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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:31 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm
Posts: 25

Can anyone recommend a high quality backpack?

I've worn out two backpacks in ~40$ range over 6 years, need something that will last.


I'm pretty short, so max. 30 liters or my back breaks.




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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am
Posts: 1574

Great thing about REI is that they guarantee their stuff for life so they generally make it rather durable.




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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm
Posts: 206

Tom Bihn (http://www.tombihn.com) not cheap, but made in Seattle, great quality




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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:40 am
Posts: 73

One of my favourite bloggers recommends the Tom Bihn "Synapse" which he uses quite frequently as a world traveler.


http://tynan.com/2011gear scroll down to it, review there.


Coincidentally, he also lives in an RV in the SF Bay Area, is financially independent from passive income, out of the box type.




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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm
Posts: 349
Location: NYC

I don't have any particular suggestions, but I've noticed that with my backpacks the zipper tends to fail long before anything else. Perhaps a zipper-less backpack would be ideal?


And if the zipper isn't the problem, then one of the straps breaks off.




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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:03 am
Posts: 489

An old thread with a couple of suggestions:

http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/viewtopic.php?t=712


I've used EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) with good longevity except that the waterproof inner lining deteriorated rapidly after 8 yrs, cracking and flaking. Currently using an inexpensive High Sierra with no complaints; it seems pretty sturdy.




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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 5:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
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Location: Chicago, IL

I'm still trying to kill one I got for free 8 years ago but once it dies I'm probably going with Maxpedition. (They tend to have water bladder pockets that are big enough to substitute for a laptop.)




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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 5:40 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:45 am
Posts: 766

The basic LL Bean nylon backpacks hold up pretty well for the price.




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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:24 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:00 am
Posts: 621

I have a military surplus pack that still looks brand new after 4 years of constant use.




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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:14 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:47 am
Posts: 156

My boyfriend and I both have 55L Osprey packs. He got his used and has had it for 5 years. I bought mine new 4 years ago. They've seen A LOT of use and are still in good shape (multi-state AT trips, thru-hiking the Long Trail, hitchhiking, etc.) His hip straps wore out about a year ago and Osprey repaired them for the cost of shipping with no questions asked even though he's not even the original purchaser. I imagine they make smaller packs as well.


As for an errand and short trip back pack, I have a plain, black, three pocket number I got at a garage sale for 50 cents. I'm pretty sure I've gotten my 50 cents out of it already.




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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 4:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:58 pm
Posts: 392

I second the Osprey packs, but I have not used mine enough to validate the durability. My only complaint with some of the Ospray packs is the pack will sometimes get caught in the zipper. I have had a Timberland normal size pack to carry my books in college since 1998. It held up the whole time and is still going. My favorite thing was the massive zipper (never broke or snagged).


All of my packs have looked awesome as well. I have also heard great things regarding the wenger/swissgear packs.




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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 6:11 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm
Posts: 25

Thank you! A lot of stuff to look into. Unfortunately, a lot of your suggestions seems to be American brands, I live in Europe, so the shipping is probably quite costly. I can get Osprey here though, so I might go with that one.

Found some European brands: Haglöf, Deuter, Northface and Fjällräven, do any of you have any experiences with these brands?




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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am
Posts: 1682

I have an Osprey "suitcase" pack called a "Porter" -- small enough to carry on a plane, but with straps -- that I've used for several years and have been quite happy with. Have taken it all over the world. I would not characterize it as a regular backpack, though.




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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:31 am
Posts: 898
Location: NYC

@boltzmannsbrain - I have experience with Deuter.


I own a 28L Deuter Futura. It works great as a daypack, for around town, or for traveling. It's well-constructed and popular in Germany (to me, a good sign for durability). The big selling point for me is that that the frame holds the pack an inch or so off my body, important since I sweat a lot in even cool weather, and don't relish walking around with a big splotch on my back. It also includes a raincover in the bottom of the pack. The size is just right as well, it's small enough to be easy to carry around, but large enough that I can stuff a ton of crap into it. I spent a week backpacking in Europe with it last year, and will be spending two weeks traveling with it this year. I don't anticipate any problems, but I do travel light.


I'm 5'8", the bag doesn't feel overly large to me.


My previous pack was an army surplus pack (I think it's an ALICE pack). Super-durable (I used it for 5 years with no signs of wear), but it was not well thought-out, IMO. There was no support so it was just a big pouch, with some water bottle pouches on the outside. If you didn't put something solid in it, it would collapse. Also the clips that it used were very difficult to quickly open/close, I had to replace them with some simple snap clips. Finally I felt self-conscious wearing it, since I haven't been in the military and didn't want to pretend that I was.


Army surplus is probably the best deal in terms of cost/durability ratio, but not so good for usability/style.


I've been happy with the Deuter and have no desire to switch right now.




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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:45 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:54 pm
Posts: 152

I backpacked Europe using the 70L Osprey Aether hiking pack(paid $205). It was a great durable hiking pack and the straps provided great support, but it was way overpriced.




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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm
Posts: 52

Hello boltzmannsbrain,


I own the Wenger Synergy http://www.amazon.com/Wenger-GA-7305-14F00-SwissGear-Computer-Backpack/dp/B000NONHYY since about 2 years.


I travel a lot arround Europe. (Car, bike, public transportation, airplane, train...)


I can recommend this backpack to any city traveler with laptop.


If you want to do a backpack trip through India, this one is the wrong backpack.


Otherwise, It´s perfect. Read amazons reviews as I did.




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