Hope you're all doing fine!!
I posted a while ago asking whether it'd be ok to have a suitcase instead of a backpack for a rtw trip and after lots of fab replies I've now settled for a backpack on wheels!! Thank you all so much!
Now, the rtw trip will probably be sometime mid 2008 but this April I'm going to Aus for 3 weeks, so gonna purchase the backpack now and use it for that.
What I don't know is what size would be adequate. I'm a very girly girl so tempted to get a big backpack so that I can fit in as much as possible but on the other hand don't want to carry an extremely heavy bag...
Also, I was wondering what your opinions are on 2 brands:
Lots of people from here seem to approve this brand.
I was thinking about this 75L: http://www.ospreypacks.com/Packs/MeridianSeries/Meridian2875L/
Or this 60L:
I found nothing here about it, but they seem to have good reviews...
Could either be this 82L:
Or this 59L:
What do you reckon??
The reason you see little or no reviews for Victorinox is because they're new in the business. They make great knives and watches though. I have one of their carry-on size suitcase and it's excellent for that purpose. However, I would opt for Osprey, Eagle Creek, Gregory when it comes to backpacks and backpacks w/wheels.
The packs you've listed have too wide a range (volume wise). First, make a list of what you want to bring and then decide on a pack size. Personally, I wouldn't go beyond 60 liters and 25 pounds (12.4 kgs) if you've not used to carrying packs extensively. So I would narrow them down to the Osprey Meridian 60L or Victorinox Trek Pack Plus 3.0 59L. Specs shows the Osprey uses tougher fabrics (840-denier Junior Ballistics Nylon, 1680-denier Ballistics Nylon) as compared to Victorinox 420D Nylon Nailhead. Osprey also has a larger daypack. You should try them on with a load and see how the belt/suspension feels on your torso/hips.
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 28, 2007, at 11:56 AM by Dezafinado ]
Considering that you are going with a wheeled backpack because you have a small frame, I think you are looking at sizes that are much too large.
I have a 55l backpack which I took to Egypt. After the trip to Egypt, I got myself a smaller 35l+10 backpack. I found that with a large backpack I tend to pack way too much stuff I do not really need plus I would buy lots of things on the road. The big pack weighed around 24 kgs fully loaded and I hated carrying it with a passion. (I'm a large girl, 6ft tall and heavy-built.)
And you are looking at 75l packs!
75l packs make only sense for a girl if you are carrying a tent, sleeping bag and matress (or maybe cooking gear, if your male partner has the tent). I thought you did not need this?
Read through this thread
and look at Gelli's packing list. Maybe you can reduce the stuff you intend to take with this list. If you get the 60l Osprey, try to pack it so that you only need the main 40l bag. When you leave for your trip to Oz, you should be able to stuff your empty daypack into the big one.
Reason behind all this is that even if your backpack is wheeled, you still need to be able to lift it over head into luggage racks! You might also run into trouble with airlines if it weighs more than 20kgs (33 US pounds), as this is the max baggage allowance for lot short-distance flights with European and Asian airlines. (I admit that you can always zip-off the daypack and use it as carry-on, but hey, eventually you'll have to carry on your back all the rubbish you packed!)
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 28, 2007, at 4:56 PM by t_maia ]
Hi there!! Thank you very much for replying!!
It sounds like the 75L is way too big then. I had absolutely no idea, hence why I need help!! I'll work around a 55L/ 60L then.
It wouldn't work for me to see what I want to pack first and then decide, because I'm sure I'd take too much. I have to get an average sized pack and then see what I can take!
I don't seem to be able to find the 60L Osprey for sale anywhere, only the 75L one.
One of the Vitorinox has very good reviews:
Do you think that'd be an option if I don't find the Osprey?
Thank you!!! Xx
Take the pack that best suits your frame.
You cannot choose a pack online, you need to try it on in a shop fully loaded.
Nothing is worse than a backpack with a suspension system that doesn't fit. It is as bad as shoes that are two sizes too small.
Another thing with wheelies is they have stiff frames due to the placement of the handle bar whereas conventional packs bend a little to the motion of your torso. This becomes apparent when you try them out, loaded with about 20-25 lbs. Speaking of weight, the rule of thumb is if you bend down to tie your shoe laces and have hard time getting back up, it's too heavy.
t_maia - 24 kilos. You're one strong gal. Even as a guy (though only 5' 8" tall), I only carry around 19-20 kilos when backpacking in complete wilderness... which means I had to haul food for 6-7 days, water filter & container and the usual camping gear (tent, mummy bag, sleeping pad).
CHUCK THAT PACK WITH WHEELS AWAY.
I personally think that the composition of the structure of the wheels that comes with the pack is not durable enough. Packs with wheels are definitely way less fitting as compared to those without wheels, because the handles need to have a certain frame for you to pull. Besides, I dont think such packs are designed to last throughout your journey.
And, no one says that carrying a backpack doesnt make you girly.
Start to train day by day for your pack (75L way too large for you. I think 50-55L is the best for you) and you will be just fine.
One thing to consider with a wheeled unit is that while dragging it your lower back gets twisted from time to time-something to do with physics I suppose.
So if you're at all inclined to lower back probs that could be an issue-more with older folks though.
The Meridian unit as show has 4 flaws right in front-those straps.
They will be the first thing torn off/mangled/ripped or otherwise snagged along the way-it's the way of all luggage.
Some good advice above about sizes and some complete nonsense-wheeled bags are much easier to handle than true backpacks.
A quick glance at any airport lineup will show you experienced travelers with wheeled bags and eager bright eyed newbies weighed down with backpacks back and front-drenched in sweat.
For the Love of all That's Holy Never Ever buy an Asolo product-they are garbage of the most odoriferous variety.
I know I own one that I hate-it's sitting behind me-broken again and on it's way out the door.