The backpack Quest!

One key element for our trip is without any doubt the backpack we will be carrying for a full year! in planes, trains, boats and god knows what other means of transportation we will be using!

I think I never spent as much time as now looking for a bag! and plus a bag in which I can only take two pairs of shoes... :( for a woman it can be a true challenge.

The backpacks are defined in terms of liters, the biggest ones are between 60-70 liters followed by 45-60l and 30-45l.

Since the bigger the backpack the more tendency is to pack a lot! so we decided to go for a 30-45l. After researching in the following great websites:

We realized that we were looking for a backpack with the following characteristics:

-Fit in the overhead compartment of a bus or plane
-Light and with separate zipped compartments
-Decent quality at a decent price (yes... might be to much to ask!)

Although we knew what we wanted! nothing better than giving it a try, so we headed to the shop here in Belgium that has the essential gear for backpacking trips, AS Adventure.

Indeed the backpacks that make scene are the 40l, since 50 or 60l are huge!! and a temptation to fill with extra stuff that we might not even need,

The brand that is affordable and good quality is without any doubt the German brand Deuter,

After our trials we were pretty much set to take these two:

but as good shoppers we wanted to double check if online we could get a better deal :) and indeed we found it! funny enough it was in the website of the store we visited! we bought similar models from the last year collection at half price (originally they were 150 euros each)!!!

Here they are!

The backpack on the left is mine (40l) and the other Antonio's (45l)

One concern we had with the backpacks is how to protect them when they need to be checked in, how to avoid damage or theft, the solution is a flight bag that completely covers them! :) and can be locked! problem solved!!
Next Quest!! shoes, light/quick dry clothes!!

If you have any suggestions for our next Quest please let us know :)


  1. Shoes: Definitly Flip Flops. I recommend the brand "Havaianas". They are a little bit heavier than other brands, but the quality and durability is so much superior. :)

  2. Hi João :) we will definitely be taking our loyal Havaianas! indeed these flip flops last and last!! :)

  3. Hey guys some more packing and general suggestions:
    * Ziplock bags, the kind you use in the kitchen (to organize all the little bits & pieces, electronics, pharmacy) as well as the bigger ones they have in AS adventure to pack clothes vacuum
    * more for peace of mind : get a small combination lock (not a key one), to lock your bag or lockers and doors at some guest houses
    * (silk) sleeping bag liners, they weigh nothing and then it really doesn't matter how (not) clean your hostel is, helps with mosquitoes to some level as well, look around for a packtowel (don’t take the smaller ones, they’re really not big enough to get you dry)
    *less is more, 3 t-shirts and 2 pants is enough, don’t take a jeans or some think sweater, you won’t use em, a thin fleece can be useful though at altitude and most importantly : you’re in asia, everything is dirt cheap anyway, whatever you need can be bought on the road, just underwear is worth taking bit more
    * get a (really !) cheap netbook, and USB disk or external hard disk to have a backup of your pictures (buy in China !) and keep them separate at all times
    * some countries (China, Vietnam) block a good part of the internet, install soft token and VPN client … (in Vietnam it’s just DNS based, use as a DNS server instead …)
    * store copies of your passports, visas, vaccination card etc. in gmail
    * take plenty of passport pictures, you’ll need 1 or 2 for each visa application, print them for cheap through vista print or so
    * don’t take your own phone / SIM card, buy some cheap ones there, most countries have pre-paid traveler SIM cards, if you want to call home: all the internet cafes have skype and / or install CIPC on that netbook :)
    * take ear plugs and a face mask and optionally one of those blow-up travelers pillows for long bus / plane rides, also Valium is freely distributed in most of Asia and is nowhere near as bad as you would think

  4. Kris!! thank you for the amazing tips!!!! :) I've added them to our check lists


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