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18 replies
Backpack and Daypack Size and Brand Questions!
K3NN3TH
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I will be trekking all of western Europe this summer in early June to Mid July for about 45 days.

I had a few questions concerning Backpacks. First of all what size would you all reccommend? 40L, 45, 50, 55, 60?
What about brands? Money isn’t really an issue, I just want to have a goood durable pack. I have heard great things from both North Face and Eagle Creek. any other suggestions?

And as far as a day pack I have heard the smaller the better, I will only need it for a camera, water bottle, guidebook, journal, etc.
Would you people reccommend a small simple backpack or a messenger bag?

Thanks,

Kenneth

Keleti
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I used to fit people for backpacks. And while some brands are better than others, it is the fit that is the most important. Most stores that sell backpacks will have weights that you can put into the packs. Have them do this – then ask them to help fit the straps for your body (some stores will offer fittings, some you’ll have to ask). Then do the rest of your shopping with the pack on. You’ll quickly find out if it is the right pack for you or not.8

Something else to be aware of – you can usually get different lengths depending on your back and you can usually have them change the waist belt depending on your hips. You will want the straps at the top of the bag (that connect to the shoulder straps) to be at about a  30-45 degree angle – you do not want to have them flat! You should also be able to take it home and try packing it – to see if the size is right for you. Again, pack it and then wear it around for at least 1/2 hour. Keep the tags on and return it if it doesn’t work for you.

I remember falling in love with bag – good company, great features. It felt terrible on!

I like Kelty bags, I have a few of those. I have a granite gear for hiking. Like most things, you usually get what you pay for. Look for the type of cushioning the bag has. If it is moulded, you’ll find it is usually more comfortable.

You may find a daypack will cause your back to sweat – so if you are only taking a few things a messenger bag will be more comfortable. I find a daypack allows me more options. If I go on a day hike (Cinque Terra) or rent a bike for a day, a daypack is more useful.

Good luck.

Mengde
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http://www.eurotrip.com/forum/tm.aspx?m=113660
 
i started this thread, it has links to pics of the bag i just bought

augustin25
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Definitely listen to Keleti’s advice and make sure your pack fits well and is comfortable.  I’m not a terrible overpacker, but neither do I pack super light.  My ideal pack would have a total volume (daypack included if it has one) between 55 and 65l, the upper figure giving me a little extra room.  I prefer travel packs because they have features like panel loading and detachable daypacks, but if you find a good deal on a quality, nicely fitting pack meant for outdoors use don’t pass it up just because it doesn’t have those things.  I have several Eagle Creek packs and they are all fantastic.  I also like my Deuter packs, and Kelty, North Face, and Osprey are all brands my friends have recommended to me.   REI has come out with thewir own line of travel packs that have good features and seem to be good quality.

Feicht
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Hehe, I probably should get a pack…. but I’m not gonna [8D]
 
I just used a nice bookbag last time, wasn’t too bad. I think it’s kinda “dual purpose”, like you can use it for camping, or school, or whatever. Kinda didn’t feel like I stood out quite as much as a traveler too (at least till I opened my mouth haha)

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
Keleti
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I worked for MEC, Canada’s version of REI (sort of). There is a link on their website, MEC, about choosing backpacks and fitting backpacks under the Learn tab (www.mec.ca), REI might have something similar. Most of it is based on hiking backpacking and there is some info on travel packs. My recommendation for people trying to decide on a travel pack (I have one that I have used for 12 years on most of my trips) and a hiking pack is to think about how long you will have it on your back for. If you think you’ll have to do a lot of walking around with your pack, consider a hiking one. If you are just going to be using it for getting on and off transport, then travel packs have a lot more travel friendly features. Now that I do mostly car trips, I finally invested in my first real “suitcase” this summer.

I agree with Feicht, a bookbag helps you blend in (as long as your clothes do too). I’ve traveled with that kind of bag too, when I am just doing city trips. Sling packs are a nice compromise.

Feicht
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Well lucky for me I guess I dress pretty generically. I usually wear plain or music-related tee shirts and “euro” style pants, anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal. I was worried about sticking out still, until I saw my first batch of people where I could tell they were obviously Americans. I really thought the whole thing about Americans going overseas wearing cowboy hats and baseball tee shirts was a myth!!
 
On a side note (not to COMPLETELY hijack the thread, but…) has anyone else ever had people just walk up to you speaking the local language assuming you’re a local? I’m not sure if we just blended in that well or what, but we started feeling good about it after a while, like “hey at least we don’t stick out like sore thumbs like that tourist over there!”

