• Remove ads on the forum by becoming a donating member. More here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

And now to the backpack..

Astipad

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues Sep 2024
I have read I think every single thread here but I am afraid that the backpacks that I have access to here in Europe are not that common in the UK and North America and vice versa, so here I am, asking for advice since I did not find much about them in the forum.

I have my packlist ready, without water, snacks and the backpack I am at around 4,5 kilos which is much less than the magical 10% (and I will leave it at that, no more details about my chubby figure 😉). It all fits in my 30l fastpack but this backpack has no structure, very good for my short hikes with my dogs in the mountain but no way it is going on the camino with me, my back would kill me. I have identified 3 serious contenders so far, but for lack of a decent shop in Malaga apart from Decathlon (and none of their bags suited me), I am getting the packs shipped to me and will then decide which one to keep. I hate that I have to do that, but it is what it is. So here the 3 packs:

1. Rab Muon 40. Has arrived. Fits me fine (there really is a lot of possibilities in term of fitting with this bag so that’s good), but the padding of the shoulder straps, and in a certain mesure of the hip belt, rubs the inside of my arms in a manner that makes me think it could induce chafing quite quickly when wearing a short arm T. It is not always rubbing, I have to pull all straps well and then it does not anymore, but I am a tad skeptical about how that will work in the long run.

2. Montane Trailblazer 44. Same style as the Rab Muon 40, has not arrived yet. 44l is too much but if it is like the Rab pulling all the straps would make it “small” enough, and I would be able to use it for other trips where I need more room.

3. Gregory Facet 35, ordered directly on the Gregory website where it is on sale right now, waiting for it to arrive. I have heard very very good stuff about Gregory and the offer was so very tempting.

I don’t aim at it being super lightweight, but I want it to sit properly and make walking with my pack for hours in the heat not a torture. I enjoy the vest style of the Rab because I am used to my fastpack, but the fabric they used for the padding is a bit rough (or am I being too sensitive?). I did not like any of the Forclaz I tried on in Decathlon. I would love to have easy access to my bottles, either on the front or in the side pocket in a horizontal position. And last but not least, it has to fit in the cursed “Ryanair Carry-on torture cage”. For the time being I left Deuter and Osprey out of the game because my credit card does not like me right now, and hopefully one of the first 3 will be “the one”. BUT… if you have any suggestions…
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I have read I think every single thread here but I am afraid that the backpacks that I have access to here in Europe are not that common in the UK and North America and vice versa, so here I am, asking for advice since I did not find much about them in the forum.

I have my packlist ready, without water, snacks and the backpack I am at around 4,5 kilos which is much less than the magical 10% (and I will leave it at that, no more details about my chubby figure 😉). It all fits in my 30l fastpack but this backpack has no structure, very good for my short hikes with my dogs in the mountain but no way it is going on the camino with me, my back would kill me. I have identified 3 serious contenders so far, but for lack of a decent shop in Malaga apart from Decathlon (and none of their bags suited me), I am getting the packs shipped to me and will then decide which one to keep. I hate that I have to do that, but it is what it is. So here the 3 packs:

1. Rab Muon 40. Has arrived. Fits me fine (there really is a lot of possibilities in term of fitting with this bag so that’s good), but the padding of the shoulder straps, and in a certain mesure of the hip belt, rubs the inside of my arms in a manner that makes me think it could induce chafing quite quickly when wearing a short arm T. It is not always rubbing, I have to pull all straps well and then it does not anymore, but I am a tad skeptical about how that will work in the long run.

2. Montane Trailblazer 44. Same style as the Rab Muon 40, has not arrived yet. 44l is too much but if it is like the Rab pulling all the straps would make it “small” enough, and I would be able to use it for other trips where I need more room.

3. Gregory Facet 35, ordered directly on the Gregory website where it is on sale right now, waiting for it to arrive. I have heard very very good stuff about Gregory and the offer was so very tempting.

I don’t aim at it being super lightweight, but I want it to sit properly and make walking with my pack for hours in the heat not a torture. I enjoy the vest style of the Rab because I am used to my fastpack, but the fabric they used for the padding is a bit rough (or am I being too sensitive?). I did not like any of the Forclaz I tried on in Decathlon. I would love to have easy access to my bottles, either on the front or in the side pocket in a horizontal position. And last but not least, it has to fit in the cursed “Ryanair Carry-on torture cage”. For the time being I left Deuter and Osprey out of the game because my credit card does not like me right now, and hopefully one of the first 3 will be “the one”. BUT… if you have any suggestions…
Ah yes, boots and backpacks, your best or worst friends.

