Backpack or suitcase? That was one of the many packing dilemmas I faced before departure.
With Nathan all-in for the pack and me wanting suitcases, we let a two-for-one, 1-Day internet deal settle the dispute and ended up with what I affectionately termed "slashies". As in backpack/suitcase.
They have fold-away back straps, as well as wheels, and zips that open more fully than a backpack, although still less than a suitcase. They seemed like a good compromise.
They are also relatively small, which was one way of curbing our over-packing habits.
I also liked that we matched. Twinnies! (I bet you all have new-found respect for Nathan's tolerance right now).
Shortly after the purchase, my younger brother returned from a European trip with his own slashy, and was quick to tell me "don't do it - mine broke straight away". He also told me that I would never use the backpack straps and would treat it like a suitcase anyway.
That conversation came roaring back to me today when one of my bag's handles broke off, a week after Nathan's suffered the same fate.
My affectionately termed "slashy" quickly became known as "this freaking, stupid, cheap bag - I knew I should've just got a suitcase". And then I kicked it and hurt my toe.
While we can make do without the handles, I'm convinced their failings are a sign of things to come. The seam strains show each time I zip it up and I can feel the limited lifespan.
Incidentally, I think my brother was right. I haven't used the backpack part yet, and I have been frustrated not having the same access as I would with a suitcase.
However, Nathan maintains that he still likes his slashy. He says it's not the point that he hasn't used it as a backpack, it's the fact that he can that he likes. He's also a fan of its soft shell, rather than the hard exterior of a suitcase.
Has anyone else used these slashy bags? Am I wrong to lose faith so soon?
To be fair, the bags have been under heavy strain. While I started with 11kg, a couple of purchases have obviously pushed it to its outer limits.
Nathan is also struggling to do up the zip each morning ... he hasn't bought anything though, and has lost three shirts. I can't explain that. Maybe items grow as you become more frustrated with packing.
With the likely possibility that my possessions will have to be transferred to a new home in a short time, what should the replacement be?
Up until now, we've had a rental car for the majority of the trip, but when we get to the East Coast we will be taking trains, and when we get to Europe we are jumping on a Busabout tour for a couple of months - will I regret it if I revert to a suitcase?
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