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Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

London, England...
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Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

Hi

I am looking to buy a 35L backpack for my travels, I have a few options and I'm leaning towards the cheaper ones.

The North Face Terra £35 is over £100, do you get good value for your money or a re you just paying for the brand?

On ebay they have Regatta backpacks for £30 (I guess they are old season stock?) which appear to have the same spec but I'm wondering if they are not as well made perhaps?

Just wondering if anyone knows if its worth investing or if a cheap pack will suit me well, I will be travelling in S America for 8 months so it will probably be thrown on top of buses and be generally abused so i dont want a cheap pack to fall apart

thanks for any advice :)

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

You might want to post this in in the Travel gadgets and gear forum, but in my opinion, price shouldn't be the factor here. You will be living with this thing for 8 months and it has to fit and be comfortable. I would never buy a backpack from ebay or anywhere on line unless yo have physically tried it on. I'm sure a quick google will give you the list of things to check, double check and try on before buying a pack.

Check zippers, any connection point that might be weak. If the zip goes, can you repair it? Take what you might need to repair or alter your pack if it breaks part way through your trip. Read reviews on the product and I would say you pack is where you should put your money. If you know it is cheap because it is an older model, then fine, but cheap is cheap otherwise.

London, England...
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2. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

thanks so much, thats really helpful, i think you are right i shouldnt buy online when i cant try it out first

Edited: 22 June 2012, 16:58
London, United...
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3. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

I agree - try it on first to decide the right fit for you then you can always then buy the same bag online if you find a cheaper price.

As for price, I don't think this makes a difference. I bought a $100+ Berghaus without trying it on and it was a terrible fit, always falling to one side. I ended up buying a second bag for less which has been going strong for 2 years. I met two girls on my travels who had the Berghaus and both of their bags split at the zip.

Check out reviews, try on then search online for a good price would be my advice.

Southern California
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4. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

Hi :

There are two types of travelers; Those who travel light and those who wish they did.

Look into EagleCreek Switchback 22 inch . It comes with a zip off day pack. Wheels and yes a backback hidden in the back of both bags

DO NOT BUY A CHEAP BACKPACK. These bags are guaranteed for life. You don't want to skimp on something you deal with everyday and you need something to hold up.

I have been around the world a few times and this is what I do. Bags and backpacks are personal so check out Eagle Creek bags.

When I went around the world for 80day I had three shirts, 3 underware, a pair of shorts,one pair of pants, shoe, flipflops, a swim suit, hat and that was it. All Gore tex and washable and quick dry. I buy a Bar of washing machine soap( it looks like soap) and wash my clothes out and have a portable clothes line. Good luck.

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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5. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

North Face - you are definitely paying a premium for the brand name.

But, I agree - dont buy a cheap pack or luggage. Invest in quality products that last long term. Cheap luggage breaks easily - which is the last thing you want when you need to rely on it for a lengthy trip.

However, there is a difference between quality and buying something for the name because every 12-15 year old HAS to have the brand! (I will never forget telling my French "younger brother" that he should buy Northface in the 90s, when he wanted Jansport - he would have been a trendsetter in Paris).

I too like Eagle Creek. I have 2 Eagle Creek packs - 1 that can be carried on and 1 that has to be checked. Both are convertible bags so the harness can be zipped for plane/bus checking or so that I dont appear like a backpacker when entering better hotels or airports. I also like the detachable daypack.

I tend to bring a 21" Briggs & Riley carryon rollaboard on most trips because I am not traveling for more than 2 wks at a time - and tend to shop for foods/liquors of the country. I check my hard sided rollaboard for the flight home with the liquid items that I cant bring on the plane.

suitcaseready.com

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

Question is, my US friends, what can she try on in London, UK? Eagle Creek makes great stuff, but here in Canada, it is crazy price, and her North Face is prett inexpensive when you convert.

Edinburgh, United...
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7. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

the Regatta brand is well respected they are the same company that make Crag Hopper.I have had clothing from both companies for many years and found it to be very good quality and excellent value.

I have small Regatta backpack/day pack 18litre and it has been used on an almost daily basis for over 6 years and is still going strong.I have aslo had a pair of their walking shoes but they were ok but nothing great BUT compared to the North Face shoes I bought they were terrific, sorry but not impressed by north face.

You could try and find Regatta outlet shops near or in London where she can see these things.

Another company I can recommend is Mountain WareHouse, mainly own brand stuff (called Mountain Lite) and their stuff is pretty good and they have a good range of clothes and equipment, they also do some Regatta and Crag hopper stuff too.They will also have many shops in and around the London area

Edited: 26 June 2012, 14:02
Edinburgh, United...
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8. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

http://www.regatta.com/buy/info/stockistsNew

Regatta stores London

www.mountainwarehouse.com/stores/…

Mountain Warehouse London stores

Denver, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Pecs, Budapest
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9. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

In the US, one might have a look at LLBean.

Sometimes it depends on what you are planning on doing, how you are getting around, how long you are staying, etc, etc.

Here comes a story:

In 2006, i was on a 4-week trip - 2 weeks in the UK, and 2 weeks in Central Europe. THe Central Europe trip was centered in Budapest, but with a 5-night 'excursion' to Krakow and Kosice (Slovakia), and an overnight to Pecs in Hungary. I had two smallish suitcases (that was when one could check two on BA for free), because I'm not very strong and can't lift a big one. My carry-on was an LLBean 'Boat and Tote' bag. I also travel only by train and public transport. During my first stay in Budapest I took several trips which involved changes at Kelenfold - a sort of semi-suburban change station. In the tunnel from the tracks to the trams and buses there were a lot of booths selling stuff. one of which had a batch of back packs. I was already bothered about the prospect of dealing with 2 suitcases on and off trains on my overnight or more excursions. I found that my Budapest hotel was willing to store luggage for up to 6 months. So the next time I went through Kelenfold I purchased a fairly small back pack there for 2400 forints (about $12). I got through the Krakow and Kosice trip with tha and the LLBean bag. It was also fine for the overnight to Pecs. I think that that was the year when one's carry on was limited to one item ONLY. (no purse, etc.) As the backpack held more than the LLBean bag and still fitted into the bin when totally crammed with stuff, it got back to the US.

I still take annual 3-5 week trips. And I still can't lift much. So I pay the additional for the two suitcases and arrange to leave them at my hotel while taking trips away from it. I still use an LLBean bag as a carry on. But I pack that small backpack into one of my suitcases, and use it plus the LLBean bag for my 1-5 day side trips. Granted that this hasn't given it a lot of wear and tear, but it's still as good as when I got it.

I figure that it's one of the best buys I have made on travelling.

LOL

10. Re: Expensive backpacks... Is there any point?

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