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Tachiyaku
05-12-2014, 12:23 PM
I noticed that quite a few TB aficionados on the forum are academics or work in the academy in some form. I suppose it's a natural gravitation since conference/workshop/talk travel is such a huge part of the job.

So TB academics, what are your favorite travel bags for conferences? What types of clothes/gadgets/accessories/other miscellany do you travel with? Do you take a laptop or an iPad to take notes? Or do you go analogue? What are your favorite day bags and accessories for the conference itself?

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kkintea
05-12-2014, 01:27 PM
I am a big fan of the Little Swift at conferences. It can hold my iPad mini for notes, the notepads you usually get from registration (for backup "analogue" notes), my side effect (wallet and iPhone), and a light cardigan because it is always freezing at the venue, or at least the meetings that I seem to go to. You can also toss in a water bottle and even some snacks and most importantly, access these items from the LS noiselessly because there are no fasteners at the top of the bag to unzip or un-velcro. The conferences I typically attend are business casual or simply casual. In the past, I have also fit a fabric poster (36" x 48") into a large organizer pouch and then into the bottom of my Aeronaut. Worked beautifully, and I didn't have to carry around a tube and deal with the questionable looks you get from other travelers.

Badger
05-12-2014, 01:47 PM
I've taken all of the following to conferences: Aeronaut, Tri-Star, Western Flyer, Smart Alec, Synapse 19/25, Medium Cafe Bag, TS PCBP. It's all kind of depended on the length and formality of the conference and my role in the conference. I just got a Pilot so I think I will use that for 1-night regional travel, but I'm gravitating more towards the Tri-Star as my conference bag, perhaps with a MCB or the Pilot for actual conference use. I like that I can fit an Eagle Creek 18 folder in the back or middle compartment, and that the TS has the capability to hold a computer if I really, really need it, thus allowing me to one-bag.

I try very hard never to take my laptop, and I've actually once been able to get away with just my phone. I usually just take notes in the conference program or on random handouts, but I have read my paper from an iPad on a few occasions (I've since decided I prefer reading from a hard copy).

I always take the following to conferences if I can remember: Advil (lots of Advil), Emergen-C, a nail clipper, a water bottle, Altoids, two cheap pens in case someone needs to borrow one, business cards (I usually forget those), hand sanitizer, eye drops. Some of these items are in my EDC so they're already along for the ride. The best thing is a large OP to keep all the papers and nonsense organized throughout the day.

moriond
05-12-2014, 01:53 PM
I am a big fan of the Little Swift at conferences. It can hold my iPad mini for notes, the notepads you usually get from registration (for backup "analogue" notes), my side effect (wallet and iPhone), and a light cardigan because it is always freezing at the venue, or at least the meetings that I seem to go to. You can also toss in a water bottle and even some snacks and most importantly, access these items from the LS noiselessly because there are no fasteners at the top of the bag to unzip or un-velcro. The conferences I typically attend are business casual or simply casual. In the past, I have also fit a fabric poster (36" x 48") into a large organizer pouch and then into the bottom of my Aeronaut. Worked beautifully, and I didn't have to carry around a tube and deal with the questionable looks you get from other travelers.

I'll just comment that you can fit (multiple) full-size iPads in their caches in the Little Swift, along with the iPad Mini (which I carry in a Side Effect), and a couple of Side Effects plus papers in the Little Swift. See the post I made with pictures and caption in the Swift and Little Swift (http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags-accessories/7495-swift-little-swift.html) thread. And, yes, you can carry a sweater or jacket easily in that bag, as well. I use my Little Swift all the time. (This is not a statement about using the bag at conferences particularly , but in support of everything @kkintea said in her post. And I could easily also put the filled Side Effect posed in front of that bag into that Little Swift, on top of another Side Effect, and along with the iPads in their caches and the papers in the file briefs.)

HTH moriond

jmoz
05-12-2014, 02:44 PM
I generally prefer my Tri-Star as my main conference bag, and usually take my 11" MBA.

