Backpack cover?
May 4, 2014 6:40 PM   Subscribe

A friend is going on a year-long, multi-continent backpacking adventure. She wants a sturdy travel cover that will take the abuse from buses/baggage handlers/planes instead of her pack, like this--except hopefully sturdier. Any recommendations?
posted by flibbertigibbet to Shopping (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Any lightweight duffle bag big enough for her pack to fit into will work. There are big advantages to it looking cheap and stowing easily. If it wares out, it can be easily replaced.
posted by Murray M at 8:44 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a very similar (and well reviewed) REI brand version of the cover you linked. It's held up remarkably well for 5+ years at this point. It fits my 65L pack with plenty of room for some overflow clothing or whatever else. It packs down small enough to not be a big inconvenience once I get to where I'm going.
posted by Medw at 9:30 PM on May 4, 2014

I used my pack's rain cover as a hack version of this for times when I was on planes and was worried about straps getting snagged on conveyor belts (I always checked it). In reality her pack will be totally fine without it (I did a one year trip like this 5 years ago) - I mean, backpacks are specifically designed to take physical abuse.
posted by MillMan at 10:44 PM on May 4, 2014

The only people i ever see using pack covers are the people who just started travelling and haven't yet figured out you don't need a pack cover.

That being said, the rain cover is usually sufficient. Getting anything 'sturdier' will mean getting something bulikier and heavier, and it would probably make more sense to just get a better quality backback.
posted by Kololo at 11:26 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't recommend doing anything sturdier than that Osprey cover (or equivalent). The main thing the cover does is protect the backpack's straps from snagging on belts. It also maybe protects the fabric of the backpack from rubbing on stuff. It doesn't need to be sturdy, it's supposed to get beat up and filthy and patched with duct tape.

But as others have said, she probably doesn't even need a pack cover at all. I have an ultralight/lightweight (i.e. not that sturdy) backpack that I've taken on buses, trains, and planes (checked on RyanAir, even!) with no cover and no trouble - just cinch down all the straps and tuck everything in.
posted by mskyle at 6:40 AM on May 5, 2014

also chiming in to say that a separate cover is a bit superfluous. In the past, I've either packed it into a cheap duffle or cinched down all the straps and used a couple of extra pieces of nylon webbing to truss it together and secure any loose bits.

You could also go the route of taking a roll of Saran or plastic wrap and just wrapping the entire backpack to keep the straps from snagging on anything (a lot of airports in Asia and Europe have this sort of plastic as a service for travelers) but it is a bit wasteful and does cost you money everytime you want to do it (even if you're just buying the plastic yourself at a grocery store)
posted by bl1nk at 10:30 AM on May 5, 2014

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