This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpack. Today’s review is from Rachel Patterson who is currently living and teaching in South Korea. She and her boyfriend have exciting upcoming travel plans too!
I’m Rachel Patterson, and I’m an English teacher with the EPIK program in South Korea, as well as a blogger at World Flavor. My family has always traveled a lot as long as it didn’t include a flight.
I started going abroad when I was in high school, and then I studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand. That got me addicted both to traveling anywhere and everywhere as well as to living the expat lifestyle. After college I worked in retail for a while but then decided it was time to get on the road and moved to Incheon, South Korea last August with my boyfriend.
We are planning a round the world trip starting in Mongolia when our contract finishes this August.
What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
My backpack is an Osprey Aura 65L. It typically costs about $200.
>> Buy the Osprey Aura on Amazon
How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?
I got my backpack in 2008. It’s been to New Zealand, Costa Rica, South Korea, and all around the US.
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?
Comfort and size were key. I wanted something I could do multi-day hikes with, so I didn’t want it too big, but I also wanted something big enough to be helpful in carrying 5 months worth of clothes and supplies. This pack seemed like a perfect size. I tried on an awful lot of backpacks and most didn’t fit me right, but this one seemed to do the trick. I definitely needed something made for women – men’s backpacks are super uncomfortable for me.
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
There are a nice amount of pockets on it. I really like the pockets on the hipbelt which I can fill with a snack and a small-ish camera for when I’m hiking. You can access the main pocket at the top, from the zipper pockets on the front, and through the sleeping bag compartment at the bottom (you can also remove a flap to make the sleeping bag compartment part of the main pocket). Main pocket access from multiple places becomes really important during long trips on the road! I also love the color, which is cute and also helps me pick it out of a crowd.
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
It seems to fit quite well, for my shape at least. If it’s really full and I wear it a while, it pinches my shoulders. I’m not sure if that’s a problem with the fit or just something that happens. If I buy another pack at some point, though, I will probably go with one with more padding. This one is made to fit you perfectly with minimal padding to decrease the weight of the pack.
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
No, unfortunately it’s just a little too big to be carry-on.
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
My 65 liter pack is about right for the amount of clothes I like to bring. However, I do sort of wish I had gotten one slightly smaller, so that it could be carry-on luggage and to prevent me from overpacking.
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
I would definitely recommend at least trying it on when you’re backpack shopping (and yes, I think that trying on backpacks is absolutely necessary). Osprey makes great backpacks (I also have a 22L of theirs that I take on short trips and absolutely love) at very affordable prices. The Aura 65L is a great backpack choice with plenty of pockets and easy main pocket access, though ultimately you should get what fits you best. As for size, I would recommend getting one just a bit smaller so that you can take it on a plane.