Having trouble weighing up the pros and cons of each type so what does everyone else think?
Every time I have tried a travelpack type on it has felt like it was pulling me backwards as the load doesn't seem to be as well distributed as the rucksack type which feels more comfortable. But, I would really prefer a travelpack for easy access as I like the idea of being able to open it like a suitcase.
Also, I have read that normal backpack types are prone to having the straps ripped of or damaged by the airport baggage system so I wanted to go for a zip away strap system for this reason - how likely is it that the back straps get damaged in transit and what do you do with them when you check the bag in? Many thanks!!
If you a planning on carrying your bag for any length of time, even for 20 minutes walking around looking for accommodation, then the answer is to pick the bag that is the most comfortable to carry.
As for straps getting ripped in transit - with my current backpack, I've taken 43 flights over the last 6 years, and all my straps are perfectly intact. It's really not a problem. But just to be safe I usually tie the straps up before I check my bag in to keep the them from dangling all over the place. A few airlines out there will give you plastic bags to put your bag in which is great.
Take a good look around, you should be able to find a backpack with fairly big zippers that will open the bag right up almost as far as a travel pack. It's a good compromise between the two.
Degolasse brought up a good point. There are now numerous backpacks designed to be similar to suitcases with their openings. There are even a few with a full length side zipper so you can completely open the backpack up (It would devastating though, if the zipper broke!) Personally, I'd rather be comfortable with my load rather than having it be convenient. I'm a guy so I don't pay too much attention to how organized my belongs are lol. My backpack has a contoured fit for the back and evenly distributes the weight through the frame. It's excellent for me and yes, it's a top loader. There are few moments where I wished I had suitcase-like (un)packing to do but in the end, versatily and comfortability win over anything to me.
I try to tuck in my straps as best I can. There's no reason why any backpack with it's straps tucked in properly should have problems during transport. If you're extra worried you may be able to tape or tie the straps down too.
i'd go with backpack, i took a travelpack round europe for a month and it was extremely annoying, as once i'd accuired a few things and it was full, trying to close the zip was a nightmare. while my mate had a backpack and was stuffing his stuff in easy. Also like nantes said if the zip had gone i'd have been screwed!!!
the straps aren;t a problem, i've never found it a problem. i was on a flight from paris and they gave me a big see-through sack to put it in, you could get one and keep it squashed in to ur sack if ur worried or i believe u can buy extra covers, that zip round the pack in camping shops and places like that.
I've been wondering the same thing. Seems like from the ones Ive looked at, the wheeled backpacks area a good combination and well made. I know from previous travels Id loved to have had a way to wheel the bag through countless airports and such. These seem to be the answer. The straps zip away and they have easy access. They have suspension systems that are maybe not quite as comfy as a traditional backpack, but good enough for short hikes from airports to hostels.
I had been considering a travelpack, really just for the convenience of it opening like a suitcase, but after reading some of the thoughts here I reckon I'll stick to my trusty backpack Besides, its got all the patches I've sewn on of the places I've been (and I'm no sewer, so this is quite a big deal LOL!!!)
i was about to buy a backpack with rollers, it cost about Malaysia ringgit RM599 (US$150) it has the capacity of a cabin trolley bag but the main problem is the weight. the empty bag it self weighs almost 4-5kilograms.
i'll be backpacking in uk with my whv soon.
ok well I gave up with the idea of a rollerbag, every one I tried stuck you in the back with the handle. went with Gregory triconi 60. Loaded it last night and its perfect, im at about 12kg fully packed, with plenty of room to stuff other stuff on the road. It has easy access with a top load and a bottom compartment, but also a side entry zipper. I really liked that non of the zippers are very visible, so it might deter someone taking a quick rummage. I'm also bringing a large camelback to use as a day pack and carry on too.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 7, 2008, at 10:22 AM by Dodger ]