I just got back from quite a long vacation and am in one word, exhausted. However, I also came back with a bit of a revelation with regards my packing habits. I used to aspire to be one of the stylish ladies I see at airports – manicured hands effortlessly pulling their stylish carry on trolley bags, handbags slung on one shoulder, dressed with a sort of casual chic I could never attain … and then I realised that I’m a comfort traveller at heart. Travelling cattle class is bad enough without being uncomfortable to boot. So this time, I pulled on a Uniqlo bra top (best top to travel in hands down!), a long skirt, my Fitflops and a backpack.
I had a check in bag too – a regular trolley bag that I usually carry on board. I rarely check in luggage unless I absolutely have to. But I had liquids in there this time, and I had transits so I just did not want the hassle. I dithered between carrying a handbag + camera bag and a backpack for a while, before I eventually decided to see how just the backpack would fare. Very well, as it turned out.
The backpack I picked up quite recently is a Deuter Giga backpack. Its sturdy and roomy and fits so much, I didn’t even need an extra luggage bag to come back with.
The bag is rather large, as you can see above, but this is an excellent size for carry on luggage for airlines because it fits all size requirements. If you don’t carry a lot, you can shorten the side straps to compact the bag and it won’t look as large or as bulky. If not full, it even slips under the airplane seat which is convenient.
These pictures show the bag in its full capacity. I’d forgotten to bring a spare bag this time, but was saved by my roomy backpack. It even held my camera bag and 2 toiletry bags with room to spare for other bits and bobs.
The Deuter Giga backpack is really meant for city folk who might need it for work e.g. carrying laptops and documents and stationery. When converted to a travel backpack, the stationery compartment came in handy for holding scraps of paper of information I might need or a guidebook, and pens. Never travel without a pen. You will need it for filling out immigration forms or documents so always have a pen handy.
There are 2 compartments – a large main compartment, and a narrower compartment that usually fits a laptop. The bag is very deep so in went the camera bag, 2 toiletry pouches, pouch with wires for charging gadgets, a spare change of clothes, a scarf and a light jacket.
With all that, it started to really weigh down, but the well padded straps and back support took care of that. You can stuff water bottles down the side mesh pockets, and if you are in transit, use the airport trolley. I actually found it easier to just strap on the bag when getting off the plane and its easier to remember one bag as opposed to 2 or 3. I also breezed past most people dragging their trolley bags so that cuts queuing time at immigration counters ;)
I took this backpack with me on a weekend trip to Singapore by bus, and it was again, so much easier to just strap on and go instead of having to wait for the other trolley bags to be unloaded at the immigration.
At my destination, the backpack stays indoors. I cleverly also packed in a handbag which I then whip out so the backpack is strictly for travel only and I can pull my “effortlessly chic” stunt at my destination LOL! A nice foldable bag usually does the trick – I use the Longchamp le Pliage as its more compact than the LeSportsac or Herve Chapelier. Am still thinking of the Bric’s :P
I’m quite pleased with my backpack. I can see myself taking it on many travels especially if I go on short trips or weekend trips where all I need is one or two changes of light clothes. More importantly, it holds my camera bag very well, and that makes things so much easier for travelling in future when I just know I’ll be carrying it around :)
My Deuter Giga backpack was purchased through www.deuteronline.com a site owned by my friend who offers competitive prices and free shipping in Malaysia for Deuter backpacks. I didn’t think about getting one till I talked to him, and now I’m really glad I did :P Good sales person that one :P
Do you or would you travel with a backpack as opposed to a trolley bag for carry on luggage? Its not the most glamourous way to travel, and its rugged and can be bulky, I’ll concede, but its practical and fits loads which suits me fine! :D
My Deuter Giga backpack was purchased for RM235 from www.deuteronline.com or you may also purchase Deuter backpacks from most camping/hiking supply stores.