Buying backpack online & opinions

Travel Forums Travel Gear Buying backpack online & opinions

1. Posted by l1ncs (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I am contemplating buying a backpack online for my RTW trip as I am becoming frustrated with the lack of places stocking what I am looking for. I am looking for something around 40-45L which opens all the way around like a travel pack. The problem I am finding is that the packs are either too big (60L+) or too small (20-25L) and most seem to be top loaders. Given that the pack I am after is only relatively small will I be ok in terms of fitment as I only really assumed it was the larger packs were it was essential to try before you buy?
About the only pack I can find which fits my criteria seems to be the Lifeventure Kibo -

Can anyone suggest any other that fit my criteria (around 40-45L with all round access to compartment) as I have spent hours trawling through the net and can find very little.

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 1, 2007, at 5:40 AM by l1ncs ]

2. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I wouldn't buy a pack online 'cause I think you really need to try them on to see whether they are comfortable for you as the fit can vary quite considerably.

3. Posted by george1979 (Full Member 101 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

better option may be to try backpacks on in the shop (with weights) for fit, comfort etc. When you find one you like you can then check online stores to see if you can get it cheaper (remember to take into account any postage charges). i know its a little bit cheeky but screw the stores - its your money after all.

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'd agree there - Don't ever buy a backpack online without previously having tried it on in a shop etc. The wrong backpack can wreck a trip.

5. Posted by l1ncs (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

The problem I seem to be having is that no shops seem to have the bag I am after. There seems to be very little about at the size range I am after. People either seem to want little day packs or these massive houses on wheels with half a dozen detachable daypacks.

6. Posted by Rod79 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Good quality funky packs.a bit pricy but worth that extra amount .;)

7. Posted by l1ncs (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Ive just come across this Osprey pack.

My only concern is that it may be a tad small for a year plus RTW trip. I have read a lot of Gelli's posts and he has definitely inspired me with a lot of confidence in terms of travelling light. Also reading what you can fit in a 27l pack makes me think travelling with only 35L is definitely doable. Despite this there is still a nagging thought in my mind saying that once im out there im going to find it a struggle with such a small pack. Can people who have done any exptensive travelling put my mind at rest or warn me off the idea of travelling so light?

8. Posted by l1ncs (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I managed to find a shop today that stocked the osprey 35 pack (it was one of these large out of town Blacks stores, which meant driving 80 miles round trip). I tried the pack with some weight in and on the whole I was quite pleased with the way it felt. However, i didnt buy it in the end as I didnt feel that the straps were padded enough. It was a very minor point and I hardly felt them digging in at all but it was enough to put me off. I am still very keen on this pack though as it seems to tick all the boxes in terms of what I am after. Is there any way I could somehow pad the shoulder straps out a bit, say using some sweat bands or soemthing? While browsing through the net it seems that many of the packs of this size seem to have quite flimsy looking shoulder straps. Anyone got any ideas?

9. Posted by bradshaw (Budding Member 19 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

The straps on the osprey 35 are definitely not flimsy. It is designed to be a lightweight pack (light backpacking, adventure racing, etc.) so the materials osprey use need to be light. Hence the reason for the thinner material. Sometimes, bulky shoulder straps prove to be inflexible so the weight actually rests along a thinner band, causing even more pressure and discomfort. What's most important is not the amount of padding, but the effective cross-sectional area of weight distribution. So, I wouldn't worry about trying to add padding.

The osprey 35 is consistently rated by users as a durable and comfortable pack. My wife uses one for traveling and never had a problem.

Also remember that you can't judge a pack based on one component. It's how all the components work together. You need to consider the hipbelt, how the load-lifters work, and how you actually pack it (heavier stuff closer to the back, etc).

The maximum load carrying capacity on that pack is roughly 25 lbs - that's if you were wearing it all day. For a pack that size, that's pretty good.

My advice to you is to buy the pack, bring it home, load it up with everything you plan to take with you, and go for a long long walk. If it doesn't work for you, return it.

On the topic of traveling light, I wouldn't consider talking a pack that big. Because pack companies measure volume differently, I classify the Atmos 35 as a large 35 L pack. With the shovel pocket, you could fit a lot of extra stuff in there. I travel with a 25 or 30L(max) pack-but ones that are truer to reported size than the atmos.

The biggest barrier to traveling light is our attachment to our stuff. Let it go if you are truly interested in traveling light. Not everybody is, nor should that be everyone's goal. Light travel requires different considerations - more laundry or anti-bacterial type clothing. It works for me, but mind you, I can go hiking in the mountains for 5 days with 20-25 lbs.

Osprey packs are top notch and if you have any problem with it, osprey will fix or replace it very quickly.

Hope this helps.