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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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The end of the Tour San Francisco, CA, Saturday, 06 March 2010 4:52am

I went to REI today and discovered that they won't repair the broken clip on my venerable Tour backpack. The guy at the customer service desk told me they wouldn't be able to source the part they'd need. They offered me a refund of the price I paid for it ($89), but it seemed ridiculous to be refunded for an item that's given me five years of hard use across five continents (REI's records show that it was purchased in January of 2005).

I've picked up a new REI Vagabond travel pack. The Tour was 2400 cubic inches + 800 cubic inches of expansion pocket. The Vagabond is 2800 cubic inches. I hope the extra space isn't too tempting. I tried a bunch of other packs, but the smaller ones (like the Lookout 40) didn't fit the length of my torso as well.

I also picked up an REI Flash 18 ultralight daypack, with an eye to replacing my old Pak Rat daypack. The Flash 18 is basically a glorified stuff sack with straps, so it should take up much less space in my travel pack when not in use. It has an opening for a hydration unit, which is nice for things like hikes and dive boat rides.

One of the main reasons I used my daypack on my last trip was for bus rides. I'm happy to let my clothes and random stuff sit in the belly of a bus all day as it gets loaded and unloaded at each station, but I'm too paranoid to leave my laptop down there. The Pak Rat was just a tiny bit too small for my laptop. It fit, but only if the laptop went in after a spacer like my document case. The new one is so unstructured that it won't matter.

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