No more backpacks, long live the bag with wheels!

  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Am I still a backpacker? That's a serious question. I've just put away my good old backpack, which has been a faithful companion for more than twelve years. And to invest in a wheeled luggage. Yes, well...

A rolling bag

I've completely rethought my logistics. The fault lies with the heavy and cumbersome "cabinet+flash" kit for my brand new Canon Eos 7D. These little things are fragile, so I prefer to keep them in a "cabin" bag.

So, in addition to this cabin bag became very heavy, I could not see myself stealing, as before, my dive bag AND my backpack. The solution: pack your diving gear and clothes together in one bag.

I found one, not too expensive, discreet, well done, with two parts that fold over each other, in a large chain of sports stores: the Newfeel 90 liters of Decathlon.

Everything fits in, I can't believe it! And instead of carrying it, I roll it.

Tested in Malaysia!

And... I tested it for real, yesterday and today, from Paris to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). Verdict: like on wheels!


My bag with wheels.Yeah. I haven't found the time to talk about it here yet... In fact, I just went back to Asia!

This Sunday night, I spend the night in Kuala Lumpur. This Monday, I still have to take a morning flight to Banda Aceh, in the north of Sumatra Island, Indonesia.

Then, transport to the jetty, then ferry to Pulau Weh Island (my goal), and finally, transport again to Gabang Beach, where I will land at the diving center Lumba Lumba.

Let's see if this gentrified backpacker bag holds up on the Indonesian road and tide... hey, hey! I'll be right back to tell you more about this new trip.


  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

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  1. Oh dear ! You're bored! Pulau Weh it looks great for diving, lucky! In Provence, we have about 20 centimeters of snow ... And it continues to fall, so for me the dive is in the bathtub! Good bubbles and enjoy the sun!

  2. Hello Corinne!
    I have my big backpack, but also a suitcase on wheels. I'm rather indecisive about what to pack ... (note that I do not have any diving equipment myself, but many lenses for the camera).
    Have a good trip anyway 😉

  3. Indeed, it looks good this new bag, I like the two very distinct parts, and it does not look very heavy. How many kilos?

    Here the night is falling... And for you, the day will not be long before getting up, with a small flight to take, a ferry (and some transfers) and soon the first pictures of the beach 😉.

  4. Hello Corinne, backpackeuse bag gentrified or not, the journey itself that leads you to your final destination is enough to answer YES to the first sentence of your article. You always have the spirit!
    ... And it's great this bag ... me who is eyeing a new, I'm inspired.
    have a nice trip


  5. What ad - justified for the rest - for this bag with wheels! Me who saw it in real life, I confirm, it is very good, and beautiful, as evidenced by the photos!
    Bravo for the choice too, good quality - storage - aesthetic!

    Come on, it was a little wink in memory of the day we did the tour ... bags!


  6. It's not bad roulettes, if you have to stay in town or in places pretty carossables. As soon as you leave the beaten track, it can become a galley. After testing both, I keep the wheels!
    Have a nice trip !!

  7. Hello,

    Yes, how much does the beast weigh? I'm in the middle of brainstorming for my version of the perfect weekend diver's bag and I'm still weighing the pros and cons of different options: the backpack is great, well backpacker, but it leaves your hands free to carry the essential jacket for the air conditioning and the bottle of water or snacks for the trip 🙂

    He's holding your bag in your cabin? Can you tell us what model / store or find it? And finally, if you can share some information about the dive gear you take with you, BCD model, fins etc., the stuff that takes up space, to get me an idea of what the bag can hold.

    Thank you and have a nice dive in Pulau Weh!

  8. @Nani: Snow ? Argh. Well, tonight I chatted a little with other divers at Pulau Weh ... it actually looks top, in the corner, diving question. The house reef in Gabang Beach looks very promising.
    @Bizut: Have arrived just now, at Pulau Weh. It is perfect, this bag !!! I do not regret a minute of being on the wheels, it changes your life. And when it comes to lifting it for transshipment in a vehicle or a boat, there's always a guy doing it for me ...

    @Corinne: Me, my gear photo does not leave me, it is in my backpack "cabin", with the subwoofer. With the wheels we spare a lot of sweat, I must say. Now that I have arrived at my destination, I realize that it is perfectly adapted for this small trip A / R in Indonesia. I am becoming a fan of roulettes !!! And in places where the casters do not go, there has always been someone to help me (there are sturdy handles on all sides, convenient when you have to wear two, for example).

