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raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


Also the tropical sun isn't the same friendly sun we see at higher latitudes. It wants to hurt you. In Thailand I once walked into a narrow little alley in a seaside town called Trat to find the whole length of it lined with shallow meter wide wicker trays. On these trays were several hundred (few thousand?) butterflied gouramy fish, small ones like you see in fish tanks sometimes. I was expecting to walk back through later to the most unimaginable stench, but instead, on my way back after dinner, I went through a processional of nearly odorless fish jerky. A lady was tossing them into a plastic sack one at a time and stacking up the trays as she went along. All it took was a few hours of afternoon sun -- I understand they do the same thing with conch meat in the carribean.

raton fucked around with this message at Jun 16, 2011 around 20:20

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Ribsauce
Jul 29, 2006

Blacks in the back.


edit removed other stuff to just make about eBags weekender as this post is linked as a review in the OP.

I got that eBags etech convertable travel bag I mentioned in this thread (and is now in the OP) today. Although my actual travel backpack I used in SE Asia is much bigger measurement wise, I think with proper packing I can fit more in this eBags bag. I just grabbed the following out of my clothes and threw them in, sloppily rolled up and everything and it fit with room to spare..4 decent books (400 pages), dry bag with GBA+Kindle+random poo poo (about 1.5 times the size of a toiletry bag which is what I was trying to simulate), 4 shirts, pair of jeans, pair of long workout pants, 2 pair shorts, 4 pairs underwear, 3 pairs socks, running jacket medium weight, board shorts, pair of sneakers (note:not my actual trip packing list)...I only used the main compartment and did not pack efficiently and still about 25% was left, with the 3 out pockets and mesh pocket inside the main compartment all untouched. I would say it was 75% full and if I tried to pack efficiently I would have had more room. The bag appears solid. I walked around with it and it felt comfortable on my back, much moreso than that REI travel bag I took to Asia, I could easily walk a couple of miles at the drop of a hat.

I am not positive this is what I will take to Central America (although I am pretty sure) but I am keeping it for sure. After comparisons and two weekend trips with this I am now positive it will be my bag when I go to Central America...see edit2 below. It will be my go to carry on bag for all domestic weekend and weeklong trips. For 49.99 I would recommend this to anyone based on my first impressions. I spent about 10 hours of research and this was by far the best bang for your buck I saw. If anyone wants pictures or more information on this let me know.

Anyways, now that that tl;dr is out of the way, can anyone recommend some good websites with packing tips? How do you guys feel about those packing cubes? I saw some at wal mart and was going to buy some to test out before I left, returning them if they suck. (edit2 note: I guess I did not see these at Wal Mart because they were not there after all)

edit2

Since I noticed this post was linked in the OP for a review of the eBags weekender I will expand on it. I have now used this bag for a weekend trip on Amtrak to Charlotte and also randomly since I bought it. I love it. For the weekend trip I overpacked like crazy, basically putting the amount of stuff I would take for a 3 month trip in it. I had to park 3/4ths of a mile from the train station which gave me a chance to test out the backpack features. I did a bad packing job and I could feel the weight shift down, but it was comfortable. This bag has plenty of room, I feel so stupid for using my huge backpack my last trip. Anyways, trip tested it was great, the front compartments are easy to access as the side compression straps do not cover them, so I could easily get out my laptop or a book while traveling. I also like the organizer in the front compartment which can hold pens and notebooks or whatever, this is not very common but I can imagine it would be great if you are walking with someone after getting off the bus and want to write down their e-mail or whatever. The front pocket is big enough to hold the detachable REI daypack from my last bag, which is pretty drat big. There are actually two large front pockets.

Also, I have now had a chance to compare this to two other bags in the OP. The first was the Osprey Porter 46 which I saw at REI. I like my eBags bag better, but it isn't a blowout or anything. The Osprey bag is only 100 bucks, which is pretty drat cheap, although double the price of my bag. The main packing compartment of the Osprey might be slightly better, but it lacks easily accessible front pockets. It has this one pocket with a vertical zipper which sucks. I would imagine getting anything out of the bag on a plane would be an enormous pain. The build quality was very nice. Even if they were the same price I would stick with the weekender, although I would debate before choosing.

