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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    This is part screaming hissy fit, part cry for help.

    I need to replace my backpack, which I use to transport my D&D books, ToB maneuvre cards and boxes of figures to and from the wargames club.

    My current back pack is a Gelart Shadow 85+10, of which a couple of bits have broken.

    Spoiler
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    Books and such go in the main bag, boxes of figures in the lid pocket, other guff oi the side pockets.

    I have been searching the web for a good couple of HOURS trying to find something. NOTHING.

    I do not believe my requirements are unreasonable; a back pack at least 85 Litres (plus additional space), with straps that are actually going to survive more then five minutes (the "120 litre" backpakcs Amazon are trying to push at less than £30 - yeah, that says it all - have what appears to be regular backpack straps which aren't remotely going to stand up to a real load).

    Spoiler
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    I am looking at the sort of price range I bought the last one (£60) - I'd rather not pay upwards of £100 for it (if I consider it, it ABSOLUTELY 100% needs to equal and exceed the criterion), but...

    No. It's like trying to find waterproofs with pockets (when the HELL did POCKETS become a freaking luxary commodity?!), a decent backpack with some carrying capacity is some sort of special magic moon-on-a-stick item that only exists in the mind of the delusional. Hell, I'm struggling to find something that would work at even silly prices.

    I can't EVEN replace the one I have with another one of the same make, since EVERY. SINGLE. PLACE. that I can find that did have it either says out of stock or directs you to Amazon which mostly just leads you to a blank screen.



    This is all not remotely helped by FREAKING GOOGLE which is fast becoming a liability as a search engine, as more and more often I am finding it is bringing up results which include stuff (in the first few results) with I EXPLICTLY OMTTED from the search criterion. When, google, I put "-55+10 Litre" I damn well expect you to NOT bring up that one result for the "55+10 Litre" backpack to the point I have to essentially copy-paste that web page to exclude it! What is WRONG with you google? It's not even like this is a rare occurance just to do with shopping stuff, you do it for stupid stuff like game terms! Stop bringing up results for a search term when said search term is literally not on the page! Lichemaster!

    This also goes for you too Amazon!



    In the distant, vain hope, does ANYONE have any idea where I might find a sensibly, appropriately sized and suitable durable backpack?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    I use plastic file boxes from the Container Store for my D&D books. Then again I also pack my cloths for vacation in plastic file box from the Container Store. Dirt-proof, water-proof, handles, stackable, nice packing protection in the trunk . . . everything that you need!

    I really like my Osprey suspended mesh back panel backpack (I have a black Tropos). It is for backpacking in hot weather and lets your back breath. I really like it in August when I go to GenCon, or Disney, or anywhere hot. It was about $110 (on sale from Moosejaw.com), but I think that it was worth it to not be all sweaty in the summer heat. I like it the rest of the year as well!

    My last backpack I used for YEARS. I found it on a trip to Goodwill while looking for old board games and Lego. I think I paid $5 for that one. There is a Goodwill in or by a wealthy neighborhood by my house that often has some good quality stuff in it. Goodwill is a "non-profit" that "helps" the disabled taking in donations for things folks don't want, and then selling them. I think that they have quite the almost a scam thing going on, and make a killing in "non-profits".
    Last edited by darkrose50; 2020-01-15 at 08:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    In the distant, vain hope, does ANYONE have any idea where I might find a sensibly, appropriately sized and suitable durable backpack?
    Hiking shops (Millets is good if there's a sale on) or army surplus shops are where I usually look.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    My last one came from Clas Ohlson (which is so like the old Woolies stores...selling just about everything), admittedly while they still had a physical store in Croyden. It seems that the only physical branch left is in Reading, which would be a bit far for you to travel - but they are still running online.

    Their rucksacks are here.
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    My last one came from Clas Ohlson (which is so like the old Woolies stores...selling just about everything), admittedly while they still had a physical store in Croyden. It seems that the only physical branch left is in Reading, which would be a bit far for you to travel - but they are still running online.