    @Malene: The bag itself is not heavy (in the 2-3 kg, I would say, for a capacity of 90 liters ... only, I have weighted it well in heavy things.In addition to clothes, toiletries, etc. (9-10 kg) and dive business (in the 11-12 kg with the regulator, now, because before I kept it with me in the cabin to scratch 2kg in the hold), I slipped in the deck of the box weighs are small weight, the arm for the flash, the charger and cord for the flash, the charger for the 7D and various accessories related to this new equipment.The result, instead of holding in the usual 22-23 kg of the bag to clothes + ploufs bag, I find myself at ... 27 kg!
    But the two separate parts are well done, expandable in thickness if necessary, thanks to a zip system that goes around ... (And I did not even need it, I reziped without problem with everything in it, so I even have a bit more space to bring back stuff if I want.) I put my dive gear in a net bag so that they stay together. The other part I devoted to the clothes (part of the top, once the bag closed), already has its zipped flap, so everything stays in place. Two large straps allow, finally, once closed, to tighten everything.
    In short, I arrived at Pulau Weh without a hitch. But rather late to destination. Slight ferry delay of 15:30, plus another hour drive to Gabang Beach, then the time to fill in the paperwork of the check-in, to put my diving stuff in my ferry, etc ... not yet had the time for pictures of the beach !!! But it will come.

    @PhilippeB: Thank you! it starts very well, anyway. The moist heat, the cry of the gecko and a well-bred "Aceh crumb" made me feel "at home" ...

    @Pac ': You're right, it's more a question of state of mind than bag ... I knew backpackers who had backpackers that appearance. And I confirm: this bag is top.

    @ O'Ren: Go and read a little higher for the weight stories, which I've already told Malene. This bag doesn't have the dimensions of a carry-on bag, so don't think about it. But it does have a little brother of 60 litres, who might fit in. To be checked in this big chain of sports shops that encourages us to be "In top form! "😉 (His little name, on the bag in question, is Newfeel, and I even saw it on sale during my last visit to the store in question).
    If not, question diving gear, I put in a net bag, which finds its place in one of the "halves" of the famous bag: a Legend with his octopus and his mano, a stab SeacSub Pro Lady, a pair of fins Basic mares, a pair of booties, a long 5mm jumpsuit, a mask in its box, a parachute, then accessories (stick, lamp, knife, carabiners, soft snorkel, and various odds and ends like spare thongs for fins, etc.)
    The wheeled bag also leaves the hands free, finally at least one, to carry other things. There is an extra strap with clip on top, perfect for hanging a garment. And then you still have the shoulders for a small backpack.
    For this first trip, I am very satisfied. Now, it remains to be seen if all that is seams and zips will hold in the long term ... But that, I will know it only with the use!
    (Your questions make me think that I should refresh the page of this blog devoted to my luggage ...)

  9. Hello,
    Thank you for your answer ultra detailed, you rock! I am impressed by the amount of gear you can pack. Another question from a beginner to veteran diving: when you embark your gear on the boat that takes you to the dive sites, you put everything in the net bag or you have another bag like mesh duffle bag that you use? Or does the dive center lend you a bag on the spot?
    In any case this solution seems to work well for you, I confirm that having the right bag and the right luggage solution is an essential part of the trip... I've lugged around more or less varied shapes of bags and it's true that when you finally find the right option, the same trip suddenly becomes even more enjoyable. 🙂

  10. I am always impressed to see how you manage to bring everything into a very small space. I also need to change my suitcase and I buy something light, I do not know yet whether on wheels or not. My old bag weighs 6 Kg all by itself! By cons, I'm not too convinced of the quality of decathlon bags. I had a Decathlon backpack that died after a year of use, the new, same brand, it still works after three seasons ....

    You really make us dream with your travels in Asia. For me another three months before flying to the Komodo Islands ...

    I don't know if I'm the only one to notice it, but I see that the woodwork in your apartment is rather approximate 😡 A flying white thread, badly hidden in your parquet floor, in all your pictures, what is it?? 😀 I'm disappointed 8) to see that your books are all very very white, from the very smart Gallimard editions...?? 😯 On the other hand, you've got some color in your kitchen, a nice red chair...

    Ok, to make you a surprise we will offer you for a complete renovation of your apartment "all together" TF1 and M6 D & CO. Imagine what disaster you find on your return ... ..


  11. @Lydie: Yes, I'm very happy, really. It remains to be seen, as Max says, if the manufacturing will be at the height of the ergonomics of the bag ...

    @Rolk: For this trip, I had to cross only "carossables" places so it was nickel. And when you had to lift it, there was always someone to give me a hand. I think I will become a pro-roulette too!

