The search for the perfect backpack is getting narrower. Here are a few that I have on my short list. This is the REI Grand Tour 80 that I mentioned in my previous post. What I like about this pack: a detachable day pack, the day pack seems roomy and per another reviewer is big enough to hold an SLR camera (super important to me), the main pack is really roomy inside and it comes with a detached rain/travel cover to protect it from the weather & airline baggage handling. And the pack with the day pack attached doesn’t look overly bulky.
This next backpack is the Osprey Wayfarer 70; since my last post I’ve learned that the number after the name indicates the storage capacity in liters. What I like about this pack: It has smooth, compact & neat appearance, the hip belt & shoulder straps tuck into an attached zippered cover…but it does not cover the whole pack to protect it from rain. I like that the main compartment is very roomy and has 2 zippered side compartments. This also has a detachable day pack with a nice suspension system for carrying….just not keen on the internal set up. There are 2 separate compartments…1 holds a tablet and the 2nd has a small laptop sleeve and lots of other compartments for small items (keys, pens, etc). Not sure how well my SLR camera would fit in this day pack.
I began to think that maybe I should look at something smaller in size and just buy a separate day pack…maybe amessenger style bag that has just one large compartment, which would fit my camera, jacket and my journal. This model is the Osprey Porter 46; much smaller inside and it doesn’t have a detachable day pack. For a small pack it has many of the same features as the bigger Osprey packs; like zippered internal side pockets, the straps & waist belt tuck away, In the front panel it has a nice organizational panel for a lap top, credit cards & travel documents and cell phone. Because of it’s smaller size you can also purchase an optional shoulder strap so you can carry it more like a duffel bag rather on your back. The only downside to this is that it might be a bit cumbersome to have to carry two separate bags and can I fit enough items for a 2 week trip.
Can I find a happy medium? A pack that isn’t too huge but still has a detachable day pack that will fit my SLR camera, a journal, a jacket and other odds & ends? The Osprey Farpoint doesn’t come in a womans specific design but it does come in two different sizes with built-in features to customize the fit a bit more once the pack is on. The Osprey Farpoint comes in four different size capacities: 40L (airline carry-on size), 55L, 70L & 80L. The 40L & 80L sizes do not have detachable day packs but the 80L size has a separate compartment that would be ideal for storing an extra pair of shoes! I don’t think I really need a pack this big and I want something that will be easily carried. The Osprey Farpoint 55L may very well be the pack that meets me in the middle. It has the similar look and suspension of the previous Osprey packs, but does not look as big & bulky when wearing the pack with the day pack attached. The day pack doesn’t have as many organizational features, which I like because the main compartment seems to be a bit roomier & will hopefully carry my SLR camera & lenses. My hubby also reminded me that he will be carrying a day pack as well so he can always carry a few of my items in his pack! Inside the large pack it lacks the separate zippered side pockets that I like so much, probably a small concession since I can always get some other type of small bag to keep items separate.
After writing this post and rehashing all the features of the pack I feel it has come down to the REI Grand Tour 80 & the Osprey Farpoint 55L. I would love to be able to see the packs in person and try them on; hopefully our local REI store will have them in stock so we can check them out or at least something similar.
A great site that I watched a bunch of informational videos on all the different Osprey packs can be found at Back Country Edge. This link is for the Osprey Waypoint & Wayfarer packs along with their informational video that I found really helpful! Wayfarer info video