Category: Pictures and Video

Osprey Daylite Daypack Review: Road Tested After 1 Year Of Heavy Use

The Osprey Daylite Daypack is a small backpack designed for hiking or short sightseeing excursions but built with features more common in larger bags. Most daypacks are usually very simple, lacking comfort and versatility; falling apart soon after you’ve forgotten how cheap the price was.

Although I generally treat my electronics tenderly, the luggage I carry it around in takes a beating. Reviews of backpacks when they’re new can be useful but seeing how they hold up after an extended period of travel shows you if they’re really worth the their price. This is my review of the Osprey Daylite Daypack, after a year of torturing traveling with it to over 10 countries.

Good Size For Many Uses

My primary carry-on backpack, the Swissgear Scansmart 1900 is very accommodating to all of the electronics I travel with but not very practical for lighter daily use or doubling as a sports bag. Since I’ve been using the reliable Sojourn 60L as my primary check-in luggage for years, I decided to try the Osprey Daylite, hoping it too would be worth the sightly higher price tag.

osprey daylite daypack

The Daylite is 22 x 22 x 45 centimeters, holding roughly 13 liters in two main compartments. It weighs 450 grams (~1 lbs), has mesh shoulder straps, and a foam back to help keep your back cool. (Nobody likes excessive lower back sweat.) The chest and waist straps (38-55 centimeters) keep the Daylite close to your body so it doesn’t smack into you back and forth when hiking – additionally they help make the Daylite a very comfortable backpack to jog with.

osprey daylite daypack  Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Backpack, Black

buy from amazon

13 liters is a good size to carry a pair of shoes, plus some extra clothes; the main compartment of the Daylite also holds the Swissgear Hanging Toiletry Kit (which makes for an ideal electronics organizer) perfectly when placed sideways. The smaller front compartment has a few dividers, good for keys, but they actually make the front pocket fairly useless. Being on the outside, it’s a tempting target for pickpockets so you’re not likely to store anything of importance there. Unfortunately, the front pocket with the dividers is just too small to be useful for much else.

Dual side pockets for water bottles and the hydro-bladder on the back remind you Osprey designed the Daylite with hikers in mind. With that in mind, the Daylite isn’t waterproof, although it’s very water resistant and can easily keep its contents dry after hours of strong rain.

Tougher Than Expected

Stretched, drenched, tossed about, the Daylite looks nearly new after a year of using it almost every day. Aside from some slight color fading on the interior pockets you can see in the video above, the Daylite looks flawless – especially after a wash. Add that as another benefit to the Daylite: being machine washable then drying in less than a few hours in open air. (Much faster than these quick-dry towels.)

For sightseeing, the Daylite lets you be selective about what you take from your hotel room when you’re out and about so you can travel light and leave your non-essential valuables locked up. A bit more expensive (they cost around $60) than a lot of other daypacks, for the price the Daylite is a versatile daypack that’s sure to last over many, many years of use.

How Long Does It Really Take For A Quick-Dry Towel To Dry?

What might seem like a silly question at first can be an important one for your time management when traveling. Microfiber, or quick-dry, towels are designed for campers and frequent travelers when they’re not likely to find a drying machine. Although they’re called “quick-dry” – and do dry faster than cotton, for example – the amount of time it takes varies widely depending if they’re hanging in a hotel room or by the beach.

Knowing the amount of time it takes to the average microfiber towel to dry in a variety of conditions can help you plan prior to packing. (A towel that’s even slightly damp can make your entire backpack smell of feet by the time you reach your destination.) As you can watch in the video above, I ran several experiments in order to determine average dry times indoors and out so you have a good idea of how many hours before prior to packing to hang your towel.

The Test Conditions

I ran four basic drying experiments with the REI Co-op Multi Towel Lite Large I’ve been traveling with for years in several common travel conditions.

