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Budget Travel Gear Yo Nellie, which backpack should I git? Questions and answers on gear related topics (i.e. backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, hiking boots, stoves, etc.).

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Old 07-24-2003, 04:12 PM   #1
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I'm planning on going to Europe for 6 months and I'm having a hard time finding a backpack. There isn't a store in my town that sells them so I can't go try any on. I have been looking on line and there is so many out there. I was looking at Eagle Creeks New World Journey for Women. If anyone has an suggestions please let me know. Thanks
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:17 PM   #2
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Welcome TravelGirl, nice to have you :-) Where are you from, that might help get a location for you to try some on....and in the mean time did you check this link BackPacks

Dio or Crio might be able to give you a female perspective on packs when they come on in the next day or so.

Again Welcome to TravelPunk.com

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Old 07-24-2003, 04:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcom. I actually live in Northorn Florida. I used to live in Edmonton, Alberta. What part of Canada are you from?
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:42 PM   #4
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Northern Florida huh, i will start to try and help you find a place to try on some packs, when you do get your pack, to break it in and get used to carrying it, put some stuff in it and go for a hike to make sure its comfortable, last thing you need is to be uncomforable treking in some remote area of a country you have never been to.

I'm from just outside Toronto :D
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:17 PM   #5
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Ok found a site that might be able to tell you a store you can go to in your area of Florida, try this....

Outdoor Rec Stores In Florida

You can price shop with the original link I gave you in the previous post, and a store, and see which is the best deal.

I dunno if your paranoid about shopping online, but its pretty safe and I have been doing it for over a year with no problems, its up to you.

Hope this is of some help :D
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link. It doesn't bother me to buy on line. But I was just hoping for some insight. I'd hate to get to Europe and my pack falls apart a few weeks into my trip.
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:44 PM   #7
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Ya that woudl really suc!!! I think that would be right up there with going to an outhouse and finding out the hard way there is no toilet paper



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Old 07-24-2003, 07:38 PM   #8
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hey travelgirl, welcome to the boards! here is a link to the backpack that i am thinking of getting: http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDis...08000&langId=-1

it sho looks purdy, is reasonably priced, and even better comes with a day pack! it is made for a woman's body, so you don't have to worry about uncomfortable straps digging into your hips or under your armpits (think really terrible underwire). as far as i know, it is small enough for carry-on, but also has the demensions to comfortably fit all of your belongings. another nice pack is http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDis...08000&langId=-1
again, it's a pretty good price, but i'm sure you can find better. Jansport is a good, dependable brand, and once again you have your day pack. this one has great hip belts to transfer your load onto your hips because that's where our strength is, whereas guys have the upper body. if you choose against these packs, just make sure you find a pack with panel loading, internal frame, and lockable zippers. most packs have padded straps and hipbelts, so you shouldn't have much trouble there, same with getting one with a variety of side pockets. if you can, try and get a pack with a removable day pack -- there is nothing fun about a day out in town while lugging around a giant pack!

am i forgetting anything, guys?

hope that puts you in the right direction!

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Old 07-24-2003, 09:11 PM   #9
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I think you just about covered it, Dio might have some input as well B)
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Old 07-25-2003, 04:13 AM   #10
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Welcome to the boards TravelGirl !

Great advice from the Mods!
I like the links to the packs that youre thinking of getting, Crio, but my only criticism is the "top-loading" factor on both of those links. Underneath the cover on top is a draw-string that closes the backpack. Those are hard to secure. they dont have zippers that you can lock together, preventing a person to being able to unzip your bag. They basically snap together on the corners, or in the middle to hold the top in place. Someone can easily unsnap the top and theyre in.
Also, Ive found that its a bit of a pain searching through your whole bag by digging in through the top. Imagine coming home from the grocery store with a paper sack filled to the top with all kinds of crap and you have to stick your arm all the way down to try to find a pack of gum. Its kinda like that, only the backpack is longer.

With a backpack that zips all the way around, it makes it much easier to find and go through your crap, easier to pack, and there are holes in the zippers so that you can buy a lock and lock them together-preventing easy access to the contents of your pack. Ever had an old shoe box filled with stuff? Take the top off and its easy to find stuff. Thats similar to a backpack that zips all the way around. Unzip all the way and all your stuff lay before your eyes, making it a cinch to access anything.

