Sunday, December 22, 2013

What to Bring, Pt. 3: How Much Fits in an Osprey Meridian 22"?

The instant my new Osprey Meridian 22" arrived in the mail, I was itching to pack it. 

Seriously, I could feel it sitting in that giant Amazon box calling my name. So of course, I ignored the very important case study I was writing and pretend packed my new bag. Like the weirdo that I am. I was just SO darn curious. So here's how it went:
Everything I packed

I was able to fit

·      11 tops:
Ignore my horrific room.
1 cardigan 
 2 long sleeves
6 tanks- Two dressy, one tunic length 
 2 short sleeves

·      6 Bottoms:
1 pants (jeans)
1 leggings
1 Exercise capri
1 work out short
1 skort
1 jean short

· 3 dresses

· 3 shoes:

·      2 swimsuits
·      2 bras
·      8 Undies
·      1 belt
·      1 scarf
·      1 toiletry bag


Eagle Creek Packing System
To make everything fit I used my beloved eagle creek packing system in Specter cubes. They ultralight super-durable and I can't recommend them enough.
After I pretend packed, I realized some changes I wanted to make. First of all, I would wear my bulkiest shoes (in this example my sneakers so I would only have two pairs of shoes in the bag.
Secondly, many of my facebook friends mentioned I would need an extra pair of pants because summer in Europe isn't as warm as other places. I don't often wear pants in real life but I hope to find a cute functional pair.
All packed up.
I also will probably wear one dress and pair of leggings as my go to travel outfit so that will also not be packed.
Later (as it gets colder)  I plan to switch out my flats for a pair of boots and get a cozy packable jacket that I can layer underneath a rain jacket. Which reminds me...I need to pack a rain jacket.

So here's where I need help: Which jacket should I get? Which raincoat will keep me dry but not sweaty and will pack up? Is this suitcase too small?
Any advice is more than welcome.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

What To Bring Part 2: The Bag(s)

I bought THE bag.

Yup, I bit the bullet and bought a bag.

I spent a lot time researching which bag would be the best fit for me. As I have mentioned before, I am probably not exactly the traditional backpacker. I considered traditional packs for a long while but, in the end I decided against them.
   First of all, I know would be in pain carrying a pack, even a light one. I get weird neck pain and I think after I while I would be sorely tempted to throw my pack in the sea.
   Secondly, I really think I could get by on wheels for about 80% of the time. If I think back to my previous travels there were only a few times were I really really wished I could carry my stuff on my back. Venice, especially comes to mind (so many stairs and bridges).

Due to these factors I decided to go with a newer trend. Dun dun Dun Dahhh...The rolling backpack. They're like the cooler tougher grown-up cousin of the dorky one I had in middle school.

There are several models I looked at:

Eagle Creek 
Eagle Creek has been making convertible packs for 17 years. They currently have five bags including the Switchback line in their 22 inch and 26 inch, and the Flipswitch 22 inch and 26 inch, and EC Adventure 22 inch (not pictured).

Osprey has three lines the Soujourn in 25 inches and 28 inches, Meridian 22inches and 25 inches, and the Ozone line in 22 inches and 28 inches.

REI also make a couple pretty cool Stratocruisers in 22" and 25".

After tons of pawing at the ground, reading reviews, and sighing I decided to purchase the Osprey Meridian 22"

 Here's why: