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Advice on bag size

Posted by canadian8 on 21/4/2013 at 20:52

Hello everyone,

I've seen here and elsewhere that there is always some debate over optimal bag size. I can also understand the pride it seems many have in their minimalist approach.

I've decided on the Osprey Farpoint (original, I know), but I'm now debating between the 55L and 70L options. Most seem to recommend bags in the 55L range. For the Farpoint, a 70L is actually a 55L main pack with an attached 15L daypack (so "55L" is 40+15). When people recommend a 50L backpack, do they mean total or specific to the main pack?

I'll be traveling primarily in SE Asia for about 2.5 months. This is my first backpacking trip. I'm sure I can pack within the smaller pack before leaving, but I am also planning to get a suit made while I'm there, so I want to have the room to bring some extra things back. That said, I don't want to be lugging around a bigger pack regretting my mistake.

I was planning to get the 55L until I saw this youtube video (link below), which shows a woman wearing the 70L, and it doesn't seem that big. I am a 6'2" male. Video:

All tips, recommendations, and insights welcome!


#1 canadian8 has been a member since 21/4/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by caseyprich on 21/4/2013 at 22:53

I usually travel with a 45L and an accompanying day bag that can fit my kindle and some basic stuff I'll need during the day . . . ok, it is a man purse. A 15 L day-bag is more than I'd ever need, but I like to have it slung across my shoulder and easy to swing to my front if I'm entering crowds.

My 45 L does get full at the end of my trips after I've accumulated gifts and when I throw in my shoes to put on my flip-flops and I stuff in my jeans and fleece. If you get a bag with good external straps that can really save you the shoe and fleece room. I'd get the 55L as you're a bigger guy than I am and so you'll have bigger clothes - but look for a smaller day bag. You may want to have a bag that sits in front rather than attaches to the back to keep valuables in, especially when in transit around bus stations and such.

If you're getting a full suit and will continue to travel, I might suggest mailing it home. You don't want to bury it in a bag and carry it all over the place - that can't be good for it. And a suit jacket tends to take up a lot of space.

#2 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by canadian8 on 24/4/2013 at 20:47

Thanks for the info. I'm definitely leaning towards the 55L option. The daypack actually attaches at the back or front, which is convenient. Also, the more I look into it, the more I'm starting to think that the idea that I could get a quality bespoke suit for cheap was a bit of a mirage. Sounds like quality actually tends to be low. Perhaps I've missed the boat on that opportunity.

Regardless, thanks for the insight!

#3 canadian8 has been a member since 21/4/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by wdunkley on 29/4/2013 at 12:09

Canadian8, which bag did you go for in the end? Was it sufficient enough? I was looking at the Osprey Farpoint 70, but am leaning more towards the Berghaus Jalan II

#4 wdunkley has been a member since 29/4/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by Geer1 on 29/4/2013 at 12:25

I would go with the 55+15. My bag is actually an 80 L bag(not sure if the 80 includes the day pack with it or not) I just make sure not to over load it.

To me 55 L total seems quite small and I don't believe that I am a heavy traveller. If you need to carry a light jacket, long pants, long shirts, shoes(all of which I recommend) that space is going to get used up very quickly.

It is important to have the day pack because then all you have to do is carry your big bag when travelling between stops and then leave it at the guesthouse and have the small pack to carry what you need during the day or for short multi day treks etc.

If you plan on doing lots of walking with your backpack then I guess I would try and slim everything down to fit in a 55 L bag but most people don't do that much walking with their bags(at worst maybe a couple kms to a bus station etc if you are too cheap for a tuk tuk/moto).

#5 Geer1 has been a member since 14/9/2012. Posts: 540
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