This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpack. Today’s post is from Ali, a former fellow Atlanta girl, who travels with her husband Andy.
Ali is an American expat living in Germany. She has traveled to all 7 continents before her 30th birthday and loves encouraging others to travel.
What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
My backpack is the REI Lookout 40, and the current model costs $99.50. I bought the men’s version because I liked the way it fit me better than the women’s version.
How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?
I’ve had the backpack for about a year and a half. I’ve used it for short trips and for my round the world trip (along with a small daypack) when I traveled to 13 countries in 5 months. This bag has been with me through Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?
One of the most important things to me is that the bag is not top loading. I find top loading bags harder to get into, but panel loading bags, like the one I bought, make it easier to dig for something at the bottom of the bag without having to unpack the whole thing. I also love pockets, and this one has plenty of those. I chose this bag because of the great pockets and because it’s not a top loading bag.
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
It has a rain cover, which is great for keeping your stuff dry in the rain, and the waist band works really well for support. It also has several places where you can hang stuff, like shoes, from the outside of the bag. One piece of the buckle came off in transit, but REI replaced it for me for free when I took it into the store. I haven’t really found many negatives about the bag.
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
As I mentioned before, I bought the men’s version because it fit me better. It has padding in the back and on the straps so it’s comfortable, and the straps are all adjustable. I’d definitely say it’s a comfortable bag.
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
This is actually another reason why I purchased this bag. It fits the measurements for carry-on for most airlines, and I try my hardest to always travel carry-on only. The only times I was prevented from taking it as carry-on were when I exceeded the weight limit.
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
I think the size is perfect. I can fit the essentials in it, and it served me well on my round the world trip. On a short trip it will easily hold all my clothes, and on a longer trip I know I will have to do laundry no matter what, so I pack about the same amount of clothing. I can fit my laptop in it if necessary, which is great.
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
Definitely. It’s held up pretty well even after taking a beating for 5 months around the world, I love the convenient pockets, and I can take it as carry-on as long as I’m careful about how much weight I put in it.