Osprey – Aura AG65 Backpack

The wide waist-belt/load lifter bar sits very comfortably and something magical happens with the weight distribution. The ‘anti-gravity’ technology does indeed work. Initially, I struggled with hoisting on and off but once I’d nailed my technique, had no difficulty. The harness is super comfy and adjusts quickly and easily. And the mesh also does its job – no sweaty back for me. Thankfully I didn’t need the rain-cover, neatly stowed in the top or an ice-pick (loops on side) during this trip.

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Osprey Kids Koby 20 Daypack

There are lots of useful pockets, some with zips, some with elastic and all of them in just right place and the right dimensions for the size of the bag. Jasmine certainly manages to pack plenty into it and it’s all accessible. As I said, she uses it for school every day but it’s also ideal for weekends away, having enough space to fit a couple of changes of clothes, the usual bits and pieces that 9 year old girls take with them, and of course her teddy!

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Aquapac – TrailProof Duffel

At £45 for the duffel bag this presents great value for money, particularly when compared with some of the pricier similar bags available. And on reflection, as I write this, the lack of zip on the duffel means that there is less to go wrong with this bag and so I can imagine it lasting a long time. They do also come with a full 5 year warranty. Overall, we are very pleased with both of these bags and would recommend them – with a check on the capacity first.

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Airbac – AirTech Backpack (32L)

The amount of padding in the AirTech Backpack is insane. They’ve turned up the padding dials to 11 and it’s foam o’clock in the shoulderstraps. The bag oozes comfort from every pore. But it’s that enormous air bladder which is the party piece. Its over 4 inches deep at the bottom of the bag, and you kinda just want to put your laptop in the thing and drop it to watch it bounce around the room.

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Platypus – Sprinter XT 25L Backpack

Being 5’9” the 20” M/L backpack was a perfect fit, resting snuggly on my hips, and the combination of back padding and internal frame was enough to cushion the pack against my back without over insulating it. The Sprinter is available in two torso lengths so can be fitted to a variety of body shapes – and whilst it’s not a specific women’s pack I had no trouble with its fit.

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