Jereon sees many backpacks, a continuous stream of backpacks walk by his office daily. I see a continuous stream of backpacks walk by me, however maybe a little more critical for me, I also live out of a backpack, it my home away from home.
I am again dwelling on features of a backpack, this backpack below is similar to the one I first carried for about 4-5 years. I truly liked that pocket in the top until, “I was robbed when someone put their hand in that pocket and took money out of my neck pouch passport and money holder.” - Robbed on Boat from Koh Samui to Surathani Thailand July 2002
I finally accept the Italian guy sitting next to me on the boat tell me a sad sack story about losing everything stole my money out of the top pouch pocket of a bag like the one below. I was tired, hot, and sweaty, I did not want that pouch on my neck, I put it in the pouch.
This bag below is typical, I am guess in at least 35 percent of long-term backpack have purchased this type of bag.
IT IS THE WORST POSSIBLE BACPACK FOR TRAVEL It is the Thieves Paradise 30-50 percent of backpacks traveler carry are like this bag.
I really loved my bag like this, it was easy to get into, I could put my guidebook in the top pocket. I could stuff it extra full, the pull string compartment would allow me to stuff a lot in this bag. It was simple to use. I could open them straps and clamp down a blanket or tent.
I truly hate this type of bag NOW, I believe the Airplane luggage handlers broke them clips at least four times. I finally replaced them with a pull buckle type mechanism and they still broke it. They just grab what is easy to find and throw the bag. Or maybe they just pull real hard, knowing the contents will go flying and all is fair game.
There is ZERO way of locking this bag, a Thieve Paradise.
If you would carry this backpack as your front bag, this pouch on top would be one of the best places possible to store a guidebook when entering a city. It would be right in front of your face. The problem is you have to take this backpack off… ooops
A thieves paradise, one robber comes up and bumps you, the other runs off with the bag because you needed to take the pack off to get your guidebook out. There needs to be a hasp type lock on the zipper so a person can lock this pouch.
This is a hikers or trekkers bag, not good for travel, it is a Thieve Paradise, the worst possible bag to purchase to travel
I went into a store here on Khao San Road to take these photos, I am sure all the backpack are fakes, no original brands. This nice girl was helping me, she squatted on the stool. I could not help myself, I had to take a photo. What do you think, does she look like she has some Chinese blood in her?
This is how you enter this bag, quick and easy, however there is no way to lock this bag.
I had a bag like this for about four-five years, by the time I was done, I had added many D-Rings to allow me to lock the bag. It is possible to lock this bag, however it just never seems to come ready to go out of the box, this bag is not made for travel.
Too many pockets, too many loose webbing straps hanging around, this bag has more toy adjustment than you can imagine. They all come out of adjustment, almost impossible to keep it adjusted because they all change. I sewed the adjustments solid on my bag, I was tired of trying to keep them correct.
This bag and 90 percent of the backpack I see are a Thieve Paradise, there is nothing stopping anyone from robbing them.
I think what happens is this, a person goes into a gear store thinking they are going to rough it, walking around a country. They eventually learn and know that roughing it, is putting a bag under a bus and sleeping 24 hour on an all night bus, it is not walking for days.
Little do they know, while they was sleeping, some little person was crawling around in the baggage compartment pillaging their bag.
I do not think it is the Backpacker fault, I think the Gear shops and Manufacturers have their head up their butt. They really have no idea what it means to travel.
Or maybe the do not know what it feel like to be robbed, I have been robbed two times, once with the little pouch, once by a pickpocket in Spain. For sure the most dangerous places to travel is Europe, the seconds is Central and South America, Africa next and Asia is the safest.
The more pockets on the outside of a a backpack, the more you will get robbed, and the less it should be called a Travel Backpack.
I think I am inventing a new genre of backpacks, the travel backpack line.