Deuter travel packs withstand the rigors of a family trip to Baja
Before the addition of our little one, Ali, Julie and I were frequent travelers to the East cape of Baja, Mexico for surfing and fishing adventures. Back in our childless days, it was pretty easy to throw our ocean gear into a couple of duffel bags, deal with the car shuttle, the airport, the rental car pick-up and the two-hour drive from San Jose Del Cabo northeast to the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. However, with an almost three-year-old making her first trip south of the border, we knew we had to step up our game in order to avoid a travel circus; Deuter’s Traveller 55+ 10 and Xeno 90 brought the organizational skills and portability to allow us to wrangle an excited Ali and handle all our connections smoothly without the long days turning into a yard-sale.
I was able to wear the comfortable Traveller 55 as a backpack while rolling the stable Xeno 90 with my Speedlight 30 wrapped around the telescopic roller handle. Because of its tall design, the roller handle on the Xeno is shorter and more sturdy than other roller suit cases; also the wide wheel base and bottom handle/kick stand allow you to rest it vertically while trying to decipher arrival/departure screens. Loading me down with both travel packs allowed Julie to chase after Ali in the airports with just the Kanga Kid on. Throwing (literally) both packs in and out of shuttle vans and cars was very easy with the large, carry handles. Also the zipper system to hide the Traveller’s straps and the Xeno’s smooth design didn’t freak the airline folk out like all our other luggage had in the past. Ali was able to spot both bags circling the luggage turntable with an excited “look it’s MY bag.”
Once we hit our destination, Cabo Pulmo, we were rewarded with 85 degree blue water, great fishing, and a couple unexpected rainstorms. With all the interior pouches and organization systems we were able to keep everyone’s clothes and beach toys separated while keeping the more fragile items protected in the Xeno. We picked up a lot of sand and several knick-knacks along the trip, and the large zippers and beefy compression straps allowed both packs to handle being loaded to the gills. The Traveller’s little sidekick day pack worked great as a surf-fishing pack: water, sunscreen, tackle boxes, more water, more sunscreen. Ali loved her new Kikki day pack which held her books, travel snacks and beach accessories; and we definitely worked the cuteness factor of our little person charging ahead with a funny bird on her back to help grease the bureaucratic skids at all our destinations. Her Kikki even brought out a half-smile from the US customs guy on the way home at LAX – not bad.
Author: Keith and Julie Rainville, Family Ambassadors