Eagle Creek is one of the better brands and you will see lots of them owned by other backpackers. Heres a good one- Backpack with daypack and zipper all the way around

Hope you find a good one !
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Old 07-25-2003, 07:13 AM   #11
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I got a cheap Columbia pack at Oshman's - they have some good stuff at great prices.
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Old 07-25-2003, 10:53 AM   #12
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thanks for advice, TP. The Femme Nikita does have front panel access, doesn't that make a difference? i hear ya on the lockable zippers, though. I'll keep my eye out for one.

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Old 07-26-2003, 06:10 AM   #13
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Columbias are very respectable packs, Ill say. they definitely make nice products.

I think youre right about the Nikita, Crio

i clicked the link, then clicked on the larger image and saw the top loading part and that "strap" running down the center of the picture blocking my view of any zipper. But, I just re-read the description and it does mention the front panel access. In that case, its all good
However, it still does have the non-secure top-loading factor the bothers me, but maybe the found a way to solve that problem too
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Old 07-26-2003, 09:48 AM   #14
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Any suggestion on how big of a pack I'll need for 6 months? I'll be going to a bunch of different climates so I'll need to bring a bit more clothes than normal. Do you think 4800 cu. In. / 76 L will be enough?
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Old 07-27-2003, 06:22 AM   #15
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I think youll be fine with that size, unless oull be climbing Mt. Everest! Ive seen people travel that long, with smaller backpacks.

One pair of jeans and a pair of khakis along with a med sized jacket or fleece can cover you throughout the winter. If not, you can always break down and buy a cheap winter jacket, one or two pair of warm socks, and gloves. In fact, a jacket is probably the only big difference in how you pack, in my opinion. If out of your 6 months of travel, the last one or two months are winter, buy a cheap jacket at that time. No use carrying one for the first four months without ever using it. Make sense? When you return home, youll have a nice souvenir to wear for many more future winters.
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Old 07-27-2003, 06:27 AM   #16
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Hey Travelgirl, youre in good company. Three of our moderators hail from Canada as well as a few other members! Youre sure to feel at home here
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Old 07-27-2003, 04:11 PM   #17
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okay heres my 2 cents. I've been on two trips and for each trip i took a different backpack. trip #1- I took an MEC Brio 60 backpack. it was 62 L and it had a side access panel with a drawstrip top loading design. I hate that backpack! Just because I spent half the time trying to get something out of my bag. The side zipper wasn't as convenient as I thought. The size though was adequate for me. The second trip that I went on I took a Serratus pegasus backpack. It's actually a travelpack (zipper goes all the way around) and it's about 70 L I believ. This one is waaaaay better. Trust me to whomever is listening GET A TRAVELPACK. they will save your life and your sanity.

As for size I left both trips with room to spare but came back with a full bag. That is the key. I think 62L is a lot for a trip, but it's the souvenir shopping that will fill it up at the end of your trip. Always make sure that you don't leave home with a jammed up pack. don't worry 76L is completely enough. I know you'll prob be taking heavy sweaters etc..that fill up your pack, but don't get a bigger pack because you'll end up crawling. The weight will be to much.

Isn't it funny how you can identify nationalities by what type of pack their carrying. Mec/serratus/arcteyx/nadex-canada, Jansport/rei-usa, karrimor-uk, oh crap i forgot the aussie brand. but anyways that's how your can identify people. B)

travelgirl i;m from vanncouver. nice to meet ya.
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:58 AM   #18
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Great advice, Dio!

I agree about leaving home with extra room in your pack, as you will come home with souvenirs. I brought eight pairs of shoes home from Spain(7) and one pair Adam. Gifts for my dad, my bros and me . Needless to say, that took up some room. I also unloaded some of my original content and left it in Spain to make more room for the souvenirs. I would suggest buying little trinkets throughout your trip to conserve space, then, in your last country before heading back home, do the bulk of your souvenir/clothes shopping.

Travelpacks with the zipper going all the way around, really is the way to go. Its just sooo much more convenient.

As far as those backpacks, Ive only heard of the 2 USA ones
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Old 07-28-2003, 07:35 AM   #19
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Great, thanks for all of the advice! Any other advice you guys could give to a first time backpacker would be appreciated. I've been to Europe twice before on bus tours, but this will be my first time on my own.
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Old 07-28-2003, 06:06 PM   #20
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you might wanna try getting a backpack off ebay, they have new and used, getting a used one might be good because it will already be broken in and more comfortable than a brand new backpack. i got a really nice North Face Galileo off ebay for 132.50, brand new even comes with a carabiner, sunglasses, and a swiss army knife!

oh yeah and TP you might wanna take off the galileo in your backpacks section, they quit making them last year i think
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