Hi guys - I will be heading to the US for a a week or so in May, and thought that I might take advantage of the better prices there to replace my backpack in my renewed efforts to downsize. I don't know what brand yet (if that matters) - that's what I'll start researching soon. But I'll aim for a quality brand (eg North Face, Osprey....).
I'm not too familiar with the stores there... can anyone recommend any particularly good ones to check out in the San Francisco area (CBD-ish area) or Wash DC area (pref near Herndon/Reston)?
Try here. Just don't know if the store is near the CBD. Their in-house brand packs are excellent value for money too.
Welcome back to the USA!
LL Bean and REI are very popular outdoor stores here in the states. Both carry a good selection of high-end items, but you'll pay a premium price for that selection and service. I'm guessing that a pack is something you'd want to try on in person before you buy? Otherwise, I might make the purchase from an online store and have the item shipped to wherever you'll be staying back in the greater DC area.
There is also the website called yelp that has reviews on everything you can imagine, including outdoor stores. As an example, you'll find a listing for outdoor stores in the DC area at this link: http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=outdoors+store&find_loc=Washington%2C+DC
When in San Francisco, have an Anchor Steam beer. Good luck and have a wonderful trip.
Hey thanks for that Goon. REI - that was the store that I had been trying to remember the name of . Looks like they are central-ish, and probably not far from where I will likely end up staying.
Exacto - thanks for the welcome back . I'm heading back to see Grandpa again, as he approaches his 92nd (!) birthday. Are you going to be in the DC area, by chance, around about 19/20 May? Regarding the backpack, yeah I'd rather try it on if I can, especially since I'll have the opportunity. We do get some pretty good ones here in NZ - but it's just a chance to check out a wider range before I commit to anything (and hopefully save a few $). Having looked at the REI website - I can see that this has the potential to turn into an expensive shopping spree - for all the things that I don't really need. I'm heading back to SEA in August so there's my motivation....
Anchor Steam.... I'll check it out. OK, I lie. I actually don't beer. But I'm sure I'll find a good substitute!
I'll checkout LL Bean and yelp, too - thanks again.