  • Test 1: Indoors on a clothesline.
  • Test 2: Indoors hanging from a hook.
  • Test 3: Outdoors in the shade.
  • Test 4: Outdoors in direct sunlight.

rei quick dry towel

The ambient temperature in all the tests was between 20-22C (68F-72F). The Multi Towel Lite was completely dry at the beginning of each test; I took a shower, then used the quick-dry towel. I then hung the towel, set a stopwatch, and checked in occasionally to see the progress of water evaporation. These were the results:

  • Test 1: Indoors on a clothesline: 8 hours 5 minutes.
  • Test 2: Indoors hanging from a hook: 7 hours 58 minutes.
  • Test 3: Outdoors in the shade: 2 hours 43 minutes.
  • Test 4: Outdoors in direct sunlight: 36 minutes.

Indoor Versus Out

It’s probably not surprising that drying the towel outdoors was less time consuming. Though the difference in drying time – nearly 6 hours – might be a bit unexpected. How the towel was hung didn’t make much difference but it’s clear outdoors is preferable; even if the outdoor temperature is the same or less than indoors.

The Over-Under

Add more time obviously if you’re got longer hair needing more water absorption from the towel. Of course, you can shave even more time off by wringing the towel, or placing it near or (carefully) on a heater. Indoor drying times though are going to be 8 hours, in ideal conditions like I had during these small experiments. I suspect I greatly underestimated dry times in general, which has probably cost me a few extra laundry washes on several trips.

So, if you’re going to be using a quick-dry towel, keep in mind to schedule your shower a bit earlier on travel days when you might not have access to a balcony or backyard. Don’t pack more than two weeks of stuff, even for longer trips, and following the 80% rule might give your clothes just enough air not to stink for times you’re feeling a little less patient.

The Best Travel Case For The DJI Mavic Pro Drone Is A Toiletry Kit

The DJI Mavic Pro drone is ideal for travelers because it’s extremely portable with folding arms that covert it into the compact size of a liter water bottle at its smallest. Unfortunately though, nearly every case made for the Mavic is bulky at best, taking away the Mavic’s main advantage for travel. The Mavic Pro is one of the tech gear I travel with and after testing numerous cases, found the SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kit to be the best soft case for Mavic.

swissgear hanging toiletry kit  SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kit – Black

buy from amazon

You can see in my full review why the the SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kit might be the ideal case for your Mavic, in the video above.

Cosplay Pictures And Video From Aniventure Comic Con Bulgaria

This past weekend over 10,000 people by my estimates attended Aniventure Comic Con Bulgaria, in the country’s capital city Sofia, including myself. One the best moments for me was meeting The Awkward Yeti cartoonist, Nick Seluk. His personal story of quitting his job and it’s connection to Heart and Brain, Lars, and his other comics was very inspirational. It’s a video I highly recommend you watch, especially if you’re pondering whether or not to follow a dream in your life.

I’ve been to lots of Star Trek conventions but this was my first dedicated comic convention. In terms of cosplay, Comic Con Bulgaria attendees had more elaborate, high-quality, handmade, work in much larger percentages than you see at a Star Trek convention. Cosplay was a big part of the Aniventure Comic Con and I took as many pictures as I could to share with you.

aniventure comic con bulgaria

comic con bulgaria cosplay

aniventure comic con cosplay

cosplay bulgaria

comic con bulgaria 2017

aniventure cosplay

comic con bulgaria 2017

comic con bulgaria 2017 cosplay

sofia bulgaria cosplay

cosplay bulgaria

cosplay bulgaria sofia

cosplay aniventure comic con 2017

aniventure cosplay

star wars cosplay bulgaria

cosplay 2017 bulgaria

comic con sofia

cosplay balkans

cosplay aniventure

star wars cosplay europe

cosplay comic con europe

aniventure comic con 2017

cosplay eastern europe

Since I’m not completely up on anime, I don’t have the descriptions of the costumes above. But, if you recognize any, please let me know in the comments below!

All The Tech Gear And Gadgets I Travel With (And Why): Sept. 2017 Update

foxnomad travel tech guide

The electronics I travel with allow me to run a business (not to mention have a lot of fun while doing it) from anywhere in the world. Being so mobile though means the gadgets I carry have to be portable, powerful, plus durable. Reliability is also important which is why I often use electronics that are one, if not more, model behind the latest version.

