When you say that you’re traveling somewhere cheaply people will respond, “So you’re going backpacking?” This activity is tied so closely with your bag it is both symbolized by it and named after it. I wanted to grab a pretty small bag so I wouldn’t be tempted to over pack. After much research I realized that I would also probably need a day pack. It works out for me, because I can put all of my electronics, or most of them, in my day pack for carry on as well.
For my main bag I wanted something that would be cool on my back, I’m going to be in the tropics keep in mind, good weight distribution, waist belt, side opening, lockable, and have stow-able straps. It turns out that bag doesn’t exist. So it was time for tons of compromise. I did some research and ended up deciding on a Kelty Redwing 50. It fits my shoulders well and has venting on the back. It does have tons of straps though. I asked the people at REI what they recommended. I used to have a Osprey Porter 45, and those are awesome for carry-on, but not so much for lugging around India and Asia. It had the stow-able straps though. They make a super cool foldable duffle to go around your backpack when it’s on the plane. It gives you the benefits of the bag without getting your buckles and such broke. My only real complaint about it, having not actually backpacked with it yet, is that it doesn’t have a good place to lock it down. I can lock the zippers, but then someone can just slash my bag.
For a day pack I already have a targus laptop bag, and it’s okay, but it’s starting to get a little long in the tooth. The fabric is fraying and it’s a little big for a day bag. I could probably almost use it for my primary bag, but it’s uncomfortable. I’m looking at a pacsafe day bag. They have RFID blocking pouches, I don’t honestly care that much as I don’t use much RDIF anything, but more importantly it has wire mesh to stop people from slashing your bag and a place to lock it to a chair.
I went shopping at REi in the interim. CUE SPINNEY BATMAN TIME ELAPSE GRAPHIC!!!
I ended up getting the super bag. I really like it. It’s a PacSafe 25L daypack. It’s pretty awesome and light. My other bag was big enough that I’m using it to hold all of my clothes, before I leave for Sweden, while staying on a couch. That’s a little bigger than I want to take with me on buses and tuk tuks.
I love both of my bags, as much as you can love canvas and nylon. They shall be my companions for a long voyage. You shouldn’t get too attached to stuff I know, but it’s in our natures to personify that which we see often. I loved my old camp chair. It held me up during many a summer. That chair broke under the barrage of Portland rain and winters. I love my violin, and my old computer. That old computer with it’s quirks. A SATA power port that if plugged in would crash the whole computer, which was a pain to diagnose, and my moleskines.