The other bag I checked out was the Patagonia MLC mentioned in the OP. Honestly, I did not like this bag at all. It was 150 dollars, but if it was 40 I would not buy it vs either of the other two. It felt cheap and seemed poorly laid out. I was surprised at how cheap it felt as Patagonia is a pretty big named company. I did not really look at it very hard as my initial impression was so disappointing. The one thing it had over the other two was a very comfortable looking shoulder strap.

Since this is linked to in the OP I will probably add pictures when I pack for my trip. Again, this eBags weekender is awesome, I did a ton of research before buying it and even though it was the cheapest it was also the one I liked best. The only other bag I really liked was the Osprey Porter but it was not designed as efficiently in my opinion.

Ribsauce fucked around with this message at Jun 27, 2011 around 23:33

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


My only jacket suggestion for now is Marmot Precip. It seems like the go to guy in that department.

I personally don't use packing cubes but bundle pack instead. I think One Bag has a bundle packing guide. It's a bit less convenient than cubes but fights wrinkles like nothing else. I used to use cubes though, they're fine too.

http://www.onebag.com/pack.html

That's the bundling guide. I modify it a bit but that's where I learned it from.

raton fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2011 around 01:54

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



I don't use cubes but my bag is divided enough that it's not necessary. For a "one giant pocket" one it might be a better idea.

The Precip is a good jacket, not the most durable but it packs small as hell. REI has their own house brand one that's around the same price. They're great for rain but they're not breathable so if it's not going to be really wet they're not that flexible and possibly very sweaty if you're somewhere tropical. Softshells are pretty versatile for wind or cold-ish conditions where you're going to be moving a lot but they're not 100% waterproof.

Mradyfist
Sep 3, 2007

People that can eat people are the luckiest people in the world


I like the packing cell that I have (I load it up with my socks and underwear and use it for a pillow), but I'd think hard before using too many of them. One has always been enough for me, it's tempting to go all OCD and put everything you own into a packing cell but it won't actually make anything better in the long run.

Texibus
May 18, 2008


I noticed some of y'all had mentioned getting things tailored while in country. Can a tailor make pants less baggy in the crotch region pretty easily? I was pretty pumped about getting a pair of those REI adventurer pants, but they are way too baggy in that area for me to consider getting them.

kri kri
Jul 18, 2007



Can someone recommend a low key man purse? I will be museum hopping and other fun things. Will need space for a camera, phone, guidebook, wallet. Thats about it, I would rather be on the small side.

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



kri kri posted:

Can someone recommend a low key man purse? I will be museum hopping and other fun things. Will need space for a camera, phone, guidebook, wallet. Thats about it, I would rather be on the small side.
I use this, I think it's a good size balance between capacity and not being bulky. It's not built quite to the level of my other Chrome bag but it also weighs 2 pounds less than my Mini Metro. When it's empty it's pretty much completely flat. They make a smaller one now as well but it looks very tiny. I really like the musette/vertical bag format and there's tons by other companies like Timbuk2, STM, Waterfield, etc.

kri kri
Jul 18, 2007



qirex posted:

I use this, I think it's a good size balance between capacity and not being bulky. It's not built quite to the level of my other Chrome bag but it also weighs 2 pounds less than my Mini Metro. When it's empty it's pretty much completely flat. They make a smaller one now as well but it looks very tiny. I really like the musette/vertical bag format and there's tons by other companies like Timbuk2, STM, Waterfield, etc.

This one looks nice but is a little feminine.
http://www.amazon.com/Timbuk2-Minni...08615591&sr=1-8

Thanks for the ideas though, might spring for this chrome one if I can find it amazon prime.

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


I put something up about jackets but I've never really needed / used one so it's all probably pretty specious. If you guys have any great jacket reccos they're of course welcome. I'm filling out applications for paramedic school right now so the OP is going to progress a bit more slowly than it has been for a few weeks. I'll try to do a section occasionally, though.

Also I think I found the ugliest jacket on earth: http://www.amazon.com/Southpole-Fle...8622897&sr=8-26

raton fucked around with this message at Jun 21, 2011 around 03:42

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Quick question on people's opinions on duffel bags. I've got a waterproof 50L one that I take on diving trips for the odd time I need to take stuff in the boat and generally to stop my clothes getting soaking wet stuffed in the car boot with wet kit. In terms of packing the whole top opens up nice and wide but there's only a single shoulder strap and carry handle. I've been thinking of just taking this if I end up going travelling with a friend but am I going to massively regret not just having a backpack? Alternatively any things I can do to minimise discomfort?