    Their rucksacks are here.
    *looks*

    Nothing there that appears to even hit 65L, unfortunately, so not even close.



    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Hiking shops (Millets is good if there's a sale on) or army surplus shops are where I usually look.
    Army surplus it might have to be, though the first place I looked (because, y'know, I had to stop to do actual work having already spent far too long earlier) appeared tyo have sold out of anything even close to the rigth size.

    Which may suggest that there is, in fact plenty of demand and the issue is manufacturers just taking the decision (again) "we say there's no market in it, so there isn't."

    (My Dad is having the same issue with cycling bags. The new one from Brompton has been downsized and "townified" and so is completely useless for other cyclists who want to y'know, actually carry stuff, so he's on the second place trying to get the last version that they've stopped making.)

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Based on the first two pictures, the closest ones I know of at the moment are Deuter packs.

    There are some outdoors discount websites, Backcountry, Steep and Cheap, Sierra Trading Post and the like that are likely to have some larger backpacks for less than normal amounts of money (still probably $100+ for the most part, but sometimes you find one for much cheaper).

    Otherwise, depending on what parts are actually broken, it's likely that it's fixable. If you send me a pm with pictures of the damaged parts of your pack, I can try and walk you through repairing it or point you in the right direction.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Try army-surplus stores. Also maybe try eBay

    Also try DuckDuckGo as a search engine.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    This past summer, I bought a Gregory brand hikers day pack for a commuter bag at Eastern Mountain Sports (a smaller US sporting goods chain). While I liked the old North Face day pack it replaced a bit better, I can recommend you try their store- their backpackers bags are actually meant for heavy hiking and they do have a (very) few 85 and 100 L hikers packs. They _are_ expensive though- when I quickly checked the 70+ L packs, they are going for $200-$400.

    Good luck

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    This is part screaming hissy fit, part cry for help.

    I need to replace my backpack, which I use to transport my D&D books, ToB maneuvre cards and boxes of figures to and from the wargames club.

    [SNIP]

    I do not believe my requirements are unreasonable; a back pack at least 85 Litres (plus additional space), with straps that are actually going to survive more then five minutes (the "120 litre" backpakcs Amazon are trying to push at less than £30 - yeah, that says it all - have what appears to be regular backpack straps which aren't remotely going to stand up to a real load).

    [SNIP]

    In the distant, vain hope, does ANYONE have any idea where I might find a sensibly, appropriately sized and suitable durable backpack?

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Decathlon may be worth a try - they do a 90L Rucksack.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    I think that the problem is that you are in an odd price range. It's too cheap for people who want to do some serious trekking, but also too expensive for occasional shoppers. Side pockets may be gone because of a tendency in the past to prioritise taller and thinner shapes to make the backpack better match the trekker's silhouette and thus feel less cumbersome.

    There are a couple things on Amazon, but I don't know these brands.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mountain-Wa...sports&sr=1-24

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skandika-Wa...-19&th=1&psc=1
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Hiking shops (Millets is good if there's a sale on) or army surplus shops are where I usually look.
    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    Decathlon may be worth a try - they do a 90L Rucksack.

    Both seconded.

    Decathlon often (aside from their Running shoes if youa re serious about it) offers good value for honest prices and good durability.

    However, your requirements are very likely not to be met in combination.

    You`ll either have to go used, or up your range considerably,a s really good AND big AND durable Backpacks seem to be so rarely demanded that they are all sewn by elves drinking only hawaianian SPring water, during new moons. ^^
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Google's not that stupid...

    https://www.outdoormegastore.co.uk/g...-rucksack.html

    Found this some ~30 secs in my search 'cos I was curious to see what a 85L bag looked like.

