Jan just bought a new backpack. Actually, it's the same Gregory Deva I have just in a smaller size.
One option is for Jan to get the same size pack as I have, which would giver her another 12 litres volume. This however, would not fix the part of about the super bulky packs, it just get everything in. Another is for us to bring a third bag (like a duffle), that we'd use for the bulky gear like the tent. That option would reduce risk of damage and loss in transit. The third option is to do both.
We'll do another trial pack today for option 2 to see whether that solves the issue.
Seems like a simple thing, but it actually has some consequences re: trip planning. When we don't have a hotel 'home base' because we are moving point to point, we'll most likely rely on more extensive back country support, ie guides and mules. For trips where we can leave things in storage, it's a different story. Besides, we'll lash bulky things to the outside of the packs for hiking in any case, giving us the interior needed space for food and water.
Next up - our packing list.