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Germany/NYC August 2014

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    Germany/NYC August 2014

    My husband and I are planning a trip to NYC (4-5 days) and Germany (2-3 weeks). We plan to pack light/compact (one pack each).

    My husband is 6'3". His back hurts after carrying a pack for more than a few hours (this time period becomes shorter after several days of carrying a pack). I really want this trip to be as comfortable for him as possible. We plan on doing lots of hiking/bicycling/walking. What Tom Bihn packs work best for men with long spines?

    Also, we live in Canada. Ordering across the border is definitely a doable option, however it would be nice to avoid extra shipping costs. Are there other bags that could be recommended for my husband that are available in Canada?

    Thanks so much in advance. Any advice or tips are welcome.

    hello Naomi!

    welcome to the forum!

    i have back issues, and one of the things i love about the tom bihn travel bags is the incredibly comfortable backpack straps! i have carried other backpacks, and there is something about the way that tom designs the backpack straps that makes the load more comfortable to carry.

    this is true for the aeronaut, tri-star, as well as the western flyer. though there's no reason that you couldn't use the brain bag for travel as well. i'm not that tall, but i believe that all of these bags will work on a taller torso as well.

    given the back issues, i would suggest he limit the weight he carries on his back. i recall someone on the forum mentioned that one should carry no more than 10% of his body weight. see if that is too much or just right for him. that isn't to say that he should choose a smaller bag - electronics, toiletries, for example, generally weigh more than clothes.


      How much do you and him typically carry in each pack?

      European airlines have weight limit, usually around 12 pounds per luggage.

      With smart wardrobe planning you can pack very lightly.

      I would suggest the Aeronaut or the Tristar in 420d Dyneema.

      Please tell us more about what you plan to pack and if you need specialty gear for biking or hiking.

      We have a lot of hikers in the forums and they will be able to help you choose the latest and best gear.

      Editing because FrankII reminded me that indeed the weight might have been 14 pounds. I checked the weight in kilos and I am terrible at math.

      While I was initially frustrated about weight restrictions, I welcomed them because my back was feeling ok at the end of the trip.
      Last edited by backpack; 01-16-2014, 08:24 PM.


        As Maverick stated, you want to limit the amount you carry on your back to no more than 10% of body weight. While European airlines do limit weight more than U.S. airlines, 12 pounds is very low. I can only think of one or two airlines that go that low.

        It is also important to try to distribute the weight on your back. The best ways to do that is to use a waist belt and sternum strap as well as using packing cubes to keep things from shifting.

        If you plan to keep the full pack on your back for hours at a time, you may want to see about being fitted for a proper framed backpack.
        Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers.

        Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.


          Welcome to the clan!

          Let's see, the most comfortable Tom Bihn backpack with a load?
          Of the backpacks that I own, (synapse 19 & 25) , Brain bag & Guides Pack, I would have to say the Guides Pack takes the lead.
          I usually hike about five miles (half of that up a mountain) a day and every ten days or so I venture on a 12 to 18 mile hike.
          When I do the short runs I pack like I'm doing 20 for the conditioning aspect. Between they water and the changes of clothes, food and drawing supplies I average around a 30 pound load. The temperature frame (yes here in sunny California ) could range from 25 degrees in the morning to high eighties in one day in the winter. So having room to peel off a jacket essential. Prior to the introduction of the Guides pack I would switch between my Brain bag and my Goruck pack. Since my acquisition of the Guides Pack that's been my go to hiking pack.
          I'm am actually giddy every time I venture out on a hike with my Guides pack. I have pictures up in the forum and I am about to soon download a bunch more from one of my longer hikes showing how I pack it and facilitate its functions.
          Keep in mind that if you need to downsize your appearance, or load your bag in the belly of a plane the side pockets are detachable and could be stored in accessory bag for that brief time.

          The internal frame of the Guides pack is adjustable although I have left mine at its factory setting.
          Hope this helps,