a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
The Traveling Backpack
The Traveling Backpack

The Traveling Backpack

The Traveling Backpack

When packing for our latest trip, we were debating over taking our favorite traveling backpack or not. While discussing our packing strategy, we realized that our favorite carry-on bag has really been almost EVERYWHERE [airports, deserts, forests, hikes, bike trips, surf trips, kite trips, etc.].

You name it, it’s probably been there.

The Traveling Backpack
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Where has our traveling backpack been?

Our pack doesn’t have a lot of patches on the outside, but it does have a lot of stories to tell.

These are the places it has been so far:



Travel, Kite, Bike, Hike, Repeat…

Purchased in 2004, it has become the traveling backpack that we never travel without. We decided, it just couldn’t be left at home. It needed another adventure.

Traveling Backpack
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What makes our traveling backpack great? Why we love it!

The Bladder Compartment

Andrew originally bought our “D2 Fit”-Camelbak backpack for mountain biking in college [note: this model is no longer available from Camelbak]. Since then, it has become our go-to backpack for every travel occasion (hikes, weekend get-aways, kite trips, triathlons, etc.).

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The bladder compartment is a separate zipped and padded pocket in between the straps and the bag. Instead of carrying water here, we use it for small electronics (iPads, Chromebooks, phones, etc.) and important documents (passports, wallets, vaccine cards, etc.).

Since it is a padded pocket, the electronic items are protected when tucked under an airplane seat or thrown in the back of a car.

As a smaller zipped compartment, directly on your back, it is also harder to access, making it a little safer from pick-pockets and other damage.

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The Smaller Front Opening

Most backpacks have a smaller pocket on the front, but this smaller front pocket has additional mini-storage compartments. Attached inside the smaller opening is a flap with pen/pencil slots, a velcro coin slot, and a couple other tiny pockets!

This is a great place for the items you want to quickly access that easily get lost amongst larger items. I usually put my phone, coins, pens, sun screen, bug spray, and snacks here.

Travel Backpacks
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The Glasses Compartment

On the top of the bag is a small pocket the shape of glasses. This is obviously a great place to store your glasses or sunglasses, but I also like to store my earbuds here. Again they are in an easily accessible spot without getting lost when thrown in with larger items in the main compartment.

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The Main Compartment

Like all backpacks, the main pocket is large and spacious. You can store so much here. When traveling on an airplane or in a car, this is where I like to store my computer, sweatshirts, books, and neck pillow.

When hiking it is the best spot for extra clothing, hats, and picnic items.

At the beach the large pocket is the best spot for towels, books, and rash guards.

I have even used this bag for a two week surf trip. It really is enough space for a week of summer clothing!

Hiking Backpack
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The Exterior Attachment Points

The two net pockets on the sides are perfect for storing water bottles. They even fit 32-ounce Nalgene bottles. Yes!

While hiking or walking, it is easy to reach back and grab a water bottle.

Backpack Water Bottle Holder
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Along the front of the pack there is a bungee chord. This is a fantastic place to attach a rain coat, small umbrella, or extra shoes.

Backpack Bungees
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The Comfort of a Backpack

This pack has additional padding between the pack and your back for extra comfort when carrying it.

Backpack Straps
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Along the waist and chest, there are straps to distribute the weight equally while hiking or just trekking through the airport. It is also really helpful to secure these prior to long hikes, not after. Save your back!

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Replacing our Favorite Traveling Backpack?

As our favorite pack ages, we have tried to find a new pack that is up to the task of replacing it. Unfortunately, we haven’t quite found what we are looking for.

The Traveling Backpack
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When shopping for a new bag, we are hoping to improve on the awesomeness of our favorite travel backpack.

In the first replacement attempt, we tried a pack with more pockets and attachment points. It turns out there were too many and not in the right places.

On our second replacement attempt, we went for a waterproof pack so we could take it out on the water. This time, there are not enough pockets and all things tend to get lost at the bottom of the pack. We are always just dumping it out to find what we are looking for.

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The Perfect Travel Backpack!

Overall, it will be tough to find a better pack than this one. Sure it’s not frilly or waterproof and it doesn’t have a frame, but for everyday travel needs it’s about perfect for us.

What makes for a good traveling backpack for your needs? Does the perfect travel backpack exist? Do you even call it a backpack? [some people may call it a rucksack].

We would love to hear about it in the comments below.

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Thanks for reading and safe travels.


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