recommend a good back pack

Old Apr 6th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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recommend a good back pack

Am goin to Guatemala in may for 2 1/2 weeks and would like to use a back pack. Am 59 y. o. woman who will be packing light. Would prefer a good fitting one but not very expensive. Can any one recommend a particular brand? How about High Sierra? Should I get one with or without wheels? Thanks again for all your help.
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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We use the weekender convertible bags from ebags.com. I got the recommendation on this board; they're great because they hold a lot but allow us to travel light. We gave up using anything with wheels because we travel to CR and in-country flights severely limit the weight of the luggage you can bring on.
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 09:23 PM
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My son has an older version of the REI Vagabond as do several other friends and relatives; I have the smaller Highhiker model. They're fabulous! Really great construction, self contained, tough, well thought-out organization and design, incredibly comfortable suspension system. I haven't tried on the new model but the suspension system appears to be the same. It's a great value at $99:

http://www.rei.com/product/754680

I personally don't like wheels. I realize they help in airports, but they take up space, add weight, and get in the way in the places I like to travel best, which have hills and trails, cobble stone streets, and narrow, wobbly sidewalks. If you can keep your weight to 15-20 max and have a really comfortable backpack (not just a suitcase with straps), you shouldn't have a problem in airports anyway. There's my 2 cents' worth! If you're interested, check out my photos and travelogues. Happy trails!

http://flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 09:38 PM
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P.S. Comfort and fit are important so if you order online be sure to order ahead enough that you can pack it around with weight and be sure you like it (or return it for something else if you don't). I like all the brands REI carries and can sometimes find them for greatly reduced prices at my favorite online outlets:

www.rei-outlet.com
www.campmor.com
www.sierratradingpost.com
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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Wheels/frames/handle add quite a bit of weight. I'd get either a normal backpack (no wheels) or a small square wheeled 21" suitcase. I think the "convertibles" are the worst of both worlds (but others disagree).
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 05:46 PM
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Suze - What do you mean by "convertible"? Just curious. My little pack is called a conversion pack because the straps tuck away so you can carry or check it like a suitcase; it doesn't have wheels and the suspension system is wonderful.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 09:36 PM
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Thanks for the info...I'll check them out. Any one use Rick Steves convertible pack? Barb
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 09:51 PM
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The 2 people I know who have one say they carry it more than wear it. It looks like a suitcase with straps - be sure to pack it full and wear it around so you know it's comfortable before your final selection. It doesn't matter to some travelers but I carry my pack on my back quite a lot and want a really great suspension system.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 07:48 AM
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By "convertible", I meant a backpack that also has wheels.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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My friend has used the Rick Steves bag that can be carried as a suitcase or worn as a backpack for years. She loves it. It is not 'structured' like a normal backpack, rather very light weight and floppy when empty.

If you can manage with it's pretty darn small size, I think it's a GREAT bag to use. It's the one that Rick demo's his own packing in.

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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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Yeah - I agree totally about the wheels, not my thing.
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