I'm off on my travels next year and I'm starting to think about the gear I need to get. First - bags. I've read through some of the posts here and decided I'm taking as little as possible and reckon about 50/55L is about right (for a 7/8 month trip through USA, Canada, Peru, Chili, NZ, Auz, Thailand and Cambodia).
I've looked around at want a bag with a detachable day pack, like:
What make would people suggest is better? What features should I be looking for? Also is 50L about right? I'm not going to be on a catwalk so don't really care what I look like on daily basis but it would be nice to be able to take nicer clothes for special occasions.
If it helps I'm male and 22, well 23 when I go...
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 2, 2008, at 11:37 AM by adw999 ]
You don't really need any specific features, except for maybe a raincover or waterproof backpack so that your clothes don't get wet on a rainy day. If 55+10 litres is enough totally depends on you, but I'd say it is.
The Haglofs backpack has a really stiff price because of the lightweight frame I guess, which you don't really need in my opinion. The other three are more or less the same, it pretty much comes down to which one is more comfortable for you. That's why I really suggest you go to the stores and try them out. You can't always trust the sizing charts, and you don't want to end up with a backpack that's uncomfortable for 8 months.
Just remember to fill them up with something so that the backpack sits properly on your back.
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 2, 2008, at 12:38 PM by Highfall ]
If you are looking at Deuter also take the Futura and the ACT lite series into consideration. The Futura has better airventing options than the AirContact series and the ACT lite series has a lighter frame. And yes, your back does notice whether you are carrying 12 kgs or 15 kgs.
The difference between the Deuter AirContact and the AirContact Pro is that the Pro is designed for heavy loads. Accordingly it is heavier. Also keep an eye on which of the Deuter packs is meant for men and which for women. Both you have listed above are for men, but the next smaller and the next larger in both series are for women.
One more thing: I hope you are not 1,60 m tall and 55 kgs of weight - then a 55 liter would be way too large. Try to take no more than 15 % of your bodyweight and keep an eye on what the backpack weighs before you buy.
The best backpack is the one that fits your back. A good shop will let you try pack on loaded with 10-15 kgs of weight.
BTW, other backpacks with detachable daypacks that are in your size range are the "Bach Overland 1", "Tatonka Great Escape" and maybe "The North Face Backtrack 50".
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 2, 2008, at 2:00 PM by t_maia ]