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
captain poopypants
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speaking of which, i bought SCMZZZZZZZ_V62158752.jpg” class=“bb-url”>these badboys a few years ago as a joke. needless to say they’ll be accompanying me on my trip.

Feicht
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Bahahaha!

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
titikaka
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read at “http://travelbackpacker.blogspot.com”

txchica
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I have typically used a small Adidas backpack as a daypack.
I actually bought it when I was living in Belgium and Adidas is a common brand there, so it doesn’t scream tourist. It has a couple of internal pockets, which I liked because I could put important things like my passport and wallet in there so that if the bottom of my bag was slashed, they wouldn’t fall out. It also has a couple of outside pockets which were convenient for small, frequently used items like metro tickets, etc.

ZepSe7en
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As Ive posted before check out osprey packs…I bought the Atmos 50..I believe its totally worth the $200 (got mine for 160 at ems sale) especially if you plan on using a the pack in the future. it has great breathability and comfort

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I agree with Zep….the Osprey 50 is amazing – I truly don’t think it really has a “competitor” that is in it’s class. The air suspension with it’s cooling benefits is just amazing – once you try it on, you’ll be sold on it, and once you take your first hike with it, you’ll be glad you bought it.

REI just has it on sale for $149.99 for their annual sale and I think you can get it for a similar price from other places online. I got mine when it was $200 @ REI, but I had a 25% off coupon.

cire16
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Just another POV on the Osprey advice: I was sold on the pack, then i tried it on. The frame design is such that it either feels amazing on a person or it feels terrible. I was the latter. The metal tubing contours around the waist and on me it dug harshly into my back and hips. The pack looks amazing and has some great features but just be sure to try it on with plenty of weight and judge it based on comfort, not all the great things youve heard/read/assumed… after all it is you that will be hauling the thing around for a month and a half!

jboy
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: cire16

Just another POV on the Osprey advice: I was sold on the pack, then i tried it on. The frame design is such that it either feels amazing on a person or it feels terrible. I was the latter. The metal tubing contours around the waist and on me it dug harshly into my back and hips. The pack looks amazing and has some great features but just be sure to try it on with plenty of weight and judge it based on comfort, not all the great things youve heard/read/assumed… after all it is you that will be hauling the thing around for a month and a half!


I have the older Osprey Silouette model about 9-10 years old…. it’s bulletproof.. you can overload it and it handles everthing
I’ve been able to throw at it. The alu frame in my pack was bendable most of the Osprey packs have Alu frames…(some Ti parts)
so you should be able to bend them to fit.

Depends how much you’re going to carry… the Atmos, of you go over ~35lb them it won’t handle the weight too well and you’ll suffer

Aether 70 is the best option, great thing about the Ospreys is the pack and strap down with light loads… better to get a slightly
bigger one than you need.

aether1515
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No one mentioned it yet, but I used the High Sierra Railpass backpack and absolutely loved it. I met 3 other backpackers in Europe that had it and loved it, and I’ve talked to two others on here who love it. For the most part it’s just another backpack, but the detachable daypack makes it amazing. Highly recommended.

cire16
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“The alu frame in my pack was bendable most of the Osprey packs have Alu frames…(some Ti parts) so you should be able to bend them to fit.”

If you have to bend the metal frame of a pack just to make it fit without pain is it really the best pack for you…?  When there are so many other options I just don’t see this making any sense….

auher
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Another thought – if you get the Osprey, you may want to pick up a backpack duffel (Kelty makes one) to protect it when you check it as luggage. If you don’t – you could run the risk of the mesh getting torn, or the straps getting caught in the belts. 

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No two bodies are the same so if you can tweak your pack then it’s
far superior to a standard off the shelf pack.

Problem is when you use a pack as often as I do then you’ realize that
no pack is ultimately perfect there’s always a trade off… the best feature of the Osprey is the build
quality. My friends Lowe Apline pack looks like a bag of shite and their
same age and seen roughly the same amount of action. There’s even a snowboard
holder for my pack and a foldable chair accessory… basically it’s the dogsbollocks of packs

Opsrey do their own attachable daypacks
[image]http://www.ospreypacks.com/images_products/60_550_sm.jpg[/image]

Quote:
Osprey Side Orders help you make the most of your pack. The Solo and Daylite are sleek daypacks that securely attach to many of our packs. The Crampon Pocket carries your spikes securely and safely. Our UL Raincover keeps your pack dry without adding weight to your load and the Airporter LZ stows your pack safely while traveling.