Find the pack (loaded) that fits you best because you will be wearing it for hours and days. I use Osprey because they (I have 4) have multiple adjustments and they fit me well. Don’t worry about the brand, go for fit/comfort.

For me, I’d then consider volume (do you intend to take a sleeping bag?). Next, access, can I get to my water bottle in the side pockets by myself?

Lots of things to consider, unfortunately there is no one size fits all when it comes to packs. Try as many as possible and ask lots of questions.

Good luck.
 
Admittedly, i am about 1kg lighter than you are, but i have been using frameless packs for all my caminos so far. Packed correctly, they work really well and i think you might consider them with your stated weight.
I have had trouble finding one that checks my boxes, ended up with a Bonfus Iterus and added the hipbelt and some padding on the inside.
Hoewever, i heard also good things about the trailblazer. Might be worth looking on the 30l version as well, 44l seems excessive for 4,5kg of stuff.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Tricky buying a pack without trying it on (but you know that). Decathlon packs are well made but rather heavy so, yes, steer clear.

you say that you are chubby and as you also know, this can be a problem with fitting a pack without it chafing. To me the priority there is one with a really good hip belt so that you can wear it properly, all the weight on the pelvic bones so that there is no weight at all at the shoulders, allowing you that one or two finger width gap under the shoulder straps - those straps are only there to 'snug' the backpack, not too tight, just to stop it wobbling.

Sorry about your finances as the only brand I know that seems to be always a great fit for all body shapes and types of people is Osprey, specifically their Talon 33 or 36 - astoundingly comfortable. But Coo! they are indeed expensive - they seem to have doubled in price in the last year or so.

I don't know the packs on your list so I do wish you good luck and hope that one of them is perfect for you.

If you have still have time it could be worth looking on ebay as often great packs come up used and cheap - this is Ebay Spain - https://www.ebay.es/
 
Last edited:
Don’t worry about the brand, go for fit/comfort.
💯%. If everything fits in, and you can afford it, nothing else matters.

Whilst I personally have a Dueter, I tried at least half a dozen other brands and simply chose that because it was the most comfortable for me.
 
I carried a women's Osprey Sirrus 36 last year from St. Jean. I went directly to a store and had it fitted. I measured for a small which is the length where it should fall on your hip area. Very comfortable. Certain brands carry a women's fit pack.
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
Comfort above all else. If it's a one time trip or if you think you might become addicted ( like many here ) then it might be worth a little more or less expenditure :)
 
Minimum pack, minimum load. Some 40 L packs, even 35 L packs can weigh 3 lb or more. My preference is to carry no more than 10 lb plus food and water. The last problem you wish to have is a pack that is too heavy. It can not only add so much more work to your every day, but can be responsible for doing physical damage, like I have experienced.

Comfort is priority #2, weight being the first priority. But, once these two have been accomplished, a smaller pack means a sn=maller load, and hopefully, a happier journey.

Another strategy is to take / budget extra money, pack as light as possible and buy what you need as you need it along the way. The initial pack list for this is a rain poncho, one extra pair of socks, toothpaste and a toothbrush.
 
Generally, a pack designed for a woman will have a shorter torso length. As others have suggested, load the pack(s) to your planned walking weight. Walk around the house or the neighborhood, and see which one can be better adjusted to your frame.

A proper fitting in a shop will likely see a staff person loading your rucksack with sand bags. I use bags of kitty litter at home - or at least I did while we had a cat. Now, I pre-pack the actual stuff I plan to use. I use an airline baggage scale to weigh the loaded rucksack, and adjust accordingly.

A properly fitted pack should fit like a glove, conforming to your body. It should not poke you anywhere. If fitted properly, you should not even be aware that you are wearing the pack - especially after your first week - 10 days on Camino.

The more adjustment points a pack has, the better fit you can attain.

Consider going to You Tube and searching for "how to fit a woman's rucksack." Many manufacturers have videos posted there. Gregory should be among them.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I have read I think every single thread here but I am afraid that the backpacks that I have access to here in Europe are not that common in the UK and North America and vice versa, so here I am, asking for advice since I did not find much about them in the forum.

