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I have been a traveller for many decades and am always looking for the best luggage for the job. As a result, I have a broad selection, but there are places to go that are not served by my beautiful roller bags, and for that reason, a new pack was in order. I am a firm believer in packing cubes, so when the pack came with cubes designed to fit, I was interested. And then I hate top loading packs - the need to explode every time I need a single item, so another bonus for the Khmer. And then the fabric - it looks grown up. I feel like I could stop off at a business meeting while travelling and look professional. Thanks for the great design. And the fantastic customer service. My pack arrived without the packing cubes and Michael had them to me in a day.
I have been really happy with the Khmer Explorer backpack. After 4 years of traveling around Latin America I have found a way to keep my things organized. I tend to use the inner black bag to keep my cooler weather hiking things separate from the rest of my bag when I am at the beach and vice versa. Organised backpacking helps you save time and money by ensuring your not missing anything.
Awesome backpack! Took a while to get the hang of all the different compartments, but now that I have, I love it! It's so handy having separate areas to store everything. So much room and super durable!
Khmer Explorer Travel Set
I was lucky enough to preorder my back so I would get it before starting out on my year of travel. It was the only backpack I wanted to take because I am notoriously bad at packing and knew a top loading backpack would cause major airport incidents... such as, needing to search for the juice box I squished in my bag at airport security (happened in Ecuador), or trying desperately not to disturb the other 7 people in my hostel room as I search for my retainers late at night. The clam-shell features of this bag has already made packing so much easier. I have unzipped the bag from the side to reach for an item tucked away at the very bottom of the pack numerous times already. You also look pretty magical when you can whip out your Moroccan oil at the last minute before heading out the door.
There are other features which I would like to point out now... It has already been on 13 planes rides and countless bus/train rides in Europe and surprisingly it doesn't look dirty or beat up at all.
When riding on trains where pickpockets may be I feel very safe with the Banana. Because it does tend to pack more outwards than up, you can produce lots of force with it when you twist your body. This deters a few people from getting to close which is kinda nice. Also, when packed with nothing hanging off of it it is really slick looking. You can also hide the zipper pulls under a strap on the side for extra security so it's harder to get into.
It is great for backpacking in Europe (done Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Spain and Portugal). I did do the West Coast Trail in BC Canada with it as well. A tough 6 day hike where you have to pack your own tent and food. It worked good, but would recommend making sure you do not have to carry too much weight as it can get a little heavy on the shoulders. Tested its water resistance though and it passed :)
Also, the packing cubes it comes with are great. Makes organization much easier.
Finally, it looks so stylish. Turning many heads with it ...