HI THERE! i am planning on backpacking through Europe for the next 2 years and of course am going to need a large and reliable bag to do so,i am just wondering if anyone knows of a decent website or any where i could find 1,i have been to camping stores but only found overpriced and undersized bags,doesn't seem to be much on ebay either,any advice? cheers!
You don't need a large bag.
The undersized bags you looked at were probably just right. If you intend to stay in hostels I would go for something in the 40 liter range (2500 cubic inches). For a rolling upright suitcase that is "carry-on size". If you bring a tent and camping gear the right size would be around 65 liters (4000 cubic inches).
It is much better to bring less clothing, wash it often until it falls apart and then buy new than to drag a gigantic cumbersome monster around with you. Whether you are gone for 2 weeks or for 2 years shoudn't matter - you pack the same amount of clothing and wash it when it gets dirty.
Good brands of backpacks that I know are Deuter, Berghaus and Osprey.
Do not buy a backpack unless you have carried it walking around up and down for at least 30 min with 15 kgs of weight in the pack.
[ Edit: Edited on May 22, 2008, at 1:02 AM by t_maia ]
I totally agree with everything t-mania said. If you've been to camping stores and can't find a bag big enough, than you are almost surely thinking waaayyyyy too big. The idea of backpacking is not transport everything you own around the world with you. It's to visit places, carrying only what you NEED to survive. This usually included a couple changes of clothes, toiletries, books, and only the footwear that is absolutely essential. Extras include electronics that should be kept to a bare minimum, not only because they take up space, but also because you are always at a risk of losing them. All this should be able to fit in a bag between 40-50 liters (I've lived for years with only 35). Once you get above 50, the bag will be no fun to carry and you will find yourself spending more on taxis, and really not enjoying the times that you have to roam around with your bag.
Also as mentioned above, don't buy a bag unless you've tried it on with a good amount of weight in it, and walked around in it. Don't be sold by flashy pockets and gadgets. The only thing you need to worry about is comfort. After all, what's the point in having a backpack if you can't carry it.
Where are you from? If you are in Canada, then the place to look is Mountain Equipment Coop. Can't help you with good brands in other regions of the world.
See that you are an Aussie... Try Mac Pac, I heard good things about them.
The Torlesse 50 looks good as well as the Amp Light 45. The Zambesi 70 and the Pegasus 65 would also work- but only if you don't stuff the day pack to the brim, leave it empty!!!
Looking at the carrying system of these packs however I strongly recommend that you also compare them to the Osprey or Deuter packs.