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What is a Good Backpack for Travel

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What is a good backpack for travel?

Hello Janell,

For the past couple of years I have been traveling with a Kelty Redwing 2650 cc backpack. I have found this bag to do the job without breaking down or otherwise crapping out. These Kelty backpacks are structurally sound, well stitched, and made for continuous use in rough circumstances.

There are a couple moronic design flaws – such as the stupid Velcro shut side pockets that have zippers that run vertically down their entire length – but the important features are right on. The harness is good and it is comfortable to wear, the zippers are well made and open the bag like a suitcase.

Some travelers have complained that the back is too small, but I think that this is one of its better features. I like to use small backpacks because I know that I am going to fill my bag no matter how large or small it is. The smaller the bag, the less junk I will carry. But the Kelty Redwing does come in a variety of sizes. I have one of the smaller ones, but they come as large as full rucksacks.

How to fix Kelty backpack zippers so they can be locked

Another small problem with the Kelty Redwing backpack’s design is that the zippers have string tabs instead of metal ones that can be locked. It does not do you much good to lock a couple of strings. But you can make metal rings that can be easily locked by following the below directions.

First you should locate some metal wire like in the following photo. You can get this at any hardware store.

Then borrow a pair of crimpers like in this photo. If you cannot borrow them from anyone then purchase them from a hardware store that has an easy return policy, keep the receipt, and return them when you are finished.

Buy a small carton of crimps or scour a handyman’s toolbox.

Cut out the strings from the zippers and insert the metal wire, cutting it to your desired length. When you have run the wire through the zipper holes put the crimp over both of its ends. Then crimp it down with the crimper.

Make it look like the above photo and cut off the wire’s loose ends and tape it up so that it does not cut you during future use.

In all, I am satisfied with the Kelty Redwing backpack. As with most any piece of travel gear, adapting your backpack to fit your tastes is just a part of the game.


What is a good backpack for traveling?

what kind of backpack do you use? or what type(s) would you recommend? i’m trying to learn a lot about gear, for backpacking mostly but also for long-term traveling in the future. is there anywhere you would recommend i look to learn more?
thanks tons! no hurry in getting back to me, it was just kind of a general question since you have more experience than most people i talk to. :]
good luck!

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Filed under: Travel Gear, Travel Help

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 68 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3028 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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