I have my packlist ready, without water, snacks and the backpack I am at around 4,5 kilos which is much less than the magical 10% (and I will leave it at that, no more details about my chubby figure 😉). It all fits in my 30l fastpack but this backpack has no structure, very good for my short hikes with my dogs in the mountain but no way it is going on the camino with me, my back would kill me. I have identified 3 serious contenders so far, but for lack of a decent shop in Malaga apart from Decathlon (and none of their bags suited me), I am getting the packs shipped to me and will then decide which one to keep. I hate that I have to do that, but it is what it is. So here the 3 packs:

1. Rab Muon 40. Has arrived. Fits me fine (there really is a lot of possibilities in term of fitting with this bag so that’s good), but the padding of the shoulder straps, and in a certain mesure of the hip belt, rubs the inside of my arms in a manner that makes me think it could induce chafing quite quickly when wearing a short arm T. It is not always rubbing, I have to pull all straps well and then it does not anymore, but I am a tad skeptical about how that will work in the long run.

2. Montane Trailblazer 44. Same style as the Rab Muon 40, has not arrived yet. 44l is too much but if it is like the Rab pulling all the straps would make it “small” enough, and I would be able to use it for other trips where I need more room.

3. Gregory Facet 35, ordered directly on the Gregory website where it is on sale right now, waiting for it to arrive. I have heard very very good stuff about Gregory and the offer was so very tempting.

I don’t aim at it being super lightweight, but I want it to sit properly and make walking with my pack for hours in the heat not a torture. I enjoy the vest style of the Rab because I am used to my fastpack, but the fabric they used for the padding is a bit rough (or am I being too sensitive?). I did not like any of the Forclaz I tried on in Decathlon. I would love to have easy access to my bottles, either on the front or in the side pocket in a horizontal position. And last but not least, it has to fit in the cursed “Ryanair Carry-on torture cage”. For the time being I left Deuter and Osprey out of the game because my credit card does not like me right now, and hopefully one of the first 3 will be “the one”. BUT… if you have any suggestions…
I'v put my trust in Osprey backpacks, especially the lightweight Kestrel-series 38 and 48 depending on the tour. Great padding on the shoulders, hipbelt-pockets for small parts. The womens version is the Kyte 38. You might try this one.
 
Everything mentioned above I agree with, yet I still would reuse my osprey 48L Kestral. Just because I use it here in Montana in the backcountry.
I would recommend you take each fully loaded for a good 3-4 hour hike to see what pack fits the best. That way you can adjust as needed. You won’t get any of them adjusted & loaded properly until you wear them for a couple days. The load needs to be balanced heavier items closest to your back & close to top. Just experiment . Buen Camino
Keith
 
If your credit card decides to be accommodatlng again, i can heartily recommend Osprey Tempest 30. I'm shortish and on the chubby side, and it fits me really well, very adjustable.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I just finished the Camino Frances with my Gregory Deva 36. It fits perfectly and I don't really notice it once I put it on. I could have gone with a 30, but like the extra space. I lined it with a 36 l dry bag, which I occasionally ship ahead. I also have a larger Gregory for mountain backpacking.
 
Generally, a pack designed for a woman will have a shorter torso length. As others have suggested, load the pack(s) to your planned walking weight. Walk around the house or the neighborhood, and see which one can be better adjusted to your frame.

A proper fitting in a shop will likely see a staff person loading your rucksack with sand bags. I use bags of kitty litter at home - or at least I did while we had a cat. Now, I pre-pack the actual stuff I plan to use. I use an airline baggage scale to weigh the loaded rucksack, and adjust accordingly.

A properly fitted pack should fit like a glove, conforming to your body. It should not poke you anywhere. If fitted properly, you should not even be aware that you are wearing the pack - especially after your first week - 10 days on Camino.

The more adjustment points a pack has, the better fit you can attain.

Consider going to You Tube and searching for "how to fit a woman's rucksack." Many manufacturers have videos posted there. Gregory should be among them.

Hope this helps.

Tom
I want to amplify what @t2andreo said, a properly fitted pack should really be part of you. It shouldn’t sway when you walk. It shouldn’t bounce up and down. If you spun around quickly, it should move with you without delay. 60% of the weight should be on your hips (editorial opinion). Whatever pack you choose, learn how to make adjustments with the straps and on mine, where the shoulder straps rest. Can seem daunting or fun for some of us but time invested now will pay dividends later.
 
Thanks a lot for every single answer in this thread, very helpful 👍🙏.

I am now awaiting the missing 2 packs, the Rab is definitely going back, it feels not right somehow. Should the Montane or the Gregory not fit, I will then move on and order a Deuter and an Osprey after sending the 2 others back. I will keep you posted! I so wish there was a specialized shop in the area…
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Thanks a lot for every single answer in this thread, very helpful 👍🙏.

