Seeking backpack advice!!

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Seeking backpack advice!!

Postby bex_oak » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:10 pm

I'm going on my first (hopefully of many) G Adventure tour, and was wondering if anyone had any advice or recommendations for a good backpack... is it ok to buy one on the internet, or is it better to try them out in a shop? Help please :D
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Re: Seeking backpack advice!!

Postby Janice08 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:34 pm

If you have the option, its better to try the pack on in a store that allows you to put weight in it so you will know what it feels like when full. Every pack fits different. The better ones have a lot of adjustments so someone who knows what they are doing can help you to fit it.

Things to look for in a pack:
- Fit - See above. If you have to buy it on line, try to buy it from a place that accepts returns if you can't get it to fit.
- Size - Most people find 50 - 70 litres to be about right. You want to make sure that you won't fill it so full that you can't lift it! If you want to avoid checking your bag on the plane check the measurements carefully. The biggest bag that will fit carry on restrictions will be about 45 litres.
- Weight - Don't buy a pack that weighs so much that you can't put anything in it without going over the weight limit on the plane.
- Construction - You want it to be sturdy enough so that it won't fall apart on your travels. Check that the zippers are heavy duty, the seams are well sewn, and there are compression straps to take some of the load off the zippers. You want the pack to have a padded hip belt as well as shoulder straps. Most people find a "sternum strap" helps to distribute the weight more evenly.
- Ability to secure - locking zippers, at least on some compartments, are very handy.
- "convertible packs" where the backpack shoulder straps zip into a cover increase the chance of your pack surviving the airport conveyer belts. Another option is to buy an overbag to protect your pack (also provides a lockable bag if the pack doesn't have one). An example is this one by MEC in Canada: http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Packs/Duf ... e-tote.jsp
- The following link is written for people wanting a pack to take into the backcountry, not on a tour, but the basic information is still true: http://www.mec.ca/AST/ContentPrimary/Le ... ckpack.jsp
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Re: Seeking backpack advice!!

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:41 am

If you're new to backpacking, definitely go to a store. It is absolutely critical that you get the backpack sized correctly or you will be miserable. A salesperson at the store will be able to give you tips on packing it, balancing your load, etc.

REI has a good page with advice on sizing the backpack to your hips and torso: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacks-torso-hip-size.html

Now ... if you're not necessarily backpacking on these trips, consider something like a wheeled duffel bag like this:

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http://www.rei.com/product/851008/high-sierra-drop-bottom-wheeled-duffel-26-2008-overstock
$97.93 at REI Overstock

Backpacks can be more difficult to dive into get things and harder to load into luggage compartments on buses or trucks. On the other hand, wheeled bags can be harder to deal with if you have to move up and down streets (especially with cobblestones or curbs) or go great distances carrying it yourself.

You can also try to get the best of both worlds with a travel backpack that allows easier entry:

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http://www.rei.com/product/837011/osprey-porter-65-travel-pack
$129 at REI

Whatever you get, an experienced salesperson can help you understand the pros and cons toward the way you want to use the pack and make sure it fits you and your travel style.
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
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Re: Seeking backpack advice!!

Postby Zuleika » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:00 pm

Ive got the Osprey (pictured in the above post) I love it, really good to travel with. I've had for a couple of years and for several trips and think it will be travelling with me for many many years to come. strong and sturdy, easy to pack and manage, good rugged wheels. LOve it. I havent had to get the backpack straps out yet but they are good and padded and seem comfortable. All the G tours Ive been on are usually OK for this type of bag using it rolling.
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