Backpacks

Backpacks

Osprey Farpoint 40

My original plan was to travel super light, taking the bare minimum of clothing and equipment. With that in mind I did a little research and ended up purchasing an Osprey Farpoint 40 pack. The pack is carry on compliant with most EU carriers, although it is possible to overload it and fall foul of the rules, so be careful.

I tested this on a few weeks travel around France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Morocco. It has enough space for a fortnight, you don’t need to pay for hold baggage and there is no wait at the carousel…win win. My problem with it was that I quickly realised that it was just too small for me to take on a RTW trip. I need to be able to accommodate some cold weather and light hiking gear for New Zealand and Patagonia. Forty litres is just not enough, even with decent compression cubes.

You can pick up an Osprey Farpoint 40 for around £100 from Amazon UK or alternately for $160 from Amazon USA

 

Osprey Farpoint 70

After my positive experience with the smaller pack, I traded up to the larger Farpoint 70. This one has nearly double the capacity of it’s smaller sibling, and has the added bonus of a removable day pack, complete with laptop sleeve. The day pack is just that, the perfect size for bimbling around a city by day, or using as your carry on. I have also used it as a weekend getaway pack. I can easily fit a 13″ Dell in the laptop sleeve, and you can probably get most 15″ lappies in there, but test it first.

Once again, the main pack has a hidden harness complete with hip pads, so it can be used as a normal backpack, and some decent carry handles that won’t shred your hands when carrying it like a case. In addition, it has a set of clips on the front of the harness that allow the day pack to be clipped in kangaroo style, its not a big thing, but its nice that they thought of it. Like it’s little brother its a front opener, this allows you to access the contents like a suitcase, unlike a traditional top loading rucksack.

You can pick up an Osprey Farpoint 70 for around £130 from Amazon UK or alternately for $200 from Amazon USA

Packsafe Venturesafe 200 – Anti theft

Thinking about keeping my valuables safe is something I worry about. I used to keep my DLSR bag clipped to my waist belt with a couple of carry straps. The problem is that I ended up looking like a tool, and it was tricky to get it off and on. My better half solved the problem last Christmas by getting me one of these.

This is a really well thought through piece of kit. The bottom and outer facing sections are armored against knife slash attacks with steel mesh, so while a potential thief might ruin the look of the pack, nothing is going to fall out for them to run off with. The straps have two lines of steel cable running all the way through, so they cant cut the strap and run off with the pack either.

It also has a rather redundant double locking clip to secure one end of the strap. The idea being that you can clip the pack to your chair, table etc and a thief cant just unclip and run off with it. Personally I think the idea of putting  your valuables in one place and not keeping it on you at all times is a little daft, but its there if you need it. The zip lock is a welcome addition, its not bulletproof, but it does make it very fiddly for a pickpocket to get into the bag without being detected.

The whole idea of this thing is to make you less of a target against pickpockets and bag snatchers, and in that regard I think it succeeds. I would caution that if someone does try to snatch it the bag wont go anywhere, but you might. The chances are that they will let go and leg it, but the standard advice always remains to give up your belongings if someone physically threatens you.

The pack itself is light and pretty spacious (4 litre). You can easily get a mirrorless camera, spare lens, a tablet, a small bottle of water and a lightweight waterproof in it. The front pocket has an RFID shielded compartment for your wallet and passport.

You can pick up one of these for around £50 from Amazon UK only.

More mature. Apparently.

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