The most important piece of gear any backpacker will need for their big trip is, well … the backpack.

When I started planning my RTW trip over two years ago the backpack was probably the first thing I worried about. I admit that might have been a bit early to think about equipment in general but it just makes it so much more real if you can envisage yourself schlepping that big fat pack around the world with you.

So when the time finally came to buy mine I was of course super excited. I’d done lots of research on what to look out for, how to pick the right bag, how to fit them, etc., but in the end I ignored the most common advice: take your time and shop around. Well, this was kind of my mum’s fault I have to say as it was her who practically forced me to buy a pack we found in a great outdoor shop in Munich. Ok, forced might be the wrong word as my lovely mum actually bought it for me for my birthday present (don’t ask which birthday), but you know what I mean.

I had tried on quite a few packs over the last couple years and when we found this one I knew almost immediately it was “the One”, and not just because of its great name!

Let me introduce the Vaude Cimone 45+10 Women’s pack, colour sangria:

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My Backpack

The pack is a women’s fit which means it was specifically designed to fit a women’s figure. The frame can be adjusted to your height (mine is set between S and XS), it has padded, very comfortable straps and a thick padded hip strap which carries most of the weight.

There were a few features that I had down as must-haves and this pack covered them all and even more.

My must haves were:

  • It is a perfect size for me, 45L which means I will fit everything I need but it’s not so big that I can fill it up with lots of stuff I won’t need.
  • It is a panel loading pack which means that I can access the main compartment from a front panel and the top. This will make rummaging in my pack so much easier if I need something that’s right at the bottom.
  • It has a separate compartment at the bottom of the pack which has a zip to the main pack so I can extend the main compartment. This is great for keeping things separate in the pack, like dirty laundry or smelly hiking boots.
  • It is PINK! Yes, I know this shouldn’t be a priority but screw it, it’s my pack and I wanted it to be pink.

Additional features which make my pack even more awesome:

  • It is a creamy white colour on the inside which is great if I am looking for something in the dark.
  • It has two little pockets on the hip straps for bits and pieces like lip balm, tissues (my mum says never to leave the house without) or my little camera.
  • Two mesh side pockets for water bottles, flip flops or guide books.
  • A small front pocket for little bits and pieces like notebooks, pens etc and two side pockets for easy access.
  • The best additional feature which I didn’t even know existed is the removable lid which is also a hanging wash bag! It has two mesh compartments, a mirror attached with Velcro so I can do my make-up and a metal hook so I can hang my wash bag on the doors of grimy hostel bathrooms and don’t have to balance it on the sink/toilet lid/floor.
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The removable hanging wash bag!

  • And it even has a whistle attached to the sternum strap in case I find myself in a dangerous situation and want to call for help.
  • It only weighs 1.9 kg.

But is it comfortable?

This is of course the most important point to look out for when picking a pack. I tried it on in the shop with 10kg weight inside. I must’ve walked around that shop for about an hour until both my mum and the shop assistant were close to exhaustion but I could carry it comfortably and even put it on and take it off by myself which is really important too.

At this point my brother had come as reinforcement and my mum was literally begging me to let her buy the pack. How can I say no to that?

Thanks mummy!!

Me and my new pack

Me and my new pack

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