When I first began my #justgo adventure, I had a 52L and a 40L backpack, both of which had some stuff attached to the outside. I've shed a lot of stuff since then. On a brief return to the US a month in, I reclaimed my small laptop backpack, because I missed having something daypack sized. From then, when all packed up, I had to keep my laptop in the daypack and the daypack inside the 40L, and stuff other stuff around the outside of it. Since the 40L is side-loading and the daypack top loading, getting my laptop out (eg. at airport security) became a massive PITA. Anyway, I digress.

In Australia, I swapped my 40L with my cousin Tim for a top-loading ~50L at full capacity, but which zipped to a smaller size, a little smaller than my 40L. It was also much lighter when empty, not weighed down by the novel and exciting but actually not very useful satchel-style facilities, and general extra toughness that my 40L has. It nonetheless has decent side, front, and top pockets. I still traveled with my daypack inside the Tim backpack, but being top-loading this was now less inconvenient for access. I kept the extra capacity at the bottom zipped and strapped up, as tight as could be, so it was at its smallest size.

Backpacks on a ferry bench

Tim's backpack is good overall, but a little dodgy in some places. The top handle was missing when I got it, I broke a toggle, and one of the strap sizey things is broken so it takes some manual jiggling to tighten the straps. The main straps are not particularly padded or robust, so if I was packing it at full capacity I'd worry about how long they'd last, or be comfortable for. When I made the swap, I intended to downsize such that I'd ditch my 52L somewhere, and pack Tim's to capacity, then have just that and the daypack.

Now, I have repacked again but left Tim's backpack empty. I have reached a point where I could ditch my 52L and just use Tim's and the daypack, but I've made the executive decision to keep the 52L and rehome Tim's instead, due to the higher quality straps of the former. The 52L is still pretty full, though it could go taller if I needed, and I have to have an extra bag for food when I'm carrying it (I use my WWW conference bag, but a plastic bag would also suffice) as there's no spare room whatsoever in my daypack. But I feel a little less burdened with a much smaller pack on my front now.

Ultimately I'd like to pick up a daypack (~15L) which expands to hand luggage size (~30L) on demand. It needs good side pockets for a water bottle, and a selection of outside pockets as well, neither of which my current daypack has. Something that lets me clip additional pockets onto the outside would also work (my brother suggested this, military style).

Anyway, the hostel in Split were more than happy to take Tim's backpack and slap a 'free backpack' sign on it. Hopefully it'll go on to many new adventures without me.

🏷 #justgo travel