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help with choosing backpack

Travel Forums Travel Gear help with choosing backpack

1. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

hi guys, yes im new to this backpacking thing and havent the first clue about anything
what id like to know is
what is a good backpack to use
ideally id like something that is secure, light, and big enough to carry enough stuff for a month in india
if somebody could recommend a few different models it would be much appreciated
im going out tomorrow to have a look to see what i can see see see but i dont know where to look
im gonna attempt looking in a local camping shop, opefully i can find a few ther items i will need while im there
im planning on doing a bit of train stuff while im away so i would also need something to lock myself to my pack
incase anybody tries to steal me, they can take my pack if they want but i dont want to be stolen and i figured the best way would be to chain myself to my pack, that way they would be less interested
ive heard of people buying locks and chains, but chains are heavy
would it be better to buy one of those wire type securing things with loops on each end for a lock (whatever theyre called)
any info would be greatfully received
thanx carl

2. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 8y

I think it depends on how much you plan on using it after your one month in India. Is this trip to India going to be the first of many trips? (maybe after doing the trip you will have got the travel bug like most regular contributers on this forum).

If you answered yes to the above question, you should probably look at spending a bit more and getting a goos quality backpack with a fairly high capacity. If the answer is no then a cheap and nasty pack which is capable of holding about 55-60 litres should be satisfactory enough.

Mine is a 75 litre backpack which even after minimising my clothes to only a couple of changes it is still fairly full but until towards the end of the trip it wasn't almost busting at the zips.

I personally think you are being very paranoid with regards to the comment "so i would also need something to lock myself to my pack incase anybody tries to steal me" even though some of it may be intended as a joke. Remember that if you go over the top with security you are going to attract attention with potential thieves thinking "if he is paranoid enough to lock his backpack so carefully then he must have something valuable in it". If you are sensible without going over the top, you would get a smallish padlock that would fit through the zip holes on your backpack and be done with it. At least then you are covering yourself somewhat, showing you are using common sense precautions, but not making yourself stand out as having something valuable to hide. Nothing spells valuables in a backpack more than someone with one of those net locks covering the backpack (and if a thief wants to get in to it he/she would get bolt cutters and within seconds would be in to it anyway!).

One thing you should try and look out for with your backpack is one that has a rain jackets thing that pulls out and also one that has this tuckaway sheet that can cover the straps when you go on flights and zip it up securely. This will mean you can then have your shampoos, soaps, deodarants etc that you aren't allowed to bring on flights (at least in the normal quantities people have), have sharp objects etc that you aren't allowed in onboard luggage but are in underneath luggage. If you don't have that cover then you have the likely risk of finding your luggage strap clips have been totally torn off when it gets put on the baggage belt.

I personally like Mountain Designs backpacks as they are comfortable, have lots of different pockets and straps to seperate things and secure things nicely, they have a really good detachable daypack and all of that range have the things I mentioned above with the rain jacket thing and cover for the straps. That is an Australian brand which I am not sure if you can buy anywhere outside of Australia and New Zealand, but if you can you should have a look in to their range.

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

I disagree with aharrold on the size of the backpack. I prefer to take the basic necessities and not everything but the kitchen sink. 3-4 changes of clothes is enough, bc they do have laundry facilities in India. You'll also be staying in hotels in India I think, therefore you won't need to take camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc). With this style of travel I recommend a backpack in the 40 l range or less.

My personal favourite is the ACT lite series from Deuter. The 2006/2007 40+10 l (male version, black/anthracite) is currently being sold with huge discounts, if you shop around you should be able get it online for around 60 GBP plus shipping.

I also saw some (no-name?) backpacks in that size range online for around 30 GBP.

I personally hate the backpacks with the sheets to tuck away the straps. The only backpacks in Europe that seem to have them are 70+l monsters with a crappy carrying system. I use a large cheap duffle bag instead that I found in a chinese market, it is big enough so that I can stuff my backpack in when I fly and thin enough that it folds away easily.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 15, 2008, at 4:27 AM by t_maia ]

4. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

thanx for the advice guys, ive been out today and bought a vango fitzroy 50 + 10s
very similar to this
http://www.hikekit.com/acatalog/Fitzroy-60+10.jpg
i got it for £42 so it wasnt too expensive but it looks pretty good quality
it has a rain sheet which comes out of the hood and wraps round, its lucky you mentioned that about the airport belts, id never have thought of that,
i think that this is going to be a one time trip so ill probably never use it again, but as so many people do, i might just get the bug and decide to go out more often
i was told by the guy in the store that i could have had a 'lowe alpine' rucksack for £60 and it would live for the same length of time as 4 vangos
on hindsight i should hav maybe taken his advice but i tried them both on my back and the centre of gravity seemed to make the vango feel lighter on my back, which is a good thing right?
i may be doing some walking if all goes well
the locking issue is mainly for when i travel on the train, it was a serious thought but posted in a joking way, ive been told to keep my eyes open and my bag closed and if possible to lock the bag to me or a solid fixture while i sleep
i am a heavy sleeper when im happy so i can imaging somebody peeling my head off my pack without waking me up lol
i was thinking of something similar to a wire bike lock but thinner and more flexible so i can attach it to my belt while im asleep
i would hopefully feel someone tugging at it and wake up
maybe i am too paranoid but id like to have that added security if i feel theres a possibility im in a situation where my luggage aint safe
i know im new to this and dont know what to expect, it was just a thought, and a piece of wire cable wouldnt be that heavy really
i seen on here somewhere that a 40l pack would be easily big enough, i am planning to travel as light as possible but i dont wanna stink all the time so i chose to go a little over the 40l pack, what if i wanna buy some gifts too, im a sucker for indian gold, wood carvings and knives :):)
besides the 40l packs at the place i went to looked so small, i dont think i could have done it with one of them, there was a limited choice there and we havent got many outdoors stores in liverpool
and now i know i have a little extra space i can put in an extra bag for short trips while im there
i think ive made the right choice from the options i had, only time will tell now i guess
im gonna be living out of it for a month so if we dont get along, theres gonna be problems
;)
carl

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Quoting sradwxi

thanx for the advice guys, ive been out today and bought a vango fitzroy 50 + 10s
very similar to this
http://www.hikekit.com/acatalog/Fitzroy-60+10.jpg
i got it for £42 so it wasnt too expensive but it looks pretty good quality

I took a look at it and I think you are going to hate it. I found some pictures of the carrying system and the padding at lower part of the back allows no circulation of air. Compare to the Deuter Futura 50+10 Vario or the and you'll see what I mean.

http://www.activeoutdoorandski.co.uk/product_info.php?pid=23344 (picture of the Vango Fitzroy I found)

http://www.deuter.com/en/products/34308_Futura_50+10_Vario_u10_ENG.php
http://www.deuter.com/en/Aircomfort_Vario-Futura.php

India is a hot country, you'll be grateful for any breeze that manages to get between your back and your backpack.

Quoting sradwxi

i seen on here somewhere that a 40l pack would be easily big enough, i am planning to travel as light as possible but i dont wanna stink all the time so i chose to go a little over the 40l pack, what if i wanna buy some gifts too, im a sucker for indian gold, wood carvings and knives :):)

I travel with a 35+10, I can assure you that you travelling with a 50+10 is not "as light as possible". I easily manage to put 5 outfits into my pack with place to spare for toiletries and stuff. Note that I am muslim, and I take cloaks, long pants and so. You however should be able to get away with short-sleeved t-shirts and zip-away pants which take up a lot less space.

I used to have a 55+10 and I got rid of it in favour of the smaller pack. The larger size made me pack things "just in case", so at the end I was carrying way too much.

Quoting sradwxi

besides the 40l packs at the place i went to looked so small, i dont think i could have done it with one of them, there was a limited choice there and we havent got many outdoors stores in liverpool

I had the same problem when I first bought the 55+10 l pack. In the shop you keep thinking about your big trip and no bag seems large enough to hold it all. You start reaching for larger and larger packs.

When I then decided to get a smaller pack I spent almost a year shopping around. Online searches for available brands in the size I wanted and then trying on various backpacks in stores all over Europe whenever I got the chance. After I knew what I wanted I was then able to get the pack through ebay at a discount.

6. Posted by SuperBrat (Full Member 107 posts) 8y

One that zips around to open up like a suitcase when its laid on its back so that you don't end up emptying the whole contents of 2 weeks worth of your carefully compact-packed worldy posessions at the airport/hostel/train station/friend's floor/etc when you're after the one idiot thing that you accidentally packed first, and its right at the bottom/somewhere in the middle of your pack