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Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Best Bags For One-Bag Travel

One-bag travel is one of the latest ideas to start to make the leap from niche online communities to Instagram to the mainstream.  Here’s what it’s all about and our top picks to get the most out of one-bag travel.

The idea is that you travel—often for extended periods of time—with just what you can fit in a carry-on backpack. A whole range of bags have cropped up to answer the needs of Instagram influencers, but which is the best? Read on to find out.

What Is One-Bag Travel

One-bag travel, like many #hashtag #labels, is pretty open-ended and really, nothing new. In its purest form, it’s traveling the world for extended periods of time with only a small carry-on backpack. The kind of people who pull that off only own one t-shirt and cut their toothbrush in half to save weight. They can, however, literally carry their life on their back pretty much anywhere.

Most people aren’t prepared to go that minimalist so a lot of people, myself included, use a bag that is the max legal carry-on size for most airplanes. It lets you bring a reasonable amount of stuff—I carry my camera, laptop, three days worth of clothes, gym gear, and toiletries, basically—while still being pretty flexible. You probably don’t want to lug everything around with you all the time, but you can get by, especially once you ditch the really heavy stuff in your Airbnb or hotel. This is the kind we’ll mostly be looking at.

At the far end of things, you’ve got rebranded backpacking bags. They have gigantic rucksacks, that definitely don’t fit in a carry-on bin, filled with everything they need to hitchhike around Europe for three months. All that’s new is the #hashtag; people have been doing this kind of travel for years. It’s really outside of what most people talk about when they say “one-bag travel”; it kind of carries connotations of minimalism and cutting back on the amount you bring, in the same way that sleeping in your car for a few nights isn’t really #vanlife. This isn’t to knock backpackers: it’s just that we’re not going to be looking at the heavy, load hauling packs they use. It’s the midsize bags where there’s been all the interesting developments.

What We’re Looking For In a Good Travel Bag

Before diving in, I’m going to lay out the criteria I used for selecting these bags. I’ve personally handled them all and talked to people who travel with them. I’ve also owned and used two of the three picks. So here’s what I was looking for:

  • It had to a backpack. No rollaboards or gigantic duffels.
  • It had to be big enough to carry a reasonable amount of gear. Most people have more than one t-shirt.
  • It had to be small enough that you could carry it for extended periods of time, even if it was heavy. No gigantic 100L trekking packs.
  • It had to be backloading or clamshell opening like a suitcase. These are travel bags, not ergonomic hiking packs.
  • It had to be able to carry a laptop safely. Again, travel, not hiking.
  • It had to be really well made. We’re talking great manufacturing and high-quality components. These bags are all expensive so they couldn’t skimp on anything.
  • People who used them had to love them. Different people have different needs so this isn’t a one-bag wins situation.

Now, let’s dig in.

My Favourite: The Peak Design 45L Travel Bag ($300+)

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from How-To Geek http://bit.ly/2SGuVkU

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