Author Topic: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?  (Read 4765 times)

stlbrah

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I've been using the typical backpack. I got for free from a credit card (probably around 15-20L, think of a typical college kids' backpack). I took it to southeast Asia and didn't feel like I was able to pack enough, I had to do laundry on the trip which wasn't a big deal really, but it was kind of a hassle to have to be so conservative with clothes, especially when outdoor activities and exploring are being done where you get dirty.

These are high paced backpacker type trips and a rolling suitcase isn't an option unfortunately as it would reduce enjoyment. I also refuse to check bags. I did this twice and got robbed both times. And I know several people who had them lost and never saw them again. It is not worth it if you have a choice.

I wanted to check on opinions, and maybe there is a better deal out there that someone was aware of. I came across this. It is a whopping 40L and claims to be fine as a carry-on. I like to stuff my bag under the seat in case selfish rule breakers take up the overhead with their 60l rollers, but this isn't a dealbreaker if it doesn't fit under seat.

http://www.rei.com/product/863335/rei-vagabond-tour-40-pack?cm_mmc=cse_PLA-_-pla-_-8633350001&mr:trackingCode=65C2AD52-0089-E311-90E9-BC305BF82162&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=plaonline&mr:ad=54066225640&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=70926592480&lsft=cm_mmc:cse_PLA

I just can't get over the price. On top of that, I was looking at another $30 to get packing cubes to put in it.

FLBiker

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2015, 09:47:58 AM »
If you're backpacking, you need a decent backpack.  I can't really speak to this specific model, but I'd suggest trying it on if you can, especially if you're going to be wearing it for hours at a time.

KCM5

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2015, 10:07:24 AM »
The packing cubes really make things easier, too. I got mine from Rick Steves and they're worth it. Especially just to keep clothes contained when you're rummaging around for other things. Although if you get a 40 L bag, a full set may be unnecessary. Make sure you're not buying more than you need.

As long as you're not planning on buying a new pack every trip or something, buy a new bag. You'll use if for years and it feels good not to be annoyed by your luggage.

Also, I second trying it on, first.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2015, 10:32:59 AM »
Keep an eye on REI's outlet page.  Right now it looks like there's only one option:  http://www.rei.com/product/888873/jansport-katahdin-40l-pack-2014-closeout 

I snagged a 40L pack for $50 before an international trip. 

Fit is important, so you could try on a bunch of packs in a store and search google shopping for a specific model on sale.  Or you could buy from an online retailer with an easy return policy.  (Save your packing slip & receipt from REI purchases and you can just return them to the store). 

I'm also of the mindset that occasionally spending a larger amount of money for an item you'll be using repeatedly is not a bad idea. 

I used packing cubes for the first time a few months ago and I really like them.  Especially when I was packing clothes in a backpack.  DH made fun of me putting clothes in a bag so I could put them in another bag.  But my pack was way more organized than his pack on the trip.  Here's the kind I got:  http://www.amazon.com/eBags-Slim-Packing-Cubes-Grasshopper/dp/B0014DY7V0/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1443803433&sr=8-5&keywords=packing+cubes+ebags

lbmustache

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2015, 10:36:38 AM »
I know nothing about backpacking but I am a believer in good luggage. Not to say I'm blowing my money on Rimowa or anything, but I need something that's durable with a good amount of space.

Also seconding packing cubes. I bought a set from eBags 3-4 years ago and they have been one of my best purchases. They're on sale now too: http://www.ebags.com/category/travel-accessories/packing-aids/packing-cubes?lastsearchterm=packing+cubes

hyla

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2015, 06:03:25 PM »
That's a reasonable price for a good backpack.  I spent probably $160 on a similar sized osprey backpack 10 years ago and don't regret it a bit.  It's durable and still in good shape, and I've used it for travel (fits in carry on bins), weekend hikes, backcountry skiing, schlepping rock climbing gear, and many other things.

The one thing I would suggest is go to a store where you can try packs on, and walk around in them (with weight) for at least 10 minutes to make sure it is comfy and fits you.  Also, consider that as well as airline/travel specific packs, many outdoor brands also make good packs that are meant for hiking/skiing/etc. but happen to fit well in airline carryon bins (that's what mine is) and those are an option too. 

stlbrah

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2015, 10:53:24 AM »
Thanks, all. I ended up getting a 50l bag for my birthday last night, so I guess the decision was made for me, LOL. I don't think I will have any problems getting it on a carry-on as it takes up less space than the ridiculous roller bags people bring on. I am still thinking off picking up a couple packing cubes.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2015, 12:16:27 PM »
Well that sounds like an awesome conclusion to your situation!  Happy birthday! 