I am now awaiting the missing 2 packs, the Rab is definitely going back, it feels not right somehow. Should the Montane or the Gregory not fit, I will then move on and order a Deuter and an Osprey after sending the 2 others back. I will keep you posted! I so wish there was a specialized shop in the area…

Have you tried the Salomon Trailblazer 30 at 55.96€ in the ALS Sportshop on at 72, Carretera de Cádiz?
 
Have you tried the Salomon Trailblazer 30 at 55.96€ in the ALS Sportshop on at 72, Carretera de Cádiz?
I own the Salomon trailblazer 20, it’s one of my fastpacks. Very good for trailrunning and such, but no structure at all. ALS is my go to for my shoes (Hoka speedgoat and Hoka Challenger) and my trailrunning gear, but it has almost nothing for backpacking as on the Camino. It’s a tiny shop.

Also, the Trailblazer from Salomon is much more a vest than a backpack, has very poor aeration, so you get a super sweaty back very quickly, and is uncomfortable over a jacket.
 
Last edited:
I have read I think every single thread here but I am afraid that the backpacks that I have access to here in Europe are not that common in the UK and North America and vice versa, so here I am, asking for advice since I did not find much about them in the forum.

I have my packlist ready, without water, snacks and the backpack I am at around 4,5 kilos which is much less than the magical 10% (and I will leave it at that, no more details about my chubby figure 😉). It all fits in my 30l fastpack but this backpack has no structure, very good for my short hikes with my dogs in the mountain but no way it is going on the camino with me, my back would kill me. I have identified 3 serious contenders so far, but for lack of a decent shop in Malaga apart from Decathlon (and none of their bags suited me), I am getting the packs shipped to me and will then decide which one to keep. I hate that I have to do that, but it is what it is. So here the 3 packs:

1. Rab Muon 40. Has arrived. Fits me fine (there really is a lot of possibilities in term of fitting with this bag so that’s good), but the padding of the shoulder straps, and in a certain mesure of the hip belt, rubs the inside of my arms in a manner that makes me think it could induce chafing quite quickly when wearing a short arm T. It is not always rubbing, I have to pull all straps well and then it does not anymore, but I am a tad skeptical about how that will work in the long run.

2. Montane Trailblazer 44. Same style as the Rab Muon 40, has not arrived yet. 44l is too much but if it is like the Rab pulling all the straps would make it “small” enough, and I would be able to use it for other trips where I need more room.

3. Gregory Facet 35, ordered directly on the Gregory website where it is on sale right now, waiting for it to arrive. I have heard very very good stuff about Gregory and the offer was so very tempting.

I don’t aim at it being super lightweight, but I want it to sit properly and make walking with my pack for hours in the heat not a torture. I enjoy the vest style of the Rab because I am used to my fastpack, but the fabric they used for the padding is a bit rough (or am I being too sensitive?). I did not like any of the Forclaz I tried on in Decathlon. I would love to have easy access to my bottles, either on the front or in the side pocket in a horizontal position. And last but not least, it has to fit in the cursed “Ryanair Carry-on torture cage”. For the time being I left Deuter and Osprey out of the game because my credit card does not like me right now, and hopefully one of the first 3 will be “the one”. BUT… if you have any suggestions…
I know it is hard to believe, but I read & saw pictures of a Pilgrim’s pack list that he has used for three Caminos. The first time I did it with an Osprey Ultralight. Second time with a REI Thermolite. Third time, except Covid cancelled trip, was going to be even smaller with an Osprey Tempest 20. I really like the last one. However, wanting to go even smaller to put less weight on my feet which are aging rapidly & to have the coolness of nothing on my back, I ordered the Mountainsmith Tour that I mentioned at the beginning, downsized to bare essentials, which I find very doable, & hope to be back on the Camino within a couple of years. It has two sleeves for water bottles, but I found there was always a fountain to refill when I needed to. The second water bottle I keep separated for that day when the free wine is available, not that I fully fill so there is enough for everyone, but so I have water to drink down the trail. I take 2 Platypus 1 liter/34 oz. that flatten & are rollable for easy carry when empty, conserving space. If you can find the person’s forum thread who has used this pack 3 times, watch his video. You will be shocked at how much he carries. The other thing I like about this pack is it has a day strap so it is easy carry-on. Makes a great day purse, too.
 
Last edited:
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I would suggest Berghaus as another brand to consider. They produce women specific designs, which my partner declares to be very comfortable! They have a bit of structure, yet are not over heavy.
 
