Broke the Camelbak

Over the weekend I went out and bought myself a new backpack. I use a backpack on a regular basis and my trusty Camelbak backpack has started to fall apart and needed to be replaced.

In December 2009 I was invited to speak at a conference in Auckland in New Zealand.

I flew out there and took two bags with me, a large suitcase and a carry on suitcase. Having arrived in Auckland and checked into my hotel, the following day I had some time to explore the city. I realised very quickly that a carry on suitcase wasn’t going to cut it. I went out and on one of the shopping streets in a basement was a shop selling kit for outdoor activities, hiking, and so on. I was looking around for a suitable bag, if I remember correctly there was a few to choose from. I saw the Camelbak and it was reduced. I have no recollection of how much I paid for it, but I thought at the time it was good value.

What I didn’t know or realise was that Camelbak was a brand of backpacks that could be used for hydration. So the bag came with water bottles and tubes. When I got back to my hotel room the first thing I did was remove all of that.

What I liked was the bag, though relatively small, had two pockets and could carry quite a bit of stuff.

My usual load was a laptop in a padded laptop bag, as the Camelbak had no protective padding for an unprotected laptop. I did once dent my laptop when not using the padded bag.

The bag was well used over the years. I did actually semi-retire it for a while in 2016 with a Berghaus rucksack. I remember trying to find a replacement Camelbak, but I couldn’t  find one. I did use both bags for a while, one for work, and one for non-work stuff.

However the zip broke on the Berghaus bag a few years later and as it was frustrating, despite a temporary fix, it finally wasn’t going to be practical anymore. 

The Camelbak I did notice was getting rather tired. Recently I noted that there was rips around the zips, and then in the sides as well.

I did look on the Camelbak website, but alas no joy. So I headed into town to buy a new backpack.

My new bag is a dedicated laptop rucksack, the Vic Laptop Bag from Mountain Warehouse.

The Vic Laptop Bag was made for work and travel. With a modern design and plenty of features, including a zipped laptop compartment with padding, an organiser pocket and a padded mesh back, so you can carry your belongings comfortably and securely. 

What really sold it to me was the padded 15″ compartment to keep your laptop/tablet safe in transit.

It also holds thirty litres. I may use this if I am staying away and travelling by train, rather than take a suitcase. It also says it is cabin friendly so might be useful when flying as well.

First test will be a trip to London and Edinburgh.