It's about time to update you on a few changes I've made over the past couple of years. I admit it. I LOVE trying different stuff. Sometimes I find something I definitely want to change. Sometimes it just verifies that what I have been using all along is indeed the best. This month, I am going to post a few gearing up-dates and the reasons why I chose to make these changes.
Ego alert. Originally I started looking for a new backpack because I decided I needed to look more like a big girl instead of a school girl. My $11.00, school-style backpack had served me well, but it was falling apart. Convincing myself that I deserved a "real" backpack but also knowing how much some of them cost, I spent a very long time talking to other artists, visiting different stores, trying on backpacks, and researching before making the plunge.
At about $119.00, this backpack is actually one of the more economical of serious backpacks, and is roomy without feeling overly huge.
The Kelty Redwings obviously come in a variety of sizes, and the shoulder straps are made slightly more curved in the women's styles. I was choosing between the 40, 44, and 50 litre packs. Because I couldn't find a store with all three sizes to try on, I had my local REI guy order the 44 to be picked up at the store. When it came in, I tried it on, loaded it with my gear, and made the decision before leaving that store. Indeed the 44 was a better choice for me. The fit and feel for me was the same as the 40, but the little bit of extra space of the 44 allowed me to pack a few optional items that may be needed for different weather types. ( Had I opted for the 40, I would probably have been fine and it is slightly lighter weight than the 44.) The padded hip belt keeps my back from aching at the end of a long day hiking, painting, unloading, loading, etc.
Everything you see here fits easily into the backpack: Open Box M palette (12x16), paint, brushes, Gamsol and container, brush holder, trash bag holder, a couple of PanelPaks (up to 12x16), collapsable plein air umbrella, tripod*, bottled water, bug spray, sunscreen, sketch pad and pencil, utility tool, paper towels, lightweight jacket, etc. (Note: If you need to take a bulky coat, a larger umbrella, or have a tripod that does not collapse short enough to fit, you can always strap it on the outside of the pack.)
Next week, I'll be discussing another of the items mentioned in this post.
*NOTE: I am trying a slightly modified version of this tripod now. I'll report on that soon.