Backpack for trip around the world

2:34 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi everyone, at the end this year I'm going to start my trip around the world, first i go to NZ then Australia and Asia, now I need a really good backpack for my travels.

I've narrowed it down to 3 backpacks

- The Gregory - Baltoro 70 (2008/last 70l  model)

- The Gregory - Baltoro 75 (2011/ model)

and

- The Deuter Air contact Pro 60+15

I've fitted all 3 backpacks at the outdoor store and the Gregory 70 and 75 model fitted perfect, the Deuter fitted not so great at first but after someone at the store helped me fit it it was really comfortable as well but i had to stretch the harness all the way to XL.

No i might like the Baltoro a tad more then the ACT pro but i'm not sure about the whole suspension system it is connected with bolts and it looked to me that it could break eventually and another issue of the baltoro is wich one is actually better, the newer version ( the 65 or 75) or the older version  (70l)?

the most i need out of these backpacks is durability.

Can anyone give me some advice ?

5:31 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi Philippek,  Welcome to trail space.

Though I'm woefully deficient in my knolwledge of backpacks, eps. new ones, I can only offer this.  The very first thing I do when looking for equiptment is what you did go out and look for what I like.  After that, I read up on rewiew's I can on the items I'm interested in.  Good move on asking the advice of the people who really know backpacks.  The people here on Trailspace have a wealth of knowledge to share.  After reviewing the Packs you listed it seems that the both the  Gregory - Baltoro 70 and the the Deuter Air contact Pro 60+15 could very well be subject to construction failure.  With almost all the "american" packs being out sourced out I can very eaisily see this.  All of the packs I'm investigating are older American made (and much less expensive than a "new" pack)  Another problem I see with the Baltoro 70 is many of them are noisey and squeaky.  I've read that the heavier the pack the louder the noise.  While you may be able to stand it, some of the people your on the trip with or meet along the way might not be able to stand it and  you may be traveling the world alone.  The newer Baltoro 75 is new for 2011 and and dosen't have much in the way of reivews yet.  I for sure would stay away from that as it could be the red herring of your trip.  Warranties are nice but are not much help when you in a part of the world where you can't use them.  Though, I guess if you going abroad you might be lucky enough to have  it fail in the country where it was made.  Personally I would start over in my search and get some advice on what people here have taken around the world.  One other thing that strikes me is that the packs you looking at are all in the lower price range.  In todays world of backpacking gear sometimes you can get a good deal or get a piece of equiptment that is underpriced, but it's my opionion that you get what you pay for (when you buy it new form the store).  For the price your talking about you can get a never (or very little) used Dana Design or other quality backpack for much less. I've never heard or read a negitive thing about a Dana Design.  Even if a Dana dosen't fit the bill there are dozens of other used older packs that people bought over the years that they never used (or again have just one or two weekends of them) that would fit the bill if you willing to look for them (Ebay, craigslist, Gear trade, backpacking foums such as trailspace and others).  Good luck in your search and let use know what pack you get and how your trip goes.

6:31 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi Apeman,

Thanks for your advice,

I live in Holland and unfortunately they don't sell Dana design here, not even used packs on ebay or other sites.

the best price quality brands we have here are the 2 i mantioned and maybe ospray and Lowe Alpine, but they are more for cold weather, they dont really vantilate your back, they have other brands like Bach and Kaikkialla wich i dont know verry well, i know about the Gregory packs that they tend to squeek but when i look at the reviews its only the older models (2006) and the newest model (2008) i dont hear anything of that regard on the 2008 model and of the Deuter ACT Pro version i've only seen 1 bad review, maybe i should go back to the store and just look really specifically on the durabillity of those packs,

PS. they solled alot of nomad packs like the Nomad Cayenne 70, but i heard from another store that lately have even less quality that they used to have

7:31 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Arcteryx Bora 80. Costly, yes. But if I were doing a trip like this I wouldn't want question in the back of my mind whether my gear was going to fail. This won't. Check the reviews anywhere. Here on trailspace alone it has 5 stars from like 30 people and i havn't written mine yet because I need to organize my thoughts, my love for it gets overwhelming! If you access to try it on I believe you'd be impressed.

9:06 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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the gregory is a great backpack, i own the 65l version.  comfortable, nice features, can carry a lot of weight fairly easily and painlessly.  some of the larger gregory backpacks previously had some breakage problems at the bolts that secure the hipbelt, plastic simply breaking, but not the Baltoro backpacks, and not any of the current generation of Gregory backpacks - they fixed what was probably a design/materials problem.

my only issue for a long trip that involves air travel or rough handling on trains and buses occasionally is, how will the hipbelt survive air baggage handling? you can't remove the hipbelt, and it has a plastic 'skeleton' behind the hipbelt pads.  on long treks i have done, the hipbelt gets squashed sometimes - to the point where i have removed hipbelts and clipped them around the lower part of the pack to protect them.  not being able to remove the pack might be deemed a disadvantage.  

i asked people at Gregory about this, and they said the plastic parts of the hipbelt are actually quite flexible, and that clipping the belt and pulling the straps relatively tight should be fine.  if i were taking a long international trip with the baltoro, i would seriously consider putting it inside a well-made duffel bag during transit.  i'm fairly certain there have been other threads on this site recommending duffel bags.  i would look at lands end, ll bean, wild things gear, or north face duffel bags, but there are lots of choices.  

