I went for a little walk around the backpacker district in the Sydney city area yesterday to try and get a bead on the best pack for me.
After speaking with sales people in three different shops, I certainly knew a lot more than I did before about everything from the physics of packing to the names of obscure bones in the body that were pivotal to correct harness adjustment.
My question is, does anyone have any experience with bags manufactured by a Melbourne based company named 'One Planet'?
Of all the sales types I talked to, the guy flogging these bags seemed the most knowledgeable. The pack I'm considering is called a Tuk Tuk and you can see it here:
I'm convinced the quality is great, but the price seemed a little steep at about $350au.
Kathmandu is selling a pack for around $200 that I'm considering, but after learning about all the things that make for good pack quality, it looks like it'll fall apart in the hands of some burly baggage thrower, so now I'm having second thoughts.
The guy selling the One Planet bags had nothing but scorn for Kathmandu, it's products and it's employees, and their advice. Then again, it's kinda his job to disparage the competition so I'm looking for second opinions here.
I used a one planet backpack travelling through south america and europe for 5 months. Held up pretty well, and it has been used for a couple of months off and on before that trip.
It still going strong, id recommend it but you never know if the newer packs have been made cheaply to increase profits..
Id suggest just buying something that feels comfortable and has sturdy stiching and good strong zips. (and is in your price range).
All the evidence I had with regards to the One Planet packs suggested they were just about as robust, yet comfortable, as they could possibly be.
So I bought one.
The Tuk Tuk bag I was looking at for $350au had a day bag that was just a fraction too small for my laptop to fit in, and I wanted the option of bringing it so I forked out for a bag the next size up.
It was a princely $429, but the advice here says a decent pack is the one thing you don't want to skimp on. My concern now is that the pack itself is so nice, someone will steal it.
Maybe I can dirty it up a bit. I have one of those combination locks and a wire that threads around bed posts or whatever, to prevent opportunistic thievery.
We'll see how well it holds up against the world in due course...