If you’ve read Tim’s first post, you probably think that this is a silly and childish blog. It’s not. It’s about serious travel things, like buying a backpack.
When you’re looking for a backpack, don’t ever underestimate the importance of a perfect fit… like I did back in 2009.
<Insert dreamy music>
The winter was bleak, my bank bare. Tim was already away on his travels and the photos of tropical lands and stories of poo (?!?) filled me with a jealous madness.
I booked my flights using my overdraft, so money was a real issue. I found a bargain (£30) 65L unisex backpack. It had compartments and hooks, even a zip-off daypack. But it didn’t fit, and a backpack that doesn’t fit really hurts.
This time I knew I needed to shop around…
<Insert back to reality music>
Three things I learnt very quickly:
- I’m so small that even a small bag on the smallest setting can be too big.
- Choice is limited (I was not going to be able to compare bags as extensively as I’d hoped).
- I needed to shell out for a more expensive brand (this would not be the budget oriented blog I’d hoped it would be.)
Extra vertically challenged (like me)?
I tried hundreds of bags recommended for the short arse, as advised (alright, more like fifteen but in what felt like hundreds of shops). I did everything I was supposed to: filled them with weights, stood around in them, did a silly dance around the shop. But it seems that 5’1” (and a quarter) is impractically small and there is only one brand to humour us shorties: Osprey.
I’m not saying we’re all the same, even if you’re as short as me, you may be blessed with a longer torso. So try two of these bags first: Womens Deva 60 by Gregory, TFX Lhotse by Lowe Alpine or Terra 55 by North Face. These were the closest to being ‘small’, but each one was the same: close but no cigar. If you’re a lucky one though, and they fit, keep shopping and let us know the outcome. If they don’t fit, save yourself some time and head for the Osprey’s.
I wanted the Aura. I liked its size (I was determined to pack light), its colour, its convenient hip-belt pockets. I liked that the bag didn’t come up over my head. Unfortunately, the bigger Ariel just fit so much better.
Oh well, I guess I’ll have to pack those extra shoes now…
…But I might put them in Tim’s bag. Ha.