I carried an Osprey Sirrus 24 backpack, in which everything fit fine, and there was still a little room to spare. It was only at the end of my Camino that I wished it had more capacity. On my return trip to Lisbon, where I was to catch my flight home, I had to carry the souvenirs I bought in Santiago in a separate bag. Yes, I know. I’m eating my words from my previous review about the said backpack being large enough. And while for the most part it was perfect for my short one-week Camino, it would have been nice to be able to fit those extra items in it.
REI to the rescue! I bought the backpack in October 2015, so it was well within the one year return policy at REI. They resell used items at their monthly parking lot sales, so I exchanged my pack for the next size up, the Osprey Sirrus 36. I loved all the features of Sirrus 24, and the big sister Sirrus 36 feels just the same, but it has more wiggle room! There is a big zip pocket at the bottom and larger compartments at the top. It has a drawstring closure for the main compartment, but it also has the side panel zipper, which makes easy to find items and re-pack.
In 2017 I will be doing slightly longer walks, so this will be the pack I’ll carry on the Camino Inglés and the extra walks to Finisterre and Muxía. I’ll pack the same items and maintain the base weight, but at least I won’t look like a bag lady on my return home! Because on the Camino, lessons are learned every day. 🙂