Frequent travelers often have to make some compromises with their technology, sometimes exchanging power for reliability, plus at the same keeping in mind that shiny scuffs fast and gravity loves to show off on hard airport floors. When I am in one place long enough, I use and test a lot of products sent to me and out of pocket, to find the travel-tech-sweet-spot for common gear so you don’t have to.

Here’s a look at all the electronics that have made it into my backpack in the photo above that yes, all fit into one ScanSmart 1900 carry-on bag.

Laptop: Macbook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015): 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7; 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory; 500GB SSD; AMD Radeon R9 M370X

macbook pro mid 2015

Main Video Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds

panasonic g85

As I mention in the video above, the main weakness of the point and shoot Lumix I carry, is the video quality. For the price, the Panasonic Lumix G85 is the best 4K camera (that records without time limits as many 4K cameras have) in a mirror-less body that’s smaller than a standard DSLR.

Point And Shoot Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS45 [Here’s my full review.]

lumix dmc-zs45

  • Recommended SD Card: 32GB SanDisk SDHC
  • Case: No link for the case, just a cheap one I grabbed at a shop somewhere.

Tripod: Joby GorillaPod Focus with Joby Ballhead

joby gorillapod

On top of the Lumix G85, I’m using a Rode VideoMicro for recording audio and an Aputure AL-M9 Amaran LED Light when needed. When I need to use both at the same time, the Movo Photo HVA20 Dual Shoe Bracket does the job well.

Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones [My full review.]

bose 20i headphones

Phone (Daily Driver): iPhone 6s (64 GB)/Space Grey

iphone 6s 64 gb space grey

I also travel with a Nexus 5X, primarily because it’s stock Android and gets updates from Google before most other phones, making it ideal for testing development versions of my WiFox and DroneMate apps. Speaking of app development, I also carry an iPhone 5s, 5, and 4s, all for app testing.

Drone: DJI Mavic Pro

dji mavic pro

Backpack: SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Laptop Bag

swissgear smartscan 1900 laptop bag

Cable Organizer: Cocoon Grid-It 10.5 x 7.5-Inch Organizer

cocoon grid-it

  • This is a major time-saver when going through airport security because you can pull out all of your cords and adapters at once. I’ve also noticed having cables organized like this means less time waiting for additional bags checks at security – a clump of cables often means re-scanning your backpack.

Portable Batteries: PowerStick+ (2300 mAh) PowerTrip (6000 mAh).

powertrip powerstick

These batteries have a standby time of up to a year so you’re much less likely to be on a train and realize your batteries died on the road. Read my full review here.

Connectors, Converters, And Other Accessories

For reading books or when I need a larger, mobile screen in general, I use a 64 GB iPad Air 2 protected by an Apple Smart Case.

You can see from the progression of the gadgets in my backpack from 2012, earlier this year, to now, that the larger electronic purchases are usually one or two off from the latest version. The longer a product is on the market the more time there is to see how well it was or wasn’t designed *cough, 2016 Macbook Pro* but being just behind the newest version means specs are still quite good. Most often, there aren’t major jumps in improvement between a version or two of phone or laptop these days.

Also, the cases I use are also more adapted to protecting electronics when they’re in a backpack, not from falls when they’re out and in use. This means I’m generally using sleeves and prefer a good fit (even from improvised cases like the lens case for the Mavic controller or SwissGear toiletry kits) than cases specifically designed for a given product.

When traveling, the best technology is often potent, portable, but not precious enough that your travel budget (or mental state) can’t handle a loss from damage or theft that might require a replacement. What are some of the electronics or gadgets you travel with and would recommend? I would be very interested to hear so let me know in the comments below!

Loading

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

Recent Articles

WiFox And DroneMate Apps Are On Sale Now As Part Of The foXnoMad Air Pack

Why India's Time Zone Is 30 Minutes Off From (Most Of) The Rest Of The World

Osprey Daylite Daypack Review: Road Tested After 1 Year Of Heavy Use

Get my latest posts in your inbox: