Backpack for Interrail (Western Europe)

5:46 a.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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This summer, my friends and I are going on an Interrail-trip around Europe. We will be away from home 22 days and have to carry everything we need during this time in our backpacks. Our route covers Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, so it will get a bit hot too.

I guess we need somewhere between 75 and 100 liters (4500 to 6000 ci) capacity for that, but I have no idea which backpacks are any good. I'm about 190cm (6' 3") tall and weigh in at around 87 kg (192 lbs) and I've picked some packs which looked good to me:

Osprey Aether 85: at REI, a review

REI Mars 80

High Sierra Long Trail 90: at Amazon, review 1, review 2, review 3

ULA Catalyst: review

These are all internal frames, but it seemed to me that external frames wouldn't be as comfortable to carry.

About the price: I'd prefer to spend as few as possible, but I also don't want my pack to break after a few weeks of use. What packs would you recommend?

Edit: added links to reviews, reading through them right now

Just figured that it would be awesome if I could somehow carry my snowboard with the pack, but that is no must have.

10:06 a.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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If you are going to live out of a pack for three weeks, you need to try it on. There really isn't a good way around that fact. For example, Osprey makes some super nice and comfortable packs. However, I know a couple of people (right around your height) who the suspension hits the wrong way. Head down to the nearest store and start tossing them on... all that you can find!

I am 6'4"/185lb and enjoy my Gregory Z55. Be sure to give Gregory a try as well.

10:11 a.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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Take a look here, the quality is very good and prices are reasonable. MEI has been making these for a long time and I own a couple several of their packs.

While you are at it, learn to pack light.

4:45 p.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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The Gregory packs look good, they seem to be about the same price level as the Osprey Aether 85.

My favorites so far: Gregory Baltoro 70, Palisade and Shasta.

I guess in the end I will have to make two decisions: Cheap (eg High Sierra) or expensive (ie Osprey or Gregory), and if I go for expensive I have to select one of the companies :-/

5:23 p.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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You can find those expensive packs for a bit less if you are patient and have the time! Best of luck on the hunt... nothing better than a new pack.

May 24, 2018
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