Worth Downgrading Bag?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Worth Downgrading Bag?

1. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 202 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I currently have an Ariel 55L backpack that I've used for a 13 week backpacking trip and it's still in great shape - almost like new! However, I bought that size as I was camping so I had a sleeping bag, and some extra gear(not the tent, thankfully!). My next trip will be a RTW for an indefinite amount of time (probably around at least a year), and I've been debating picking up a smaller (40L) bag for this trip. For those of you who have downgraded in size, is it worth it? Or should I just stick with the 55?

Thanks in advance!

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1877 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

If you are travelling for a year, I would think the biggest bag reasonably possible would be best. Better to have too much room than have to buy and carry another bag because you have run out of room.

3. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

After already living with it for 13 weeks you're obviously experienced enough to know that with proper planning/packing it's way bigger than what's needed for a trip where you're staying in hotels/hostels.

1.) If you LOVE the bag and it can be cinched down much smaller then the extra 10 - 15 litres won't really hurt you.

2.) If you're not absolutely in love with the bag then definitely sell it and get a travel backpack in the 35 - 40 litre range which as you've discovered is more than enough room for travelling indefinitely.

If budget isn't an issue then #2 is definitely the way to go because NOTHING beats travelling light - especially on a long RTW trip. Big backpacks are stupid and suck on every level.

Have a great trip.


Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 202 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Budget is an issue, however, I'm not planning on leaving for quite some time, and I generally believe gear can make or break a trip (and therefore shouldn't be skimped on too, too much. I hadn't really thought about selling it, so thanks for bringing up that idea.

My main concern was if the 15ish litres would make a huge difference on my back.. but then I guess I should just go take a look at some packs and see for myself, and maybe try cinching it down as much as possible for a better idea. I'm not really concerned about the size being an issue, as I find no matter what size you have you will eventually fill it, and I can always replace stuff along the way and/or send stuff home. And in true backpacker fashion, I have no problems strapping stuff to the outside of the bag on occasion.

6. Posted by isatou (Budding Member 8 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

hi there, if budget is an issue stick with what you have, sometime the extra weight might not be need, if in doubt wear two layers of clothes.
2nd option fill it too capacity and take a long walk around a park through the city, see what it feel like full.
i would not down size, extra cost might not be worth it, but if you have to look at jumble sales, boot sales.
stick with it, finish your journey together

7. Posted by BadlyBurnt (Budding Member 13 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

My first RTW trip I took a 60L pack. Started off full but after a while I got rid of the excess so ended up with space in it. For my second trip I bought a 40L.

I prefer traveling with the 40L, but still use 60L when I'm gonna be camping.

I think the advantage of 40L is that it is more manageable, can go as hand luggage on planes, stows easier inside buses and (almost more importantly) it stops you getting weighd down by acumulated unnecesary tat picked up along the way ! It partly depends where youre going. I find that if I'm in ahot climate all the time then even the 40L has space to spare. If youre gonna need warm gear, Waterproofs and boots then the 60L becomes an option..

I'd say if you can afford it go for the 40L - the 55 isn't wasted , after all there'll be other trips when you need it:)