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Looking for a new BACKPACK - Europe and S.America!

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Looking for a new BACKPACK - Europe and S.America!

I survived 6 months in Asia and SE Asia but my poor backpack fell apart in Japan. I had an old MEC 60+15. 75L was great as I had to pack both winter and summer clothes and still have spare room!

I am spending 2 months in Europe this fall, then heading to South America for 2 months in spring.

First of all, I am 5'5. 120lbs. I usually use the size small frame.

I would like:

Size 60L to 75L (including daypack)

Lots of compartments with pockets

Removable daypack is preferred

Waterproof cover but i can always grab one seperately.

I went to MEC and looked at a few backpacks but I would love to hear your feedback.

What are your fav backpacks and why? Any backpacks you would recommend for me?

Your thoughts on wheeled backpacks?

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Looking for a new BACKPACK - Europe and S.America!

It doesn't sound like my style would work for you - I travel too light - but here's my dos centavos...

I travel independently for indefinite periods (several months at a time) via hotels/hostels through 3 climates with a 46 litre carry-on size backpack with LOTS of room left over - all the cinch straps are yanked to their tightest dimensions so the backpack is really only about 35 litres.

That's including a set of nice clothes to crash an Embassy party or high-end club, normal day-to-day casual and hiking wear, beach clothes, personal hygiene products and everything else you need to be safe/comfortable plus a laptop, digital still/video package and all the peripherals.


I have a separate daypack that fits inside the backpack, or stays with me with all the essentials when the backpack is in an overhead bin, etc.

It's easily doable and you'll see LOTS of experienced backpackers doing the same - or even lighter. Seeing other travellers - especially smaller women - struggle with 60 - 70+ litre backpacks (sometimes with extra daypacks!) is insane.

Going light makes sense to me because it allows me to keep my backpack with me (almost) all the time - it's carry-on size for aircraft, it doesn't need to be checked into the baggage space under the bus where it's out of my sight and out of my control - and it's obviously way easier/faster to navigate a crowded train aisle, keep with me inside the taxi, stow in a small boat, fit into a tuk-tuk, onto the back of a motorcycle and a million other situations.

Good luck with your research and have fun shopping.



Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear, New Brunswick, Almeria
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2. Re: Looking for a new BACKPACK - Europe and S.America!

Martian says it all!!

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3. Re: Looking for a new BACKPACK - Europe and S.America!

Thank you so much for your feedbacks. Traveling light would be very ideal, but I still would like to have 60L since I like to go camping or hiking for a long period of time and it is nice to fit all my camping gear and sleeping bag etc. Porter 46 looks great though! Thank you for the comment.

Any other recommendations for me? Again, I am looking for 60L, give or take

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4. Re: Looking for a new BACKPACK - Europe and S.America!

I took this on a recent RTW trip:


Possibly slightly bigger than I actually needed, but the flexibility of the extra space was very useful!

5. Re: Looking for a new BACKPACK - Europe and S.America!

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