For the record this is pretty much what I've got though a slightly older model that's been discontinued.

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


If you're a young guy in good shape and traveling for a week or two you can make do with it. You'll definetly feel like you're lugging it around at times but depending on what kind of travel you're doing you might only have to contend with that a handful of times.

What do you have planned?

One other thing to consider is that if it's a nice bag that you use a lot at home you might not want to expose it to the rigors of travel, too.

raton fucked around with this message at Jun 21, 2011 around 17:35

Ribsauce
Jul 29, 2006

Blacks in the back.


I love my bag I mentioned above. However, I noticed a strong shift in the weight to the bottom when it was not full and I was walking. The bag has no luggage dividers. What is the best way to keep it evenly distributed?

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


Adding a couple external compression straps is probably the best long term solution and it's not hard to do yourself if you can find some straps at a fabric store. Just pin them onto the bag and stitch them on at the edges of the back panel by hand -- two little squares with Xs in them is enough. I'd probably leave the strap intact all the way around.

You could also get a large 22x14 packing cube to keep your stuff more verticle, but maybe that would need to be strapped in anyway.

raton fucked around with this message at Jun 21, 2011 around 21:14

Ribsauce
Jul 29, 2006

Blacks in the back.


The bag has internal and external compression straps, maybe I should use them :facepalm: (edit wtf I thought this was an emocon) Do they make packing cubes with dividers.

Oh and by the way, I would recommend this bag highly to anyone

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


Packing cubes are dividers. You could get two 22 by sevens to split the bag in half vertically, three seven by 14s to make three horizontal compartments, on and on like that. They're often labeled s/m/l but the dimensions should always be on the site somewhere.

If you mean cubes with further internal subdivisions I don't know, but I don't think I've ever seen that.

JamesieAB
Nov 5, 2005


Sheep-Goats posted:

Packing cubes are dividers. You could get two 22 by sevens to split the bag in half vertically, three seven by 14s to make three horizontal compartments, on and on like that. They're often labeled s/m/l but the dimensions should always be on the site somewhere.

If you mean cubes with further internal subdivisions I don't know, but I don't think I've ever seen that.

I have an eagle creek cube that has two compartents, I use one side for clean clothes and put the dirty ones in the other.

http://www.eaglecreek.com/accessori...alf-Cube-41061/

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SIF-R2lzek

Another reason not to check your luggage I guess. My bet is that he was a huge rear end in a top hat on check in and half had this coming but I don't know maybe he's just not lucky.

Edit:

LOL youtube

quote:

**UPDATE** Delta contacted me and i'm waiting for them to make me an offer... follow the info on twitter #DeltaPeeBags

raton fucked around with this message at Jun 22, 2011 around 17:23

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Sheep-Goats posted:

If you're a young guy in good shape and traveling for a week or two you can make do with it. You'll definetly feel like you're lugging it around at times but depending on what kind of travel you're doing you might only have to contend with that a handful of times.

What do you have planned?

One other thing to consider is that if it's a nice bag that you use a lot at home you might not want to expose it to the rigors of travel, too.

Not really got anything planned as yet. Friend really wants to visit SE Asia, probably Vietnam and bum around some before he joins the Army but we've got nothing concrete. Really was just asking in case anyone was going to say they've taken a duffel bag and it was hell to lug around by the end of a week.

The point about the rigours of travel is a good one though, it's a fairly tough bag but it isn't one I'd really like to see get slashed or torn. Thanks for the input.

laughterhouse five
Feb 17, 2011

by elpintogrande


As someone who routinely packs like three pairs of jeans when going to another state for a week this thread is blowing my mind and I'm only one post in. Thanks for making this.

Ribsauce
Jul 29, 2006

Blacks in the back.


