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-   -   Backpack Suggestions for Travel (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/backpack-suggestions-for-travel-162120/)

Meredith Feb 18th, 2002 12:43 PM

Backpack Suggestions for Travel
 
I'm going to be spending a month traveling Europe and then studying at a University in Germany and will be making more weekend trips. I thought a backpack would make the best luggage, but I don't know much about backpacks. Any suggestions on size, brands, features, etc.?

Capo Feb 18th, 2002 12:58 PM

Hi Meredith. For years, I've been using a piece of "soft luggage", in black, that can be carried three different ways: by hand with a handle, with a strap slung over one shoulder, or as a backpack with two straps concealed behind a zippered flap. I got mine through Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door company, but I'm sure that many companies sell a similar item. <BR><BR>Although I've been very happy with this up to now, I'm really starting to lean towards getting a similar piece of luggage, but one that has built-in wheels and an extendable handle. In fact, last time I was up at the ETBD offices/store, a woman told me this kind of luggage is now their biggest seller, replacing the kind of luggage I have. So you might want to think about this type as well, although I'm not sure if they can be carried on your back if the situation warrants it.

Mel Feb 18th, 2002 01:15 PM

First consider what you will be carrying and how long you will be carrying it for- especially if you are traveling by train, bus etc.<BR><BR>I'm 5'2" and purchased a travel bag that could be carried by Handle, Shoulder Strap and as a Backpack...it held everything but was truly torture to carry on/off the trains and such. I would have LOVED to have one of those Things with wheels...like that HUGE LL BEAN Duffle Bag with wheels that you just pull. I know "backpacks" are part of the charm, but unless yours weighs 20lbs or less- I would reconsider that versus something with wheels. <BR><BR>I came home with HUGE plum size bruises on my shoulders (from the straps) and on my inner and outer thighs as I bumped up and down the trains to my seat.<BR><BR>Have a great trip!<BR><BR>

Russ Feb 18th, 2002 02:29 PM

Those convertible bags are fine if you're not walking far with your stuff. But if you'll be moving around in a fairly unplanned, impromptu way, get a real backpack. I like the kind with a frame - you can load it up and hardly feel the weight. Kelty makes good quality, inexpensive packs - check www.campmor.com for all kinds of pack options.

Leslie Feb 18th, 2002 02:54 PM

Check out the Eagle Creek line. I have the largest duffel bag they make -- it's good for packing 4 weeks of clothes. I also have other smaller pieces made by Eagle Creek for one or two weeks of travel, and a few days. The line is for rugged travel and I've been very pleased. Eagle Creek makes many other styles, including backpacks. I bought mine through Magellan.<BR><BR>You might also check out LL Bean or REI.<BR><BR>If you definitely want a backpack, buy one with a harness that goes around your waist.

L Feb 18th, 2002 03:31 PM

Forget backpack. Get something with wide base, inline skate wheels. Lightest weight I have found is Vetrilox. It has a great handle, but it is expensive.

pat Feb 18th, 2002 04:27 PM

I bought a backpack with wheels that is "ergonomically?" built; it truly did conform to my back. It had a small backpack that zippered off that could be used as a day pack. It also had a waist harness so the pressure was not at all on your neck and all of the straps were padded. The downside is that is was expensive. The brand was the Swiss army brand of luggage, I think it is called Victorinox??. The handle is curved and rotates as you walk and the wheels came in handy with some of the long walks. I would highly recommend it. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.


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