Largest carry-all backpack size?
I'm planning my first backpacking trip, and was wondering what the largest backpack size I'm able to purchase while still ensuring that I will be able to keep it with me *at all times*. I'd like to take it as carry-on on a plane, and don't want to store it in any compartments in the bottom or top of a bus. I may not get the largest size, I just want to know the upper limit. Some people have said 50L, while others have said 35L.
The biggest limiting factor is going to be airplane carry-on restrictions. If you're going to be flying within Argentina, you might find that some of the domestic airlines have stricter policies. The carry-on allowance for LAN and SKY airlines in Chile seemed to be smaller, but I still brought a 35L bag through without troubles.
A couple of good resources are to pop into REI to get a look at a few different brands, and to see what sort of style you like. Most pack manufacturers will list their bag dimensions online, and you can compare these to what the airline states as carry-on allowance.
There are a couple of really popular bags on here, but I'm forgetting what they are. Hopefully someone else will chime in. Eagle Creek seems to be quite popular, and I'm rather fond of the more outdoorsy style of the Arc'teryx and Gregory lines. If you check out the link in my signature, you can see which bag I took to Chile and Peru. I'm just working on writing up my packing list for 2.5 months in Costa Rica, but I haven't gotten around to deciding what I'm taking, so haven't been able to get a list yet. I'm 90% sure I'm taking a 35L Arcteryx Cierzo.
I've had this pack for years, so I'd day that's at least 100 or so successful carry-on flights Travel packs in general are easier to carry on because of the rectangular shape. With a top loading pack you seem to get away with less.
Editing to add that this looks like the current updated model of the same pack. Crap, now I'm tempted to update my faithful old pack http://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Creek-Trave ... d_sbs_sg_1
Along the same lines, travel packs will generally give you the most liters while still fitting within the regulations. My travel pack ranges from 40-50L and I've never really had much trouble bringing it with me along trains/buses/planes
Any tips for traveling in South America / Argentina? I'll be leaving late august / early september, and am gonna play it by ear once I arrive. I probably won't stay in Argentina the whole time, although I did see the recent Boots 'n all article about it which does nothing to help calm the excitement.
Here's a picture of the Aeronaut in one of those carry-on size cages.
I was heavily considering one of those two when I read Life Nomadic's review of the Deuter Futura 28, which made me change my mind and consider the ultra-light packing method. He even has a short video of how he packs the bag on YouTube. That little guy is definitely carry-on size.
Circle of Life - The Lion King
I like the idea of the 28L pack, but after watching the video he seems to be straining the seams on that thing. I spent a month in Thailand with about 15 L worth of gear in a small shoulder bag, and I considered my Lonely Planet to push me out of ultralight. I don't know what a headphone amplifier is, but I think it's definitely out of the UL packing category! I like having extra space in the bag to pick up a few extra things along the way, ie: a ripe melon or other tropical fruits, booze, embarrassing tourist sweaters for friends back home.
Also, I finally packed for Costa Rica (sitting in the Houston airport right now) and my 35L pack came up about 3/4 full. I brought 3 hefty books that tipped me a little closer to capacity, but I also am cheating by stowing my towel in my surfboard bag.
I wrote that all out before I realized you might have been joking about not knowing what a headphone amplifier is.
Whatever blows your skirt up though.
It's 51cmx30cmx20cm, 30L/which is even within Ryanair's guidelines of 55cmx40cmx20cm. It's got a variety of pockets, and it even has side-access to the main compartment to get at that hard to reach stuff. It's frameless, but still clocks in at 3 pounds, which is pretty heavy for a frameless pack, but is about the average weight for a 30L-32L pack.
"The safe maximum size is 45", in the form of a 22" x 14" x 9" bag. Some airlines allow up to as much as 55", but most do not."
Check a few airlines guide for carry-on restriction.
My Eagle Creek Women's Explorer LT backpack and daypack combo is 69L total (picture left). The main pack dimensions are 14 x 22 x 8.5 in / 36 x 56 x 22 cm. I separate the daypack and main pack when flying, or stuff the daypack inside the main pack, and never have problem carrying them "carry-on". But this size is pretty much almost as large as you can have.
Airlines usually limit the carry on based on length x width x height measurement, not necessarily the resulting volume (for example, if you pack happen to be very long in shape, it won't fit even if the total volume is small). For example, my husband pack (I think Osprey Waypoint 60 Men, picture right) is also around 60-70L (including day pack), but his pack is "tall" (to support his tall body better), so in most cases they asked us to check the luggage.
Left: mine, right: my husband's. Scale might be different.
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