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travelinroze Dec 18th, 2006 08:35 PM

backpack help
My fiance and I are headed to Japan for 3 weeks in January. We have been given advice to carry backpacks instead of our wheeled suitcases. We will be traveling by JRP staying in different cities for a few days each. We know that we will not be spending great amounts of time carrying the luggage; just from city to next city's hostel by train. Any more advice on whether backpacks would be better than suitcases?
Also- if we do go the backpack way, it's necessary to cover the flaps and straps that get caught in airport conveyor belts, correct? Any advice on where to get such a cover, what type, etc.?
Sorry for the cluelessness here. We're new to traveling with backpacks. Thanks!

thursdaysd Dec 18th, 2006 08:52 PM

I find a backpack much easier for train stations - there are usually lots of stairs. If you get a convertible pack you can zip the straps out of the way for flights. Take a look at the Eagle Creek website. If you have an REI store nearby they'll let you try out their packs in the store, loaded to whatever weight you say.

travelinroze Dec 18th, 2006 09:32 PM

any ideas on a relatively inexpensive (college student priced) backpack? i like the eagle creek packs, especially those with removable daypacks, but am hoping not to spend that much.
i keep finding packs similar to eagle creek's designs but by high sierra. i am unfamiliar with the brand and am curious if it is any good.

thursdaysd Dec 18th, 2006 09:35 PM

I haven't tried the High Sierra brand. The most important thing is to try out the pack with weight in it, and make sure that the hip belt is taking most of the weight. Otherwise it all goes on your shoulders and you'll be miserable.

fuzzylogic Dec 19th, 2006 02:20 AM

Hi - concur with other posters, sort of. If you are buying a pack you will use again and again then do try it on in the store, especially if you are female and small - in which case look for the packs made with a harness sized for a female frame.

But if you are only going to be carrying it for a couple of hundred metres at a time - and assuming you are going to keep the weight down to around 12-15 kg (which should be ample for a three week trip) then it doesn't matter so much.

Can't you borrow one? Or try ebay and see if you can pick up a bargain - and then if you will never use it again - sell it on, or give it away.

The type where you can zip away the harness - sometimes called travel packs - are a fine idea if you not going hiking!!

Hoshiko_Rei Dec 19th, 2006 03:37 AM

Bacpacks will be easier especially the train station in Osaka. To get to city you actually have to climb lots of steps and there are no escalators nor elevators, such a pain.

And especially if you are in Kyoto, and staying in Higashiyama side where getting to a ryokan in the closed off streets where no cars are allowed and cobblestone paths.

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