The backpack is the single most important gear item for your round-the-world trip. Your backpack will be your home for the next 6 months or how ever long you’ve been lucky enough to score off for travel – so you’re going to want it to be perfect. If your backpack is too small, not padded enough, or poorly designed for your tastes it can seriously put a damper on your trip.
When choosing a backpack for a RTW trip, you’re going to want to consider four things: size, weight, comfort, and design.
Here are some recommendations for great round-the-world trip bags:
GoLite Odyssey 78
The GoLite Odyssey 78 gets my vote for best RTW trip bag of the year. At less than 4 pounds, it is one of the lightest bags out there. Eight pockets offer plenty of organization for your gear and padded straps and an airmesh back panel keeps things comfy and breezy. GoLite is stoked on creating environmentally sustainable products and this pack is made from 50% recycled ripstock nylon so it is easy on the conscience as it is on your back. If you like what you see with the Odyssey, but would like a smaller pack – check out the 67-liter GoLite Pinnacle.
Torso Size – 15.5 – 19.5 inches
Average weight – 3 lbs 2 oz/ 3 lbs 8 oz
Volume – 78/98 Liters
Price – $200 at REI Men’s and Women’s
Number of pockets – 6 + 2 main compartments
Gregory Baltoro 65
The Gregory Baltoro 65 is an updated version of the Gregory Baltoro 70. If you like a lot of pockets, you will love this pack. Eight plus pockets keep your gear well organized and easily accessible. You can get at your main compartment from the top, side, and bottom – a feature you’ll surely appreciate when you get sick to death of packing and unpacking your backpack. Only downside is the pack weighs nearly 6 pounds, which is definitely not lightweight.
Torso Size – 18 – 20.5 inches
Average weight – 5 lbs 10 oz
Volume – 65 Liters
Price – $269 at REI
Number of pockets – 8 + main compartment
Osprey Aether 70
The Osprey Aether gets high rankings for its good suspension system and adjustability. An IsoForm hipbelt can be custom molded to fit your hips perfectly and the shoulder harness is easy to adjust. This pack is a great choice if you’re planning on doing a lot of trekking during your trip. It is a bit heavier than others, but is extremely durable and supports heavier loads without sagging or shifting about with its stellar internal suspension system.
Torso Size – 18 – 20.5 inches
Average weight – 5 lbs
Volume – 70 Liters
Price – $259 at REI
Number of pockets – 4 + main compartment
REI Flash 65
The REI Flash 65 is a pretty lightweight pack with all the essentials and a not so steep price tag. The bag has a nice mix of features with plenty of pockets and lash points to secure gear to the outside of the bag along with a comfortable suspension and lots of padding on the straps. Just remember when you’re choosing a lightweight bag you may be giving up some durability since lightweight materials tend to be not as tough.
Gregory Jade 60
Love, love my Gregory Jade 50, which is also available in the 60-liter size. This women’s specific pack gets high marks for adjustability and comfort. The harness and hipbelt are designed to fit a woman’s shape and the harness is narrower than a unisex pack. Love the cush shoulder straps, the breathable back panel, hipbelt pockets, and the slim fit.
Deuter Futura Pro 42
The smallest of the bunch, the Deuter Futura Pro 42 is fabulous if you’re some place hot and humid or if you just tend to sweat a lot. Deuter’s patented Aircomfort suspension design keeps the bulk of the bag off your back so fresh air can circulate between the pack and your body. I’ve been using the Deuter Futura Pro 34 for years and can vouch for its superior breathability. At 42-liters this pack is for the uber light traveler and it has a built-in rain cover – gotta love that.
Just got back for a round-the-world trip, what pack did you use?
The UK Walks are some of the best walks across the UK that any one can do with limited resources. You dont need to have specailist equipment or even be very fit. You must, however, want to be outside in the countryside.