    @Max: Yes, that's what I'm wondering too, if this bag will withstand multiple trips. We'll see…
    Otherwise, I can see you're very observant, Max... 😆
    You can see only a very small part of my shelves, books I have full walls in two rooms. Here are the "big" books. But I surely have in my possession more pocket copies than Gallimard original editions. For the white wire, it's my internet connection, the ADSL only working on a single phone jack for a mysterious reason, I had to run this wire in a groove of the floor. But for pity, no deco in the TV mode !!! I love it naturally, my apartment!
    (PS Oh there, it was not worth sending 15 messages ... I only kept one, so I do not know what's going on with the moderation filter, but sometimes it is arbitrary to keep certain mailings in. Anyway, it's not worth starting over again, the comments are not lost, they are just put aside, and I have to manually validate them before they appear online ... so just a little patience.)

    @ O'Ren: it depends on the outings (half day, day, several days) and the size of the boat. Most often, the gear (stab + det) is already mounted on the block that is carried on the boat. You are already riding "equipped" with your half-strung combi (or apart), so that you have more than your fins and your mask to take. In the configurations where you have to equip yourself on the boat, the net bag does the trick, otherwise you can pack everything in the middle of the stab (then you tighten with the straps, no bag or box). Finally, for small business that is not related to diving and that I want to take on the boat (sunscreen, sunglasses, currency, phone, dive book, etc.) I have a small waterproof bag. extra (unfortunately, I just realized that I forgot it at home, this time ... grrr).

  12. If I understand correctly, it means that you are no longer "backpackeuse" ... A bag in the cabin + a bag in the hold = 2 bags. If I rely on my definition of the backpacker, it's a bag only. And then the wheels are they homologated nowadays in term of backpacker? ...


    In any case, whatever the definition, as much privilege the use. And a traveler who carries underwater photo material can no longer be considered backpacker, it is normal since the volume to be transported becomes necessarily untransportable in a single piece of luggage.

    Do not worry too much about the definition, backpacker or not, you're traveling and that's the main thing.

    Tell us how long will you spend underwater there in this part of Indonesia where the French must be few? ...

  13. @A World Elsewhere: Yes, as said Pac 'higher, it is the spirit of the trip that counts more than the bag ... That said, with my new configuration, I trimballe with more pounds, but fewer bags than before. Until then, it was: backpack + diving bag + cabin bag.
    I stay two weeks on the spot, in Pulau Weh, without barouder this time. I aspire to rest, relaxation, calm, just to recharge the batteries ... And then I want to take control of my subwoofer, familiarize myself with this new SLR without stress. The house-reef, I was promised, will be perfect. I'll check this tomorrow.
    Finally, I'm at the end of the world, I already have two French among the divers of Lumba Lumba (the center where I am installed, see in the following post), both instructors, and two other francophones, my bungalow neighbors (one has a slight accent, I did not have the opportunity to ask them where they were). As at Derawan, last summer, I can not believe to meet so many French people in this kind of places rather away from conventional tourist circuits!

  14. The French are everywhere my pov 'lady!

    Go gently with the underwater box, they are fragile these little things ...

    And photo or not photo, wifi or not, enjoy your stay above all else: Indonesia helps to make the smile, still need to take the time to appreciate knowing how to disconnect a little from the reality that makes your day elsewhere . Web-addicted board!


    PS: I was told a lot of good Andaman, especially diving ...

  15. @A World Elsewhere: I go very quietly, with this box monster ... already, I have to get familiar with and learn how to handle the flash as it should. I do this while diving from the edge, in a few meters. I have a huge room for improvement, something to take care of during the stay.
    For the rest, difficult to get the web when you have the connection "like home", necessarily. But that will not stop me from enjoying the stay ... As for the Andaman, it will be for a future project of travel, very surely !!!

  16. Hello,
    The world is small ... we had to miss the plane because I was on the Dubai-KL on March 7th around 2-3am ...
    I have just returned from a week on Tioman and Thailand, Tioman still magical.
    For the seat on the plane, I'm going to be jealous. When I left Nice, the plane was full in eco and so, I was outclassed with my travel buddy in business ! Isn't life beautiful ? 😉
    Have a nice stay in Indonesia and see you soon!

  17. @Rod: Yes, we were in the same plane ...
    Another lucky one outclassed ... Pfff ... Why does not it ever happen to me? Eh, why ???

  18. So we can say we've crossed paths 🙂.
    If you remember the flight, I'm tall (more than 1.90m), very short hair and I was dragging my fins in hand luggage (+ 0.70m), with a red fleece (the air conditioning...)! But there are so many people on these planes 😉
    Bring us some beautiful pictures of Pulau Weh!
    Next destination for me: definitely Irian Jaya with boat cruise to Pulau Raja. It's better than it seems ...

  19. @Arnaud: My trolley bag withstood this first 15-day trip to Indonesia. Impeccable and super easy to carry. We will see if he holds the shock over the next few getaways ... In any case, my backpack that I left (a Millet), I lug around for almost 15 years, and it is still in excellent condition (and I'm terribly attached to it, yes!)