Europe · Travel · Travel Tips

From Luggage to Travel Pack

Luggage Travel

What possesses a person to go from an overly-large piece of luggage for a 3-week trip to a 55L travel pack? Lots of wine.

Okay, not really.

But this did happen – and it only took 2.5 glasses of wine and a box of Kleenex to dry my tears.

So, why did we decide to go from traveling with luggage to travel packs?

Last October when we were working on our original itinerary that consisted of 7 countries in 3 weeks, I thought it may be best to travel with backpacks seeing as how the majority of our travel would be by rail and it would be much easier to maneuver with backpacks. When we began narrowing down our itinerary and ended up with just Ireland, Scotland, and France, I saw this as an opportunity to switch back to luggage (I had yet to order our backpacks). Smitten with this idea, I began booking the trip.

Fast forward to last week when I was talking to an acquaintance who has traveled to all 7 continents and been to  104 countries. She was telling me that she, her husband, and son (not quite 2) just got back from a 3-week trip in Asia. They all shared just one piece of luggage which they checked, along with 2 backpacks, and a diaper bag. They have this travel thing down.

If they can all live out of one piece of luggage for 3 weeks, then I should have no problem traveling with a 55L backpack of my own for 3 weeks.

I nervously made my way to Moose Jaw’s website and placed an order for 2 Osprey Farpoint 70  travel packs. I’ve had my eye on the Osprey Farpoint for a while now. This bag is actually two bags in one. It comes with a 15-liter zip-off day back, leaving the main backpack 55 liters. The big bag is not carry-on size, but we are okay with this since we already paid Easy Jet and Aer Lingus checked bag fees.

Backpack
Bag with removable daypack attached
Backpack 5
The 15L removable day pack
Backpack 2
The Farpoint with it’s backpack and lumbar straps zipped up to turn the pack into a duffle bag.

I have always used eBags packing cubes because I cannot stand a cluttered bag. These fit perfectly into the backpack and there is still plenty of room for souvenirs! The selling point for me on this bag was the zip-off day pack and the front-open on the backpack. This allows for easy access to the main compartment and no digging for what you’re looking for!

I began packing how I would if I were going to take luggage; in other words, overpacking. What you see here is 4 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of jeans, 2 shorts, 1 leggings, 2 gym shorts, 12 tops, 2 jackets, 1 dress, bras, underwear, socks, makeup bag, toiletry bag, blow dryer, quick-drying towel, and straightener. It appears I am moving overseas instead of taking a 3-week trip! All of this manages to somehow fit into my luggage without be having to extend the top…barely.

2nd pair of leggings, 13th shirt, 5th pair of shoes, and 3rd jacket/pullover worn at airport.

Backpack Revised
Overpacking? Psh.

 

Backpack 7
It all fits! Weight: unknown

The second glass of wine got poured when I had to begin weeding out clothes like crazy to get stuff to fit in my Osprey travel pack. The half glass came when I packed, tried to fit everything in, and it didn’t fit. The weeding-out process started over again and I shed one single tear.

Here is what I am down to: 2 jeans, 1 shorts, 1 gym shorts, 2 shoes, 6 shirts, 1 jacket, bra, underwear, socks, toiletry bag, microfiber towel. Leggings, 7th shirt, and 3rd pair of shoes will be worn at airport along with my fleece pullover stored in my daypack. I can also throw my Tieks into my daypack or purse should I choose to do so!

Backpack 10
So little clothes for 20 days!
Backpack 9
It all fits with room to spare for souvenirs!

The picture above looks deceiving, but everything fit great inside the pack. This was before I strapped everything in and made a few minor adjustments, but I had no problem zipping up the pack and even attaching the travel pack with a full load.

Backpack revised 2
The moment I realized I was going to have to significantly cut back on clothes. First glass of wine was poured shortly thereafter.

 

Backpack 3
My usual luggage versus my travel pack (minus day pack).

Admittedly, I was very intimidated by the travel pack. I was 150% sure there was no way I would be able to downsize bags and cut out nearly half of what I wanted to take with me. I’m happy to say I did it, and hopefully I will be able to do it again next week when it’s actually time to pack the clothes again for the trip. I’m anxious to see how the Osprey Farpoint will work for us once we’re on our way. So far, I’m feeling good about the transition to the pack from conventional luggage. From train, to plane, to feet, I don’t think we will have any problems!

Update 7/6/16: Our packs survived the trip and came out in great shape! Although, I do have to stitch up my day pack as one of the pockets ripped. Overall, I was very pleased with the packs and how much they can hold. My one regret is that I did not order the “medium frame” pack. I ordered the large frame and it did cause quite a bit of pain on my lower back and shoulders when we were trekking to the airport, hotel, or train station. I have a short upper body, so the bottom strap was hitting me below the hips instead of above and was causing me grief!

Shop the items below!

Best Travel Accessories

 

#1 Samsonite Ripstop Luggage – I cannot personally comment on this piece, but it is used by a world-traveler that packed 3 people in it for 3 weeks . It came recommended by her.

#2 Osprey Farpoint 70  – Use your ID.me login to receive military and first responder discount. This is what we will be taking on our trip in a few weeks.

#3 Calvin Klein 29″ Upright Spinner Luggage – Brady’s luggage of choice.

#4 Tieks Ballet Flats – The most comfortable shoe ever!

#5 eBags Packing Cubes – For the organized packer.

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