60 Days in South America: The Bags

One of the most difficult decisions of preparing for a backpacking trip in South America is what bags to use. When living out of a backpack it’s very important to make sure it fits well and meets most of your travel requirements.

The Bag: Osprey Fairpoint 40 Travel Pack

Pros:

Carry-on size- Small enough to fit in overhead bins on MOST flights

Front loading- This was the main reason I went with a pack made for traveling vs trekking. The front load feature allows you to nicely fold and organize your clothing, it’s MUCH easier than having to dig aimlessly through a huge backpack to find a shirt on the very bottom, like I did in Europe for 3 weeks.

Fits in overhead bin!

Fits in overhead bin!

Cons:

Seams seem a bit weak, probably due to over packing.

Isn’t as comfortable as a trekking pack, but since I only used it to move between places that wasn’t really an issue.

Price tag At $140 USD, it isn’t cheap

Overall I think the Pros outweighed the Cons and I’d highly recommend it other travelers

The Daypack: Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack

Pros:

It’s extremely light weight (weighs 11 oz) and allows you to fold it into its on pocket, which makes for easy packing. While it’s not supposed to be waterproof it kept my camera dry during a day long hike in Colombia I was in a torrential downpour and heavy rain for ~3 hours.

Cons: 

After using it for 3 months the seams have begin to fray a bit, sensing a trend with my luggage? The $79 price tag was a steep price to pay for a bag like this. If in need of a light weight day pack I’d suggest the REI Flash 18 Pack, the half priced option which doubles as a stuff sack.

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