I've completed 7ish caminos including multiple full Francés, and VDLP, all with Aarn packs. Light weight, form fitting hip/waist strap, and unique design where the pack moves with you... I add the balance pockets to the front which help with weight distribution. They have long and short back lengths. If you're ordering in, there is a stockist in Norway... might be worth a look. I have three different models for different scenarios. My go to is this one... https://www.backpackinglight.com.au...KsdWZGXnrSoy1m5jCIAX59sR8NdpamohoCb_MQAvD_BwE
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I did my first camino using an Osprey Talon 44. It has webbing on the back to allow airflow to your back to keep you cooler. To me, having the center of gravity an inch or so off my back made me always feel like I was overbalancing. Second camino I got an REI Trail 40. It rides directly against my back and is much more comfortable for me. Another big plus for the REI pack was that the entire back zips open for easy access to everything inside. With top-loading packs it seem like the thing you need is always at the bottom of the pack, making you either unload or dig through everything to get to it. Just what has worked for me, everyone is different.
 
You probably couldn't go wrong with the Gregory. For the last 6 years I've used a Gregory Amber 34L and it's been a great pack with plenty of padding at shoulders and hips for long-distance hikes on the Caminos and in Scotland. The main thing is to spend all the time you need beforehand "getting to know" your pack - adjusting and readjusting until it "feels right", finding all the nooks and crannies. Even out on the trail you may need to adjust hip belts and shoulder belts and chest strap to feel comfortable according to what you have added and discarded from your pack contents. I become attached to backpacks (no pun intended). After a bit, it feels odd to be without it. And a good thing to do is to start a few weeks before leaving and walk with a loaded pack (canned goods with miscellaneous clothes for approximate weight) so you get knee/foot issues addressed before you're actually out there. Have a wonderful time on the Portugues!
 
hi. I have a osprey 40L fairview .fitted at blacks .it so comfortable and is just right for me .with all my gear in it weighs 6.8 kg .with water so not bad .it has a good frame keeping it off any pressure points that can cause injury ..
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Sooo.. The Rab is back in its box. I have no idea when the Gregory will arrive because UPS has no idea either (not Gregory’s fault, it’s entirely on UPS who collected the bag but can’t seem to remember where it put it. UPS is clearly a man 🤭). The Montane is not even out of the warehouse yet. And I managed to find an Osprey Talón Velocity 30l for 120€ yesterday evening on the web and that is supposedly already on its way to me.

If none of these fit, I’ll probably stop the credit card hemorrhage and will try to sort out DIY solutions to ensure my actual 30l fast pack get some reinforcement in the back and a better hip belt.

Stay tuned 😂😂
 
For years, I’ve been an Osprey fan. But my last May/June CF, I switched to a frameless Gossamer Gear Kumo and loved it. Max weight, including water, is around 5.5 kg for me, for comfort. I also loved that I could take the sit pad out of the back and use it for breaks. With the sit pad out, I also tossed the pack in the washing machine when it got really muddy or dusty, dried by morning. To each his own, but this one worked great for me.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
For years, I’ve been an Osprey fan. But my last May/June CF, I switched to a frameless Gossamer Gear Kumo and loved it. Max weight, including water, is around 5.5 kg for me, for comfort. I also loved that I could take the sit pad out of the back and use it for breaks. With the sit pad out, I also tossed the pack in the washing machine when it got really muddy or dusty, dried by morning. To each his own, but this one worked great for me.
That’s the one I wanted, but it is super difficult and very expensive to get here in Europe. And while searching for it, I started wondering whether the sit pad would be enough for a long walk. I hike in the mountain but 3 hours at the most, and my pack never weighs more than 3 kilos including water for me and the dogs. I never until now spent a whole day with a pack on my back. I did some train hikes last week mixing trail and road with my planned load for the Caminoand after 2 hours and a half, my back started being painful thus the whole “which backpack” thing.
 
Last Minute info: The Rab is back in the game, the Osprey Velocity is out. My daughter’s boyfriend is over for the weekend and he is a climber and a thruhiker, so he had a look at both packs and helped me fit them better. The Rab is the winner between both. No chafing anymore. Thank God I did not send it back yet. The Osprey is not comfortable at all, the vest part does not fit well on me.
Still waiting for the Gregory and the Montane.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
I take 2 Platypus 1 liter/34 oz. that flatten & are rollable for easy carry when empty, conserving space.
For myself, I have never been fond of platypus roll-up water bags because I do not like the sharp, sealed edges. I use two smooth sided Smartwater bottles in the two side pouches of my pack and drink out of both simultaneously which keeps the weight evenly distributed.
 
I have read I think every single thread here but I am afraid that the backpacks that I have access to here in Europe are not that common in the UK and North America and vice versa, so here I am, asking for advice since I did not find much about them in the forum.