9:25 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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i've heard people use large "travel cover/protector covers that they can put their backpack in, there are more advantages to it as you can use it as an rain cover and you can lock it so you don't have to worry that some takes something out of the bag or put something in the bag for that matter here is an example: http://www.pro-tector.co.uk/rucksack.html

but i was looking at other backpacks too and what do you all think of the brand Macpac ? specifically the torlesse 65, and the 150$ more exphensive Cascade 65 ?

9:30 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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The suggestion by  by Jake W is a sound one if that backpack is avaliable to you.  Although the Arcteryx Bora 80 is pricey, you can save a bundle if you get it used.   In my mind there is no reason to buy new with so much unused or nearly new gear out there.  The Ospreys are another good choice.  Eveything I heard and read is first rate as far as the Bora's are concerned.  I don't see why you can't register on the USA Ebay and then have what ever pack you win sent to you.  There are a lot of people in Japan & Korea buying stuff of off eaby and having it sent over there.  Just make sure you ask the person selling the item if they will ship over seas.  You just go thru the USA Ebay Registration process.  You will also have to set up a Paypal account.  Are you familiar with how US backpacks are sized?  Here are some links to help with that.  Basiclly you measure from your 7th vertabra down to the to the top of you hip crest to get the measurement in inches(US) and this determines sizing via each maufactrures sizing chart.  Have someone help you as it's almopst impossible to do yourself.  I did it myself and got it right, but then had someone else help me just to make sure.   If you go to Google and punch in  "backpack sizing" you should be able to find more but these two links should get you started.  Go to the Gear Review section of Trailspace and they have what I think is the best gear reviews of any site around.  If you need help with the ebay thing let me know and I'll do what I can to help you along. 

 

 http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/backpacks+torso+hip+size.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/seller/custom.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&isCBA=&productInformation=0&asin=&seller=A2D25N44B4F57G&isPopup=&page=4

10:26 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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the Osprey Aether 70 was actually the first pack i fitted a few days ago, it fitted nice but the person at the store gave me other bags to fit so quickly that i didnt really had a chance to test it out, i'm going to check it out tomorrow again :)

11:43 p.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Good luck, I'm assuming you put some weight in the packs and walked around the store?  Let use know how it turns out.  Take your time in buying a pack.  It sucks when you have one that dosen't work.  My first one was a Mountain Smith and it did not fit me well at all.  I just thought that everyone went thru the same pain I was going thru carrying large loads.  I only learned later of the importance of the size of the bag, as well as the belt and shoulder harness needing to be fitted to the individual.  Take your time.  Let us know which direction you take on your choice of bags.

12:18 a.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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The Aether 70 is an awesome pack. I have one in magma. I have to disagree with ya on the ventilation of the Aether. They actually ventilate very well imho compared to quite a few packs I've used over the years. If it feels good with weight I think you will be impressed with this pack. I loaned it to my cousin a month ago and he wants to buy it off me in the worst way. He is still using it. I have a few packs. The Aether is one of my favorite packs. But like boots its all about what works for you.

Oh on a side note. Take as much time as you need to try the pack out(put weight in it, walk around the store, etc.) Don't let the saleperson rush you. You're the one that is gonna be wearing the pack not them.

2:11 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Jake W is right on, bora 80 is the strongest most durable pack I have ever had! I will never buy anything else,there's no need to...mine just won't die.

11:01 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I have the Gregory Baltora 70 and the Arcteryx Bora 80. I carry alot of weight in both, up to 65 pounds. They are very comfortable on long treks and I've had no breakages of any kind. They are both excellent packs and tuff as nails. I would feel very confident carrying either on your adventure.

Ofcourse, now I'm in the market for an ultra-lite pack for my JMT :)

3:41 p.m. on May 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Well i bought my backpack, its an Osprey Aether 70, it sits really great and it really strong too, the store couldn't heat mold the hip belt though and the nearest store where they can mold the hip belt is 60-70 miles away but they gave me a flightbag/raincover instead so in all it was a nice deal ;)

I've heard you can mold the hipbelt yourself http://www.backcountry.com/store/review/200042031/Mold-your-belt-at-home.html

one side of the hip belt was folded a little bit due to shipping or maybe because the pack was hanging on a wall for months, that's why I want to heat mold it.

I'm going to try heatmolding the belt tomorrow :)

4:13 p.m. on May 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Another great choice in bag, I don't have one but I've good things about it.

I completly agree apeman, I saw an arcteryx bora on ebay for 180$, thats about  %55 off and its been on a 6 day trip, thats it!

4:46 p.m. on June 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I’d take a Mystery Ranch pack for sure.

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