General backpack thread as I didn't see one in the catalog.
I'd also like recommendations for a backpack. Will be traveling for around 2-3 weeks. Lost on size, brand, what to look for etc.
im a newbie backpacker, but i have 2 packs, 50L Explorer high sierra and 38L Kestrel Osprey
unfortunately for me, i dont have friends thats into backpack, so i started with zero. my 1st proper pack is the 50L, and i used it on my hokkaido summer trip (20days). i found out that i always have it 2/3rd full when my camera bag is not it it.
I did much reading and tips esp on multipurpose tool and travel version items (travel towel etc) then for my trip to Japan Tohoku Winter, i toned down to 38L and i achieve handcarry size (altho the weight marginally exceed 7kg, but the airport attendand still allowed me in(depends on luck))
I usually travel with just few pair of jeans and dri-fit jerseys, w/ minimal toiletries, camera gears etc, thus i need to do laundry every 3+days.
most backpack i checked out at shops, the 50L above has decent paddings on shoulders n hips, while under 45L they tend to go thinner. so sometimes when you can fit your stuff into smaller pack, but because your stuff is heavy while being small, it may hurt your shoulders due to the thinner paddings.
i would suggest
1. do a mock packing. it would be great if you have friends w/ a backpack of 50+L, 30+L. from there you can gauge your ballpark.
2. you may consider buy your pack online (cheaper?), but its recommended at least go to a store and try some esp to get the feel of the paddings.
What do you want to pack? If you're not planning on going out every night or bringing lots of formal wear, you don't need something very large. I've taken trips of up to five months and the biggest bag I've brought was about 35L. It was big enough to accommodate clothes, a couple of small electronics, my tent, and a sleeping bag. If I want to buy souvenirs and shit, I'll usually just pick up a smaller pack in whatever country I'm visiting and bring that back on the plane with me.
Some really great advice here in this thread. I'm thinking of spending two weeks around Istanbul and then 3 weeks travelling around Greece and island hopping.
What backpack do you guys suggest for this type of vacation that's somewhere inbetween an urban vacation and "backpacking" (as in, I am not always in the middle of nowhere but I will be quite nomadic).
its difficult to tell, especially we do not know what kind of stuff you want to carry, are you fashion conscious ie need to wear trendy stuff , your electronics etc.
i'd say, start with a mock packing. from there you can have an idea what size you want to go. for starters, i'd say try within 50L. ~35L will be on the extreme side for beginners as you need to sacrifice lots of stuff/get travel version item alternatives which you may not have idea as of yet.
You can go with 1 large backpack+1 mini one that can fit (flat/empty) inside your big pack, or 1 small pack+1 hand luggage. i dont have experience with small pack mounted in front.
As for brands, i have no comment as I prefer to try it myself and not stick to any particular ones. online reviews will help you on the pack compartments, fabric, limits, gimmic analysis, and hacks. Osprey are one of few that have lightest pack of its class(weight less compared to competitor of same L). Do take note lightest doesnt always means good, which is why reviews comes in handy.
Ok thank you. As of now I am not planning any camping stuff so no sleeping bag or tent. Electronics would be limited to my phone and ipad and their chargers, no laptop or camera. I do want to have a decent selection of clothes, just so I can be at ease in the city and not have to wash too often.
Can 35L be carried on on most airlines? And does it really take quite a bit of sacrifice to cut down to that size? I would favour having just 1 bag if possible so I have less stuff to carry but I guess it depends on how hard it will be to cut down what I plan to bring.
I have trouble visualizing these sizes; I guess I should go into a store and check them out myself.
for carryon's on commercial flights, safe max limit is 38L. smaller planes will vary.. 35-38L should be an OK range. try to look for one that dies have solit metal fram.. the ones that can bend slightly should be good.
This is my Osprey 38L.. i carry it on my 20day Tohoku trip in winter.. i got some custom strap ons to strap my stuffs. and it passes as handcarry
this is a lil offtopic.
but for me, i usually book in advance.. even as late as 1 day before arriving..
so i have an idea the place/city im heading do have accommodation, and will change destination if no availability.
however i dont book up too far ahead as just in case i changed plans(unless im so certain want to visit a certain place.)
well, some ppl just pop up and try their luck.
I'd check out Turtuga backpacks. I have the 44L and is designed to me the maximum carryon size. They also make a smaller one.
It's nice in that it has a lot the neatest features out there for travelers.
This is something that I've been curious about, about to go backpacking this June and wondering if I should book ahead of just turn up as I don't have concrete travel plans and don't want to lock myself in to a place
Usually what i do is book a hostel in the first place im going to. From there, its easy to book more places and you can be more flexible. Usually what me and my friends end up doing tho is just show up at the cities and try to find something. Unless it is a big holiday it isnt much of a problem to find a place. We had a big search in sao paolo and ended up at a gay hostel with bed bugs, but we complained and they reccomended another hostel which turned out to be perfect. Just sucked cuz it was after 10pm
The Mountainsmith Approach 50L is one of the best purchases I've ever made.
It was for a 3 week Europe solo backpack. I had a perfect amount packed in there which was plenty, but never too much/overflow. Weight wasn't a problem at all, and I was able to fit it in the overhead compartments of planes with no problem whatsoever. Highly recommended. Going to use it again for a 2 month trip this summer.
They seem to go between 90-120 USD.
Im gonna be going backpacking for my first time around Europe for about 3 moths in may. I bought the REI Grand Tour 85 Travel Pack. Will this keep me alive for that long? Opinions?
I am traveling for longer periods next month too and had to buy my first backpack.
I was pondering sizes and settled for an osprey farpoint 70. The main pack is around 50l and there is a smaller daypack with 15l which can be holstered on the top. Pretty similar to yours.
I couldn't see myself with a much smaller pack, and even the 50l and nowhere guaranteed as a carry on. Anything that's a guaranteed carry on is just way too small.
I am pretty happy now that i dry packed it. Couldnt imagine anything smaller or bigger, but it should be mentioned that it wasnt on the road yet.
since you are happy with it good for you..
these packs, you can strap hard to reduce size.. well, at some point if your item has reduced, you can even stuff the mini bag inside the main bag to go less bulky
well maybe in future you may consider 30L-42L class for travel light (everyone start from some size)
I read in a artofmanliness post (which I know is mostly worthless) that when choosing a backpack for travelling you should consider something that's not too big and has bland/dark colours so you don't stand out as a tourist. Do any of you take this sort of thing into consideration?
Having a backpack will almost always mark you as a tourist no matter what.
Trying to not look like a tourist is going to be impossible most of the time, the rub is to try not to look like a naive tourist.
>not to look like a naive tourist.
ie putting your camera around your neck.. speaking your native language among your group members in foreign soil, walk with map/gps device constantly in your hand, and whatever that make you stood out like you are not in control/familiar with situation/location
*well, the locals also backpacks in their own country anyway