Backpacks: 28 liters, 30 liters or 40 liters?

Camino de Santiago Backpack

The question was:

Although my first Camino is still at least two years away Im beginning to formulate my gear list and will soon begin the “boy in the toystore” phase (my wife accuses me of using this as an excuse for new gear…but what is a middle aged man supposed to do? Lug his 5.5 lb Expedition pack for six weeks across Spain? I already humped that thing across Europe for 9 weeks looking like a Sherpa in the process — and I was only 25 at the time).

Ive checked quite a few postings and it seems as if most are using larger bags… I want to “go small” if at all possible…

Ive spent some time at the REI store and have narrowed down my pack choice down to the Gregory Z series. My other Gregory pack has served me well and the Z series fits me very well and has a lot of features i like — especially the suspension system that really does maximize airflow on the back, making it comfortable to wear in the heat – an important consideration since I live in Florida and will be , God willing, starting my Camino in Mid/late May and ending up the first week or so in July.

Logic tells me to go with the Z40 (L) series and have a little more room. But I have the nagging feeling that the Z30 (L) would make a better hiking bag for my “day to day” outings w/ the family. I also think it would force me to be a bit more ruthless in limiting my packing choices, which can be a very very good thing. It also weighs in about 10 oz less than the Z40, also a very good thing.

Have any of you found a 28ish – 30 L bag adequate for the Camino? Again, I will be packing as light as I possibly can , and the timeframe of my trip dictates the probability of using a bag liner instead of a sleeping bag, etc. Planning on two sets of clothing, etc. Or is a slightly larger bag necessary.

My wife accuses me of wanting the 30L bag then determining that it is not adequate and sizing up to a 40L bag, thus ending up with both. She knows me well, heheheh, and since I am the designated pack mule I cannot convince her that the smaller bag is for her…

Any advice is appreciated. Especially if you have experience with the Z series bags.

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