After much deliberation…particularly on Skott’s part, we have chosen our backpacks which will carry all of our worldly belongings for the next 12-15 months. In selecting our bags we had a wishlist based on some research we did on other RTW blogs. The three main must-haves for our new “homes” were as follows:
1. Must have panel entry.
Everyone laughs when I call this “front entry” but essentially, this is what it is. We wanted to be able to access the stuff inside our bags easily, instead of having to dig from the top as you would have to do with a top loader.
2. Must be comfortable and a good fit with our height.
I found that with many of the unisex bags, the hard, support panel built in to lie against your back was too high and sat right behind your head, almost pushing your head forward. Annoying!
3. Size Matters.
We’ve each done backpacking trips before with hugely over-sized bags. Skott’s Australia bag was the size of a small city. We sold these with absolutely no regrets knowing that the smaller the bag, the better especially when we do our 780km trek across Spain.
So here’s what we chose:
Shawna’s Bag: The Women’s Kelty Lakota 65L
-Neutral colours of grey & charcoal;
-Panel entry zips all the way open (some were just a J zip, this is like a U);
-Narrower straps and shorter back panel fit really well;
-Separated compartment at the bottom that you can also access from the front;
-Great price! $150 + tax
Skott’s Bag: Deuter Quantum 55 L
-Made by Germans (Skott’s very proud of his heritage);
-Neutral colours (Skott’s other favourite was lime green and we decided this was a deal breaker);
-Has a small day pack that clips off. (We didn’t like the ones that zipped to the main bag because when the bag is full, it’s hard to zip it on and off);
-Skotty got a deal from Fresh Air Experience so the price came down from $250 to $199.
We are using packing cubes to keep everything organized. This was another recommendation we came across in other traveller’s blogs. I just did a trial run of packing last night and I think these are going to be amazing. All of my shirts are in a full cube; my skirt, dress and shorts and leggings are in a half cube; underwear and bikinis are in a quarter cube; and my toiletries are in the smallest cube. (Watch for our post on what we’ve packed coming in the next couple weeks as we narrow everything down).