Backpack advice - is 55l too small?

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Backpack advice - is 55l too small?

Avatar for Freddo
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Joined 2008-11-26

I keep reading everywhere that a lighter backpack is better than a bigger one and that people more often complain about it having too large than too small a capacity, so I took this advice and bought myself a Gregory Z 55l one yesterday.
The bloke in the Itchy Feet shop (brilliant travelling shop - Wardour St) highly recommended it, echoing what I’ve been hearing - that people generally first go backpacking with a pack way too big, then down-size with consequent trips.
The thing is, now that I look at it, I can’t believe I’m not gonna end up kicking myself for not getting a bigger one to fit my stuff.

I’m gonna be in SE Asia for 5 months from January, and despite hearing that I won’t even end up using most of the stuff I take, my instinct keeps telling me 55 litres isn’t enough space to hold my life for that time.

I’d really appreciate some wise words from anyone with a view on this, either on the size of my packpack or the make (I’d never heard of Gregory, but I’m told it’s really well made).

Cheers muchly

     
Avatar for Missfox
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Joined 2008-10-16

:D well if it comforts you at all
iv got a 60l for 10 months in se asia!!
and thats only 5l more for 5 months more..
im pretty sure like me your thinking omg im going to need to take so much but when it comes down to it you wont need that much at all! im wanting to leave with my bag at least half empty!
x

     
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Joined 2007-06-25

I have a 50 litre rucksack for 12 months travelling. My 6’6 fianc√© has 60l for that time.

I managed to just under half fill my rucksack during my ‘practice trip’ to India, (this including mosquito net). It weighed 10kgs.

For my recent trip to Tanzania, which included my stuff to climb Kilimanjaro. It weighed 14.4kgs. It was a squeeze to fit everything in, but I did have ski jacket, 6 layers for my top, a fleece, a hoody, 2x trousers, trainers, sleeping bag, thermal liner, silk liner etc in there.

It is possible, just leave all the crap behind. The smaller the bag is, the better.

     
Avatar for Freddo
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Thanks ladies

Alexandra in particular you’ve definitely successfully settled my mind about this.

Now I can quietly laugh to myself at those less clued-up, with the world on their backs :o

Cheers

     
Avatar for Matticusd
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I’ve got a 40L if it makes you feel any better. I’m going for twice as long as you but the way I look at it, you don’t need months of clothes, you need a few days worth because you just wash them and reuse. My bag is only about half full when packed, it’s surprising how much you can fit in them.

     
Avatar for Freakgirl0789
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You’ll hear this from everyone, but literally, you won’t use half of the stuff you take anyway. The best piece of advice I can give though is to take clothes you wear at home: lots of people seem to go out and buy special clothes to take away. Don’t…save yourself the cash and take your most favoured items in the wardrobe. If you wear it now, you’ll wear it out there.
(Be sensible though… don’t take your favourite jeans and hoodies if you’re going to be on the beach all the time etc!)

This way, however much you end up stuffing in your pack (which you’ll find is a surprisingly large amount) you know you’ll use most if not all of it!

FreakGirl X

     
Avatar for Graaant
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I’ve got a 65l and its nowhere near full and even at that I haven’t used half the crap in it.

     
Avatar for Amyl83
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I got a Karimor which is 50l, but you can extend it by unzipping it a bit, which then makes it a 70l. I’m planning to use just the 50l capacity, but then having to pack up quick to get to an early morning bus on time will make the extender zip worth it’s weight in gold!

The best bit of advice I had was that the stuff you take should be the same whether you’re going for 1 month, 6 months, 12 months. Just about everywhere you’ll go will have places you can replace stuff (there’s even Boots in thailand!), so don’t feel like you have to take supplies that’ll last the entire trip.

Also, all the gimmicky stuff you can buy on Nomads etc as ESSENTIAL backpacking stuff usually isn’t. Yes it looks cute, and yes you think you might use it…but you’ll probably end up ditching most of it the first time you have to run for a bus in the heat. Seriously think about whether you’re likely to use stuff, and if you have even an inking that you won’t, then leave it behind.

 

     
Avatar for Amyl83
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The best piece of advice I can give though is to take clothes you wear at home: lots of people seem to go out and buy special clothes to take away. Don’t…save yourself the cash and take your most favoured items in the wardrobe. If you wear it now, you’ll wear it out there.

Agreed, a lot of people get sucked into the whole ‘hiking’ type clothing when they’re going away, such as buying north face fleeces, zip off whatevers, etc etc. There’s no need, normal clothes are just as good (if not better, plus they’re far cheaper!) and you’ll not waste crucial space in your rucksack having to have camping clothes as well as clothes for everyday wear.

     
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I got a Karimor which is 50l, but you can extend it by unzipping it a bit, which then makes it a 70l. I’m planning to use just the 50l capacity, but then having to pack up quick to get to an early morning bus on time will make the extender zip worth it’s weight in gold!

The expansion part on that rucksack is actually more like 7 litres of extra space. It’s called the 50-70 because the day pack that comes with it is 20 litres. It should really be called the 50-57+20

     
Avatar for Amyl83
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50-57+20 isn’t quite as catchy though is it LOL

Thanks, you learn something new every day. Not like I’m going to need that space anyway, but worth knowing all the same!

     
deleted-user

hey I had a 65l osprey ariel which I exchanged for a 75l after a week cause I thought it was to small. could kick my arsefor it now. 75l is to big and defently unpractical. I will do a lot of horse work through and wanted to bring my own gear (takes up quite a bit of space). But if I could do it again I would o smaller. So small rocks. Merry christmas

     
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The smaller the better mate! but it depends how you want to travel and how orangised ya are.

65 litre is more than enough,  in my opinion, you proberbly wont use all of it but its nice to have a little bit of extra capacity and its not particularly big. 50 Litre is proberbly the nicest amount if your efficent. Thats if you can resist buying non essential travel crap.

Travel light man and Merry Christmas!

     
deleted-user

I ve just been away for 11 months and traveled with a 40 l plus a day pack and I found that even too much.I m going to India and Nepal for 4 months in February and I m planning to take a 25-30 litre pack + a small day pack.these people who take 50-60 litre +  packs are crazy!

     
Avatar for Xlyndseyx
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Total Posts: 19

Joined 2008-12-19

ok reading al this i bought a 80 lit plus a 20 day bag is this to big for a year trip its my 1st time everything is new what do u think

     
Avatar for Broke
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never needed anthing bigger tha a 40l bigger the bag bigger the problems