La Fiebre de Viajar 44L backpack

La Fiebre de Viajar Backpack Review

Every time I have mentioned this backpack, which I took travelling with me through Central America and South America, I have said that I would do a review soon for our new packing and organisation travel section.

Now, whilst I’m nothing if not a woman of my word, I did discover, whilst doing some research, that this backpack is actually only available to buy within Costa Rica. And, well, the chances that any of my readers will have the exact same problem as I did (a broken backpack) in the same place as me (San Jose), are probably quite slim.

When I was looking online, I actually found nothing online about La Fiebre de Viajar in English at all. So, I think the target article for this article is going to be incredibly small. I digress; I’ve decided to write the review anyway, because I recently uploaded an article on choosing the perfect backpack, and I learned a lot of valuable backpack lessons with this one.

La Fiebre de Viajar do seem to be solving a lot of travel-related problems with their products, and whilst their 44L backpack intends to do the same, it didn’t quite meet the mark for me and I am going to explain why. However, that being said, I did travel with it for over three months, through nine different countries, and it held up pretty well. It’s actually sat right next to me in the bottom of my wardrobe and there is not a stitch out of place, so there is something to be said for the quality of material. (The same cannot be said for my 30€ Decathlon rucksack that broke on me three weeks into the trip…).

I will also say that the backpack came with three packing cubes, which I will definitely be using again. They’re much better quality than the ones I had before!

So, points go to La Fiebre de Viajar for sewing and material quality, and this is another important factor when you’re choosing a backpack.

For the rest of this review, I’m going to roughly follow the guide I made for “choosing your perfect backpack”, so you can see how it all works in practice.

Click here to skip back to our packing and organisation travel section!

Shoulder Straps

The shoulder straps on this rucksack were good quality, sturdy and comfortable, but they were too long. Even on their shortest setting they were too long for me, and I’m 167cm (aka fairly tall by Latin American standards).

Compression Straps

The compression straps on the bag did work to hold the bag together, but in my opinion they came loose too easily. During the last half of my trip I was using them to hold walking poles, and they were constantly coming loose and I kept having to pull them tighter again. Although, I did put this bag in the hold of a plane and the poles stayed attached, so it was more of a problem while I was walking with it on and taking it on/off.

Hip Belt

The hip belt on this bag may as well not have existed. There was no cushioning whatsoever so it dug into my skin, and the lack of structural integrity of the rest of the bag meant that a lot of weight still fell on my shoulders anyway.

If the hip belt is doing its job properly, you should be able to shrug your shoulders down away from the shoulder straps, and they won’t move. Luckily this bag is on the smaller side so it was never overly heavy, but it could have been much more comfortable.

Sternum Strap

The sternum strap existed and was adjustable, so bonus points for that! However, it was made from stretchy elastic which basically made it useless.

​Internal Frame

This backpack taught me just how important the internal frame of a backpack is. That is to say, this backpack didn’t have any framework whatsoever to keep its shape, and that was sorely missed. The internal frame of a bag is important for weight distribution, so this really impacted its comfort, and it was just a bit awkward to pack because the whole thing fell to one side or in on itself as soon as I took something out.

Read more: What to Pack for Backpacking in Central America

Sex / Body Type

This bag was supposed to be unisex, but it had clearly been measured to a man’s body. Like I said in my guide to choosing the perfect rucksack: the shoulder straps and waist strap were too big for me, even on the smallest setting, and I am not the smallest of women!

I’m by no means large, at 167cm and around 62kg, but I have friends much smaller than me who would have been completely drowned by this backpack.

Not to sound harsh, but other than these measurements, it didn’t have enough structural integrity to be designed for a specific body shape at all.

Packing Cubes

So, onto the good stuff! I’ve said already that this rucksack came with really good quality packing cubes, and I’m definitely going to be reusing these on my next trip. It also came with a small 10L day pack, but I ended up giving that to a friend because it was too small and lacked structural integrity (but the straps on it were really comfy, if you just had a few things to carry round with you). 

Main Backpack Compartment

The main compartment is supposed to be the superstar of this rucksack, and aside from the lack of structural integrity (oh my goodness, how many times am I going to repeat this phrase?!), it was. The main compartment was nice and deep, so I could even stack packing cubes on top of each other. The problem with the lack of structure was that it didn’t keep its shape unless it was full of stuff, so at times it was like packing a supermarket bag. Or something else that falls in on itself as soon as you take something out!

On the inside of the main front pocket there were several smaller sections for organisation, but this side was too thin to kee much in it. I would have preferred it if both sides were equally as deep, pockets and all, rather than having one deep compartment and one shallow compartment with pockets.

I really, really loved that it opened like a suitcase, though! It completely changed my packing game.

External Pockets

The external pockets of this bag are extensive. There is a side pocket for a water bottle, an internal pocket closest to your back for a laptop (which, of course, I didn’t use – has anyone who designs rucksacks actually ever tried carrying a laptop flat against their back?!), and a huge front pocket with loads of small compartments. This came in really handy for organising small bits and bobs and made everything much more organised than it had been in my old backpack.

Laptop Compartment

The only problem with the laptop compartment is that, thanks to the (all together now) lack of structural integrity, it creates a huge gap between your back and the rest of the backpack, meaning it constantly pulls you back when you’re wearing it. It creates a sort of tug-of-war between your shoulders and the contents of your bag.

Read more: What to Pack for Backpacking in Costa Rica


The size of this backpack is advertised as 44L, but it came out around the same size as my friends who had 50L bags. (I think all of the extra pockets are not counted in the 44L tally.)

For me it was a great size to carry everything I had, because I had originally started my trip with a 30L rucksack plus a tote bag. With this bag, I could put absolutely everything into the backpack, plus a few souvenirs I picked up along the way!

Whenever I wanted to take a separate bag (such as for getting onto a long distance bus ride) it wasn’t full, but the compression straps held my things in place for the most part.

​Day Trips

Of course, this bag wasn’t suitable for taking on a day trip; it was too big. I also had a really small day bag with me that I’d picked up along the way, but realistically in future I will take a second rucksack with me as a day bag.


This backpack was not waterproof nor water resistant (but it didn’t claim to be, to be fair). There is a waterproof cover that fits this bag exactly if you want to buy it separately. When I did the San Blas boat trip from Panama to Colombia, I waterproofed it inside and out with bin liners… which promptly broke. (But that’s obviously not the fault of La Fiebre de Viajar!).


To conclude… no, I probably would not buy this rucksack again, however I do have to admit that I really put it to the test over these months. Unpacking and repacking on a daily basis, boat trips, bus rides, even once in the hold of an aeroplane… It’s been through a lot, and it doesn’t even have a stitch out of place.

If you’re looking for a bag to take with you for a week or two then this might be perfect for you, it just doesn’t quite have what it takes for a proper backpacking trip.

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