I have my packlist ready, without water, snacks and the backpack I am at around 4,5 kilos which is much less than the magical 10% (and I will leave it at that, no more details about my chubby figure 😉). It all fits in my 30l fastpack but this backpack has no structure, very good for my short hikes with my dogs in the mountain but no way it is going on the camino with me, my back would kill me. I have identified 3 serious contenders so far, but for lack of a decent shop in Malaga apart from Decathlon (and none of their bags suited me), I am getting the packs shipped to me and will then decide which one to keep. I hate that I have to do that, but it is what it is. So here the 3 packs:

1. Rab Muon 40. Has arrived. Fits me fine (there really is a lot of possibilities in term of fitting with this bag so that’s good), but the padding of the shoulder straps, and in a certain mesure of the hip belt, rubs the inside of my arms in a manner that makes me think it could induce chafing quite quickly when wearing a short arm T. It is not always rubbing, I have to pull all straps well and then it does not anymore, but I am a tad skeptical about how that will work in the long run.

2. Montane Trailblazer 44. Same style as the Rab Muon 40, has not arrived yet. 44l is too much but if it is like the Rab pulling all the straps would make it “small” enough, and I would be able to use it for other trips where I need more room.

3. Gregory Facet 35, ordered directly on the Gregory website where it is on sale right now, waiting for it to arrive. I have heard very very good stuff about Gregory and the offer was so very tempting.

I don’t aim at it being super lightweight, but I want it to sit properly and make walking with my pack for hours in the heat not a torture. I enjoy the vest style of the Rab because I am used to my fastpack, but the fabric they used for the padding is a bit rough (or am I being too sensitive?). I did not like any of the Forclaz I tried on in Decathlon. I would love to have easy access to my bottles, either on the front or in the side pocket in a horizontal position. And last but not least, it has to fit in the cursed “Ryanair Carry-on torture cage”. For the time being I left Deuter and Osprey out of the game because my credit card does not like me right now, and hopefully one of the first 3 will be “the one”. BUT… if you have any suggestions…
Getting suggestions, ideas or opinions from Forum members is almost impossible 🤣
 
For myself, I have never been fond of platypus roll-up water bags because I do not like the sharp, sealed edges. I use two smooth sided Smartwater bottles in the two side pouches of my pack and drink out of both simultaneously which keeps the weight evenly distributed.
Thanks for the recommendation. Will look into Smartwater. Good thinking, weight balance!….Checked & they look tall & slim. If pack pocket not very deep, any problem with bottle top heavy?
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
Thanks for the recommendation. Will look into Smartwater. Good thinking, weight balance!….Checked & they look tall & slim. If pack pocket not very deep, any problem with bottle top heavy?
Not too heavy on my Osprey Sirrus. Although the water bottle holders are not extra deep, they do have an added cinch strap if needed, but I don't need to use it.
 
That’s great you got some help, nothing better than a thru hiker. I am sure you have noticed the lighter gear pushes pricing higher. In my opinion for the Camino the priority for gear should be:

Shoes
Pack
Rain gear
Water container (don’t ever allow it to run dry)
Sleeping bag/or blanket depending on time of year.

Have fun!
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I have read I think every single thread here but I am afraid that the backpacks that I have access to here in Europe are not that common in the UK and North America and vice versa, so here I am, asking for advice since I did not find much about them in the forum.

I have my packlist ready, without water, snacks and the backpack I am at around 4,5 kilos which is much less than the magical 10% (and I will leave it at that, no more details about my chubby figure 😉). It all fits in my 30l fastpack but this backpack has no structure, very good for my short hikes with my dogs in the mountain but no way it is going on the camino with me, my back would kill me. I have identified 3 serious contenders so far, but for lack of a decent shop in Malaga apart from Decathlon (and none of their bags suited me), I am getting the packs shipped to me and will then decide which one to keep. I hate that I have to do that, but it is what it is. So here the 3 packs:

1. Rab Muon 40. Has arrived. Fits me fine (there really is a lot of possibilities in term of fitting with this bag so that’s good), but the padding of the shoulder straps, and in a certain mesure of the hip belt, rubs the inside of my arms in a manner that makes me think it could induce chafing quite quickly when wearing a short arm T. It is not always rubbing, I have to pull all straps well and then it does not anymore, but I am a tad skeptical about how that will work in the long run.

2. Montane Trailblazer 44. Same style as the Rab Muon 40, has not arrived yet. 44l is too much but if it is like the Rab pulling all the straps would make it “small” enough, and I would be able to use it for other trips where I need more room.