stlbrah

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2015, 01:46:13 PM »
thanks!

birdie55

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2015, 01:47:54 PM »
I would recommend these instead of the heavier packing cubes.  They are much lighter, actually weight almost nothing and made out of ripstop nylon.  There are multiple sizes and some sets, I have the toiletry organizer and also bought two different sets with different sizes. 

http://www.rei.com/b/eagle-creek/c/packing-organizers?r=category%3Atravel-and-luggage%7Cpacking-organizers%3Bb&ir=category%3Apacking-organizers&page=1


rockstache

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2015, 02:39:48 PM »
Do you guys who recommend packing cubes do so primarily for organization, or do you believe they are actually space savers?

AllieVaulter

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2015, 03:08:15 PM »
Packing cubes help with organization, for sure.  But they also help you pack more things in less space.  The clothes in the cube are compressed and taking up as little space as possible.  It's easy to remove and replace the cubes, so you don't have to dig around for your clothes.  They help avoid wrinkles because while you're not digging through your clothes, you're also not messing up their folding. 

This is pure speculation, but I expect they will also help your pack last longer.  The stress of compression is on the packing cubes, so your backpack doesn't have the same strain on its zippers and seams. 

rockstache

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2015, 03:12:49 PM »
Thanks Allievaulter, those are great points. I've been eying a set at my local Marshalls and hoping they go on clearance but wasn't sure if I should justify them to myself. I've just started traveling with only a carry on and I find it so freeing.

lizzzi

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2015, 03:20:55 PM »
I think they are more for organization. (And organization saves space, right?) They make getting at your stuff much easier, and if God forbid you have to open your bag for TSA at security or for the customs people or whatever, you're going to be very glad that your stuff is in packing cubes.

KCM5

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2015, 07:21:53 AM »
It's mostly organization for the packing cubes. Also, I find that every time I go on a trip even if I don't buy anything my bag gets harder and harder to pack each time because things are no longer in their place. The packing cubes help with that issue. Also little things, like when I share a bag with my spouse or my kid, their clothes don't get mixed up with mine. They're really great.

mskyle

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2015, 08:46:52 AM »
Ikea sells decent packing cubes - they're very inexpensive, though not as high-quality as some of the others (e.g. there is only one zipper instead of double zippers). I love packing cubes and they do seem to make the space go further.

JoJo

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2015, 01:52:21 PM »
I also like packing cubes – I bought some at JcPenny’s about 10 years ago for $10 and still use them – one for underwear & socks and the other for misc stuff (lotions, medical kit, loose odds & ends).  I can’t imagine traveling without them.

StetsTerhune

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2015, 08:12:10 AM »
Lots of good suggestions for general travel. good bag, packing cubes can be hugely important, depending on the trip.

But to answer OP's original question -- yes, you're being a sissypants. As far as I can tell, you're thinking about getting a bag because you had to spend 3 minutes washing things occasionally?

If you're traveling through multiple climates, or camping, or need to bring a laptop for some reason, I'd totally get a good bag and some cubes to stay organized. But for backpacking in SE Asia?!?  I've backpacked in SEA for six months with a 30L bag, and that was with a quite a bit of camera gear.

Here's what I brought to Indonesia for 2 weeks this year -- 1 pair swimsuit (that looked more like shorts), 1 pair board shorts, 2 t-shirts, 1 long sleeve button-down.  smart phone and charger. wallet and passport. I did bring a small backpack, but seriously considered just stuffing everything in my pockets.

lizzzi

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2015, 11:42:21 AM »
Well, I'm just a sissypants girl, but I'm guessing that even seasoned traveler backpacking dudes might want to brush their teeth and maybe put on some deodorant and shave once in a while. Or have a pair of long pants to wear with the long-sleeve button-down shirt.

StetsTerhune

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Re: Should I get a new Traveler's Bag, or am I just being a sissypants?
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2015, 12:29:14 PM »
Well, I'm just a sissypants girl, but I'm guessing that even seasoned traveler backpacking dudes might want to brush their teeth and maybe put on some deodorant and shave once in a while. Or have a pair of long pants to wear with the long-sleeve button-down shirt.

lol :) yeah, you got me. My wife carries the toiletries these days, so I'm definitely cheating. Although a toothbrush is the only thing she's carrying for me that she wouldn't otherwise be carrying. No deodorant, and I just buy a disposable razor when I feel like shaving. These are not techniques I recommend to others. And certainly no long pants. Swimsuit and button-down shirt is as classy as I need to be.