Gear
Gear Guy
Q:

What’s the best bag for a long-haul trip to Nepal?

My wife and I are traveling to Nepal soon for a friend’s wedding. We are looking for luggage to travel with. My preference is an expedition duffel that I can easily carry on my back and my wife prefers something she can roll. We also both need a carry-on that can double as a bag to carry items in around town, including a Nikon D40 camera. We will be doing significant sightseeing in and around Pokhara, but nothing overnight. What are the best pieces to suit our needs for this trip? Roy Louisville, KY

A: Hmmm. That’s a tough one. For you, probably something like the Osprey Sojourn 28" Wheeled Convertible Pack ($289). Not a duffel, but a big suitcase (4,800 cubic inches) that has both wheels and zip-away padded shoulder straps so you can throw it on your back if need be. Lots of organizer pockets, retractable handle, all the features that make a good travel piece. REI’s cavernous Wheely Beast 35” ($169, 7,200 cubic inches) is a prototypical rolling duffel, but doesn’t have the backpack feature.

Your wife might like the Wheely Beast. Or, Eagle Creek’s Tarmac 28 ($340). It’s big (5,600 cubic inches), providing the capacity for extended travel. But it’s not huge. Rugged construction, good organization. And it’s designed to accommodate Eagle Creek’s Pack-it modules, so everything fits neatly and you can stuff in more than the size would normally suggest. The North Face’s Longhaul 30 Rolling Duffel ($279) would be another good choice. It’s really more of a suitcase than a duffel, and ruggedly built.

The Sojourn 28"

There are a million options for your around-town bag. Let me recommend the Billingham Packington, an extremely stylish, durable all-purpose camera bag that has the great virtue of not LOOKING like a camera bag. Good for carrying all sorts of things. Beautifully made from canvas and leather with brass fittings. And yes, it’s wildly expensive at just under $300. Lowepro’s Classified 250 AW offers good functionality as well, for a lesser price ($230 retail; 170 street price). But it isn’t nearly as classy.

Have a great trip!

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Lead Photo: courtesy, Osprey
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