alex go litely

hack job

In my ongoing quest to find the perfect setup for a theoretical year-long around-the-world trip, I’m constantly evaluating pieces of kit.

Long time blog readers may remember an older post of all the crap I brought along for a mere three weeks of travel. Well, I sold the Northface Doubletrack in that photo and replaced it with a Patagonia MLC. [HT Joey Ferrari]

The Northface bag was a little on the heavy side and a little bit too long to comfortably fit into all the variable-sized overhead bins I’ve encountered in my travels. Its roll-aboard nature makes twitchy gate attendants want to check it occasionally, which defeats the entire purpose of a roll-aboard.

The MLC has just as much volume, but much more importantly, looks like a backpack, meaning it won’t draw the ire of gate attendants who have god-like powers over you. So, I’m pretty excited about it.

One negative I discovered was that the shoulder strap is ridiculously long and makes the bag way too low, which is uncomfortable. So last night, I got Mikey Brown to do a little surgery on it, and the results were great. Just two dudes, drinking the Champagne of beers, listening to American sports radio broadcasts, and doing a little sewing. We are such excellent modern men.

One nice thing I will say is that the Doubletrack’s daypack was very nice. Thus leading me to my next quest of finding the perfect self-stowing daypack.

Currently under evaluation are the Chico Daypack20, the Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack, and the REI Zip Travel Daypack.

Out of the running are the Kiva bag and the Sea to Summit bag since they just don’t look like they have enough support.

It’s devilishly hard to find the packed size of these bags online, and even harder to figure out how they compare to each other. Luckily, a few folks in town have the Chico bag and the Patagonia one, so I borrowed them for comparison purposes.

4 1/4  vs 6 1/2

7 vs 11

profiles

You can see that the Patagonia bag dwarfs the Chico bag. This sort of comparison is utterly unavailable anywhere else on the entire wombat, as far as I can tell.

I really wish I were able to find the REI bag, but alas, no one I know has it and the local store is out of stock.

Decisions, decisions.