Discussions of backpacks/park bags have cropped up on the boards and in the Facebook group lately, and this is a great time to buy a new backpack, as they’re often included in back-to-school sales. And, of course, we Dads often find ourselves playing the role of theme park pack mule. Here are a few of my favorite backpack/park bag options, available through Amazon.com:
1. JanSport Wasabi Backpack – This is a good do-everything option. It’s spacious, at 1800 cu. in. of capacity, and keeps things organized with multiple zippered pockets, and even an easy-access mesh water bottle pocket. The shoulder straps and back are padded for comfort. And it comes in several colors. Perhaps best of all, in our experience, JanSport backpacks hold up very well, even after banging around at your feet on Rock-n-Roller Coaster.
2. Ready for something smaller and lighter? Check out the Victorinox Luggage Altamont 3.0 Monosling. The monosling is a single-strap bag, which can be worn over either shoulder. While it’s much smaller than the JanSport above, it can still accommodate a DSLR camera and a second lens, with room left for a couple of other small items. As a bonus, the zippered pouch on the strap is large enough for an iPhone.
3. The Baggalini Urban Backpack is one of the most popular suggestions for theme park bags on various message boards. Similar to the Victorinox above, it is a single-strap sling bag, and is smaller than the JanSport. The biggest difference between the Baggalini and the Victorinox is that the Baggalini has more externally-accessible pockets and is wider at the top of the bag.
4. If the primary purpose of your park bag is to carry your DSLR camera gear, an excellent and reasonably-priced choice is the Lowepro Flipside 300. The Lowepro features padded internal subdividers, providing maximum protection for your expensive camera equipment. Additional quick-access zippered pockets on the outside offer separate storage for non-camera items, and a mesh side-pocket allows for easy water-bottle access. The entire bag is made from tough, water-resistant fabric for contents protection and long-term durability.
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