I'm going to SE Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand) for 6 weeks. I have inexpereincly bought a cheap 2nd hand black wolf cedar break backpack that is 65L +10L daypack. After reading around it seems that it is too big, and I only need a 50L backpack.
Firstly, i was wondering, is 65L too big? I wont be packing it near full when I depart, but hopefully it may come hand y in purchasing thins. Otherwise is it worth selling it and buying a smaller pack (preferably with a daypack?).
If so , does anyone have any good recommendations for a travel pack suited for the job?
#1 b3y0nd has been a member since 17/11/2012. Posts: 3
The main problem with a 65L pack is that people then pack 65L's worth of stuff in it, and then have a big, heavy load to slog around. You already know not to fill it completely, so you're already well on your way to avoiding that problem!
Hopefully it's got compression straps so you can reduce the size to fit what you're actually using. What's important is that it fits you well and that you can carry it without discomfort. If you can do that, then you're ace.
If you run out of room in your backpack for souvenirs, you can always mail them back surface for cheap, though it does take 2-3 months. I've mailed boxes from Malaysia, Thailand, and Laos without any trouble. All arrived on time and in good shape.
I think the point is not exactly the size of your backpack (I had a Lowe Alpine 65+15 that I found not too big for 1 month Thailand + Laos) but the weight. If you pack light, you should have no problem with it. I hadn't (packed as light as I ought to and as I needed to) - first trip - and in the middle of the trip I left half of my stuff in my guest house in Luang Prabang, bought a cheap imitation 40lt backpack from the market and went for 10 days to the North with it. Wasn't much easier to carry though,inspite of the reduced weight (imitation-cutting straps). My opinion : quality backpack, leave spare room, pack light!
PS I had a sea to summit 20lt daypack with me that folded the size of half a cigarette pack when not in use - extremely light and durable nylon. Found it very useful.
I'd say 65L means it will get filled up with stuff, and more quickly than you'd expect - and I could see a 65L for an around the world sort of thing - but for 6wks in SE Asia, a 45/50L should be fine, most of the room would probably be a pair of jeans and a fleece anyway.
When I travel I use a 45L and a small day pack that keeps my camera and kindle in it and other such like that (my carry on basically). I've found that if you're doing multiple climates (highlands & beaches) you pretty much pack the same amount of stuff for a week of travel as you would for a month. As for purchases - there are so many small and light weight things, fabric, statuettes, that I don't think you'll fill that much space. A lot of the flashier and bigger stuff you see will be available in every city and you probably won't want it once you note its mass-produced nature. However, as it makes nice cheap presents for family I've usually just saved a day at the end of my trip to pick stuff up in my departure city and bought the cheapest duffel bag I could find to throw it into for the flight home.
Since you're already bought it, and you're only going for 6 weeks, I'd say go ahead and use it. Don't be tempted to overpack before you leave home as you'll regret it. Just use compression straps to squish it down until you end up filling it up with souvenirs. If it's doesn't have compression straps built-in, just make some up. Get some webbing and clips from any sewing/crafts store and get some made up for a couple of $.
Thanks for your replies, I think I may just retain my bag since it does have compression straps so hopefully it will reduce the size of my stuff which will be good.
Thanks for your inuput!
#8 b3y0nd has been a member since 17/11/2012. Posts: 3