This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpack. Today’s post comes from Gemma, a UK traveler currently traipsing around Asia.
I’m from the UK and first went travelling in 2007 with an ill-fitting back pack, no blog and not nearly enough money. I’ve had the bug ever since and I’m now travelling with an Osprey (bag), enough money and I’m documenting it all at samesametravelblog.com. I’m now lugging myself and my backpack around Asia (current location Chennai airport).
What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
I’ve chosen to travel with the Osprey Ariel 65L backpack in a burnt orange colour. In the UK it generally costs about £160 and it’s not usually in the sales.
How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?
I’ve had my backpack for a couple of months now. When I first got it I embarked on a two-week tour of the UK (otherwise known as a farewell friends and family tour). I’ve since spent 6 1/2 weeks travelling Nepal and India with it. Next stop Cambodia and Thailand, before taking it to South America in early 2013. No signs of wear and tear so far, so I’m glad to call it my home.
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?
I had one main factor in mind when choosing my backpack and that was fit. At 5’1″ I’m vertically challenged, so finding a bag is more difficult as per my blog post ‘Choosing the perfect backpack for a short arse.’ I found that this was the only bag that fit me properly, including the other Osprey models. However, I’m glad I chose this backpack for a whole host of other reasons.
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
Osprey doesn’t just make bags that fit, but it takes comfort a step further. The waist strap is made from special foam that can be heated up and molded to your body. I also like how practical it is too. The compression straps help me shrink it down when it’s not full (which is most of the time), making it easier to carry. And its handy front loading panel (zip) is also really useful for easily accessing items such as my shower bag, which I pack in the middle along with other heavier items.
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
I’ve already talked a little about the fit for me and it’s perfect. But its adjustable back means it’s also good for my 6′ boyfriend. The size is adjusted by sliding the back up or down and sticking it to a Velcro panel. This is great as it means you can get it to just the right spot, rather than the closest loop. It also has a ventilation panel on the back, good for those days when you think it’s a great idea to hike 4km in the midday sun.
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
I haven’t tried, but I doubt it. I don’t really mind though as I just carry a small canvas day bag which I can easily pack in my big bag when not needed and fill with my travel-on treats when it is.
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
I would love a smaller backpack as I haven’t managed to fill it and it would also encourage me to pack more sensibly. But, this bag was the best fit overall… and there’s nothing worse than a backpack that rubs and pulls on your shoulders.
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
I would recommend it to anyone, but especially to small people. Mine is the extra small back size and it’s the only bag I could find that fit well. If I was a bit taller though, I might consider buying something cheaper.
Connect with Gemma on the blog, Same Same But Different.