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Best bag type for 3 months in Europe - duffel, rolling, or backpack?

Best bag type for 3 months in Europe - duffel, rolling, or backpack?

Old May 12th, 2017, 12:34 AM
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Best bag type for 3 months in Europe - duffel, rolling, or backpack?

I'm planning a 3 month trip across western and some of eastern Europe and I'm stuck on luggage options. My dilemma is that I need a secure bag (protection against pick pocket, or just being stolen, etc), plus one that I can easily walk farther distances with. I can pack pretty light but will need to fit all essentials for every type of weather and two pairs of shoes (one hiking and one everyday). Anyone have some good experience or insight on what will work and fit the best?
Thank you all again!
Wigginns is offline  
Old May 12th, 2017, 06:35 AM
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What do you mean by a "secure bag"? Passport, ATM, credit cards and all but one days cash should be in a money belt worn under your clothes and never accessed in public.

E.g. https://www.ebags.com/product/lewis-...uctid=10341073

I used to do multiple month trips with a convertible backpack and a day pack. (The straps zipped out of the way for flights.). Now I do them with a 22in rolling case and a day pack (from REI). You need to be able to lift the case if you are taking public transport. Rolling cases don't do well on cobbles, and don't stuff well into marshrutkas in eastern Europe, but I have now done several successful trips with one.

This is probably closest to the bag I am currently using:

http://shop.eaglecreek.com/ec-advent...Sizes=Carry-On

There are a number of other threads on this subject.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 10:44 PM
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I travel for extended periods using a LoweAlpine TT Carryon 40L. It has served me well for several years now but I am not sure they produce them any more. An ultra secure option is http://www.pacsafe.com/venturesafe-e...ack/60321.html very similar in terms of size and features but a lot more "security" features.

Arguable the most risk of losing a bag of having stuff stolen is to check it in to th hold of an aircraft so I tend to avoid that at all costs, th same with trains and buses.
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Old May 14th, 2017, 02:21 AM
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For my last trip of 2.5 months, I used the Osprey Farpoint 40 and the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack. The Farpoint is a convertible backpack. I prefer a backpack to wheeled luggage. It means I can go hands free and I feel much more secure and mobile. This combination had an unpacked starting weight of 3.4 lb (1.5 kg) and a total packed weight of 8 kg. This enabled me to use several budget regional carriers within NZ, Australia and SE Asia with carry-on limits of 7 kg. Packing light is an important consideration for me. For my travel essentials (identity, financial), I have a small cross-body purse that's large enough to fit my travel wallet, phone, small camera, iPad mini, boarding passes and a few other small items. It has internal zippers and I can make it and my Ultralight Stuff Pack pickpocket proof with small lightweight cables. In places like Barcelona, Prague and Rome, I'd suggest you adopt anti-pickpocket gear and strategies such as an under-clothing security pouch (I like Packsafe), engineered pockets (e.g., a small pocket sewn into a waistband) or clothing with pockets. On my last trip I practically lived in my five-pocket Lululemon Pace Rival Crop with a zippered pocket in the waistband at the back. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 08:56 AM
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Start at the beginning.

When you say you can pack 'light', define 'light'. ie. a specific weight you intend to have including the weight of the bag itself.

Some people consider 40 lbs. as constituting 'packing light'. Carrying that on your back if you are 5' 1", 105 lbs. female is not likely to be comfortable on 'farther distances'.

How will you travel? If you mean a walk of 30 minutes from a train station to a hotel, then a rolling bag may be fine. If you mean a 4 hour walk on a hiking trail from a bus stop to a hotel in the mountains, it will not.

The Osprey Farpoint 40 mentioned by packinglighttravel, along with the Osprey Porter 46, are two of the best travelpacks on the market and very popular with backpackers on extended trips. But you have to consider how much weight and how suitable to the type of travel you will be doing, they are.

For instance, the Farpoint 40 has a better harness for carrying on your back all day than the Porter 46 does. But the Porter 46 gives you a bit more room while maintaining almost the same weight for the bag by using a lighter harness. Just walking in cities, the Porter is going to be fine. Hiking alpine trails all day the Farpoint would be better.

As for security. That has nothing to do with what bag you buy. I consider bags with steel mesh in them such as those sold by Pacsafe to be simply a gimmick. The ONLY security to consider in regards to your bag and it's contents, is to NEVER let it out of your sight if possible and NEVER pack anything in it that you are not willing to lose if you check it with an airline and it goes to Timbuctoo instead of your destination.

You should never have money, credit cards or passport anywhere other than on your person. How you carry them on your person is simply personal choice. Pickpockets and muggers know all about money belts or hidden pockets. That's the business they are in!

The way to avoid being robbed is to be aware of your surroundings and not walk up dark alleyways at night, just as you wouldn't at home. I wear 'normal' pants with 'normal' pockets and have never had my pocket picked or been mugged yet in hundreds of days of travel in Europe.

Let's suppose you get mugged at knifepoint. Are you going to say, 'I don't have any credit cards' (meanwhile they are in your moneybelt around your waist). Really? You are going to risk that the mugger won't know to check for a moneybelt and then when he finds it, decide to stick his knife in you because you pissed him off by lying about it? I don't think so.

If someone mugs you at knifepoint, you give them whatever they want if you have any sense. It's better to be alive and dealing with the loss and inconvenience than being in a hospital or morgue. Being robbed isn't the end of your world. Trying to be smarter than a guy with a knife may be.
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