/ 100L rucksack or 100L kit bag?
I was considering getting a 100L rucksack for lugging all the gear around and doubling up as a useful backpack too (probably not stuffed too heavy with gear in that mode!!), but have been suggested a kit bag could be better instead.
Anyone have any experience in this quandry, or learnt lessons from past experience?
Get a big North Face Expedition Duffle. They're great!
Although not the thing to carry around on your back for long periods of time I guess. Actually, I know. Don't do it, it hurts.
Those big millet packs are meant to be "comfy", As if lugging 100l of kit is gonna be "comfy" anyway. Grin and bear it I say!
Um. Do you often need 100l of gear anyway? And if you do why not just get a few smaller bags instead?
Depends on how you are moving.
If on foot or public transport and moving about from place to place, I use a 60L rucsac. Ideally a lightweight one as a heavy rucsac is just useless dead weight!
If based in one place and making day trips, a large 90l duffle and a light 30-35l rucsac works for me. Check out Alpkit's Gourdon.
I have a Gelert one from CCC or Go Outdoors at a fraction of the price. 90L for £23!
I have one of these http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tnf/gear.jsp?site=NA&model=AAW1 (the XL) and it is excellent. I have travelled all over the world with it and the longest I have carried it for was about 5-6 hours and it was comfy. It compresses well, the straps tie up well, if you don't fill it, it doesn't feel terrible, it is really good for living out of and locks. I've had mine for five years and the strap is starting to go on the right shoulder (I am right handed, so naturally sling it there for short distances.) I use my left shoulder now (cunning, eh!) and hope to get another five years out of it. If I was to replace it, I would look at other models and go for a similar size, robust (gets a lot of abuse and 140L is really heavy when it is all on one strap, I had 44 Kg in it once.) shoulder straps, compression straps.
I normally go for cheap stuff, but this is one area where I would get the toughest I could find, as having a broken buckle/strap/leaking bag in the middle of an airport, on top of a bus etc... would be rubbish!
Cotswold also had Mountain Equipment ones in last year - again, much the same spec as TNF (of which I have a couple) but a lot cheaper.
Me, I'd go with the big duffle bag - ideally one with rucsac strap option. Much easier to find your kit in it than in a rucsac.
I would tend to agree when manufacturing was largely done in-house and QA was a lot better. Unfortunately with the trend to outsource to more competitive manufacturers, maintaining this high standard of QA is not always possible.
A good eye for quality workmanship and materials will serve you far better than just blindly paying over the odds for a branded items.
I go with the cheapest, largest, heavy duty cordura roll bag I can find - current one has survived about 20 return flights and cost £20 and is at least 100 litres if not more. Rucsac goes as hand baggage. If one needs to walk, rucsac goes on one's back and the roll bag gets perched on top of that. The roll bag itself weighs about 1kg at the most -
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