I am travelling to Central America in september and am now looing into backpacks.
Can anyone recommend a good sturdy brand of backpack ?
Also does anyone know what vaccinations are required or advised for travel to central america? I will be visiting Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica & Panama - maybe Nicaragua.
If you are from New Zealand like your profile says, you should definitely go in and check out the Mountain Designs range at a Mountains design store. I remember seeing a mountain designs store either in Christchurch or Auckland so I know they exist in New Zealand. I have got an Odessy 75 which until stolen it had a detachable daypack which was really good. Maybe a Odessy 75 will be too big for you to carry, but you could look at the smaller size backpacks in their range. My trusty mountain designs pack has travelled with me to 48 countries and on so many flights it isn't funny. With the new hand baggage regulations, you will most likely be required to put any backpack in the cargo hold because of almost everyone having person hygiene products in their backpack that would be over the allowed limit. Mine has had no issues and that detachable daypack which mine did have was a really great little thing until some person stole it. One really good thing about them is that it has a lot of hidden pockets, seperating compartments, a zip which will let a padlock go through between the two joining zippers so it has strudy locking ability, it has good back support, nice padded handles, a waist strap that allows the backpack to be still on you rather than hurting yourself. I know that when mine finally dies I will be getting another Mountain Designs pack, but even after all the punishment it has received it still has a few good trips left in it.
I don't know specificcaly what vaccinations are required, but I know when I went to that region (as part of my RTW trip), I had just about every injection known to mankind. So you will not be escaping lightly and will also need Malaria tablets, but the best thing to do is not accept peoples advise on here to do with what vaccinations are necessary, but instead seek expert medical advice through your local travel doctor.
Have a great trip.
[ Edit: Edited on May 17, 2007, at 2:43 AM by aharrold45 ]
Have been using a Karrimor bagpack for over 12 years and the bloody thing is still the same as the day i bought it. Very resistant, it even when for a swim in the Malawi lake and survived it. Take a pack which can be open from the side not from the top it´s much easier when youa re travelling for long period of time.
I use a Blackhawk industries raptor pack for shorter trips but for longer trips and for longer trips I have a jansport klamath pack.
The best backpack is the one that best fits your physique and any particular demands you may have. It's difficult to say that brand X is better than brand Y these days, since practically all of them meet basic requirements of sturdiness, durability etc. For instance, I have a Karrimor pack and a very cheap brand-less thing I bought at the local sports dealer, and to be honest I like the former much better...
If it's the first pack you will be buying, go to a specialised shop and get proper advice, or take someone with you to bust the sales-talk.
I use a Lowe Alpine Expedition 75+20. I can take a lot of gear and can also be copacted small as well. They r expensive, but there are some good deals on the net mine was around £110. Its the only thing ive spent alot of money on for travelling equipment but i think its well worth it as they are very comfortable, and adjustable to your back size, and some nice features on it aswell.
When I shopped around in Germany, I found that Jack Wolfskin had the worst and deuter the best carrying system - which was exactly what I was after. I got the deuter, have had it for 1 years now, use it regularly and am happy with it.
Id second t_maia on deuter, ive used mine for abt 2 years plus and am happy with it, and i particularly like the speed lite series, light and very comfortable
Are you doing loads of walking or are you just after a sturdy bag to travel with ??
We use north face base camp bags, they are very strong, almost bombproof ! they are ideal for travelling on coaches trains etc. They do have straps so that you could carry it as a backpack but i wouldnt want to walk miles with it on my back, however if you are just travelling and not actually "yomping" they are ideal. They have several different sizes, worth checking them out
I swear by Mountainsmith.