New Carry On Luggage

Time to retire my trusty JanSport travel backpack.

Can’t remember how old it is except that it was purchased from Sierra Trading Post’s mail order catalog where one’s order options were snail mail or phone call. Then, as now, Sierra sold manufacturer close outs and seconds. Who knows how old the pack was when they got it.

It had almost everything I needed in a carry on backpack. Largest legal size, durable, token shoulder straps that hid when not in use, compression straps and plenty of pockets. Minor drawback was the unpadded handles for carrying while not on the back.

The shoulder straps and lack of a waist belt to distribute the load have become problems. Travel fatigue has always been one of my least favorite parts of traveling. Not too proud to admit that carrying the bag causes more fatigue than it used to and recovery from travel fatigue in general takes longer. The astute reader is thinking I gave up one of the last outward indications of youthfulness and bought a wheeled carry on.

Wrong. Decided to go the backpack route one last time because the bag in question is widely praised and it was on sale. Luggage in Thailand is either Chinese crap or very expensive and still likely to be fake. Could have bought a good one in Singapore but figured a lighter backpack with better shoulder straps, a waist belt and the all important sternum strap would take the sting out it’s use. Found one with everything I need except for several small pockets. That’s easy to work around with small mesh sided nylon bags packed on top.

Ordered the Osprey Porter 46 from REI. Hasn’t arrived yet. Took 5 days for Snail Mail Inc. to move it 330 miles from my mail box company in Northern Florida to Miami. If past performance of the USPS lowest cost international package service is any indication the online tracking will report when the box reached Bangkok about 2 or 3 days after it’s delivered to me.

About that sale. Purchase was actually from REI Outlet which usually means overstock or discontinued. Thought briefly about waiting for the pack to show up at Sierra Trading Post just for the weird connection between the two packs. But my Vietnam trip is coming up in Feb. and didn’t want to chance it.

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