3. Gregory Facet 35, ordered directly on the Gregory website where it is on sale right now, waiting for it to arrive. I have heard very very good stuff about Gregory and the offer was so very tempting.

I don’t aim at it being super lightweight, but I want it to sit properly and make walking with my pack for hours in the heat not a torture. I enjoy the vest style of the Rab because I am used to my fastpack, but the fabric they used for the padding is a bit rough (or am I being too sensitive?). I did not like any of the Forclaz I tried on in Decathlon. I would love to have easy access to my bottles, either on the front or in the side pocket in a horizontal position. And last but not least, it has to fit in the cursed “Ryanair Carry-on torture cage”. For the time being I left Deuter and Osprey out of the game because my credit card does not like me right now, and hopefully one of the first 3 will be “the one”. BUT… if you have any suggestions…
I am using my 3rd backpack now. Each has fitted MD well and been satisfactory. My concern is that few brands have reflective markings for early morning walks along the highways. While shopping I couldn't find this feature and it makes me wonder why not.
 
I have read I think every single thread here but I am afraid that the backpacks that I have access to here in Europe are not that common in the UK and North America and vice versa, so here I am, asking for advice since I did not find much about them in the forum.

I have my packlist ready, without water, snacks and the backpack I am at around 4,5 kilos which is much less than the magical 10% (and I will leave it at that, no more details about my chubby figure 😉). It all fits in my 30l fastpack but this backpack has no structure, very good for my short hikes with my dogs in the mountain but no way it is going on the camino with me, my back would kill me. I have identified 3 serious contenders so far, but for lack of a decent shop in Malaga apart from Decathlon (and none of their bags suited me), I am getting the packs shipped to me and will then decide which one to keep. I hate that I have to do that, but it is what it is. So here the 3 packs:

1. Rab Muon 40. Has arrived. Fits me fine (there really is a lot of possibilities in term of fitting with this bag so that’s good), but the padding of the shoulder straps, and in a certain mesure of the hip belt, rubs the inside of my arms in a manner that makes me think it could induce chafing quite quickly when wearing a short arm T. It is not always rubbing, I have to pull all straps well and then it does not anymore, but I am a tad skeptical about how that will work in the long run.

2. Montane Trailblazer 44. Same style as the Rab Muon 40, has not arrived yet. 44l is too much but if it is like the Rab pulling all the straps would make it “small” enough, and I would be able to use it for other trips where I need more room.

3. Gregory Facet 35, ordered directly on the Gregory website where it is on sale right now, waiting for it to arrive. I have heard very very good stuff about Gregory and the offer was so very tempting.

I don’t aim at it being super lightweight, but I want it to sit properly and make walking with my pack for hours in the heat not a torture. I enjoy the vest style of the Rab because I am used to my fastpack, but the fabric they used for the padding is a bit rough (or am I being too sensitive?). I did not like any of the Forclaz I tried on in Decathlon. I would love to have easy access to my bottles, either on the front or in the side pocket in a horizontal position. And last but not least, it has to fit in the cursed “Ryanair Carry-on torture cage”. For the time being I left Deuter and Osprey out of the game because my credit card does not like me right now, and hopefully one of the first 3 will be “the one”. BUT… if you have any suggestions…
Osprey are so popular, suit me. You could get a 25k, with waist belt
 
I was leaning towards using an Osprey Stratos 36 (so much so that I found one for a very good price on Amazon and bought it), but I went to a local store with a good rep and after some serious fitting time during which the Osprey was found to be a poor fit for me, the supervisor there got me into a Mystery Ranch 40L Coulee (Men's version). I tried the 30L, but it was extremely tight for my packlist (which is only 5.7kg but surprisingly bulky).

One of the things I like about the 40L Coulee is that it's completely waterproof and thus doesn't require a raincover. It's also a hybrid loader, with a nifty top/front/bottom access system that's the smartest I've ever seen. Rapid access yet very strong when secured.

Prior to this, I'd never heard of Mystery Ranch. Decent price, too!
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Quick update:
  1. the Montane 44 has arrived, cautiously thinking it fits so well.. It’s capacity is much bigger than what I need but with the straps, nothing moves. There is a 32l version, but it is more expensive than the 44 (but.. why ???) so not sure it is worth the hassle. It fits slightly better than the Rab, but the Rab seems more solid. Opinions?
  2. Dear Daughter, who was never outdoorsy until Boyfriend of said Daughter made an appearance 😉, wants the Osprey, so it is not going back after all, just changing ownership.
  3. We (because Dear Daughter is now very much involved in the decision making and even wants to go camping 🥳) are now waiting for the Gregory to arrive, whenever UPS think they could enjoy a drive in the countryside.
  4. 2 backpacks have to go back. Neither Dear Son nor Dear Husband are interested in getting new backpacks, so we are not opening a “Backpack Rescue Shelter”. I have been clearly 😒 told that I cannot do with backpacks what I have successfully done with dogs.

