from there for a day or a week or something. But I'm planning on traveling around NZ and I don't want be lugging a huge suitcase...and I don't really want to buy one of those big backpackers back packs (is that redundant?:)) So how do you usually pack your things? This is probably a stupid, obvious question....but I'm curious! thanks!

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 10y

Quoting LUV4DMB

I don't really want to buy one of those big backpackers back packs (is that redundant?:))

Why not? I'd think the main reason everyone is using them is because they are rather ideal. You're way more mobile with them than with any other kind of luggage I have any experience with (good if you need to rush to catch a bus, train or plane), have your hands free for handing over money and travel documents, browsing shops or carrying all the little plastic bags with stuff that wouldn't fit in the backpack anymore. *g*
They usually are very sturdy, and I couldn't imagine doing the occasional 15 minute walks to a hostel from a bus stop with any other kind of luggage.
Plus there's the whole recognition factor - other backpackers are likely to pop up and help you get your bearings if you're wearing a large backpack and are looking obviously "just arrived and lost". :)

3. Posted by LUV4DMB (Budding Member 16 posts) 10y

Alright then...any reccomendations on what kind of backpack to get?

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 10y

Whichever one fits most comfortably on your back. Go to a store which sells a ton of them - and has weights handy to weigh these packs down so you can actually feel them! (all the worthwhile stores will have these; ask for it if you don't see them, go somewhere else if they don't have them) - and start trying them on. All of the backpacks will be high quality. Some brands have a better reputation (MacPac and Karrimor in particular), which you see back in the quality of the materials used (and in the price!), but this is nowhere near as important as what you can walk around with comfortably.
There's two basic types of packs: real backpacks (toploading with a drawstring and big buckles, no zipper which can mess up - a must if you really go trekking (but from the sounds of it, you won't), and travelpacks (with a zipper all around for easy access, but hence slightly more at risk of becoming very much useless if there's a problem with the zipper). If you go for a travelpack, make certain it has the thick heavy zippers (unless the only one which fits well on your back doesn't, then that's still more important, and you'll just have to be careful not to overpack and put too much strain on them).

One very useful feature that you can let help make up your mind if multiple models fit equally well is a system to hide away the carrying harness, which is very useful for putting the pack on buses or planes, since there's much less chance of it being caught behind something. My MacPac Gemini had that, and I was quite pleased with it.

5. Posted by Blanco (Budding Member 26 posts) 10y

Bought myself a north face duffle bag for my travels.Its made out of the same stuff they make bouncy castles out of so should last forever plus its got straps so you can wear it on your back aswell

http://www.venturesport.co.uk/venturesport_product.asp?parseid=4710

6. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Oh dear - I was going to post "don't buy a duffle bag!" and then I read Blanco's comment. I had an awful time with a duffle bag: the contents shift, the weight shifts, it falls over, everything gets messed up, and it's just about impossible to drag down a train/bus aisle. I stumbled out of a train only to have the dang thing fall on its side...grrr... And forget about the straps - I think they're for show. I can't imagine carrying that awkward thing on my back. Plus the nylon cover got repeatedly torn and sodden by those lovely, careful airline people. Did I mention I didn't much like my duuffle bag?

That said, I've yet to find an ideal piece of luggage. If anyone has the perfect non-backpack piece, let me know!

7. Posted by LUV4DMB (Budding Member 16 posts) 10y

thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies! they are really helping me decide on what to do...keep them coming if you like :) any more tips or hints on packing/luggage are greatly appreciated!

8. Posted by curlycur (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y

Do any backpacks have wheels just in case I get tired ??

9. Posted by Blanco (Budding Member 26 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

Oh dear - I was going to post "don't buy a duffle bag!" and then I read Blanco's comment. I had an awful time with a duffle bag: the contents shift, the weight shifts, it falls over, everything gets messed up, and it's just about impossible to drag down a train/bus aisle. I stumbled out of a train only to have the dang thing fall on its side...grrr... And forget about the straps - I think they're for show. I can't imagine carrying that awkward thing on my back. Plus the nylon cover got repeatedly torn and sodden by those lovely, careful airline people. Did I mention I didn't much like my duuffle bag?

That said, I've yet to find an ideal piece of luggage. If anyone has the perfect non-backpack piece, let me know!

Oh well, a bag wont dampen my spirits