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20 replies
backpack size?
markisaustin
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Hey guys,
Next spring I am going on a 17 day long eurotrip. I am wondering what size backpack I should get? I currently have my eyes on the North Face Backtrack 50.

North Face Backtrack 50

My main question is: Is 50 L enough???
I plan on doing my very best to pack lightly and might do some small, minimal souvenir shopping.
I am also thinking about taking a light canvas messenger bag aside from the day pack included with the North Face Backtrack to use for light day excursions. I would just empty it and roll it up and put it in my main backpack when I am in airports/train stations.

I could always go bigger, but is it necessary? If so I am also considering the Eagle Creek Switchback 22.

swill
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I took a 16 day trip with a 33L backpack and it was fine. You can see everything I took in my bag in this post.

I also took a lot of camera gear and a laptop (don’t take a laptop). I took a sturdy metal tripod that I strapped to the side of my bag. You do not need to take a tripod. Trust me… Smile

I used my camera bag as my ‘day pack’. All I had in it (other than camera gear) was a garbage bag if it started to rain. Otherwise I did not carry much of anything on me while I was out and about. I think a light canvas messenger bag would do fine.

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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finnegan
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I usually take one of those tiny tripods for taking pics of yourself (and your mate) when no one’s around to do it for ypu

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

swill
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yes, the tiny tripods are a good option because they are very light. another option that is very good for backpacking is the Gorillapod (or other variants of that idea).

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Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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jeffstravels
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That is more than enough if you know how to pack light.

yojimbo
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I’m sort of in the same jam as the op. Last time abroad I went with a duffel bag and it was a colossal pain in the ass. This time around I want a proper pack. I visited Gander Mountain and Dick’s. The packs I’ve found seem better suited for actual mountain backpacking as opposed to a travel bag but if that’s the standard I’ll live with it. No Eagle Creek packs were in stock at either place and I was left with a selection of High Sierra and Kelty.

The Kelty Redwing 3100 caught my eye http://www.trailspac…

Both stores had this High Sierra pack http://www.ebags.com…

I’ve been looking at this pack on Amazon http://www.amazon.co…

I’m on the market for anything suited for a 10-14 day trip: shirts, pants, underwear, socks etc, not expecting to buy too many souveniers. Any advice or recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

swill
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The one from Amazon looks like a pretty reasonable bag for a 10-14 day trip. You will want to pack reasonably light anyway, so I would not be too worried about the size. Since the big part of the bag totally zips open, you can pack your bag more effectively which will help.

The High Sierra Summit looks like a reasonable pack for the price, but keep in mind that it is a mountain pack. This means that it is only top loading and can be a bit of a pain if you are living out of it. It will be more comfortable to carry, but if you get it, put your socks and underwear in large ziplock bags so you can locate them easily and quickly at hostels.

I would go with the Amazon one before I went with the Kelty…

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Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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Packer
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Whatever you do, DON’T get a top-loading pack only. Make sure you can lay it on its back and unzip like a suitcase. It sucks if you need something that you packed at the bottom.
All the bags listed above are a good size. The problem is that first-timers think that if you have the room – you must fill it to the top. If you go for 17 days, you DON’T need 17 different outfits! Pack for only 7 – 10 days and do laundry once or twice. Your bag should not weigh over 25 pounds. If it does, you will not enjoy all the stairs and hopping on and off trains. LIGHTER WILL MAKE YOU HAPPIER!
many people have also just used rolling suitcases they may already have at home and carry a backpack like you use at school for your day bag. For a 2 week trip, buy a name brand rolling suitcase for as little as $39.99 and spend the difference you save on enjoying Europe!

augustin25
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Packer wrote:
Whatever you do, DON’T get a top-loading pack only. Make sure you can lay it on its back and unzip like a suitcase. It sucks if you need something that you packed at the bottom.

I agree to an extent, and I love my panel/front-loading pack, but have made a number of trips with a top-loading pack and it’s not that bad.

swill
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I would not go with a top-loading bag if I had the choice. It is a bit of a PITA, but its not a deal breaker…

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
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Madmads
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It’s not the size of the pack that matters, but how you pack it.

I have been humping a pack across the world since 1975 (yeah, I’m old). I have carried every kind of pack imaginable and a few years ago I realized that there are times when I just don’t feel like humping or dragging a big backpack so this is now what I use: http://www.eaglecree…. It is the best of both worlds. You can roll it, carry it and it fits the carry-on requirements for most airlines (something you need to consider when traveling these days). I have 3 of these http://travelstore.r… that I use as days pack and for shopping, carrying groceries, laundry and such. When not needed, they go in my backpack and do not take up any space.

If you pack smart, this bag will take care of all your needs for as long as you want stay in Europe. When I go east I am there no less than a month (usually much longer) and this bag is the absolute best backpack that I have found. Also, Eaglecreek has a lifetime warranty so this is another plus.

jasmine2
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Thank you for the advice…

jasmine

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Thank up very much…

jasmine

KRF888
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I have a similar question, but I’m going to be backpacking for 9 weeks. It’s my first time and I’ve never bought a backpack before…I’m assuming I’ll still want something small, around the 3,000-3,050 cubic inches range and I’ll just have to do laundry? I’m also traveling in the north in may and then working my way south for june and july, so i’m going to need a variety of layers. can anyone else suggest the kind of bag i’ll need?

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swill
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@KRF888: The way I pack is as follows. Pack for 1 week and plan your trip so that you give your self an extra 1/2 day every week to do your laundry. Unlike if you are going to the office every day, no one will notice or care if you wear the same thing every day. I pack stuff that is very universal, all my pants can be worn with all my shirts etc… In my first post in this thread you can see what I packed for my last trip…

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funkyj
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No matter how much I travel, still have not conquered the packing “issue”, though after my last trip, I am very close to getting it right.

In response to types of packs: I have used BOTH the top-loading hiking packs and the front panel loading travel packs. Both have features I desire, too bad a combo of the two has not yet been designed.

Why I like the travel pack (this is the one I have in women’s):
-easy to load/pack because the zips open in the front and it can lay flat
-straps zip into a panel/compartment so you don’t worry about straps getting ripped/broken in transit
-mine (and many do) has a rain cover in a stowaway pocket
-detachable day pack
-compact

Why I like the hiking pack (this is the one I have):
-more room
-lots of pockets
-more adjustable strap and suspension system
-sleeping bag compartment (though my particular travel pack does have one – but many don’t)

Whatever bag I use, I always use Space Bags to compress my clothes and gear.

Happy planning!

funkyj
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P.S. ADmins: why do I have a line though one of the sentences?

swill
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funkyj wrote:
P.S. ADmins: why do I have a line though one of the sentences?

I fixed it. It was because you used the minus sign on both sides of the sentence without spaces. for example, if I remove the spaces before and after the words in this example: – my example – I would get this my example.

It is a shorthand way to do markup to text.

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
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funkyj
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Thanks! Wink

Hurock
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Hello all,

I have the same dilemma, I can’t choose between my 70L hiking backpack and my 55L travel backpack. The 70L one seems way too big for the 3 weeks trip I’ll be doing next June. After some reading, I think buying the hiking backpack wasn’t necessarily a great idea…

Also, I plan to bring my DSLR camera with me, which comes with 17-50mm, 50mm and 55-200mm lenses. So, do you think using the 55L(includes tiny daypack) would be a wise choice to make? And do you have suggestions on which kind of camera bag I could use?

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imatrojan
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This guy’s got the right idea on pack sizes: http://www.youtube.c…

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