Good travel gear is something of a thing with me
My day pack for instance was the result of 6 weeks of research, and buying one dud pack (Macpac, what are you doing?) before I stumbled across my final pick
My absolute must have feature was that it be hard for someone to furtively steal your stuff as you were carrying it, as when you travel crowds are a given, and its always good when you can come out the other side with everything you started with.
After many contenders, I think I have found a veritable fortress!
This pack is great for travel because it has the following features:
· Zips that can be locked with a padlock (large metal loops at the top of the zips you can actually get a padlock through when the zips are pushed together)
· No external facing pockets that can be easily opened by other people
· Mesh pockets off the sides for drink bottles, muddy sneakers
· Cinch straps so you can cinch the circumference of the pack in once its been packed. This tightens across all pockets so not only is everything drawn closer, but it adds another layer of protection as you have to loosen this strap again to get back into the contents.
· A quick stash pocket which can hold scarf, gloves, sarong, hat, bandanna – anything you need to get to easily but doesn’t require locking away
· Multiple pockets – once you have figured out a system regarding what you are going to keep where, stay with it, otherwise every time you want something you will be methodically going through each pocket in turn looking for that damn USB drive
· A small organiser shelf inside a zipped pocket that can be used for your keys, phone, pens, notebook. It always helps you grab things in a hurry when everything is not jumbled together at the bottom of your bag.
· Large back pocket which can hold a 13” laptop but does not look like a laptop bag
· Waist harness, because face it, when fully loaded, this is just going to hurt your shoulders
· Air flow directed cushions so the pack doesn’t sit flush against your back, and ensures some ventilation when carrying
Camelback bladder and water system. Actually this is meant to be the bag’s main focus, as this is what Camelbak do so well, but for me, the pack was awesome in so many ways that this is now just an added extra. This will come in handy when I am travelling I think. Especially in Mexico or Greece on day walks.
It also comes with it’s own raincoat! At the very bottom of the bag is a zipped flap that contains a waterproof cover, fixed at the bottom with elastic sides so you can just pull it over the pack in the rain and continue to wear it without getting it soaked.
· A concealed pocket at the top of the pack that can be used for phone or wallet storage – and is easy to get your things out of when you stop, but invisible unless you know its there (which is why I am telling you all on a blog)
Its also pretty slash-safe in a crowd as all my gear is carried right in the middle of the pack area, and so long as I keep both straps on my shoulders when I am walking, and the waist strap, I should be fine from grab and run thieves.
Not that I expect any of this to happen, but I became a lot more savvy after watching a moped ride-by grab-bag experience in Marrakesh. So, to my mind, a little planning in the beginning means I have a couple less things to consider later.