Thursday, April 9, 2009

Betty buys a backpack!

After four months in Australia, four months in Europe, and two weeks in Spain, I've finally decided to buy my own pack instead of borrowing from a very kind friend. It's taken months of research and hunting down the right sale with free shopping, but it's arrived! The Osprey Women's Waypoint 60 is my new love!

Here are the specs I looked for when choosing a pack:

Size: I was looking for something in the 60-75 liter range. The pack Lowe Alpine I borrowed for Europe was the perfect size. Not too big and not too small. Let's face it, I'm not a big girl, which means my clothes aren't very big. When packing for extended travel, I'd likely pack the same amount for a two week trip as I would for a four month trip, minimalist lifestyle. Ideally, I wanted something that I could bring as a carry on if I wanted to. I have no issue with heights or flying, but when it comes to trusting airlines with my checked luggage... That's when the issues start.
Detachable Day Pack: A detachable day pack was something I definitely wanted for the pack. When on the road, I can dump the main pack at the hostel for the day and explore the city with just the day pack. The Waypoint day pack is a bit on the small side, but I think it will be fine. It's still big enough to fit my current laptop. I did some spec searching online and my future Macbook will fit without issue as well.
Lockable: I didn't want a top loading pack. Finding things on the whim can make top loaders a bit of a hassle. I wanted a pack that would open like a suitcase. It would also need to have zippers that would allow me to lock the whole pack. This brings us back to me being paranoid about luggage being lost and riffled through. The main and day packs of the Waypoint are both lockable.
Water proof/resistant: Ideally, I would have liked a pack with a built in rain cover, but this wasn't a huge issue. I probably only used the rain cover 2-3 times when in Europe. The Waypoint is water resistant which is good enough considering I pack all my clothes and belongings in zip lock bags when backpacking. They do sell separate rain covers if this is something I find I really need.

I'm ready to hit the road!