Packing three pairs of jeans to go 300 miles away for a week is no big deal, packing three pairs of jeans to haul around for 3 months moving every few days is a big deal. This thread is geared (lol) towards the latter type of traveling. When you gotta pack up and move probably 40 times during your trip you don't want much.

laughterhouse five
Feb 17, 2011

by elpintogrande


That was just an example. In general I absolutely over-pack and it never really occurred to me that you could get by with so little

NoDamage
Dec 2, 2000


quote:

Patagonia Capilene T-shirt - If I had to pick one T-shirt to bring it'd be this one. It's especially good for hotter temperatures and, in my opinion, is the best sort of what's often referred to as "golf shirts" meaning a comfortable feeling synthetic T-shirt (or polo shirt) that wicks moisture well. You will, however, find lots of T-shirts for sale wherever you go and if you find a good one you might end up throwing this nice capilene away so maybe you should have just brought a poo poo shirt to begin with. Oh and I know this is technically polyester but what makes it good as a shirt is the way the polyester is made and then woven -- you still don't want a dress shirt that's made from polyester as they don't take that kind of care in the dress shirt world when employing polyester. At least not yet.
I've heard these synthetic shirts can get pretty smelly after a while (even with regular washing), have you had any issues with that during extended travel?

People recommend merino wool shirts because of their odor resistance but 1) they're drat expensive and 2) they don't seem to be that durable.

Packeteer
Jan 25, 2004

slack 4 lyfe

fwiw, when i did SE Asia, I took 2 pairs of light-weight pants and 3 short sleeve, collared shirts. 4 pairs of underwear and socks. I traveled light and washed my stuff in the sink/bath every few days.

my number one tip would be: Be Inconspicuous

ie. try not to look like a typical western tourist; conversely, don't be the cheap arse backpacker.

HeroOfTheRevolution
Apr 26, 2008



A white person in SE Asia is never going to be inconspicuous.

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


HeroOfTheRevolution posted:

A white person in SE Asia is never going to be inconspicuous.

Inconspicuous maybe not, but there's a difference between a Chang singlet and some knockoff Diesel shorts and wearing something a little more presentable to your average local family. Your dress can either erase the positive attention you get for being different there or it can let it be. This is particularly true in Thailand where even small upcountry towns often have a farang or two living there -- if you look like someone from Leave It To Beaver and smile you have access to a lot there that people who obviously look like travelers don't.

Jesus Rocket
Apr 25, 2003


NoDamage posted:

I've heard these synthetic shirts can get pretty smelly after a while (even with regular washing), have you had any issues with that during extended travel?

People recommend merino wool shirts because of their odor resistance but 1) they're drat expensive and 2) they don't seem to be that durable.

I brought a few polyester t-shirts when I traveled in Central America and after awhile they smelled awful even with repeated washing. I hear nylon is also a good synthetic fabric that dries really quick - does anyone know if it has the same odor problems?

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



I like the American Apparel 50/50 t-shirts for hot places.

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


Jesus Rocket posted:

I brought a few polyester t-shirts when I traveled in Central America and after awhile they smelled awful even with repeated washing. I hear nylon is also a good synthetic fabric that dries really quick - does anyone know if it has the same odor problems?

How long is a while?

Nylon is a good pant material, but I can't imagine it being comfortable enough for shirts. I've had some of those REI adventures pants for years and they don't smell at all, however if the nylon they're made of were finished or woven or whatever in the way that capilene is then maybe it would.

Jesus Rocket
Apr 25, 2003


Sheep-Goats posted:

How long is a while?

Nylon is a good pant material, but I can't imagine it being comfortable enough for shirts. I've had some of those REI adventures pants for years and they don't smell at all, however if the nylon they're made of were finished or woven or whatever in the way that capilene is then maybe it would.

I noticed the smell after a couple of times of wearing it and washing it. After 2 weeks it became unbearable. I washed it numerous times with warm water + soap (without wearing it) and it did nothing. I just bought a tank top and wore it around instead. This was in Belize and Guatemala so to be fair, all of my clothes got a bit of a moldy smell after awhile.

NoDamage
Dec 2, 2000


NoDamage posted:

I've heard these synthetic shirts can get pretty smelly after a while (even with regular washing), have you had any issues with that during extended travel?

People recommend merino wool shirts because of their odor resistance but 1) they're drat expensive and 2) they don't seem to be that durable.
I ended up finding a few of these shirts on sale and tried them out, they do retain body odor much more strongly than my standard cotton shirts. It does wash out, but I wonder how long the anti-odor treatment will last with repeated washings.

I'm going to try out some merino wool t-shirts from Smartwool/Icebreaker and see if they work any better.

NoDamage
Dec 2, 2000


Sheep-Goats posted:

How long is a while?

