As mentioned in our Packing for Ireland post, I had to acquire my first travel backpack due to the carry-on restrictions for budget airlines. While packing in a travel backpack requires more cuts than I usually make (I didn’t bring any books other than my kindle!), my first adventure without real luggage was much more successful than I anticipated.
Like Grace, I ended up selecting an Osprey. While Grace’s bag is top loading, I decided I wanted a backpack that opened like a suitcase, as I tend to let my stuff explode all over the room the second I arrive in a destination, and I knew having to dig for things I needed in a top down style would only exacerbate that problem. I ended up selecting the Farpoint 40L model in a S/M and I am already obsessed with this thing. It has approximately 1 million pockets, lots of clips, and enough support that (properly used) holding it for an hour or so in the airport or walking city streets is manageable. I selected the 40L because I am a small person not used to carrying heavy things, and because it seemed from reviews that the larger sizes didn’t meet all carry on requirements.As you can see from my Ireland bag, there is plenty of room for all of my necessities (yes, a solid pair of heels are a necessity, even if they aren’t worn). If I had more than 2 days to wait for this bag to arrive in time, the red color option was extremely lovely, but te black more than meets my needs. I also like that there is an option to use it as a duffel, in case there’s every a situation in which I don’t want to look like an overeager student on the first day of school when traveling. When in use as a duffel, the strap bits fit neatly into their own compartment and are completely concealed.
I looked a few different models, and the alternatives that met my needs all fell at a much higher price point. Because I don’t plan to put this bag through anything more stressful than squeezing under an airplane seat, the extra money for increased durability didn’t seem worth it.
Downsides to this bag: I cannot fit a library in it. More seriously, the laptop compartment is a bit snug for my massive laptop, and I wish the compartment was next to my back, rather than exposed in the front of the bag.