Meet Kimi Sugiyama and Her Guerrilla Pack Voltij 55

Kimi Sugiyama and her Guerrilla Pack Voltij 55

This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpacks. Today’s post, a Guerrilla Pack Voltij 55 review, comes from Kimi Sugiyama.

Hi, I’m Kimi Sugiyama, a girl with one foot in multiple worlds. I’m a Detroit native that has been traveling the world since June 2012 looking for big adventures on a small budget. After quitting my job, I’m now the chief comfort zone demolisher at Wandering Souldier and working my way towards a location independent lifestyle.

What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?

My backpack is a Guerrilla Pack Voltij – 55L. Typically, it costs $220 USD, but it’s on sale right now for $150. Last year, I think I bought it for around $120. Check back on the official website every couple of weeks because they seem to have frequent discounts available.

>> Check out the Guerrilla Pack Voltij backpack on Amazon.

How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?

I’ve had my backpack for almost a year now. So far, it’s traveled with me to 10 different countries throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. We’re about to hit the road together again in Ireland, Japan, China, North Korea, and Philippines.

What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?

Since this was my first official backpack, the five most important qualities were cost, durability, accessibility, comfort, and storage room. I definitely did my fair share of browsing through REI’s selection of sturdy backpacks, but after recommendations from a few travel buddies, I decided to go with a Guerrilla Pack. It hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Guerrilla Pack Voltij 55 Review
Guerrilla Pack Voltij 55

What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?

For starters, it’s red, my favorite color. It has front and top loading so I don’t have to unpack everything and can just go in and grab what I need. There are two water bottle holders on the sides, a compass, padded shoulder straps and back support, and multiple compartments within the backpack itself. Additionally, there’s a front belt that straps around the waist so if someone tries to snag it off my back, they can’t do it without taking me with them. Lastly, it looks low-end/rugged enough that nobody would be tempted to steal anything from it, at first glance.

So far, the two downsides I’ve noticed are that there are a lot of straps and the material used for the top compartments can tear easily. When I move around or check my backpack at the airport, I always have to make sure the straps are tucked in so they don’t get caught on anything.

Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.

It fits my tall frame well. It doesn’t hang below my hips, and I can adjust the straps for an extra snug fit so it’s easy to twist, turn, and run to catch my train. Plus, the padding makes it easier and more comfortable on my shoulders and back, when I have to stand for long periods of time. I know not everyone will have the same experience, but it’s comfortable enough for me that I often forget it’s there.

If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?

I’ve always checked my backpack so I have less to haul around at the airport, but yes, I could if I wanted to.

Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?

For me, it is just right, but I will say it has extra pockets and small compartments I never seem to use. They’re handy to have, if I pick up any miscellaneous souvenirs along the way, otherwise, I just leave them empty. Don’t have to carry more with me than I need.

Overall, would you recommend your backpack?

Yes, definitely, but I would say it’s better suited for people with a taller upper body. Overall, it’s easy to move around with, easy to access my belongings, and durable.

Thanks to Kimi for sharing about her backpack. You can follow her worldly adventures at Wandering Souldier, and on Twitter.

>>Check out more women’s travel backpacks here.

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


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Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

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