dear backpack seekers

So, everyone's been telling me that I must aquire a backpack, which is like a talisman* for travel especially Eurotrips. So, I figured, hey I want one too. Turns out, it ain't that easy to get one, if you're living in India that is.

Fortunately in the metropolitan cities, you can still find dodgy, cobwebbed, petit shops that store a backpack or two above 45 L, which is what you actually need if you're travelling for a couple of months or so ... or if you're travelling to colder regions and need to carry warm clothes ... basically if you have lots of 'really necessary' stuff that you need to carry. But, be careful, even if you purchase an 80 L bag you can only carry stuff that you really need because there's only so much that your airline or your shoulders will allow you to carry, so 'Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.'

here's a small list of places in new delhi and bombay where you can buy backpacks. i compiled it from all sorts of internet conversation threads by hiking enthusiasts ... if you're in other cities, perhaps you can get in touch with these guys and find out if they have outlets in your city ...

1. AVI Industries

Our Imported BOLL (german) Backpacks are available with Rocksport Outdoors, New Delhi.

80 L bag was unavailable when I visited. They can order it from Bombay on request.

Address : 127, Rajendra Bhawan, (next to Siddhartha Hotel)
Rajendra Place. (Exactly Opp. the Metro Station)

Ph: Manish Gupta - 9810215848 (owner)
Aditya - 9999703875 (shop attendent, very very sweet fellow)

If the bag of your choice isn't available you could write to: they may deliver.

2. Adventure 18

Opposite Venkateshwara, Ramjas College,
18, Satya Niketan.

Limited Options (One german bag when I visited)

3. Stikage India

7 UB Jawahar Nagar, Kamla Nagar
(Main Mc Donalds on Bungalow Road in the Kamla Nagar Market ... this shop is in the lane behind it. just call them for directions once at Mc Donalds)

Ph no. - 23850036/26

Limited options. They have cheaper options though, starting 1300 Rupees. Not all options on the website are in stock. Check with them on the phone before visiting, to see if they have what you like in stock.


4. Gupta Sports House

25 F, Connaught Place
(Directions: With Janpath market on your left, go straight through the red light into the inner circle. Before you hit the inner circle road, on the left is Palika Bazaar, and on the right is this shop)

They had only one german 80 L and one 45 L bag. Make sure they have the bags before you specially make a visit.

Phone: 23315407, 41526009
E: rg_gsh1920@yahoo.co.in

5. Outdoortravelgear

This store is in bombay. They can deliver to other cities.


7. Carabin Inc

K 17/ 4A DLF 2

I do not know anything about these guys. Just found them on the internet. Didn't visit them.

Phone: 9811076556; 9811615298


I eventually bought a BOLL Mirage 60 + from Rocksport. I am hoping it will prove to be a good investment.

Oh! and I simply couldn't resist buying carabiners or loop hooks or whatever you call them from the shop. Apparently they come in all sorts of sweet metallic colours. Weeeeeee! Mine are purple and red and I don't have a clue how or when I am going to be able to use them :D ... Of course, whilst buying them I pretended that I was 'certainly' going to use them ;)

Cheerio old folks ...

* Talisman - An object marked with magic signs and believed to confer on its bearer supernatural powers or protection


Pushkaraj said...

Contact Wildcraft in Bangalore. I know they have a franchisee outlet in Pune surely. Maybe other cities too. Once you have got a Wildcraft backpack, look no further. I have using theirs for more than TEN years now...

sacredeastwind said...

Wow! I should have met you earlier :)
Will look for Wildcraft next time I'm in Bangalore or when I visit Pune - I've never been there but heard lots about it. Sounds like a quaint, beautiful city.

For now I have a Boll, 60 litres.

Vasu said...

This is a very useful post. I remembered doing that same research many years back when I started to take to trekking after a long hiatus.

I have a backpack from Adventure Worx in Bangalore, which I was told, was some sort of sister concern of Wildcraft mentioned by Puhskaraj above. And yeah, Wildcraft is pretty cool!

It’s old, dirty, and tattered now, but I love it so much I won’t part with it unless I absolutely have to. He is my Wilson, you know :) (Aka Tom Hank’s friend in castaway)

A few additional tips on backpack seekers for different causes:

1.A lot of modern backpacks come with some sort of a trolley system. It’s very convenient for flight transfers.
2.Airlines are starting to get more and pickier about baggage sizes, specially the length. So if you are faced with a choice between two backpacks that you love, go for the smaller one!
3.Try a backpack with close to full load and see how long your body can take the weight. A big 80L pack would appear cool and macho, but if you can’t lug it around you are dead! This is especially important for those who trek a lot. I’ve seen people struggling with massive backpacks with stuff that they have no business taking up a hill in the first place!
4.How it wraps around your body and fits on you is super critical. And yeah, it depends on what shape you are in :)
5.The most important factor is the kind of padding / cushioning it has for the back. This is vital for trekkers as a long trek can leave your back in terrible pain if your back pack is flimsy.

I am sure you must have gone to forums like Indiamike, where they have much more useful tips, but these are stuff I learnt mostly the hard way, so its useful advice nevertheless :)

Great post again Shruti :)

sacredeastwind said...

Thank you SO much for those additions Vasu.

You're totally right - 5. - I did have a terrible back pain for the first few days and survived thanks to 'Volini' because although I was carrying less clothes, I wasn't able to part with my books and my excessive electronic devices and therefore ended up carrying two bags which nearly killed me!

AND, I too learnt most of the things I know NOW, the hard way ;) :P

Thanks for adding all that :)