Photo: A walk in the fields near Tetebatu, Lombok.

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Posted by pezza on 17/7/2007 at 21:33

Found this site yesterday and haven't stopped visiting it since - good work guys!

I'm going travelling in SE Asia in November for 3-4 months and require a decent backpack. Does anyone know of any trusted backpack review sites?

I'm not going to be doing any mountain climbing.

Many thanks,


#1 pezza has been a member since 17/7/2007. Posts: 7

Posted by drlang946 on 19/7/2007 at 02:32

First decision is to decide how much backpack compared to luggage you want. The more "backpack" the less it looks and carries like luggage and vice versa.

If you want the "backpack" aspect mostly for short trips through the airport and around town then don't spend extra (or carry the extra weight) for elaborate backpack suspensions - a simple pair of concealed shulder straps will work fine.

However if you expect to do some off road extensive hikes with all your gear then pure backpack (with a duffle for putting the backpack in and checking in as luggage with the airline) is the way to go.

Then there is the carryon aspect - I like to travel light and only use a carryon. If that is ue pay attention to the size and consider a seperate small daypack (known to airlines as a "personal bag") so you basically have two small carryons with room enough for my 30 day trips.

try or for the luggage/backpack bags

Any well respected backpacking/camping site will have lots of info on the hardcore backpacks ie or gearguHTH

#2 drlang946 has been a member since 8/7/2007. Posts: 11

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Posted by pezza on 19/7/2007 at 20:09

Hi drlang946, thanks for all of your advice.

I definitely don't want a huge backpack as I know I'll end up filling it with crap - but I'd like one that has a separate daypack, so I can leave the main one behind during the day.

I've seen PacSafe backpack protector advertised - is this worth getting? This will be my first time travelling so I'm paranoid about my stuff getting stolen.

I'm just gonna go through your links and have some fun buying a backpack.

Thanks again


#3 pezza has been a member since 17/7/2007. Posts: 7

Posted by pezza on 26/7/2007 at 19:42

I've come across a very informative backpack selection guide:

I hope this of some use to people who are looking to purchase a backpack soon

#4 pezza has been a member since 17/7/2007. Posts: 7

Posted by drlang946 on 27/7/2007 at 00:56


An informative website thanks.

Regarding the PacSafe - it is effective at preventing quick slash and grab theft but it is hardly a formidable defense against a small pair of wire cutters. Serves to slow thieves drawing attention.

I feel this might be useful if you plan on some overnight travel on a train or bus and you are using a light weight nylon based material bag - so you can sleep a little easier but you still have to have the bag in your sight (or touch)

I use a small lock (easy to break off) to fasten the zippers more to discourage the quick zip and grab thefts and to let me know if anyone has opened my bag rather than prevent a serious theft attempt. I use a heavy waxed canvas carryon (Filson)that could not be easily cut without a bit of effort and sawing action. No shoulder straps but long enough handles that it easily slips onto my shoulder for portage.

As far as the detachable smaller backpack depending on your plans you might consider getting a relatively cheap lightweight nylon backpack - the type that fold up into a small pouch about the size of your fist - light and comfortable for day trips around town or on the beach - though it will not hold up under strenuous hiking use.

#5 drlang946 has been a member since 8/7/2007. Posts: 11

Posted by Guernseystu on 10/8/2007 at 19:44

I never use backpack, I find them impractical. All those crappy straps hanging all over the place and having to near enough empty the whole thing just to get to something near the bottom. Hold-alls are the way forward, easy access to contents, easy to stow away and don't cause back pain. Plus backpacks are just part of the travellers uniform, aren't they?

#6 Guernseystu has been a member since 10/7/2007. Posts: 108

Posted by somtam2000 on 10/8/2007 at 20:47 admin

Some great information in this thread, particularly the link across to White Mountain who I'd not heard of before. The FAQ mentioned by pezza has some great information regarding what to look for in a good pack.

I'd say the two leading brands of backpacks are Mont and MacPac. I've still got the Macpac I had on my first trip away 15 years ago and while it's not looking its best, it is still durable and ready to go -- now that's value for money.

That said, if all you're going to be doing is hanging out on a beach you probably needn't shell out A$300-500 for a top-line pack -- better spend it on a top-line hammock!

Guernseystu - what is a hold-all?

#7 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,941
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Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 2/9/2007 at 20:09

We bought my wife a cheap (probably fake) ruksack in Seam Reamp a couple of years ago.

Its now well travelled and still going. :D

#8 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by pezza on 3/9/2007 at 01:05


I ended up going for the Osprey Porter 46 in the end, as I decided I wanted a carry-on.

It seems to be a good pack and suitable for my needs.

That's one less thing to sort out before I go away in November. I can't bloody wait.


#9 pezza has been a member since 17/7/2007. Posts: 7

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