Skip Navigation

Help Choosing Backpack

Travel Forums Travel Gear Help Choosing Backpack

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by harrenhal (Budding Member, 2 posts) 20 May '13 18:32

Hello! I'll be backpacking europe this summer and wanted some advice on backpacks. I'll be in southern Europe and visiting major cities primarily, so I just need a bag that will hold my stuff.

Here's one I found that seems to have what I'm looking for, but it's low price concerns me. I'm a newbie to this, so is there anyone more experienced that can see why it's so cheap?

I'm a broke, recent college grad so I'm trying to keep expenses low, but I don't want a bag that will fall apart 2 weeks in.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2013, at 18:33 by harrenhal ]

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1342 posts) 20 May '13 20:33

Your link is to a gigantic, 80 litre top-loading hiking backpack - it's not meant for travel.

I travel indefinitely via hotels/hostels through 3 climates with a 46 litre airline carry-on size backpack with LOTS of room left over - all the cinch straps are yanked to their tightest dimensions so the backpack is really only about 35 litres.

That's including a set of nice clothes to crash an Embassy party or high-end club, normal day-to-day casual and hiking wear, beach clothes, personal hygiene products and everything else you need to be safe/comfortable plus a laptop, digital still/video package and all the peripherals.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/gear_hauling/porter_46

It's easily doable and during your travels you'll see LOTS of experienced backpackers doing the same - or even lighter. Seeing other travellers - especially smaller women - struggle with 60 - 70+ litre backpacks (plus daypacks!) is insane.

Going light makes sense because it allows me to keep my backpack with me (almost) all the time - no checking it into the baggage space under the bus where it's out of my sight and out of my control - and it's obviously way easier/faster to navigate a crowded train aisle, keep with me inside the taxi, stow in a small boat, fit into a tuk-tuk, onto the back of a motorcycle and a million other situations.

Have fun with your research/shopping.

Cheers
Terry

3. Posted by harrenhal (Budding Member, 2 posts) 21 May '13 13:29

Thanks. I'll head over to my local rei store to check some of the smaller bags out.

4. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1342 posts) 21 May '13 13:39

Have fun shopping.

Cheers,
Terry

5. Posted by globalmomma (Budding Member, 5 posts) 22 May '13 09:25

I agree, Osprey is a great brand - mine has held up for several round-the-world trips without any issues, which is more than I can say for any suitcase I attempted to travel with. If you are going to be travelling by train/walking around, backpack is definitely nice to have for smaller places. Wheeled bags are doable however if you are staying in larger cities just throughout Europe.

There are also attachments you can get to hook a smaller regular backpack onto the back of the large backpack for easy travelling. I recommend getting a lock for the zipper also, for trains. enjoy!

6. Posted by dagobert0583 (Budding Member, 37 posts) 19 Jun '13 17:46

20 litre side loading. one that opens like a suitcase so you can have all ya gear nicelly
folded in individual presslock bags easy to get anything in or out is still considered
exceptable hand luggage. If possible one with the builtin alloy frame so it sitts nice
on your back. have a look online but dont buy untill you put it on.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jun-2013, at 17:56 by dagobert0583 ]

7. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 806 posts) 25 Jun '13 08:11

I agree with Terry - go small, as small as you think you manage.
Seriously think about how much an 80-liter, or even 50 or 60-liter backpack weighs when it's full. You aren't going to want to carry it more than a few steps and it will be really bulky. What this means is that you will take taxis even for a few blocks to your hotel, you'll complain about a second floor room, you'll have to always check you bags under buses, subways and any crowded areas will be a nightmare. Not to mention that you'll be an exhausted sweaty mess every time you go somewhere.
I managed to travel for several years at a time with my trusty 36 liter backpack, in all climates, and never felt that I didn't have enough gear. In hotter climates I often have a half empty bag. And it means that I can go anywhere easily with my bag, it can be stored under a bus seat, or overhead on a plane, and can be used as a pillow which gives me peace of mind on dodgy night trains.
I also recommend splashing out on a quality bag. I know they seem like a lot of money, but one that is comfortable, built to last, and that you really like the look of, means that you won't have to replace it for years. My bag is from Mountain Equipment Company (Canadian), and over the last 12 years, I've lived out of it for literally for 5 full years over 46 countries. I thought about replacing it this year but I can't justify it. It's still going strong. It was worth every penny I paid for it.

8. Posted by dagobert0583 (Budding Member, 37 posts) 25 Jun '13 08:20

Quoting Degolasse

I agree with Terry - go small, as small as you think you manage.
Seriously think about how much an 80-liter, or even 50 or 60-liter backpack weighs when it's full. You aren't going to want to carry it more than a few steps and it will be really bulky. What this means is that you will take taxis even for a few blocks to your hotel, you'll complain about a second floor room, you'll have to always check you bags under buses, subways and any crowded areas will be a nightmare. Not to mention that you'll be an exhausted sweaty mess every time you go somewhere.
I managed to travel for several years at a time with my trusty 36 liter backpack, in all climates, and never felt that I didn't have enough gear. In hotter climates I often have a half empty bag. And it means that I can go anywhere easily with my bag, it can be stored under a bus seat, or overhead on a plane, and can be used as a pillow which gives me peace of mind on dodgy night trains.
I also recommend splashing out on a quality bag. I know they seem like a lot of money, but one that is comfortable, built to last, and that you really like the look of, means that you won't have to replace it for years. My bag is from Mountain Equipment Company (Canadian), and over the last 12 years, I've lived out of it for literally for 5 full years over 46 countries. I thought about replacing it this year but I can't justify it. It's still going strong. It was worth every penny I paid for it.

Sorry dude wrong person im a 40 year old retired marine. You cant tell me how to wobble ive done it.

9. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1342 posts) 25 Jun '13 09:15

"... Sorry dude wrong person im a 40 year old retired marine. You cant tell me how to wobble ive done it..."

dagobert0583, no one was replying to you. Degolasse's comment was directed at the Original Poster.

Cheers,
Terry

10. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator, 5537 posts) 26 Jun '13 03:22

Quoting CheersT

"... Sorry dude wrong person im a 40 year old retired marine. You cant tell me how to wobble ive done it..."

dagobert0583, no one was replying to you. Degolasse's comment was directed at the Original Poster.

Cheers,
Terry

I don't get it either and I don't get this person either. But it's a matter of time before he's gone here People like this don't last long on the most perfect respectful travel forum in the world