    I usually use outdoors stores for my bags, as well as trainers and work shirts. If you're looking for a huge bargain, keeping an eye out for good jumble sales is an idea. There's one regular one in a village near me which has become filled with 'escape to the country' London exec types, and they chuck out some very nice stuff. Might be able to find a bag which was bought for some Uni gap-yearer to go to a festival or something [which then went into parents garage/attic/spare room, until parents had a clear-out five years later].
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    Google's not that stupid...

    https://www.outdoormegastore.co.uk/g...-rucksack.html

    Found this some ~30 secs in my search 'cos I was curious to see what a 85L bag looked like.
    This is the same model as the OP's old backpack, which is not available anymore.


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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    *blushes*

    Well, serves me right for noticing the 'In Stock' message on the page but not the fact said page sold squat...

    Why the hell would you even bother making such a site, anyway?
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Noting recommendations (Manga Shoggoth's looks the most credible thus far) for when I next have chance to properly sit down and do a second round of searching.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    I think that the problem is that you are in an odd price range. It's too cheap for people who want to do some serious trekking, but also too expensive for occasional shoppers. Side pockets may be gone because of a tendency in the past to prioritise taller and thinner shapes to make the backpack better match the trekker's silhouette and thus feel less cumbersome.
    Thing is, it has never been a problem until now. But the places where I previously could get a pack just... Don't do anything like it anymore. (I had been looking in all said camping shops over the summer.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    *blushes*

    Well, serves me right for noticing the 'In Stock' message on the page but not the fact said page sold squat...

    Why the hell would you even bother making such a site, anyway?
    You can imagine how annoyed I was, then, when having found that, I went "right, I'll just buy a replac-"

    And found the same issue on about two other sites as well.

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    And that's the reason I bulk-buy stuff when I encounter something 'that's good'. It also means I don't have much fuss in the mornings on what to wear...

    I've taken a quick look around on the sites I'd use; even eBay ain't giving you much change for a ton [and that's bids, not buy]. It looks, barring you scoring a huge deal [like finding a outdoor shop having a closing down sale etc] you're going to have to bite the bullet on this one.

    You've got to remember that Sterling's value has declined over time, and rucksacks [like everything else, apparently] is made in China and valued in USD. In [say] 2015 your '£60' would have been '$95', but now it's '$80'. There's also been around a total of 7% inflation since then. My guestimate is you'd have to slate around £80 simply to have equal purchasing power...
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Try thrift shops.
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Or in British parlance, charity shops [as the OP is in the UK].

    Though I don't expect much from such shops these days. A lot seem to price stuff using the Amazon/eBay criteria [and often the 'Buy it now' price]; just yesterday I saw a pair of variable dumbbells which I would have bought simply for the iron plates if they hadn't been as expensive as the ones online. Which would have been new, better weight selection and delivered to my home.

    A lot of the 'chain' shops do online themselves; the line 'well it's [marginally] cheaper here than eBay' has become a standard refrain. Pointing out that you don't have to spend hours photographing, listing, monitoring, packing and then posting the thing if you're selling it out of your own physical space is beyond their business skills, I believe. That's taking into account the fact that such a thing might not even reach the shop floor in the first place...
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    It is also worth keeping on checking other shops, not just the internet.
    Last autumn I needed a new (much smaller) backpack (also for gaming); what I wanted was one with two or more main sections (so books can go in one and more lumpy stuff in the other) but I did not want a laptop space - I have a very good laptop backpack though my current laptop is far too small to need it.
    When I went looking all I could find was either packs with just one main compartment, or packs where one of the sections was for a laptop with all the extra padding and weight that entails - and exactly not what I wanted. What was worse was I was trying the local outdoors stores (Millets etc.) who I would expect to have a better range. I took a holiday which included spare time in Liverpool, so I checked out the (new to me) shopping centre where I found the same fare - but the last shop I tried suggested one I had missed (Cotswold - I had not even know about the chain) where I managed to find a excellent backpack for my needs that happened to be in their half price sale.
    So, by persistence I found something I could not find on the internet.

    Good luck with your search.

