I'd have to agree with jareduk on this one.
#2 humpdawg has been a member since 18/5/2009. Posts: 40
I might steal the thread then!
I'm going to SE Asia for a month and a half, maybe a couple of weeks more, anything in particular to look out for in a backpack? Are any brands especially good? I'm guessing around 50 litres as a max is what's recommended. Although I have spotted this:
used a tinyurl as the original link was massive.
#4 bails87 has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 23
Bails87: good job hijacking the thread. No one else was using it.....
The Osprey packs are quite good. I have a Kestrel 48, which doesn't appear on the page your link goes to. My partner has a Kestrel 38 (fits her size better), which does show on there.
One thing to think about is the difference between top- and back-loading packs. Ospreys are top-loading, but they also have access from the bottom (the so-called sleeping bag access), which is handy. Back-loading packs often have a zip-off daypack included. We're spending 5.5 weeks in Cambodia and Viet Nam starting late this year, and will be toting a separate daypack with our Ospreys.
Top-loads tend to be narrower relative to width. Back-loads are wider relative to width. Boxier, I guess you'd say.
Deuter produces a good range of packs, and Northface is also a good quality brand. Basically, you'll be well-served to go to a shop and try on lots of different packs, see how they fit you (many variables among shoulder straps and waist bands of the different brands and models). Ideally, you would be able to load the pack in the shop, and get an idea how it feels with travel weight in it.
One other thing to consider is a bag for your pack. Sounds funny, but essentially these are bags you can put your larger pack into when you have to check it at airports. Keeps the straps from getting tangled in other things and is also lockable. Osprey and REI make one, and I believe Deuter does as well.
Fifty litres is probably a good top-end limit to carry. Depends on how much you feel you can do without (more done without the better, but it's all personal). There's a thread on here -- maybe under gear? -- called something like "What I'm packing". You might check that out. The rule of thumb that's been knocking around for a long time is, lay out everything you want to take; pack it, then take out half.
You'll acquire things as you go along, most likely. Backpacks are like closets. No matter how big they are, they will fill up. So, how big a closet do you want to haul around on your back?
Thanks for taking the time to reply, just for reference, the link was supposed to go to the North Face Terra 60 at Cotswold Outdoor, it doesn't seem to quite work though.
Although I suppose 60 litres will be too big so I'll leave it.
A friend has already recommended the Ospreys, and as a mountainbiker I'm aware of the Deuters, their hydration packs at least are very well regarded. I'm not looking for anything mega expensive as I don't know how much use it'll get in the future, but I'm aware you have to pay for something decent.
#6 bails87 has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 23
I bought a 55L Eagle Creek backpack with a detachable 20L rucksack for a 3 month trip last year. It was quite an investment but I definitely feel like recommending it. It has a front panel which makes accessing your stuff in the pack really easy and it's super comfy - I didn't experience a single back-ache despite a lot of excess luggage! The rucksack too is really well thought out & I use it on its own now I'm not travelling. Oh, and it looks pretty cool too :)
Looks like a good pack. Eagle Creek makes pretty good gear (though, as you noted, they can be a bit pricey). Looks like it has an access panel at the bottom, as well, which is very useful.
The bottom bit is actually an extra waterproof pocket (maybe that's what access panel means - I confess utter ignorance in backpack matters besides the fact that I love mine!). I used it to carry my filthy shoes & anything that might leak.
The whole backpack is pretty water-resistant even when you don't use the incorporated waterproof cover - my bag was accidentally dropped in water at the slow boat stop in Pakbeng. My clothes were dry and I got away with a quick wipe down using a dry towel.
OK, enough gloating about my backpack I promise!
Okay, I think I've found 'the one' (as the old saying goes!).
Lowe Alpine Airzone Centro 45+10. So up to 55 litres of capacity, it felt well made in the shop, has got a good vented back, built in rain cover, big side zip for an extra way into the pack. I'm very tempted by it. I think it's best that I go for this and force myself to pack relatively light, rather than get something with 75L of capacity, which I'll probably be tempted to fill if it's there.
I'll have to deal with the daypack conundrum later on!
#11 bails87 has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 23
The 45+10 looks good. Lowe makes good products. Sounds like you tried it on and it suits you. You'll be thankful later (as will your back) that you didn't take on a 75L backpack. The 10L day pack must be the small bit on the top, yes?
And hey, it has an ice ax attachment, in case you want something to fend off aggressive touts! ;)
Haha, it does seem silly that packs come with these things that 99% of people will never use doesn't it! Anyway....the "+10" is because the top of the pack expands, it's not a removable day pack.
#13 bails87 has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 23
OK...got it. Expansion room.
My Osprey pack, being top-load, also lacks a zip-off day pack. So, I'm taking the knock-off North Face day pack I bought last year in Ha Noi (sorry, North Face, but it's actually a pretty well-made pack).
Have a great journey, and don't trip over your ice ax.......
I have found Kelty to offer excellent value for the money, I took one of their redwings to SE Asia for three weeks and it was perfect, even including tons of souvenirs. Also a tip in general about getting your money's worth, look for specials on last years models, that's what I did and the bag was great.
#15 jclarkson has been a member since 10/9/2009. Posts: 35
True (about both Kelty and buying previous models). When I bought my Osprey, it was "last year's model". Aside from colors, though, I couldn't tell much difference from the newer products.