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Help me pick a daypack - Northface Recon 30 vs REI Flash 22 vs Osprey Momentum 24

Posted by adaminasia on 15/8/2013 at 11:21

Hey, I need help making a decision on my daypack for a 3-month trip to Southeast Asia, anyone have any ideas?

I'm deciding between a Northface Recon (which I own already, used to use as my school bag), a REI Flash 22, or Osprey Momentum 24.

My main pack will be a Osprey Porter 46 - that is purchased and I'm not planning on switching that for a different bag. I'll probably pack closer to 35-40 liters into the bag, but wanted the extra space for souvenirs I pick up.

Here are the things I'm thinking about
-WATER STORAGE: Want a bag that has a place outside the bag to store water bottles, to keep separate from my electronics (they all do)
-SECURITY: The Northface Recon is the only bag that can be locked, but not sure how important that is. The Osprey Momentum has strings on the zippers so can sort of be locked, but the string loops are fairly large so you can open it almost big enough to get a hand through ... so pretty much not lockable. Should I care about this, am I going to find any need to lock my bag?
-TRANSPORT: The REI Flash 22 can be rolled, making it easy to pack into my main pack. The Osprey Momentum can be clipped on the back of my Osprey Porter. I've heard this can be tough to do with a full pack, but shouldn't be a problem in my case since I am not packing a full pack. The Northface Recon I *may* be able to fit into my main pack but is quite a bit bigger, so otherwise I'll have to probably just hold onto it on my front or carry it by my side
-COMFORT: All seem comfortable. The NF Recon has padding to wickaway moisture if my back is sweaty. The REI and Osprey seem like they may as well, but obv a lot more limited.
-USE ON A FEW HIKES: I anticipate that I'll take a few multi-day hikes in Indonesia and elsewhere, and use whatever bag I bring to carry any essentials. I presume porters will also help carry some of my stuff making any bag large enough, though the Recon seems the most sturdy. It will just be a few hikes, most of the time I'll more be exploring the cities, temples, etc
-PRICE: Recon is already purchased, so is free. The REI and Osprey are both around the same cost

Anyway, I've been a bit stuck in trying to make a decision ... do any of you have any votes on which to bring?

#1 adaminasia has been a member since 22/7/2013. Posts: 20

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 15/8/2013 at 20:13

Walk into a good shop and check them out. Hard to see from internet pictures. Any day pack with zippers can be locked with small padlocks. You can buy 4 padlocks with 4 identical keys and keep 2 lots of the keys in separate places.

#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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Posted by adaminasia on 16/8/2013 at 16:33

Thanks Leonard - I did walk into a store and currently have all 3 bags in my living room :) I'm now trying to decide which two to return to REI.

I guess my question really comes down to what criteria are important in selecting a day bag? I have a good sense of the differences between the bag, but I don't know what is important. Especially regarding security and transport above.

I think I am leaning towards the NF Recon - good for security, but not ideal for transport when I have to hold onto both bags.

#3 adaminasia has been a member since 22/7/2013. Posts: 20

Posted by Geer1 on 16/8/2013 at 18:59

Just use the recon, free and lockable are 2 very nice attributes.

Transport won't really be an issue since it isn't all that often you are actually walking around with your main pack(mainly just to a form of transport or guesthouse etc). The odd place you might have to walk a little to find a guesthouse(if to cheap to use tuk tuk etc) or something like that but it is small in the big scheme of things.

Being able to lock your daypack is very handy so that you can keep valuables in it and near to you when travelling. If you have a nap or travel night bus/train it is nice to know the bag is locked to keep wandering eyes from looking through your things.

#4 Geer1 has been a member since 14/9/2012. Posts: 540
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Posted by goonistik on 16/8/2013 at 22:06

While locking can help prevent some theft, a real pro will be ready to slash your bag. So locking isn't that important to me.

In my experience, cycling backpacks like the Osprey momentum tend to have less ventilation than backpacks designed for hiking. Cycle packs are fine for short walks, and even an occasional short hike. But if hiking and long walks are in the plans.. a pack designed for hiking will be more comfy. So I guess you can eliminate the Osprey Momentum from consideration.

Since you have a NF Recon pack, you might as well use it and save the money. If you go hiking regularly a dedicated hiking pack like the Deuter Futura series will be a worthwhile investment. But for the occasional hike, you can make do with the Recon.

Remember there was a time when people used things like this

and this

So don't sweat over the backpack decision too much.

#5 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563
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Posted by daawgon on 17/8/2013 at 11:33

For my first 2 trips to SE Asia, I used the NF Recon as my one and only pack. Just because you're going for 3 months doesn't mean you need so much capacity. I currently use a 40L North Face travel pack that I love. Travel packs have the advantage of stowing away the straps for check-in with airlines (I usually carry-on, but sometimes I return with too much "stuff" and do check-in after I shrink wrap the pack).

#6 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,152
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