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Meet Laura Walker and Her Gregory Deva 60

Laura in her Gregory Deva 60

This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpack. Today’s review is from Laura Walker who has traveled around the world and is currently on a USA road trip.

laura walkerI’m Laura Walker, and I run a travel blog called A Wandering Sole.

Last year I took an 8-month trip around the world to explore more of Africa and see what Southeast Asia is all about. I love to travel, run, and converse over tea. And when I’m not traveling, I’m usually planning my next trip.

I’m currently on the road to Portland, wrapping up a 2-month road trip across the US.

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

Gregory Deva 60. It’s a pricier pack at over $200, but I found a great deal on it when I bought it. It’s definitely worth the investment.

>> You can buy the Gregory Women’s Deva 60 Backpack on Amazon.

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

I’ve had it for almost 2 years now. It’s been on an 8-month trip to 20 countries and on a 10-week trip to South Africa.

laura and gregory deva 60
Laura and the Gregory Deva 60

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

I did lots of research. I traveled for a summer with a backpack I borrowed from a friend and learned my lesson! That backpack was too large (if you have the space, I promise you’ll fill it up), it was too big for my torso, and just not comfortable. I wanted a pack that properly fit and had compartments particular to my travel needs. It had to be comfortable enough to walk a few miles with and not feel like my shoulders would fall off.

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

I love that you can order the Deva in different torso sizes because the adjustable packs never seem to stay in place. I like the compartments and the size of this pack as well. The only downside is that it’s top-loading instead of front-loading. You have to be organized to use it and sometimes you have to be willing to pull several things out to get to something specific.

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

Love it! But don’t take my word for it. Go to a store that specializes in this sort of thing and get properly fitted. I walked around with weights in this pack at the store to see how it would feel when it was actually packed full of my stuff.

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

Probably not. If it weren’t very full, you might be able to, but I think it’s a bit too large.

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

I would say just right. I try to pack it to where it’s comfortably full but there’s a lot of flexibility to expand it at the top so you can throw in souvenirs on your way home. 

Overall, would you recommend your backpack?

Overall, I’d definitely recommend it. It has lots of compartments… at the top I put my running shoes, at the bottom I put my sleeping bag, in the front pocket I put my guidebook, and in the side pockets I put all those small things like Advil, padlock, pens, etc. It’s a great size, comfortable, and really durable.

Laura, thanks for telling us how you and your bag have fared as you’ve traveled together in 20 countries! Learn more about Laura, her experiences in Africa, and her world travels at A Wandering Sole. You can also connect with her on Twitter @awanderingsole and Facebook.

Written by Heather

Heather Rudd Palmer is a 30-something with a love for travel, food, and healthy living. After short trips to Europe in her 20s, Heather left her job at 30 to live, work, and travel in Australia for a year. She visited every state and territory, embarked on two road trips, worked at an organic food store, and ate her way through Sydney. She's now a career counselor for university students. You can find Heather at There's No Place Like Oz and Healthy Life Heather.

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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.


Accommodation

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.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Anna says

    I have this exact pack and LOVE IT! I would agree with everything you’ve said esp the part about it being top loading. Although I have been on a few trips with just my silk liner (no need for sleeping bag) and then I just open up the sleeping bag compartment. That way I can access my things from both the top and bottom.

  2. Elaine Tulving says

    Hi Laura. It looks like we have the same version of Gregory Deva60. My question is location of hip belt. I’ve been told several times from REI employees to wear/belit it around my hips (not above). My last day training with a 20 lb pack, my hip area became tender My hips are 37.5″ so I have to cinch it pretty tight.
    Do you wear your pack’s hip belt in same area?

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