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Carry-on backpack

July 19, 2016 — BarryK
A problem with backpacks is they have parts that hang out all over the place. OK when on the back, but not so good otherwise, such as traveling by bus, train or airplane.

I own a Sea to Summit duffle bag, really light (80gm), packs tiny, and just the right size to meet the size requirements for airline carry-on:

Qantas, for example, has published carry-on maximum dimensions of 56x36x23 cm for economy:

I have been going through my hiking/travel gear, attempting to reduce the weight and improve functionality. I have recently acquired a new backpack, a Zpacks Arc Blast, 45 litre, short-torso (with lumbar-pad and one waist-pouch), weighing just 650gm:

My intention is that I be able to insert the backpack inside the duffle bag. The big constraints here are the dimensions, in particular the length.
Only the "short torso" Arc Blast meets my requirement. Fortunately, that size fits me very well, and indeed would fit someone with longer torso.

This photo shows the approximate maximum distance from bottom of waist-belt to anchor-point of shoulder straps, 51cm (or maybe a tad more with some effort). This is with a fairly small bow in the vertical rods of about 30mm.
The anchor-point can be adjusted further down, and I currently have it set about 20mm below the highest point (so about 49cm from bottom of waist-belt):

The main issue though, is the total length of the backpack. It is about 55cm, with the extension section folded down (part of the bag that can extend above the frame).
This is spot-on. A fully-loaded pack, except only filled to height of the frame, fits nicely in the Sea to Summit duffle bag.

Here it is being inserted:

Here I am ready to go:

Of course, I also have the smallest-capacity Arc Blast, rated at 45 litres. That also suits me fine, and is satisfactory even for multi-day treks. But, I travel ultra-light.
Note that Qantas specifies 7kg max, some other airlines specify only 5kg.

But even if you don't want to do carry-on, or can't due to what you have in your backpack (such as stakes), it is great to have all the dangly bits tucked away, and inside a lockable duffle bag, for checked-baggage, bus travel, or whatever.

Tags: light