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    Though I don't expect much from such shops these days. A lot seem to price stuff using the Amazon/eBay criteria [and often the 'Buy it now' price]; just yesterday I saw a pair of variable dumbbells which I would have bought simply for the iron plates if they hadn't been as expensive as the ones online. Which would have been new, better weight selection and delivered to my home.
    I have 5 backpacks - 4 are from thrift shops, and ran about $1-$5. They're not amazing, but all were decent and had superficial damage at most, in one case an internal stain in a compartment of what must have been a few weeks old pack.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Head to Sportsmen's Guide and look at the Mill Sup stuff. You'll probably have to go over your intented price range, but hey, you'll have a carry system that has literally gone through a battlefield. Carrying DnD stuff should be easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Try army-surplus stores. Also maybe try eBay

    Also try DuckDuckGo as a search engine.
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Well, I finally found something vaguely like on ebay, which had a good write=up (£85). However, somewhat disappointed when I actually got it; despite being purportedly based on a bergen (I couldn't find an actual one), the straps look like regular backpack straps, so I'm not taking any bets on how long the will last, but we will see. At leats in the short term, it's usable and carries the extras, so there's that.

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Get an L.L. bean backpack. I've had mine since I was in the 8th grade and it is still going strong some 25+ years later. Best $50 I ever spent. I've used it to to carry my D&d books all over the state with not a single problem.
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    This is part screaming hissy fit, part cry for help.

    I need to replace my backpack, which I use to transport my D&D books, ToB maneuvre cards and boxes of figures to and from the wargames club.

    My current back pack is a Gelart Shadow 85+10, of which a couple of bits have broken.

    Spoiler
    Show




    Books and such go in the main bag, boxes of figures in the lid pocket, other guff oi the side pockets.

    I have been searching the web for a good couple of HOURS trying to find something. NOTHING.

    I do not believe my requirements are unreasonable; a back pack at least 85 Litres (plus additional space), with straps that are actually going to survive more then five minutes (the "120 litre" backpakcs Amazon are trying to push at less than £30 - yeah, that says it all - have what appears to be regular backpack straps which aren't remotely going to stand up to a real load).

    Spoiler
    Show


    I am looking at the sort of price range I bought the last one (£60) - I'd rather not pay upwards of £100 for it (if I consider it, it ABSOLUTELY 100% needs to equal and exceed the criterion), but...

    No. It's like trying to find waterproofs with pockets (when the HELL did POCKETS become a freaking luxary commodity?!), a decent backpack with some carrying capacity is some sort of special magic moon-on-a-stick item that only exists in the mind of the delusional. Hell, I'm struggling to find something that would work at even silly prices.

    I can't EVEN replace the one I have with another one of the same make, since EVERY. SINGLE. PLACE. that I can find that did have it either says out of stock or directs you to Amazon which mostly just leads you to a blank screen.



    This is all not remotely helped by FREAKING GOOGLE which is fast becoming a liability as a search engine, as more and more often I am finding it is bringing up results which include stuff (in the first few results) with I EXPLICTLY OMTTED from the search criterion. When, google, I put "-55+10 Litre" I damn well expect you to NOT bring up that one result for the "55+10 Litre" backpack to the point I have to essentially copy-paste that web page to exclude it! What is WRONG with you google? It's not even like this is a rare occurance just to do with shopping stuff, you do it for stupid stuff like game terms! Stop bringing up results for a search term when said search term is literally not on the page! Lichemaster!

    This also goes for you too Amazon!



    In the distant, vain hope, does ANYONE have any idea where I might find a sensibly, appropriately sized and suitable durable backpack?
    At a glance based on the spoiled images, the first one looks like a hiking backpack, and not the type I would think is meant to carry a substantial amount of hard-backed books.

    The types of backpacks I use for such things are usually "Mil-Spec" which are meant to hold together long after taking several beatings. The link I'm providing is the style, though not the exact brand, and each of my 3 has is pushing a decade if not more.

