Travel Light with Our Favorite Packs
First time peregrinos are tempted to carry more in their backpacks than necessary. Remember that you are traveling in a country that has everything you are used to having available back home. You can fit everything you need for a typical Camino trip in Spring, Summer, or Fall in a 28L or 32L backpack. Our favorites are the Deuter ACT Trail 28L, the Deuter ACT Trail Pro 30L, the Deuter ACT Trail 30L, and the Deuter ACT Trail Pro 40L. All of these packs hit all the notes for us when it comes to what we are looking for in a Camino backpack.
The 28L and 32L are our recommendations for people with short to medium length torsos. The 28L is our favorite, will hold everything on our Camino Packing List, and because it starts out at only 2.6 pounds empty, you are less likely to be weighed down with this awesome pack. The 32L has a little more volume and is almost a pound heavier. Both of these packs are suited to short and medium torsos, and the shoulder straps are anatomically shaped for women, but men can wear these comfortably, too. The 30L and 40L packs are our go-to recommendations for men. The 30L is our favorite, because it is lighter weight at 2.10 pounds, cheaper, and accommodates everything on our Packing List.
As you will see when you research them, these four packs already have many, many fans. The customer reviews for each one on Amazon are five-star, and we have to agree. The specially designed back system fits most back shapes comfortably and provides good ventilation, and load control. These packs are light, super versatile, and provided you don’t overload them, should meet the requirements for fitting in overhead bins on the major airlines. Carrying on your Camino backpack is something we HIGHLY recommend, so you don’t take a chance on having your pack misplaced by baggage handlers. Remember that you must obey all TSA security guidelines, or any other airport security you will be screened by en route to the Camino. (We include instructions for how to measure yourself to select the best size pack for your body in our Guidebook, Camino de Santiago Guide to Preparing Well & Saving Money 2016.)
Hands down the feature we like the best on these packs is “front access” in addition to the top access. Deuter makes it super convenient for you to find something down deep in your pack, without rummaging from the top, or taking everything out to find something at the bottom of the pack. This also aids in repacking your pack as pilgrims have to do every day. We cannot praise this feature enough. Our packs on our first Camino were top loading only, and it made things more difficult than they already were, so we really love the front loading access.
Did we mention the built-in rain cover?!?! This is another feature we love, love, love that our first packs did not have. Another fabulous Deuter design is the rain cover that rolls up and stows away in its own compartment at the base of the pack. No more scrambling to find your rain cover and put it on your pack, and no more lost rain covers that can set sail and take off in the windy rain.
All four of these packs have plenty of comfort features on the shoulder straps and hip belts, and lots of good strap adjustments to get the fit just right for you. There are zippered security pockets, mesh pockets, and wet laundry pockets. There are elasticized loops, and straps to accommodate gear you want to attach to the outside of your pack for some reason. (like drying damp laundry or your Marmot pre-cip jacket.)
We have a helpful Packing List and Packing Strategies in our Guidebook, and free on our website, and we will make that the subject of other articles. We recommend carrying your items in one of our favorite Camino backpacks: the Deuter 28L, 32L, 30L, or 40L. Click here to get a good deal through our Amazon store. And remember that if you connect to Amazon through our store, the cost is the same for you, but Amazon gives us little commission for recommending the products on their site. We donate a portion of all Amazon commissions we make to help pilgrims through our Provisions with Purpose Program. Thanks!