Part 2 – what to pack it in!!!
Obvs, as a kiwi backpacker, I am not toting a suitcase (although I do when I am travelling for work – the samsonite b-light non spinner version, in case you wondered – it has the highest volume to weight ratio)!, so what pack to choose???
my perfect travel pack!
Packs close to my heart, but not for travel
packs that came close, but didn’t cut the mustard
- So I broke up with the Northface Angstrom 30 as even though it was the perfect size, and I love the stretchy side and pack pockets, it was hard to get it open easily and get stuff out of the bottom (they no longer make these, but the closest is probably the new Northface Aleia
- The Minaal 1.0 got a lot of hype and was massively oversubscribed on kick starter. But she got relisted on eBay after one use as while she was pretty, she was really tough to pack and couldn’t take much volume – the ‘scoop side packing’ made it unwieldy and cumbersome. It is also a really heavy pack, and without a hip belt. I really really wanted to love this pack as the design was lovely and the founders are fellow kiwis, but I just couldn’t get over how tough it was to get gear into the pack relative to my tortuga air! Shame – maybe they will come up with a design at some point that works for me…
- I flirted with the idea of buying a Tom Bihn Aeronaut but couldn’t get my head round the fact that it is really a duffel bag not a backpack (but it does look nice)
- The Eagle Creek 35L Systems Go Duffel Pack looked promising – it opened all the way down, was designed to take Eagle Creek pack cells, and had a nice form. She also got relisted on eBay after one use, as the back straps were crazy uncomfortable
- I did manage to stick with the Lowe Alpine eclipse 35L for six months (until something better came along). It is comfortable, super light weight, useful for hiking and travelling, opened all the way down one side, but it looked too much like a hiking pack, and I prefer something a little more unobtrusive when travelling.
the pack that i am in a semi MONOGAMOUS relationship with!
- So, I am currently in a semi monogamous relationship with my Tortuga Air She fits most of my requirements! She is easy to pack with a great clamshell opening, has the handy side opening laptop pocket, and more space than I actually need. However, she isn’t particularly pretty (aesthetically it is a bit like carrying one of those old IBM laptop backpacks around), nor lightweight. She weighs 1.1kg – I would like them to figure out how to make it weigh 700grams, which my gossamer gear pack weighs, and can carry a heavier load. I would like this pack more if she was a bit sexier and had a hip belt. But she is the best pack I have ever had, though fingers crossed someone will make one that meets all my requirements….. (black, sexy, clamshell opening, less pockets, a hip belt, lightweight fabric).