This backpack and I, we’ve had some adventures.
Since starting this period of endless wandering back in August, we’ve traversed half the globe and back, seen sights from ancient temples to modern metropolises, and been down to deserts and on top of mountains. With almost my entire life inside, my batik buddy’s been thrown in the back of trucks, on top of busses, in the cargo holds of planes and beneath the seats in trains.
I’ve already told you why I love Ethnotek’s mission, but behind the message – is the actual product any good? Does an Ethnotek bag really hold up on the road, or does it start falling apart once off the factory line? And how well does it work for a backpacker?
3 months in, it’s still looking good. Surprisingly, the stitching is tight, despite the amount of times I’ve stuffed it to the gills. The nylon over the entire bag hasn’t torn or started coming apart. And despite being rolled in the dust and thrown about public transportation, it still looks almost like it did on day 1 (though the front is a bit grungy). It’s certainly good material.
However, there is one major failing. This bag was designed more for day-to-day use, as opposed to long-haul backpacking, so it doesn’t include a waist-strap or internal frame…and that makes it pretty rough to cart around on transit days with 10 kg inside. If I were just using it for weekend trips, the design would suit perfectly, but my shoulders definitely need stretching after a long day hauling the bag around.
I will admit, however, that I’m really pushing the bag to its limits, and using it in a way it wasn’t originally intended. If Ethnotek makes a backpack with frame and waist strap, I’ll be first in line.
In the end, though, with the little amount of stuff I actually carry with me, I’m still happy to be using this backpack. The lack of frame does make it really lightweight, and it fits into any compartment it needs to be thrown into. The size is perfect for how much stuff I carry, and all the different pockets are indispensable. Also, the design gives it such personality!
And as for Bangkok?
It’s tiles all over temples, done up in flowers and curling vines. Golden Buddhas and bodhisattvas, peering down from altars and walls. The smell of diesel and cooking oil. Grit on your face after a tuk tuk ride. That soft, gentle heat that seeps right into your muscles. Street food on every corner, meat and vegetables and fruit and ice-cream. Busses done up in neon and rainbow-coloured ferries on the river.
I have a feeling that here, there are even more adventures to be had.
(This post is written in partnership with Ethnotek, one of my new favourite organisations. All opinions, however, remain always and forever my own!)