Nothing pushes my stubborn adventurer buttons like cheap af airlines charging exorbitant prices for checking bags. The part of me that’s still a cheap-ass 18-year-old pipes up: “Screw me, you say? Ohhhh no, screw YOU, buddy. I’m gonna be wicked uncomfortable in three layers of clothes for 18 hours and carry all of my shit on now, JUST TO SPITE YOU.”
Only problem was I didn’t have a bag that could hack that kind of thing- needed to be waterproof (rainy season!), light (I am Le Small), easy on m’back and shoulders (aka hip belt), small (carry-on/day-hike-size) but also big (with lots of pockets, space for water, expandable for when the third layer becomes too much), and not super ugly because I am thrifty but also a little vain.
Repair Lair hooked me up.
They recently hired floor help which made the whole experience heavenly. The guy working overheard what I was looking for, and immediately pulled The Perfect Backpack off the rack. It was 30L, it had a light back frame with breathable mesh, it had a rain fly, it had a collapsible net to attach to the outside to carry sweaters, it was light as a feather, it didn’t make me look like a fourth grader, it had a hip belt, and it was almost new. And it was $30. And he threw in a carabiner for free. SOLD.
This place is solid gold for all of you thrifty, stubborn adventurers. Make it your first stop, every time.