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Choice of backpack (New Zealand)

Travel Forums Travel Gear Choice of backpack (New Zealand)

1. Posted by Pechanni (Budding Member, 5 posts) 6 Dec '10 15:27

Hi everyone!

I'm leaving soon for my first real backpacking adventure, although I have been traveling before, just not on my own and not without knowing what I would be doing at the destination.
My route will be New York for 10 days, then to New Zealand indefinitely (max a year, on the Working Holiday Visa). If money allows it, I would like to go to Indonesia or Japan afterwards.

I am few clicks away from ordering this: http://www.caribeeluggage.com/proddetail.asp?prod=fasttrack75
It suits me very well in most ways. My back isn't very strong, which is why being able to drag it might be a really big relief during my travels. However, I can also see myself going trekking somewhere where I wouldn't be able to drag it, so putting it on my back also needs to be an option.

I have few concerns related to dividing luggage for flights. I prefer to have my laptop as well as my camera in my rucksack when going on a plane.

My laptop isn't one of those mini Acer-pcs, it's an older MacBook, i think it's about 33cm x 23 cm. My camera is a Nikon D40x, which, when inside its protective bag, is about 18cm x 14cm wide and 15 cm tall (but "squeezable").

From the description I've been given, the daypack on that link above should be just about big enough for these things (40 cm high x 32 cm wide x 15 cm depth), which I think is somewhere around 20-25 liters. Which means that the big backpack is about 40-45 liters.

I'm not that great at packing lightly.. I'd like to think that I will need clothes for hot and cold weather, even a buttoned shirt in case I find work as a waiter, i pack more toilet stuff than most, I would prefer to bring electronic shaver and toothbrush, and maybe a book or three.

What do you guys think? Would the above backpack be big enough? Do you know of a similar backpack that is cheaper?

Thanks in advance
Peter

2. Posted by TravelMc (Respected Member, 93 posts) 7 Dec '10 07:48

Peter, my advice would be stick with that bag if it looks like it does what you need. Look for reviews - especially with online retailers - to see if there is anything you should be aware of with the workmanship or use of the item. And don't expect a cheap back pack to be terribly sturdy or good. You get what you pay for!

Toiletries can be bought anywhere in the world and most brands are available everywhere. If you need medicated stuff on prescription I suggest you see if you can get it (speak to your chemist) in your chosen destinations or maybe consider getting a family member or friend to post it to you as needed rather than taking it all with you at once!

Airlines will often let you take two items of carry on (ie a carry on bag and then ladies tend to have a handbag too). Check the allowance because this could allow you to carry your camera in its bag as that second smaller item! This gives you a bit of room within your bigger carry on bag which can be very convenient.

And finally - a wee tip for packing lightly: layering is a major bonus. Consider packing clothes that you can layer up for warmth rather than summer clothes and thick heavy bulky winter clothes. Have a good top layer for cold weather and maybe a shell for wet weather and remember that you can always buy stuff while you travel. I think I have an item of clothing from every country I've visited and they are the best souvenirs because they are not stuffed in a box in the loft (attic) but in my wardrobe and used all the time!
Oh and a jacket and heavy jumper can often be worn onto flights to save the baggage space!

Have fun!

3. Posted by Ty1107 (Budding Member, 52 posts) 7 Dec '10 18:00

Hi Peter,

When you are planning go to New Zealand? I am planning go to New Zealand too, most probably on next year July. Just want to find someone around at there around that time...

Victor

4. Posted by Julia42 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 8 Dec '10 01:55

That looks like a prefect pack! I was looking at something similar today on the Kathmandu website which is on sale. Am unsure where you are and if they would be able to send it to you http://www.kathmandu.co.nz/Travel_&_Commute/Packs_&_Bags/40340/Hybrid_Trolley.html#

I am from NZ and am heading to Europe in June... want the same thing from a backpack but wondering if this one would be big enough. Will check it out instore tomorrow.

If your here soon (summer) I wouldn't bother about winter clothes apart from a sweater or light jacket. If your spending a lot of time in the North Island (which I would recommend if its summer) then you will be in jandals, shorts and a t-shirt!! It will be hot! Also, things like a buttoned shirt you could probably go without.. you can pick them up for $10NZ from 'The Warehouse' if you really need one (you'll know what that is when you get here).

Good luck packing!

5. Posted by Pechanni (Budding Member, 5 posts) 8 Dec '10 06:35

Victor: I'm going this January :)

TravelMc: Thanks a lot for your tips!! I will read them through again when i start packing :)

Julia: I think the one you linked is a little too small for me. I'm REALLY struggling between the one I linked in my first post, and this one: http://store.berghaus.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product8_11201_10252_4-61507#

The last one (Berghaus) looks better in most ways (secret pockets, advanced harness system) but has the flaw of no extension of the top handle, meaning when I'm pulling it, I would have to hunch a little all the time (it's 78cm tall). Whereas the one I linked before (Caribee) is much better to pull, but much wider and less comfortable on your back.

I suppose it boils down to whether I'm going to spend more time pulling or carrying it on my back, and I just don't know which is more important!

Anyway, I am coming during the summer, but I had the impression that the South is colder than the North, meaning that I should visit the south first while the temperature allows it? :) If I like NZ then I can stay up till a year, maybe I would need some warm clothes along the way, but I will try to be light weight.