Nylon is a good pant material, but I can't imagine it being comfortable enough for shirts. I've had some of those REI adventures pants for years and they don't smell at all, however if the nylon they're made of were finished or woven or whatever in the way that capilene is then maybe it would.
ExOfficio makes a series of T shirts using the same nylon material/weave as their Give N Go boxers. I haven't personally tried them, and they seem more like undershirts than normal t-shirts, but I imagine they would be fairly comfortable.

40 OZ
May 16, 2003


Sheep-Goats posted:

Very few Americans probably see travel in the same way I do, though, of course, plenty of people in this subforum know exactly what I'm talking about.

Rick Steves goes through this game with the fat fanny packers from Kansas.

The people who go on his tours are only allowed one bag, and these are the people who get touchy and offended about the idea. You should read how delicately and over-diplomatic he has to present this idea to people. Telling people to travel lighter gets about the same response as giving someone the middle finger, it is for some reason intertwined with some kind of primal defense mechanism.

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


This is are luggage

Chris Poe
Jan 28, 2007
Pain don't hurt.

Am I an idiot for planning on backpacking Europe for two weeks wearing a pair of Vans with a decent insole?

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



Chris Poe posted:

Am I an idiot for planning on backpacking Europe for two weeks wearing a pair of Vans with a decent insole?

Vans slip-ons? Probably not ideal but it's been done by a million others in Chucks, flip flops, crocs, and worse. Maybe get some Era Pros or something else substantial for better cushioning?

The only thing I'd ever advise people on every time is to not check a bag, everything else is up to you, your trip and what you expect. That said shoes can be important and if you're not used to being on your feet all day on concrete/stone it can be really annoying. You won't cripple yourself or anything and if you really need different shoes you can buy some while you're there. You're going to Western Europe, not Siberia.

qirex fucked around with this message at Jul 2, 2011 around 00:31

raton
Jul 28, 2003

by FactsAreUseless


Chris Poe posted:

Am I an idiot for planning on backpacking Europe for two weeks wearing a pair of Vans with a decent insole?

For two weeks you'll be fine. If you'll be walking a lot that day I guess people in the army wear those little nylon footies under their socks so the sock doesn't rub directly on the skin which helps avoid blisters. It's more the blisters that are lovely than the sore feet.

You might get chased away from a few ritzy bars or something but if Vans are your normal shoes you're probably not interested in that anyway. Plus, like Quirex said, if it turns out your Vans aren't adequate they do happen to have pretty good shoe stores in Europe with your size in stock (most likely).

I put up the cold weather stuff. Now it's on to electronics, which I'm going to have to research a bit because that stuff is always changing.

raton fucked around with this message at Jul 2, 2011 around 03:11

Mradyfist
Sep 3, 2007

People that can eat people are the luckiest people in the world


One thing I'd add to the gloves section is Kiwi possum gloves.

I work for the US Antarctic Program, and while most of the cold weather gear they give us is great, the glove liners are polypro pieces of crap. Not the end of the world for people like me who work indoors, but people who are outdoors working for extended periods of time will usually walk from McMurdo (the main US station) over to Scott Base (run by New Zealand) to buy gloves like these from their gift store. I picked some up myself, and they are the best gloves I've ever owned.

Eifert Posting
Mar 31, 2007

Atkins Diet


Grimey Drawer

I'd like to put in a recommendation for Solar Bat Sunglasses I bought a pair of these in gray and they held up remarkably for six months of just being shoved in a backpack wherever. The polarization is really good and the warranty is really nice as well. They're also incredibly light and come with a nice carrying case.

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Cheesemaster200
Feb 11, 2004

Guard of the Citadel

Toussaint Louverture posted:

I'd like to put in a recommendation for Solar Bat Sunglasses I bought a pair of these in gray and they held up remarkably for six months of just being shoved in a backpack wherever. The polarization is really good and the warranty is really nice as well. They're also incredibly light and come with a nice carrying case.

Speaking of, what is a good sunglass recommendation for SE Asia? I have Ray Bans I use at home, but they are of the aviator type and have a lot of leakage. I don't plan on bringing them over there.

On my previous trip over there I brought my glacier glasses (These) because they also act as motorcycle goggles. However, they look ridiculous and I am looking for something a bit more stylish. The good thing about the glacier glasses is that they had a really dark lens, which I loved since it gets so drat bright over there. I would like some wraparound sunglasses with really dark lenses.

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