Hello! I am going to Europe for about 8-10 months, and am looking for a durable 40L backpack, preferably with some sort of back support, that zips at the top (no flaps, I want to be able to lock it), and with strong zippers that will not break easily! The places I have visited so far sell mainly expedition packs, so they all have that flip-top-hood thing with the drawstring, which you can't lock. This type of pack is surprisingly hard to find... anything built specifically for travel is 60L+, which is far too big!
Anyone know of any companies that make these sort of packs? (Osprey, The North Face, etc). I checked MEC but the zippers are flimsy.
I think that instead of traditional backpacks you should take a look at a rolling upright or some of the luggage business travellers use.
Good 40-liter backpacks are hard to find anyway, most are either larger or smaller. Daypacks are up to 35 liters and full expedition packs are 55+liters. So looking for a 40-l-pack with zippers is like looking for the smallest needle in a big haystack that contains 50 needles of all sizes.
Some packs you might want to look at:
Osprey Porter 46
Osprey Sojourn 22"
Osprey Meridian 22'' (if you zip-off the daypack it should be around 40 l instead of the 60 l it is with the daypack full)
Lowe Alpine TT Carry On 40
Bach Overland 1 (only if you are short, the pack is about 59 liters including the daypack which is roughly 15 liters)
[ Edit: Edited on 17-Mar-2009, at 19:42 by t_maia ]
Haha, a rolling suitcase would definitely be a bad choice for me (I've tried it, most definitely not suited to my style of travel). See, the difference between a business traveler and I is that a business traveler is there on business, I am there to explore and experience, and a wheelie suitcase would definitely sacrifice mobility. :P Out of curiosity, what is your reasoning behind suggesting that?
Also, I have found the Osprey Porter 46, and although I have not seen it in person (I saw it via the internet) it seems to be the closest I've found to what I am looking for. I'll definitely check out some of those you've listed though!
The Kelty Redwing (2650) is a popular option for travel. It is very durable. Be sure it fits though
The distinction between 35 and 40 litres is difficult to measure as manufacturers measure capacity differently, so I'll recommend some other size packs as well.
The new Atmos 35 from Osprey is almost 40 litres - it's a lighter pack but oh so comfortable, especially in hot climates. The zippers are sturdy but the pull tabs aren't.
Regarding zippers, I place importance on the quality of the teeth, not necessarily the pull tabs. Any pack can be broken into, and the difference between an apparently "bomb-proof" zipper and something seemingly more fragile is just a few seconds to a determined thief. While it can be beneficial to lock your pack, don't rely on it exclusively. Personally, I've never locked a pack, instead relying on awareness/vigilance (not paranoia) to avoid becoming a target.
And one more for you - absolutely bomb-proof if that's really what you want:
Snap Dragon and Big Sky from Mystery Ranch