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Backpacking. Where to get the backpack? Watch

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    I actually got mine in Tesco's - it survived a month of backpacking and inter railing through South East Europe, as well as a Ryanair flight

    It was cheap too
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    (Original post by Annabannie)
    Hello. I'd like to buy a backpack to go backpacking.. around Europe, and hopefully also around Asia! Where can I buy a good backpack? How big should it be? (I'm thinking around 65 litres?) and what are the good brands etc...

    Thanks guys.
    Try and get to the Cotswolds store in Southampton, and ask for a guy called Rich. He's an absolute angel, helped me get all my equipment for backpacking in China. If you can't get there, the staff at the Reading branch are pretty helpful too!

    As I said, I backpacked round China for a month, and had a Berghaus Biofit 65+10 Verden series. It was a blokes' backpack - I'd advise looking at both the women's and men's ones, as the men's ones might still be more suitable for you.
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    I got mine on eBay, it's a Regatta. I knew which one I wanted, so I had a look on there and got it half price!
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    Jesus Christ, Millets? TK Maxx? Morrissons!?

    **** THAT ****.

    I dont know what kind of backpacking your looking into, if its jumping from hotel to hotel and comparing its AC, taking a spin in cab around the city to check out the 'culture' then yeah buy one from TK Maxx and it would proberly hold out.

    However, if your actually going backpacking, tenting, sleeping wherever your head falls then you need to get a proper backpack, and I wouldnt shy away from spending around 100-150 quid. If you want strong reliable backpacks then check out the military side of things, as they are backpacks designed for the most verstatile outdoorsman in the most strenous of enviroments. Im not saying you should rock around Asia in camo, as that could end in tears... But I recommend makes such as Karrimor (The Sabre is what I purchased for a wilderness trip in western Canada) Berghaus, military issue Bergans (cheap as fook if you buy from a surplus) or Snugpak.

    The reason I slam the other mentioned stores is that those backpacks are mass produced on a huge scale, pumping them out to sell for their low price rather than quality. And yes you proberly will pay an extra 30quid for the name of the reccommended bags, but they are ones to be trusted. I seriously dont know anyone who would prepare for a serious travelling trip with an Argos, Tesco, TK Maxx etc etc bag, as your bag will become your life.
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    Nice post Petrells... very good points.

    I think Black's is pretty good.

    We're having a competition on our site to win some Black's vouchers. I'll give you a heads up when it's happening....might get you a cheaper backpack!
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    Lowe Alpine is a good brand for backpacks as well - I bought one from them today! It really depends whether you're after something to be slung between a train luggage compartment and a hostel, or something you can actually walk a long distance in. If the former it doesn't really matter about comfort as long as it holds together; the latter you might want to think about more sophisticated (and pricey ones) with adjustable back systems etc.

    A shop that hasn't been mentioned yet is Go Outdoors. There aren't that many branches, it tends to be found in big retail parks. It sells a wide range of stuff from good brands and you can get a good discount (at least 10%) on stuff by getting their discount card, which costs £4. I've bought lots of stuff from there (the major things being a new waterproof jacket and a hillwalking rucksack). The staff are also quite helpful but there aren't a huge number which is probably how they keep their costs down. The high street stores (Cotswold, Blacks etc) tend to have good staff but you pay a premium - I've heard them described as being quite overpriced recently.

    It's also probably been mentioned already but if you want to figure out how big to get it, you should probably start by getting together everything you need to take. We don't know whether you need just clothes, or sleeping bag, or camping equipment, etc...
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    I've found Berghaus to be pretty good to be honest... always last the course and never let me down.

    We have a competition to win £100 Black's voucher, it's free to enter. Check it out if you fancy.

    World Travel Magazine - Blacks Competition
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    I second what Petrells said! Don't got for the cheap option, the backpack is where it's really worth paying out for because you can really see the difference in quality.

    Cotswold Outdoor may seem expensive in comparison to Millets and Blacks but that's because the stuff you are buying is so much better! Most of the good brands have already been mentioned but Osprey and especially Mammut also get my love.

    Also, although military bergens are very tough, cheap and durable they are not as technical as other makes - you won't be able to adjust them to you, no back ventilation and not designed for women. Just points to bear in mind.

    I strongly recommend buying your rucksack here rather than risking it til you're out travelling as you know you'll be able to get all the help and advice here and also be able to take it back!
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    Cheers guys, I thought I would throw in my experience.

    The Karrimor Sabre I used for BC, Canada is ready to be used again for harsher wilderness. The Yukon territory, Canada. Which is famous for the gold strikes in the early 20th Century. Which resulted in attracting loads of city boys, only to die in the wilderness, by the thousands.

    Again, its worth spending a little bit more money; if only for the insurance of having a solid backpack you know you can rely on. If my Karrimor can survive the BC and the Yukon, it will survive Asia
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    I am looking at buying a daybag in England, then a backpack in Bangkok.
    I don't know what size to buy though, as i've got to think of carrying both when I move location. 25 litre, 30?

    They seem quite expensive even for small packs. It looks like i'll have to splash out £30-50 :\
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    (Original post by Arteta)
    I am looking at buying a daybag in England, then a backpack in Bangkok.
    I don't know what size to buy though, as i've got to think of carrying both when I move location. 25 litre, 30?

    They seem quite expensive even for small packs. It looks like i'll have to splash out £30-50 :\

    Well you did ask where to buy a good backpack and the answer is in England.

    If you are set on just buying the daysack here (why? might I ask) then 25 litres is probably a bit bigger than the size of a normal school rucksack to give you a rough idea. It depends how much stuff you want to take out with you? I guess if you're not used to buying this stuff then it does seem very expensive but it is all about quality and durability and the more expensive makes do deliver. Go to a store (preferably Cotswolds) and see what they have there.
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    (Original post by Trirarien)
    Well you did ask where to buy a good backpack and the answer is in England.

    If you are set on just buying the daysack here (why? might I ask) then 25 litres is probably a bit bigger than the size of a normal school rucksack to give you a rough idea. It depends how much stuff you want to take out with you? I guess if you're not used to buying this stuff then it does seem very expensive but it is all about quality and durability and the more expensive makes do deliver. Go to a store (preferably Cotswolds) and see what they have there.
    The idea is to buy most stuff in the big quality malls in Bangkok at a fraction of the price than they are in England. There are some items I need to take from England though, and it makes sense to take them in a daybag, as advised by others, then buy my main backpack in BKK along with the rest of the inventory. Much cheaper, still good quality.
    I just don't know how much space i'll need really.
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    25L is the size you'd expect for a summer hiking daypack... I'd normally fit in there a spare jumper, waterproofs, a packed lunch, a couple of litres of water bottles and assorted little odds and ends (small first aid kit, sun cream etc).

    As with anything you get what you pay for... I am taking an 85L rucksack to V Festival this weekend which cost £20... it's sodding uncomfortable to have on your back for any length of time (with the heavy stuff I'm putting in, ie. lots of booze) but it carries the stuff and it's not far and over easy ground so I don't mind. On the other hand I bought a smaller (45+10L) rucksack the other day to wear for both summer and winter hill walking which cost £80, the difference is it is fully adjustable for things like back length meaning it is very comfy to wear for long periods or over rough ground. Similarly you can get the same in a much larger rucksack if you're willing to pay the money. BTW, I wouldn't have known about these nice comfort features if I hadn't have spoken to a shop assistant about it!

    I don't know a thing about shopping in Bangkok having never travelled there... but do you ever have any problems with counterfeit goods? Especially given that in this case quality is a major issue...
 
 
 
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