Also, the Montane does not weigh 1090g as stated on the Montane page, mine weighs 710g empty. I am now double checking to see if any parts are missing but so far, everything seems to be there.
 
Last edited:
It fits slightly better than the Rab, but the Rab seems more solid. Opinions?
I walked my first camino with a Gossamergear Murmur. Their lightest, most fragile pack. You could litterally see the contents thru the fabric. I handled it with great care, always watching were i put it down and after the full Camino Frances it looked a bit dirty but had no wear and tear whatsoever. So i would never chose the backpack because it looks more solid. At least not for a camino.
 
I walked my first camino with a Gossamergear Murmur. Their lightest, most fragile pack. You could litterally see the contents thru the fabric. I handled it with great care, always watching were i put it down and after the full Camino Frances it looked a bit dirty but had no wear and tear whatsoever. So i would never chose the backpack because it looks more solid. At least not for a camino.
Glaube Dir!
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Best of luck on your backpack search. Speaking from my experience, you might also want to consider a couple of adjuncts, such as a small waist pack for those common everyday items (tissues, phone, charger, etc.). You will soon appreciate it because you will not have to remove your backpack as frequently. Also, some type of water resistant pouch on a lanyard round your neck for your Credenciale, passport, credit cards, cash, etc. Buen Camino!
 
No-one has mentioned Aarn backpacks with their clever balance pockets. I wouldn't do the Camino with anything else!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
here’s a pack you might not have considered: the Arcteryx Aerios 18L. it’s pricey but is so lightweight, intelligently designed, comfortable - i’m in love with it. you can detach the hip belt which is just a strap to hook up a different one (i’m using the hyperlight mountain gear hip belt). last time i walked the camino i wore a deuter trail 28L, which was so wonderful and comfortable- perfect size with room to spare, but itself is heavy- over 2 lbs. so if you haven’t checked out this Arcteryx pack i highly recommend it! It also comes in a 30L version but at least for me that’s way too big. buen camino!
 
Everything mentioned above I agree with, yet I still would reuse my osprey 48L Kestral. Just because I use it here in Montana in the backcountry.
I would recommend you take each fully loaded for a good 3-4 hour hike to see what pack fits the best. That way you can adjust as needed. You won’t get any of them adjusted & loaded properly until you wear them for a couple days. The load needs to be balanced heavier items closest to your back & close to top. Just experiment . Buen Camino
Keith
I have both an Osprey 48L and 38L Kestral. They each weigh as least a pound less than the new ones do. the 48L is now well over 4 pounds (according to the REI specs).

I'm going to try out the REI Flash Air, which weighs in at 32 oz (right at 2 pounds) for the large size. Can't really see a reason to carry an extra couple of pounds, though my 48L Kestral has been on lots of climbs and day trips.
 
And to end my quest: the Gregory Facet 35, which I had to pick up, does not feel comfortable to me. For one thing, it is an XS and it is too short, and I think an S would be a tad better, but I won’t try to exchange it because other things bother me. The back is not adjustable, there is only one access to the pack (top loader), it’s clearly heavier than the Montane, and the chest strap is not comfortable for me at all. On the plus side, it has easy access to water bottles, the hip belt pockets are well sized and the pack includes a rain cover. But these pluses are not enough for me. I feel better with the Montane on my back and it is the one I am keeping. Thank you everyone for helping me 🙏.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).

Most read last week in this forum

Hi, I'm packing to do Camino Frances starting 21st Aug 2024. Here's some context: I'm from Singapore where it's >30 deg C all year round with >90% humidity. I use an umbrella (or even nothing at...
Need a new backpack after using a very old one last year and had blisters in spite of keeping it light. Looked at other threads for advice, but wonder if there’s there a good backpack with daypack...
I will be in a hotel in Santiago before walking to Muxia and Finisterre. The hotel has agreed to store my suitcase (after visiting family in the UK). Is there somewhere I may be able to have my...
Well, actually re the subject... Considering that I have no rain gear at all, I need to buy something. The alternatives are: a poncho or a rain jacket or windbreaker and rain pants. What would be...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top