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Anyone who has been backpacking abroad for a sustained period of time understands that backpack size is critical to the survival of you and your back and how much actual physical backpacking you do. You quickly learn that the smaller the pack the better. I sussed that out before my first trip to Australia and went with a 40 liter pack, which is the sort of thing the military would use to survive a weekend on the Breckon Beacons, not 12 months Down Under. But the bigger it is the more stuff you have room to put in it on your travels and so the heavier it gets. Most travelers are students or the young middle-class types trying to escape the apparent apathy of good jobs the working - classes want and so have the cash for all the kit, those huge 70 liter packs that are taller than the average Japanese guy and have the full bells and whistles so you can add things on to the side and plenty of pockets and zippers their chosen expression of wealth. The nice kids bought up on the Famous Five books even have kitchen utensils hanging off them, Jamie Oliver stuff no less, forgetting they have to carry that designer wear around the whole of Thailand and Vietnam, this, not Glastonbury. Even if you do see peasant women with a year's firewood on their backs the western bodies are not designed for this and you will be in serious pain. Keep it as light as you can guys.
The Dakine Amp 18L is your baby pack for when you go travelling, the little one you pull out of your big one like a baby kangaroo. This is the one you explore places with whey you have parked up your big bag in your hostel or camp site. If robbers pull you up with a big backpack its game over where as the small pack gives you at least a chance to leg it and actually hold on to your backpack. Muggers tend to be young and hunt in packs abroad and will go for your baggage and balls, smaller hands diving into your pockets for wallets and change. Keep mobile.
My travelling days are all but over, alas, and so rucksacks like this are for around town or trips away to watch sport or the occasional city break or holiday. For writing about sport you need lots of compartments and pockets as you don't want your sun cream to leak into your lap top, as it did at Edgbaston last year, or your pens to stain your expensive Billabong fleece when you are in Bendingo near Ballarat, which also happened. The more compartments the better guys. Modern rucksacks are fully equipped for all of your gadgets and bits and bobs and great for attaching things on like camera tripods or extendable walking or shooting sticks. Designers have it all covered these days, Danny Boyles rather underwhelming film 127 hours the best advert yet for these multipurpose rucksack's as they produced the volume and compartments needed for 127 hours of not so subtle product placement. I doubt if that film would have been made without the money it raised through that product placement.
I use mine around two and the design comfortable and fitted to the shoulder ad top back area. Sometimes with these bags the straps can dig into your shoulders and neck or slip off your shoulders and so it takes a while to adjust the straps accordingly. These babies just seem to fit and the soft padding keeps it all in place. Weather it can take a great weight I know not although I have had the rucksack two years and the stitching looks fine on the arm strap hinge areas. These things are only as strong as their weakest point and that usually is it. There are no sigs of wear anywhere else.
Price wise you are looking at £100 plus and so best shop around. I got mine free when I singed up for a credit card.
It is canvas and waterproof and the zippers tight enough to stop serious leakage. Weight wise it's light and roomy and can easily take a second layer of clothing and your lap top, plenty of side pockets and compartments to keep gooey things away from those more expensive things. The flap on the front peels down and is good for sliding maps in the little sleeve provided on the back of the flap. There is also a small padded pocket for your sunglasses or other small fragile stuff. The metal composite frame doesn't add much weight to the bag but good protection for when you bang things. You could even pop a small baby in there although make sure he or she has a sun hat!
"Dakine Amp 18L Spring/Summer 11. Hydration Packs. All the bells and whistles you need in an all mountain pack including new Hydrapak bladder with quick-disconnect hose, a molded back panel for support and ventilation. Features: •XC helmet carry straps •Molded back panel with air ventilation •In ...."