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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 04-11-2006, 01:57 PM   #1
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Ok so I went to the store and tried all of these on, but I am still unsure which of them to choose; if any.

Kelty Tornado 4200
I think this pack may be too big. My trip is less than two months long, but I am also looking at my pack as an investment for future (hopefully longer) trips as well.
I also liked the side pannel acess in addition to the top loading feature.

Kelty Storm 3600

The size of this one seemed to be more appropriate. I also like that on both the Kelty packs there is an expandable pocket in the front that I can shove my empty daypack in (since none of the packs I looked at had detatchable ones).

Lafuma Hunza 50
This pack was the most comfortable (but that may have only been because of the way the straps were adjusted) and I liked the size and the fact that it had a rain cover.

So have any of you nice folks ever used one of these or have any general suggestions?
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:06 PM   #2
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You gave the general likn for the last pack, so I only saw the first two... I'm no genius with these things, but I'd probably try and look for one that comes with a detachable daypack....

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Old 04-11-2006, 02:20 PM   #3
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hmm I can't post a link directly from Lafuma but this is close enough (the one I tried on looked a little different).
Lafuna Hunza 50
I'm undecided about the whole detachable daypack thing. They seem so small and the way this trip is working is that for the first part I am staying in one area for a while and taking weekend trips, so I think I would prefer to just take my bookbag and leave the pack where I'm staying and then just empty it out and attach it when I move around with the whole pack.
Do people tend to take a bookbag and a pack or do more just stick to the pack with a detachable daypack?
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:38 PM   #4
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In the end, just go with a pack that fits you well, is comfortable and has the features you want. If you don't like a detachable daypack, it's no biggie-- there's no rule that says you MUST have one!

I personally don't know much about Lafuma. I do know that Kelty is fairly reliable. From what I can tell a lot of people use them as a "starter" pack and work their way up to something a little more advanced (such as something geared more towards mountaineering, brands like Dana Design / Marmot / Arc Teryx etc.).

Keep trying stuff on and fiddling around with the straps and everything. That's the best way to make your decision. Good luck!!
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:27 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice/support. I am going to be heading home from school tomorow, so I think I shall look around my home town at some packs and if I do not see anything riviting I shall go with the Kelty 3600, since I do not know much about Lafuma either (but it was really pretty in the store).
The issue with the daypack may be a little bit of my own neurosis, where I do not want to show up somewhere with my pack on my back and my bookbag on my front and people look at me as an idiot for not geting a proper pack (yes I am aware of how dumb that sounds but that is how my brain works, especially after a few drinks like right now...) but in the end I think I want to take a seperate bag with me, I was just unsure how common this was anymore.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:50 PM   #6
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They all look decent. If you are judging them by fit load them up with 25lbs and try it on in the store.

The third one looks the best to me, but thats just a quick look. Marmot has some really good packs if you are willing to buy online or look elsewhere
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:14 AM   #7
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Lafuma's a good brand, though I don't have any personal experience with it, and I have friends that swear by their Keltys (it seems to be a Boy Scout thing). I love my Gregory Shasta, but it's a pricey pack unless you get it on sale (or used) like I did. If you're looking to make an investment, however, it's definitely worth a looksee. I'd also check out Arcteryx and Osprey, both of whom make terrific stuff. For a long-lasting pack around the 4000-5000 cu range, I'd look at paying $250 and up--though it's definitely possible to get a decent, well-made pack for less. Try Sierra Trading Post for deals.

Honestly, though, comfort is key. Get one with a comfortable waist belt and decent suspension, and remember that the length of your trip doesn't mean so much as what you'll be doing and where you'll be going. You'll pack basically the same amount for three months as three weeks--unless you'll be spending time in a number of climates (or one changing climate) requiring lots of layers or doing a number of activities requiring special gear (ie, doing both hiking and clubbing). Making a basic packing list before you buy a pack is definitely not a bad idea.

In my days selling travel gear at REI, I told people to take their suitcase or travel-pack around the store and load it with the types of things that they're planning to take (some stores let you do this, some don't--if the return policy is good you can always take it home and do this, then bring it back if you're not happy with it). That way you can actually visualize how packing it works and how much you'll be able to fit, in a way that the weight bags and pillows just don't show. Then, of course, put it on your back and traipse around the store for *at least* fifteen minutes or so. Any less time and you don't have an accurate idea of how the pack works.

I've found detachable daypacks to be, typically, somewhat uncomfortable to wear (usually they are kind of small, too). Also, check to see how the second bag is attached--some of them are attached by just a small zipper or a single clip, which can be a huge security hazard if you're walking through a crowd (easy to undo = bad). Just something to keep in mind.

Hope all goes well!
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