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coolbluewater Jun 29th, 2006 06:51 PM

What to pack your gear IN when you travel to CR
Hi all,

Though I've seen plenty of posts of what TO pack, I'm curious to know what you pack your stuff IN when you go to CR. I don't want to bring my wheelie bag (someone had that advice and with a 25lb weight limit, I don't want to waste 10lbs on my bag!). But I don't know if I should buy a plain duffel bag, either. It seems too messy. Do you use a backpack?

What do you use and recommend? Lightweight and waterproof I assume are musts.


sandyc Jun 29th, 2006 06:55 PM

I use a duffle bag for my check-in and a backpack as my carryon. Duffle bags are messier, but they don't weigh anything. You can also put an empty duffle bag inside in case you want to bring back a lot of coffee or other souvenirs!


glover Jun 29th, 2006 07:04 PM

I bought ebags "Weekender Convertible" $59 and travelled around Panama (whose internal flights have a 25lb max) for 2 weeks. Took only this and my healthy back bag. What a relief to travel light! I really like the bag, holds more than you'd think. Lightweight. Durable. Check it out, it gets raves:

dcsam Jun 29th, 2006 07:19 PM

I purchased a Pacsafe bag for our upcoming trip. Slashproof and can be locked to something in the car or in the room. It's a bit larger than a high school kid's backpack.

hopefulist Jun 29th, 2006 08:17 PM

I am really, really fond of my Columbia Pakmandu travel pack. It has a detachable daypack (which I like but is rarely attached - some folks don't like that feature) and a good suspension system that tucks away for the times when I want it to act more like a suitcase than a backpack. I really don't like wheelies for many reasons and if you're only packing 15-20 pounds, not many active travelers need them. My bag isn't water proof but I siliconed it so it's very water resistant; I pack a tall kitchen bag in case I need more waterproofing.

If you go to this recent thread on the Thorntree Forum I've given a few more opinions and linked my favorite outfitters and a couple of great new packs REI is selling:

I hope you find just what you're looking for. Happy trails!

coolbluewater Jun 30th, 2006 02:34 PM

Thanks for the recommendations. There was a $10 off sale on ebags for the weekender convertible so I bought one in pink for $49.99 plus $5.95 shipping. I'm excited!

Now how silly is it that I am buying stuff for my CR trip that is 7 months away?! I guess it's just one way to keep myself excited.

bluesramsrock Jul 1st, 2006 12:41 PM

I purchased a rolling padded cooler for a recent cruise. These have large wheels and a handle that collapses.

We packed many of our water related items (water shoes, towels, goggles, etc.) in the cooler for travel and checked it as a piece of luggage.

We then used it to take iced beverages to the beach!

Unfortunately they don't hold up extremely well in the baggage handling system so I just bought another one for our CR trip.

I bought this one at Sam's Club, cost about $22. It included a "jumpsack" that attaches above the cooler when the handle is fully extended. The sack can be used to keep the shoes and towels in
when the cooler is being used for cooling purposes!

randyf25 Jul 5th, 2006 12:24 PM

This talk of light packing has me wondering. Is this advice best suited for those who are travelling all over Costa Rica or for all travellers?

We intend on running everything out of our hotel for the week we are there. I was thinking that a normal suitcase would suit us fine, should I rethink this?

sandyc Jul 5th, 2006 01:26 PM


If you're only going to one place, a regular suitcase won't be as cumbersome but even so, packing light is always a good idea. I don't know where you're going, but a lot of hotels there involve climbing hills or stairs, and heavy suitcases can be a royal pain either for your or whoever handles your bag. Also, just curious about how far you're planning to go for day trips. Going from SJ to Arenal for example is usually worth it to move -- driving always takes longer than it looks on the map.



hopefulist Jul 5th, 2006 03:45 PM

If you pack everything you need in a carry-on sized bag you don't have to check it and you won't arrive without it. My in-laws just returned from a trip to Spain and France and the airlines lost their luggage going and coming home - they still don't have it back. Also, it's wonderful to have less of a burden luggage-wise no matter where you are in my opinion. When you discover how great travelling light is, it becomes kind of a game to see just how little you can comfortably travel with. Have a great trip!

randyf25 Jul 6th, 2006 10:28 AM

I never pack a suitcase I can't carry myself. I'm fairly capable so I doubt it would be much of an issue.

We are staying in Potrero and only doing a few trips (Palo Verde, Rincon de la Vieja). It's more of a leisurely trip and we really don't want to be on the move all the time. I can appreciate trying to fit a ton of things in while on vacation and I've done that as well. This time however is the first real vacation we've taken in a long time and we'll be happy just being away. :)

Regardless of where we travel we always brings clothes with us in our carry-ons and this time will be no different, so lost luggage will result in some discomfort but nothing terrible.

Still, I think I will look into potentially altering my packing just to see what's possible.

sandyc Jul 6th, 2006 07:11 PM

Randy, are you by any chance going to Bahia del Sol? If so, let me know how you liked it. I'm looking at it for January.


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