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White Mountain Backpacks™
619 Plenty Road, Preston,
Melbourne VIC 3072 Australia
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Travel Backpacks

What are the main differences between a Hiking Backpack and a Travel Backpack?

Backpacks that facilitate ease of travel by incorporating the best features of a hike pack, a soft suitcase and more. These features include a fully functional harness system with a storable harness cover that protects the harness in transit, a removable daypack, and a shoulder sling. It would also include suitcase style carry handles generally located at the top and on the side of the backpack. Travel packs have a zipped front or panel loading access for ease of use, and would normally have internal compression straps which designers sometimes couple with an internal organiser. Travel packs generally have two compartments an upper and lower compartment with either a zip or draw cord division, and including the removable daypack are usually 60 to 90 litres in capacity. We recommend that these backpacks are custom fitted to provide optimum comfort and have a fully featured and adjustable harness system.

Travel packs are designed with the traveller in mind with features that are necessary to accommodate comfortable frequent travelling and are not designed to replace the bushwalking or hike pack for these reasons:

  1. Travel packs are generally designed with many more features than bushwalking or hike packs, including, a harness cover, side and top carry handles, shoulder sling, and a removable daypack. This adds considerable weight, in some cases adding as much as 30% more weight to the average backpack.
  2. Travel packs are generally designed with a greater depth, putting more weight further from the body. This in turn increases the leverage on the back and spine, and are not designed for extended hiking.
  3. Travel packs are generally wider than hike packs and not contoured to the body shape, which could allow for catching on scrub or rock in certain terrain. This added width would also interfere with freedom of arm movement which is necessary for maintaining balance, particularly in rough terrain.

What are the main features of a White Mountain™ Travel Pack?

  1. Panel Loading (Front Opening).
  2. Dual Compartments, zip or draw cord division.
  3. Six External Compression Straps.
  4. A Removable Daypack.
  5. Webbing reinforced Suitcase Carry Handles on the side and top of the pack.
  6. A padded Shoulder Sling, removable and concealable.
  7. A concealable zipped Harness Cover for the backpack harness.
  8. Dual Interlocking Zip Sliders on all main compartments to facilitate locking.
  9. Removable Internal Organiser with an Internal Compression Facility.
  10. External Attachment Facilities to secure gear on the outside of the backpack.
  11. A full hiking harness, unlike some backpacks with a simplified harness system that offers no proper load support.
  12. A hydration facility incorporated into both the backpack and the removable daypack.

Features attributed to Travel and Hybrid Backpacks

Panel Loading

All Travel packs open from the front of the upper compartment and gear is stored in the same manner as a suitcase. The only consideration in packing your travel pack is when you are carting a number of heavier articles, then you should consider the information on our page backpack loading to determine the best method of placing your gear and how to best use the backpack lower compartment.

Dual Compartments

Most travel packs on the market today have an upper and lower compartment, with either a dual zip or draw cord division. The dual zip or draw cord division when closed allows for separate packing, or can be opened completely to use the pack as one single compartment. The advantage of a dual zip division is the ability to open the pack on the one side to store a longer item, yet still maintain the dual compartments. The draw cord facility on the other hand opens from the middle and although possible to use this feature to store a longer item in the centre, it is a little more awkward.

External Compression Straps

All Travel Packs on the market today have external compression straps, two (2) to three (3) compression straps either side of the backpack and two sleeping bag compression straps on the lower compartment. The sleeping bag compression straps protect the access zipper, and should be long enough to accommodate the external attachment of a ground mat, sleeping bag, or roll bag if required.

Removable Daypack

The removable daypack on most travel packs is zipped or clipped on the front of the upper compartment opening lid. With some travel packs a portion of the daypack is compressed when attached, with the zip placed in or near the centre of the daypack. This makes it near impossible to zip into position when the daypack is fully loaded without damaging the zip. White Mountain™ provide a solution to this problem and suggest that the two attachment clips on top of the daypack are secured to the D-Rings on top of the travel pack. After attaching the daypack in this manner the lower compression straps can be used in the usual way, holding the daypack securely in place. This attachment method will prevent damage to the daypack by eliminating excessive stress on the daypack attachment zip.

Suitcase Carry Handles

Travel packs have a suitcase carry handle on at least one side and on top of the pack. The top handle is very handy when trapped in those long queues at the airport, bus or train station or taxi rank. White Mountain™ strengthen all carry handles with webbing reinforcement and extra stitching to prevent breakages even under the heaviest loads.

Shoulder Sling

Travel packs include a removable shoulder sling, particularly necessary when the pack is heavy, the distance to travel is short and it is not convenient to use the backpack harness. The shoulder sling is removable or can be concealed in the base of the pack when not required.

Harness Cover

Most travel packs and all White Mountain™ travel packs have a cover that is zipped in place concealing the backpack harness, preventing damage to the backpack harness in transit.

Dual Interlocking Zip Sliders

All White Mountain™ Travel, Hybrid, and removable Travel Daypacks have dual zip sliders which can be padlocked together to prevent unauthorized entry. The two main compartments on all of the White Mountain™ latest designs have interlocking or overlapping zip sliders designed for secure padlocking. The Antarctica also has a top loading division at the base of the storm collar which is dual zipped to prevent entry to the upper compartment.

Removable Internal Organiser

Panel loading travel packs have an internal organiser under the front cover of the upper compartment to allow access to personal items without emptying the entire backpack.  It is very convenient to be able to store personal items in the removable organiser then be able to remove the organiser from the backpack to place in your daypack. This is particularly useful when storing your main backpack while in transit.

Internal Compression Straps

White Mountain™  travel packs have a true internal compression system with the removable organiser attached.

External Attachment Facilities

Travel packs provide external attachment points for extra straps that allow you to secure any choice of items to the outside of the pack.

Hiking Harness

White Mountain™ design their travel packs with a full Hiking harness to maximize comfort. Simplified harness systems supplied by some competitors are fine for carrying a backpack through an airport, bus station, or to the train, but will not be sufficient for prolonged backpacking.

Daypack Hydration System

All White Mountain™ latest design travel packs have a fixed organiser in the removable daypack, and a facility to store a hydration reservoir with an elastic covered exit hole for the drinking hose.

Daypack Features

All White Mountain™ latest design removable daypacks have a fixed organiser in the opening Lid, a font pocket, and dual external compression straps.

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