Travel

Travel Backpack - What do you prefer?

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  • Mar 22nd, 2018 12:03 pm
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Feb 1, 2009
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Ajax

Travel Backpack - What do you prefer?

I'm looking to get an affordable and decent sized backpack I can also use as a carry-on. I don't really want to carry around a roller bag with me if I can avoid it.

Any suggestions on any brands? I'd say my budget is max $100.
27 replies
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Oct 18, 2014
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HK
Just to clarify, a backpack that meets the carry-on sizing, while carrying as much (or close to) as a roller-bag?
Sr. Member
Feb 1, 2018
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Montréal
The gold standard backpack for travelling carry-on -- though it will run you more than $100 -- is the Osprey Farpoint 40 (men's) or Fairview 40 (women's). These are hybrid packs that can be used as either backpacks or business-friendly luggage; the advantage is that they don't scream "backpacker" but can actually look decent in a boardroom. The disadvantage is that they aren't technical packs, so if you're planning to hit the hiking trail, you may want a proper hiking pack.

If you're looking for a hiking pack, best bet is to go to MEC or a proper outfitter and get fitted. I've been using a Gregory Jade 38, which I love because it comes in women's XS (I'm a petite 5'1"). But you really want something that fits well, and that will vary from person to person. Osprey, Gregory, Deuter, and MEC's own house brand are a handful to check out.
Sr. Member
Feb 1, 2018
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Montréal
McKinsey wrote: The best of both worlds: wheeled and backpack, very versatile:

https://www.tumi.com/p/wheeled-backpack-01038371621
Yegawds, no. Wheels add WEIGHT to backpacks, making them incredibly uncomfortable to carry in backpack mode. Plus, they take up some of your precious bag inches in terms of maxing out carry-on space. I'd say only get a wheeled backpack if you plan to roll it 90% of the time -- in which case, why not just get a sturdy roller bag?
Sr. Member
Feb 1, 2018
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Montréal
redkulat wrote: Thanks everyone, going to take a look at all the options. $100 was my base but I am open to spend a bit more if it's a great backpack.
I definitely recommend *trying on* anything you purchase -- and pack it properly, with bag weight, and spend a while walking around the store so you can get an idea of what it would really be like to tote around the world. Also, buy from a place with a good return policy, so you can test pack all your stuff in it and try it out at home.

A good backpack is an investment. The right one can go around the world with you for years. Don't be afraid to be picky.
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Jan 2, 2009
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We have the Osprey Farpoint 40 and that’s all we use for traveling , that back pack has lots of neat storage compartments . We do use the travel cubes inside the pack for ease off clothing separation. When we fill the cubes with clothing we roll them up instead of folded this way you can pack a lot of stuff in there. When we go for 2 weeks or so we do drop of our dirty laundry off at a laundromat or the hotel takes care of that.
Deal Guru
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Apr 26, 2004
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Mississauga
I recently bought the eBags TLS Motherlode and used it on a trip to Southeast Asia. It is a fantastic bag. You can pack a ton of stuff into it but it still counts as carry-on. It's well-constructed, has tons of storage pockets, and it very thoughtfully designed in all sorts of ways. It was awesome to just breeze through the airport without having to wait at the baggage claim.
Sr. Member
Mar 14, 2008
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Toronto
Another vote for the osprey farpoint 40. I picked mine up from chainreactioncycles a few years back. That site had the best price, quick shipping and no additional duty.
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Mar 1, 2016
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toronto
Pay more, and you will not need to buy another one later. Plus Osprey has a lifetime warranty .
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Aug 15, 2015
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Markham, ON
What will you be carrying in your carry on? What kind of trip are you going on? Don't you normally travel with a bag on a daily basis.

If you know your traveling needs, it is much easier to buy a bag for yourself. Lots of good options out there at a budget of $100.
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Oct 18, 2014
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HK
Poppwl wrote: What will you be carrying in your carry on? What kind of trip are you going on? Don't you normally travel with a bag on a daily basis.

If you know your traveling needs, it is much easier to buy a bag for yourself. Lots of good options out there at a budget of $100.
True, it looks like many of us are recommending various products based on various travel needs.

Backpackers vs business travelers. I got to admit, the Osprey looks great, never heard of it before!
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2004
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Markham
+1 for osprey, use it daily for work and as my personal item on planes
Sr. Member
Feb 1, 2018
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Montréal
manho wrote: over your budget, but again, worth investing into.

Patagonia MLC
To me that looks more like a bag meant to be used as a shoulder / handle bag 99% of the time, and only occasionally carried as a backpack. The lack of a hipbelt, and the boxy shape, mean that it is probably REALLY uncomfortable to carry.

YMMV. But personally, if I'm buying a backpack, I'll be evaluating it for backpack comfort first and foremost. Any convertible features would just be nice-to-have extras.

Given that it's the same price as the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview, I know which one I'd choose. Again, it depends on how you plan to use the bag most of the time.
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Jan 31, 2013
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Red Deer, AB
moommen wrote: Another vote for the osprey farpoint 40. I picked mine up from chainreactioncycles a few years back. That site had the best price, quick shipping and no additional duty.
same here, we got them from chainreactioncycles as well!

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