    I hope this helps.
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Logic View Post
    At a glance based on the spoiled images, the first one looks like a hiking backpack, and not the type I would think is meant to carry a substantial amount of hard-backed books.

    The types of backpacks I use for such things are usually "Mil-Spec" which are meant to hold together long after taking several beatings. The link I'm providing is the style, though not the exact brand, and each of my 3 has is pushing a decade if not more.

    I hope this helps.
    Looking at the site, seems like pretty much the problem as elsewhere - nothing there looks really big enough - the one I bought from ebay (we'll see how long it lasts...) is 100L. (Also, postage from the US to the UK is insane (at Paizo's last sale, I was diheartening to realise that even at 50% off, it was cheaper for me to buy Pathfinder PDFs at full price than get hard-copy books), which would make it cost-impractical.

    The one I got is purportedly BASED on the bergen - finding an actual army surplus one proved just as elusive (which perhaps indicates that these things are rarer than roc's teeth now) - so we shall see. I'm extremely unconvinced by the straps, but we will see when I actually do have to load it up, which might only be a week or two now.

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Due to the wonders of modern stocktaking and procurement, militaries don't get in the piles of excess gear (which later are disposed of) like they used to. Plus, the British Army is much smaller than it was in the 90s, which means less gear ordered = less to go to surplus. There's also the issue that they've been pretty heavy on the deployments since '01 so unlike the past where the gear would spend most of it's life sitting in a warehouse it's out in the field getting used. Lastly, if the complaints on a military forum I occasionally lurk on [am playing a ex-military char in a game, btw] it appears a lot of said gear is crud now anyway; to the point folk are buying their own boots and so on.
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    Due to the wonders of modern stocktaking and procurement, militaries don't get in the piles of excess gear (which later are disposed of) like they used to. Plus, the British Army is much smaller than it was in the 90s, which means less gear ordered = less to go to surplus. There's also the issue that they've been pretty heavy on the deployments since '01 so unlike the past where the gear would spend most of it's life sitting in a warehouse it's out in the field getting used. Lastly, if the complaints on a military forum I occasionally lurk on [am playing a ex-military char in a game, btw] it appears a lot of said gear is crud now anyway; to the point folk are buying their own boots and so on.
    Yeah, that'd do it. Apparently along with all the hikinh backpack manufacturers just having one of those moments where they tell the customers "you don't need that, you'll have this!"

    My Dad's been having enough trouble with something as mundane as a cycling bag for his bike...

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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    I'm curious: what is the fully loaded weight of your bag? Because a 100L hiking backpack is almost certainly not meant to carry a bunch of weight, it's meant to carry a lot of light-weight stuff. Books are not lightweight and so you might never find something that has the volume and durability you want for a cheap price.
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    Default Re: Why is is impossible to find a decent backpack!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Logic View Post
    I'm curious: what is the fully loaded weight of your bag? Because a 100L hiking backpack is almost certainly not meant to carry a bunch of weight, it's meant to carry a lot of light-weight stuff. Books are not lightweight and so you might never find something that has the volume and durability you want for a cheap price.
    No idea, other than "heavy;" but why I have spent so many hours on shifting rules from splatbooks into 3.Aotrs documents (and thus not only removing extraenous material doing a balance pass, though that's probably now accounted for some of the mass back in sheet volume as of the current stuff which will probably be about a reem's worth of paper printed double-side, I reckon...). And why I have steadily gone through increasingly sturdy backpacks over the decades as Rolemaster and then 3.5 got larger (they always failed in the same place - straps which is why I'm dubious about this one, but I was at the point that was the best I was going to get).

    SOME of that volume is not paperwork, but required to carry the three/four small tubs of figures (i.e. the ones that are mine, not the ones left at the club), plus stuff like stapler, mouse/charger for tablet and ToB Maneouver cards (which is why side/top pockets were also essential).



    I notably saw straight away backpacks on amazon claiming to be 100L that were about £25 and went "yeah, there is NO way those will be yp to the job."

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