It sounds a little obvious, but having a good backpack is one of the key things to keep in mind when backpacking. You’ll need a large bag that you can keep most of your stuff in that you’ll hopefully be able to fit into overhead compartments on an airplane. After that, you’ll need a smaller day bag to carry around while you are out exploring and need a few things on hand.
Currently I have the Osprey Farpoint 55 travel backpack set. It comes with large backpack that just fits into overhead bins along with a day bag that zips and clips onto that bag. Let me preface this whole post about another bag by saying I LOVE my Farpoint 55. It maxes out the amount of space I can fit stuff into carry-on luggage and also has the convenient bag connector. The main reason I got this bag was because of the clip on feature.
That being said, the day bag isn’t the best. Besides the main part of the bag, there is only a small compartment for sunglasses and a couple smaller items. The main compartment is also a tight fit if you want to carry a decent amount while backpacking. I like to carry a camera, sometimes shoes, sometimes a change of clothes. With the Farpoint’s daybag, you have to start getting picky with what you can bring along.
That brings me to this promising day bag. I just saw saw a Facebook ad pointing to a Kickstarter for this bag’s campaign and I’m literally writing this post 5 minutes later.
Errant: The Ultimate Everyday Backpack
Oh what a fancy marketing video!
Did you notice the guy in the desert who was dressed like he was about to head into the office for a day of work? That was weird.
While I could just go over all of the features of this backpack, I’m just going to go over what I’m most excited about and what I find most useful for backpackers on their travels.
1 – It’s an Awesome Bag for Photographers
This is really what made this bag stand out to me compared to the multitude of over daypacks I’ve seen over the years. The biggest pain in the ass for me when backpacking is easily getting to and/or storing my camera while I’m walking around. It’s like you either have to carry an second extra bag dedicated solely to your DSLR or you have to smash a bulky camera bag into your day pack.
I’ll still call myself an amateur photographer, but I’m still carrying around a big camera that I don’t always need in my hands. I’m currently just using an AmazonBasics Camera Case that is small enough to leave some space in my bag for a couple of other things. It is still pretty bulky and leaves a lot of wasted space in the bottom of the bag.
The unit above is one of two different inserts that fit into the Errant bag to hold your camera and gear. Right now my bag only fits my Canon DSLR camera with an attached lens. There is enough room for a charger and an extra battery, but then I run out of room completely. This modular unit at least appears to be able to hold a full sized camera and two additional lenses.
The CB-1 unit connects inside the bag with a magnetic dock so you get easy access to the camera if you need to quickly pull it out of your bag for a quick photo. The CB-2 has more storage (enough to fit drone gear), but goes into the bottom of the bag where you’d need to reach it using the clamshell opening.
You can even carry a tripod around with this bag. The waterbottle pocket on the side of the backpack stretches enough to fit an average size tripod and has hidden straps to hold it tight.
Quick Access Side Pocket
I guess you can say I’m a bit of an impatient person. The 15 seconds it takes me to pull off a backpack and rifle through the inside to find a pack of gum, my passport, or something else small will really annoy me for some reason. If I’m walking somewhere I hate to have to stop completely just to get something from my bag. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just swing your bag to your side and pull something from an easy to reach pocket?
Oh, they have that on the Errant bag? There is a small zipped up pocket on the side of the Errant bag that allows for quick access to things you want to keep close by. You can put small things in there like your phone, a pen, keys, or your wallet.
I can’t really tell from the Kickstarter page about how secure that is, but there is another safe pocket if you have anything important you don’t want getting stolen.
All The Pockets!
Like I said earlier, the main reason I have an issue with my Osprey backpack is the lack of pockets. I like being able to keep things separate in my bag and in specific places so I can find them quicker. If you know where your things are, there is also less of a chance of that minor panic attack when you think you lost your passport or something small and valuable when it is just hidden in the mess of your bag.
The Errant bag has plenty of storage solutions built into it to keep your backpacking organized. There are even 2 separate slots so you can hold a laptop and a iPad/tablet in the same bag. You’d might think that having so many slots and holsters would be bulky and take up more space than it is worth, but they all appear to be pretty sleek in this bag. Most of the pocst are stretchable so they aren’t taking up space when not in use and can also lock your items in place when you throw them in the bag.
Clamshell vs Top Lid Access
I honestly had a really hard time trying to decide if a top-loading or front-loading backpack when I bought my Osprey bag. Top loading provides a lot quicker access, but harder to get to items in the bottom. Front-loading/clamshell backpacks are more secure and easier to pack though.
This bag can be used both ways. There is a magnetic clip that prevents you from opening the bag too far when you just want to reach into the top of the backpack. Flip the clip over and you can open your bag up fully to gain access to all of your belongings.
It’s a small feature, but I can see this being extremely useful on some trips.
Storage for Shoes/Wet Items
Depending on where you are traveling, it could be really helpful to have an extra pair of shoes on hand. I like to be ready for anything, so having an extra pair of shoes on hand makes it easy to switch into hiking mode, gives me a change of shoes in case I soak mine, or access to sandals for a beach day.
I don’t know about you, but my shoes can get a little stank to them, especially when I’m on my feet backpacking for long periods of time. The last thing I want is my funky shoes to be floating around next to my snacks or a clean tee shirt. The Errant bag has a wet/dry compartment at the bottom of the bag that can fit a pair of shoes while keeping the odor and possible wetness separate from the rest of the bag.
I didn’t even think of it until I saw the picture on the Kickstarter page, but this is also a great feature for carrying some adult beverages as well.
When I went to Barcelona earlier this year I almost bought a waterproof backpack rain cover, but decided last minute not to for whatever stupid reason. It ended up pouring every day I was there and everything in my backpack remained soaked. You can get these covers for under $10 and are worth every penny. That’s if you already have a backpack already.
If you don’t have a pack yet or are shopping for a new one, you should definitely consider finding a waterproof bag. Even if it is a few dollars more than a similar bag, you have to consider the cost of replacing something that might get wet in your bag. I panicked the entire time I was walking around with an expensive camera in my bag that it was going to be ruined from the rain. Luckily it stayed dry somehow, but I would have preferred the peace of mind I could have gotten with a bag like this.
Like I said, I’m only going over the main things that got me excited about this bag. I’m not ready to buy it yet, but might throw it into my travel budget down the line. If any of you get this bag, please leave some comments below to tell me how you’re liking it. In the meantime, click here for more info about the Errant backpack.