I’m Lucy aka Wanderluce and I’ve been on the road since 2013. I am a freelance travel writer and social media manager as well as the chief Blogette on my own website: Wanderluce. A former chronic over-packer, I made the big backpack switch about 8 months ago and have never been happier with my Karrimor Trail 35 litre.
What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
My Karrimor Trail 35 litre backpack typically costs around £40, however I picked mine up at a discount sports store in London for £17. I think I was a little more laissez-faire than usual when I bought it due to the very cheap price, so I’m even more happy it worked out so well.
My previous backpack was the Berghaus Jalan, which costs in excess of £100, and didn’t fare half as well as my Karrimor. Within the first month of travels, the inner straps broke on my old Berghaus so I was a touch nervous of the wear and tear my far cheaper backpack would endure. It’s been a dream though, and I’ve never loved a backpack more!
>> Check out the Karrimor Trail 35 backpack on Amazon.
How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?
I’ve had my current backpack for around eight months now, and have travelled to some awesome places with it. I started the year in Indonesia, before heading back to my beloved Thailand where I have been for over 6 months. It has managed two trips to London, and will be seeing the sights of Vietnam next before taking a month to enjoy India in November.
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack?
I used to have a real dislike of top-loading backpacks, thinking (incorrectly) that I wouldn’t be able to organize my stuff as easily. After reading various travel blogs preaching the ‘pack light’ manifesto I realized that top loading, plus packing cubes, was the way to go. As my bag was so cheap I decided to go for it, and keep my old Berghaus in case I wanted to go back to a suitcase style backpack.
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
The thing I like most is when I arrive at a new place and do the ubiquitous ‘find a cheap place to stay’ trek. It’s a million percent easier when you have a lighter, smaller backpack to do said walk with and every time I do it I pat myself on the back for making the switch to a smaller backpack.
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
I’m a pretty average size 10 (US size 6) 5’5″ girl, so I’ve never found finding a comfy backpack an issue. To be brutally honest, I didn’t even expect my backpack to be as comfy as it has been as it’s so cheap, so I guess expectations were already set low! You can adjust the height to fit your frame and the wind tunnel at the back is great for keeping me cool. It also has the standard range of chest, shoulder and hip straps to keep things comfy and secure.
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
I can, and often do take my backpack as carry on, although if I am flying to and from the UK I always check it in, as I like to stock up on liquids.
Although it fits most airline requirements for carry on, I would exercise caution as when you utilize every hidden pocket and pack it to it’s limits, it isn’t a great fit for most overhead lockers.
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
The size is just right for me, and I am always surprised at just how much I can fit in. Along with the two insanely roomy side pockets, the bottom section is great for shoes and the top ‘flap’ fits in all of my toiletries (which are sizeable!).
A word to the wise though: always use packing cubes. I don’t honestly know how people cope without them.
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
Yes! I have recommended it to a few people on the road, although the small size sometimes puts people off. I do find that the more people travel, the less they want to lug an 80 litre backpack around, so they are normally my audience.
About the author: In 2013, I quit my job and booked a ticket to Sri Lanka thinking I’d be back to the UK in 6 months time. Two years later, and I’m still travelling! In that time, I’ve discovered new passions (weekly spa sessions!) and old ones (travel, writing) and combined them all to create a career for myself that keeps me on the road. Alongside various freelance work, I’ve been lucky enough to write for Lonely Planet Traveller, The Professional Hobo and, of course, Her Packing List! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course at my blog WanderLuce.
>>Read more female backpack reviews here.