My backpack came today and I think it's perfect!
Originally, I had fixated on having the smallest backpack possible. I picked up my pack's smaller cousin the Deuter Futura 32. That's less than 2000 cubic inches, really. Everyone laughed and shook their head in disbelief. I kept it in the corner of my room for a few weeks picking it up and wrapping it around my frame to see how it felt. I was very happy until that fateful weeked when I decided to practice loading it with clothes and toiletries. Everything fit but barely and with a lot of effort. That's great I told myself. It'll force me to ship everything back home and not cart souvenirs around from continent to continent. It'll keep me disciplined.
I was reading one an article on-line that night about Easter Island. The author was recommending travelers save a lot of money by bringing snack food with them from Chile since food costs were so much more expensive on the island. That's when it hit me. It won't just be souvenirs that I will be picking up along the way and carting around with me. It will be food, paperwork, extra bug spray, weird creams and medications. I gave the bag one last chance filling it with fresh laundry and a few notebooks. There is such a thing as too small, too light, too compact.
REI allowed me to return the pack without any hassle and I purchased my baby on-line. The deuter AirContact 45 + 10. It's got all the features I wanted and even fixed an issue I had with my original pack - no easy to steal from front zipper. check it out. I put a link to the specs. Most of the Deuter models are only sold in the EU. Well worth it I say!