No matter what adventures the road may bring, every journey begins the same – by packing a bag.
For many travelers, myself included, packing is the most dreaded part of travel. Although I’ve become a much more efficient packer through the years, packing still remains a challenge for me. After all, while every journey will begin in the same way, each ends up vastly different, and the gear you bring varies greatly depending on the destination, activities and style of your trip.
For my most recent adventure, two weeks in Papua New Guinea, I wasn’t quite sure what type of luggage to bring. True I was going on a business trip and should probably do my best to maintain a professional image, but this was no ordinary business trip. After spending a few days attending a conference in the capital city of Port Moresby, I’d be traveling with a group to three destinations in the country for hiking, scuba diving and cultural immersion.
As Papua New Guinea is a fairly undeveloped country, I knew the journey in store would include flying on small airplanes, sailing to remote islands on boats and trekking through mountains on off-road adventures, so a suitcase, while perhaps a more traditional choice for business travel, didn’t seem like the best fit. I needed luggage that was reasonably sized yet spacious, sturdy and low maintenance – something without wheels that could withstand being thrown around and squeezed into small spaces.
In my research I came across the Deviate Travel Pack 60L, a carry-on sized 45L travel backpack with a 15L clip-on daypack. As I soon discovered, this was an excellent choice in luggage for my trip.
So whether you’re headed to Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica or New Zealand, here’s five reasons why the Deviate Travel Pack by Eagle Creek is the perfect gear for your adventure travels.
Who says backpackers have to look sloppy? Ok, I realize this reason may be a little vain, but the Deviate Travel Pack looks good. While this may not be the most important reason to select gear for a standard backpacker, it was important to me that I at least had some sense of polish while trekking through the highlands, lowlands and posh lobby of the Stanley Hotel in Papua New Guinea.
The backpack comes in several flash colors. I chose the brilliant blue, and the blue is brilliant indeed. I was complimented several times on the color of the bag. Thanks to the sleek design of the exterior I felt at ease while meeting new colleagues with a pack strapped to my back and felt I at least looked the part I was trying to play – adventure business traveler.
“You’re carrying all that on your back,” one of my travel companions exclaimed as I stood upright at the entrance of the Kavieng airport and adjusted the grey straps above my shoulders.
Yes, this is the point of a backpack – that you wear it on your back, but I understand her point; the notion of carrying so much weight without the aid of wheels sounds uncomfortable. But thanks to some special features, it wasn’t that hard to hold all my belongings on my back in the Deviate Travel Pack.
The back of the pack is equipped with a frame sheet that flexes based on movement, and the contoured moisture-wicking padded back panel molded comfortably into the curve of my back.
The shoulder straps are well padded so they don’t dig into your skin, and the hip belt is also padded and helped me better manage the weight. There’s a lot of straps that can be adjusted for a more comfortable fit.
I always try to pack as light as I can. However, my trip to Papua New Guinea required diversity in clothing – I needed appropriate options for business meetings, chilly mountain tops, humid rainforests and hot coastal villages. As I was leading a group I also needed a first aid kit, extra sunscreen and bug spray.
When I first laid out everything I wanted to bring I was a bit worried I would not have enough space, but soon discovered this was not the case.
The main compartment of the Deviate Travel Pack is long. There’s 45L of space and everything I needed for my two week trip, from dresses and a blazer to hiking boots and a swim suit, fit just fine.
Belongings always have a way of expanding when I travel but I never had any issues repacking it in between destinations –there was always plenty of space.
The Deviate Travel Pack has a variety of compartments that helped me stay organized on the road.
In the main compartment, the bottom of the bag is shaped perfectly for shoes and that’s where my hiking boots, water shoes and flip flops went. There’s a back pocket that runs almost the entire length of the back which was great for separating dirty clothes.
On the exterior there’s two open side pockets that I especially appreciated to be able to use as overflow space in between travels and as a place to store my water bottle. I suggest to fellow travelers who may use this bag however to not leave anything in these side pockets if you check the bag on a flight. I lost a hair brush and a bottle of lotion this way (either they fell out or someone swiped them).
The top compartment was my favorite. This can be accessed without unzipping the entire bag so I stored things here I needed easy access to like snacks and big spray.
1. Day Pack
No matter how organized I try to be, I’ve never been the most put together traveler. My belongings always have a way of expanding and I generally walk through airports holding too many things in my hands, or awkwardly trying to balance another bag, looking rather disheveled. I seriously have a problem with this.
And so, hands down my favorite feature of the Deviate Travel Back is the detachable day pack. This 15 L backpack clips onto the outside of the larger bag, giving you a way to consolidate all your belongings into one space and the flexibility to separate and remove your essential items need be.
The detachable daypack has enough space to fit my laptop, camera and other essential carry-on items like my wallet, passport, sunglasses and journey.
This meant I could carry all my belongings into the airport hands-free while seamlessly being able to remove my most important items. You can bet I walked up to those airport check- in counters waving my empty hands full of pride!
On most flights I checked the larger pack, so all I had to do was place the pack on the belt, clip off the day pack and I was good to go. This feature also made it convenient for boat and car travel. I’d walk up to my mode of transportation, remove my daypack and hand the backpack over to be stored in a separate place.
Having a day pack that could clip off the main backpack proved an asset. I used it every day in my travels around Papua New Guinea. It was almost my favorite thing I put on my back in my travels, but in one village near Madang I found something, or someone, a little sweeter.
Note: I received a sample Deviate Travel Pack to review for Something In Her Ramblings. However all thoughts and opinions are my own.