Duffel Bags/Back Packs

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Duffel Bags/Back Packs

Postby kseal » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:19 pm

Hi All,
I am going to Egypt in a couple of weeks. I am sure this topic has been answered before somewhere, but I will ask it again :) .With everyone's experience with G Adventures do you recommend using a back pack or duffel bag (with wheels) to get around? I have both but which would be the most practical? To add I am also going to Turkey and France afterwards, so lots of airports to walk around. Thanks for any advice you may give.
KS
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Re: Duffel Bags/Back Packs

Postby clairew85 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:41 am

I prefer to use a wheeled duffle, find it easier to get around with, depends if you are walking long distances though as then a back pack is easier. I used a wheeled duffle in southern and eastern africa and also egypt. You could always look at a wheeled duffle with back pack straps built in?
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Re: Duffel Bags/Back Packs

Postby magdalen » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:30 am

I very much prefer using a backpack. Have travelled with mine in Australia, India, Brasil, Bali, US and many many places in Europe. With tour companies and by myself. It always felt right. The most important point is not to buy one that is too large, so that you actually feel comfortable carrying it. Unfortunately, even some outdoor stores recommend backpacks that are way too big. Mine is 50l and can be expanded to 60. I never needed more, and the size forces me to pack light and well. I can carry it even when the ground would make pulling a wheeled duffle bag a pain. And, I got used to having in on my bag a lot very quickly. Now, it feels like holidays really start when my backpack is packed and on my back.

Another suggestion: Get a light zip-in backpack cover that is one size too big (Mine is L instead of M). It will protect your backpack and all the straps during rough handling in airports, it can double as a raincover. And also, if I go somewhere where I buy a lot of stuff - like I did in India - I simply buy a very light small duffle locally, which is usually cheaper, to have some additional space. I then strap it to my backpack, and pack both together into the backpack cover so that I end up with one piece of luggage only when I fly back.

Have fun in Egypt!
Magdalena
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Re: Duffel Bags/Back Packs

Postby courts09 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:32 am

I used to use a wheeled bag but have been traveling with a backpack for the last few years. Way more easy for negotiating crowds or jumping on and off public transport. Another important consideration is to make sure you get a backpack with a good frame. It will save your back and make life much easier. I also find using a backpack generally forces me to pack less!
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Re: Duffel Bags/Back Packs

Postby jaycw » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:18 am

Another thing to consider is that A LOT of people suffer from back problems and pain and thats where a rolling duffle bag is the perfect solution. I am only 30yrs old and used to be a competitive muay thai kickboxer until I herniated a disk in my lower back. Backpacks are no longer an option in my life so I have to plan my travels around it. If you are on GAP trips its easy using a duffle bag and back packs USUALLY are not needed as it is all point a to point b travel and vehicles take you exactly where you need to go (usually right infront of your hotel/stay), this means you have no need to lug around a backpack for very long. As an independent traveler, I just plan ahead better now. Takes away a little bit of freedom with spontaneous style travel but you make due with the conditions you are given. Besides... not everyone has months at a time to wander the globe, some of us need to maximize our limited time and when you plan out a route you can do it smart and never need to worry much about carry a duffle bag very far.

I also find backpacks impractical a lot of the time, very limited room even for light packers and unless you are in an airport with a trolley, you ALWAYS have to carry it. Atleast with a rolling duffle, you have an option.

Besides.. backpacks are trendy for people who wanna "look the part" in traveling, but most of us aren't going on trips which require that level of mobility.
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Re: Duffel Bags/Back Packs

Postby ingrid&alex » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:22 am

jaycw wrote:Another thing to consider is that A LOT of people suffer from back problems and pain and thats where a rolling duffle bag is the perfect solution. I am only 30yrs old and used to be a competitive muay thai kickboxer until I herniated a disk in my lower back. Backpacks are no longer an option in my life so I have to plan my travels around it. If you are on GAP trips its easy using a duffle bag and back packs USUALLY are not needed as it is all point a to point b travel and vehicles take you exactly where you need to go (usually right infront of your hotel/stay), this means you have no need to lug around a backpack for very long. As an independent traveler, I just plan ahead better now. Takes away a little bit of freedom with spontaneous style travel but you make due with the conditions you are given. Besides... not everyone has months at a time to wander the globe, some of us need to maximize our limited time and when you plan out a route you can do it smart and never need to worry much about carry a duffle bag very far.

I also find backpacks impractical a lot of the time, very limited room even for light packers and unless you are in an airport with a trolley, you ALWAYS have to carry it. Atleast with a rolling duffle, you have an option.

Besides.. backpacks are trendy for people who wanna "look the part" in traveling, but most of us aren't going on trips which require that level of mobility.


I've been on quite a few G Adventures trips and completely agree with jaycw...go with a rolling duffel. I bought a durable backpack for my first gap trip and regret it every time I use it. Go with something that is a duffel or backpack like with wheels (just not a suitcase :) ). Go with something soft and small enough that you can slide under a seat or overhead space on a train. The only exception would be if you are going to pack super light which I find difficult once you throw in an SLR, chargers, etc....or if you are a big guy and don't mind the weight. There are a ton of choices now from North Face, Osprey, etc.... A little pricey, but your back will thank you!
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