Of all the things I bring on this trip, two of the most essentials are my backpacks. Heck, there wouldn’t be things if I didn’t have a bag to carry them in, pardon the obvious.
Anyway, these are my backpacks:
Yes they are blue. And yes I don’t like blue but don’t ask me how I got both in blue. Each separate story, each long story.
I love it! It’s just right for my size and just enough to fit my essentials for a day hike. You can see it had been badly worn out in terms of dirtiness. For it had gone through shine, rain, dust, sand, smoke and oil with me. The only gripe I have is that it is not compressible making it quite hard to pack it into my big backpack when I’m on transit. Though the reason is cause it has a foam padded back an strap which had indeed prevented it from sticking to me when I sweat and helped to maintain a shape to hold heavy loads. It also has a tidy mesh pouch inside that had hold my netbook or water pouch in numerous occasions. Guess it is as good as a daypack can be. If only it’s not blue (you may roll your eyes now), then again I’ve told myself it’ll have it’s own dirty character colour soon enough anyway, which I have been achieving quite well, so be careful what you wish for.
Backpack – Gregory Jade 60
I love it as well, despite being blue but at least it borders on green. It is like my ‘house’ where all my belongings will fit in there. 55L (as I bought XS), may have been too big for me but fortunately the design was fitting and it has many belts to compress down its size. Though I must say the dangling straps can look strange and can be annoying when you want to check it in and wouldn’t want them tangle on conveyor belts. It does seem a bit silly to under-pack, for you are still carrying the extra weight of the bag itself, but it can be a blessing when you are trying to fit everything in including my daypack. Its easier to pack everything in a bigger space and then only compress it. Only gripe is that if only the front access a little bit bigger to make it easier for me to retrieve big items at the bottom. Anyway it have a good support below right at my lumbar, where the weight can be properly distributed to my back and thus cutting my shoulder some slack. I have done about 6km walk in it with about 13kg load before and survived. Let’s see if it will take me through trekking in the Himalayas.
Choosing a backpack and daypack for long term traveling
When choosing a backpack, make sure the size and measurement are right for you as you want it to fit nicely and most of the weight should sit properly at your lumbar.
When you’re looking for a daypack, think of your usual activities, be it walking in the city, trekking or hiking, to ensure it can hold all your daily essentials. Bonuses are things like fitting your luxury netbook or compressible when not in use.
Have both the bags compatible for each other. If the daypack is not compressible, try to make sure it can be pack into the backpack along with your belongings. You wouldn’t really want to be squished between two bags when you’re on the move in an extended period of time, not only you’ll look silly but your shoulder would surely suffer thereafter.
So there you have it, halfway through my trip with my house on my back and still going strong. Now onwards to bring it for the ultimate test – conquering the Himalayas!