I am looking to get a pack for a two month trip to Europe. I am mostly going to be in urban environments, but I plan on a couple of nature excursions.
I am looking for a pack that is around 50L. So far I have been looking at the Osprey Talon 44, Osprey Atmos 50, Gregory Z55, and the Deuter Futura Pro 42. Does anyone have an opinion on which one is best? My price range is in the ballpark of $200.
Loc: north carolina
The Talon is frameless, which may or may not be an issue. The Atmos has a frame which takes up a large portion of the available packing space inside. Also may or may not be an issue.
Let me add one more: after looking at various daypack options for the last 6 months, including all the packs you mentioned and more, I bought an Osprey Kestrel 32. This is a framed pack with a panel opening. It's quite comfortable with 25 pounds in it, and can probably go higher. The panel opening lets me get to my camera gear (which is why I wanted a pack with a frame -- that stuff gets heavy.) It comes in sizes, with an adjustable torso length. The M/L size has a hip belt and shoulder straps that are large enough for my large body, and the torso length was easily adjusted to fit me.
There are larger versions of the Kestrel, I think a 38 and a 48. Both of them are top-loaders with a lid pocket (more like the other packs you mentioned.)
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Just a note--the lightweight packs that most of us use for backpacking (wilderness trekking) are really not suitable for travel. If you've ever watched airline baggage handlers at work, you'll know what I mean!
For traveling I still use a convertible backpack from REI that I bought in 1992. It has back stays and a hipbelt so I can carry relatively heavy loads (even the 4 bottles of wine I bought in the south of France!). However, it has a pocket on the back into which I can tuck the hipbelt and shoulder straps, making it look like a normal suitcase. It also can be carried on most airlines. This is great for airline travel (nothing to catch on conveyor belts) and also on the occasions when I wanted to stay in a real hotel instead of a hostel. It still is in excellent condition, even though I travel a lot. I don't know if REI still sells these; the ones they're advertising with their current sale have wheels and weigh 8-9 lbs.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
If you're using a lightweight pack, you should be able to take it as a carry-on. My wife and I did this with our GoLite Jams (hers is 2600 ci, mine is 3100) and had no problem. We also didn't have to worry about the airline losing them since we had them with us the whole time.
This was the first time I've ever flown with backpacking gear, and it all worked out pretty well. Yet another case for small, lightweight backpacks.
For the record, we had to use a bear canister since we were in Sequoia NP. I was able to fit it in my 3100 ci pack along with my sleeping bag, pad, extra clothing, water, and other smaller essentials with no problem. I used the full capacity of the pack, but it worked. My wife carried the tarptent and our cooking gear.
Going solo, I'd have needed to either strap the canister to the outside of my pack or bring a bigger pack, but since we were together, the small Jams were fine for a five day trip.
Loc: north carolina
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
For traveling I still use a convertible backpack from REI that I bought in 1992. It has back stays and a hipbelt so I can carry relatively heavy loads (even the 4 bottles of wine I bought in the south of France!). However, it has a pocket on the back into which I can tuck the hipbelt and shoulder straps, making it look like a normal suitcase.
This is probably off-point, but Patagonia still makes their MLC bag (Maximum Legal Carry-on.) Ours have shoulder straps and a hip belt that tuck away behind a panel. Once so tucked, it looks like a nice small suitcase. It doesn't have stays, though, which limits the load, but it does work as a carry-on bag and will carry a surprising amount of stuff since it doesn't waste any room on the wheels/handles/frame/etc. of the roll-aboard bags. The fabric and zippers on ours (from 5-6 years ago) are substantial, and I cannot overemphasize the joy of carry-on only travel.
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