backpack or cross-body bag?

Old Jul 9th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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backpack or cross-body bag?

I'm debating on what bag to carry for my upcoming trip to France this fall. My last two trips I've taken a leather cross-body bag that fairly well, but it gets heavy with much inside of it and it gets REALLY heavy when I have both my camera and a bottle of water inside of it.

So, I'm considering getting a backpack, which I've never traveled with to Europe before. I'm worried that the security of a backpack won't be as good as my cross-body bag. Does anyone have experience with a backpack? Pros, cons?
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 09:59 AM
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I use a cross-body bag but in a nylon fabric. The bag weighs next to nothing. I prefer to have my things where I can keep a hand on top. I think if you ditch the leather bag a get a light weight replacement it'll be fine.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 10:01 AM
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Hi candj83,

I use a system of 2.

I have a small cross-body bag just large enough to hold my wallet and my cell phone. I wear this under my sweater or jacket, and the bag part sits just under my armpit or around my back. I feel that's safe as well as convenient for pulling out the phone to check stuff.

Then I wear a backpack or a backpack type purse for books, water, makeup, brushes, etc, that I need for the day. I was told about 15 years ago that I have arthritis of the neck, and the doctor "prescribed" backpack purses for me to avoid stress and weight on one side of my neck; I've been using them ever since.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 10:13 AM
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I use a back pack that converts to tote bag in a couple of seconds when I want to change the look. Beau & Ro Bag Company makes them in a couple of styles have really cute belt bags that convert to clutches.
Fun travels.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 10:16 AM
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Ebags has quite a few LeSportsac bags, lightweight & come in many configurations, plain or prints. I've used them for years and think they're great. There are a number on sale:

http://www.ebags.com/brand/lesportsac
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 10:16 AM
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Certainly a backpack is less secure than a cross-body bag.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 10:18 AM
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The issue with a backpack is security. Also, depending on the location, possibly bumping other people with them.

I have an ancient Eagle Creek bag that can be worn as a backpack or a cross-body (or shoulder) bag. In cities, it's always cross-body. But in rural areas, where we can see who's around us, one of us will where it as a backpack.

Leather bag - yes, it will be heavy.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 10:31 AM
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I use a cross body bag, but, when I use a small day back pack for extras, I just lock the zipper with a small combination lock.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 11:45 AM
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Sounds like I need to ditch the leather bag for either a cross-body or a backpack. swandav2000, I really like your method of operation...small cross-body bag with a backpack. I'll have to do a little shopping. Capri2, the Beau & Ro bags are gorgeous! Since they are leather, aren't they still heavy? I found a smaller backpack from Everlane that I think might work. I'll have to do some shopping to see what I can find. MmePerdu, it looks like there are lots of options on the ebags site, thanks for recommending!
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 12:15 PM
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Are you seeking a day bag for when you are out sightseeing, or do you need an actual travel bag for all your stuff?

I have a wee backpack for when I am out. It's easy to wear it on my chest if I'm concerned about security and it's very lightweight.

For city-to-city travel I use a soft-sided overhead-compliant backpack. Unless it's jammed full, it's easy to form-fit it to tight overhead compartments.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 12:30 PM
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Edward2005, I'm looking for a backpack that I could put bottles of water in (for myself and DH) and some other small items during our days in the cities where we walk a lot and may or may not go back to the hotel room. I'm mostly an essentials type person and might also want to stow my camera away when I'm not using it. I think for security situations if I could find one I could wear on my chest, that would work well.

I would also like it if the backpack could be my purse on a flight that I stow under the seat. Being able to have snacks and items that I like to be able to grab easily would be very handy. If I had a small cross-body bag that I could tuck inside of it on flights and wear on my body when sight-seeing, I think that system could work well for me.

I want to be organized, efficient, and secure.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 01:25 PM
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A cheap and easy solution - let DH carry the water.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 04:57 PM
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The other issue with backpacks, even small enough for a single day, is that they act like a trailer. You turn; it swings in an arc; the guy beside/behind you gets bumped.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 05:00 PM
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Agree to use in across body bag in parachute nylon - even with camera, water bottle, guide book and umbrellas it weights next to nothing - and since it;s in front of you, you know what's happening with it.

With a backpack it can be cut into or rifled and you won't know until you take it off and check.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 06:05 PM
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The cross body I used to use for my camera, water, brollie, etc caused shoulder pain. It wasn't that heavy, but I was uncomfortable all the time we were out.

Now I use a small one with a thin strap, big enough for a change purse and the eyeglasses/sunglasses that I'm always swapping whenever I go inside. Lip balm, Kleenex, and maybe mini umbrella. It's small enough to fit easily in my carry on for the plane, which is really just a computer bag.

We use a compact nylon backpack for water, camera, sweater, snacks. DH usually carries that, but not always.

I just feel better having my glasses and small bit of cash in front for ease and security.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 07:34 PM
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I prefer a cross body purse too, as many said, I don't feel like backpacks are safe unless they're only used for water bottles, guide books, etc, also hate 'bumping' into everyone with the hump in my back. Have a look at Baggallini purses, many styles, sizes and colors and made of nylon type fabric so they weigh next to nothing.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 09:55 PM
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I bring both and decide in the morning how much stuff I need to tote around. If it's not much, I through it into my bag. If it's more, I use a backpack.

Note: I never put my valuables into my backpack. My phone, cards and money always are hidden in a compartment somewhere in front of me and away from prying hands. I also don't use cameras anymore since the invention of smart phones.
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