I very much wish* there were a PCMB (Packing Cube Messenger Bag) to use at the conference itself; essentially, I'd like a slightly larger version of the PCSB into which I could put my MBA in Cache, the program book, laptop charger, and maybe a notebook.

*As I've (too?) frequently made clear. I'm hoping this is one of the 5 new bags.

bbcamp
05-12-2014, 04:30 PM
I usually travel with my Aeronaut; I try to leave some room for all the stuff I pick up and need to take back (books, catalogs, books to review, etc.). I used to carry a big leather briefcase at the conference itself, but at my last few conferences I just took my Imago. I usually take notes on an A5-size notebook, but the Imago also holds my 11" MacBook Air in a sleeve.

Badger give a good list of stuff to carry, and I'll ad two others: chapstick (or equivalent): I always smile way more than usual at a conference, meeting all the people I know from previous conferences. (And if you are interviewing for a job, you NEED something after hours of smiling and talking.) Chapstick (etc.) also makes a good emergency skin lotion (and cam lubricate squeaky hinges if you have a roommate...)

I also always carry a set of silkweight long underwear when I travel. They have lots of uses, like pijamas, emergency sports clothing, keeping warm on the plane, and once I even needed them to fight chills from a bad fever.

bchaplin
05-12-2014, 04:51 PM
I think the Pilot is the perfect day bag. Just the right size, unobtrusive, can slip under a chair while you're at a lecture and isn't in the way when you're walking around. A water canteen or thermos with coffee is a good thing to carry, depending on the time of day. The Pilot can hold an iPad or small computer, along with the program book, though they are increasingly going electronic.

Mausermama
05-12-2014, 06:20 PM
I've got a conference coming up in about a week and a half, and I'm debating between the Pilot and my Synapse 19 for my conference bag. I am leaning toward taking the Pilot, but it will depend upon the health of my back. If it's bothering me, I will need to carry the Synapse 19 simply for how well it distributes the load over my back, neck, and shoulders.

bchaplin
05-12-2014, 06:41 PM
If I was having back problems I'd wear the Synapse!
At least at the conferences I've been to, backpacks are as common as shoulder bags.

priceless
05-12-2014, 07:10 PM
I like taking the pilot - good shape and size, especially if you have a smaller laptop. I do find its on the edge for one shouldering it all day when I pack it up. I don't have a synapse (my wife has one) and I think it works well. It would be a good option for a conference I think and I would be quite comfortable with that.


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atarango1
05-12-2014, 07:51 PM
I usually take my MCB for conferences. I tend to fold it flat in my suitcase and then use it as a daybag when there. My iPad fits as does my knitting and purse stuff. Last conference in Chicago I was so cold that I had to buy some earmuffs from a street vendor. Those folded nicely on top of everything else. I also carry painkillers (a must) a back up cell phone juicer, and easily pack able food, since I have celiac disease and usually can never find anything I can eat at conferences.

I still use a wheeled suitcase, but I just ordered a Tristar so that may change. Usually my carryon bag is a Synapse 25, but I may switch to my Pilot soon. Trying to downsize here, but the problem remains where to stick Sharky, my mini pillow pet who travels with me everywhere. Even for a mini he is fair sized, and I carry him because I sleep with him up against a bad shoulder at night, and he's the right shape now for the job. Plus it's amusing to have a stuffed shark you sleep with every night, but when I travel through airports I try to pack him because you know, I'm too old to be seen carrying a stuffed shark. So I'm hoping I can cram him into the Tri-star or I may have to come up with a new plan.....

Mausermama
05-13-2014, 05:17 AM
I may have to try a stuffed shark, lol! I also have a bad shoulder; right now I'm using a smallish travel pillow to brace my arm, but a shark sounds so much more fun!

Mausermama
05-13-2014, 05:19 AM
I usually take my MCB for conferences. .....

I just bought one (Cocoa/Olive), and a small Cafe Bag as well (Linen/Navy). I may try packing one or the other flattened in my Western Flyer. I am so proud of myself for having learned how to pack more compactly. In fact, my last trip I was able to get away with just my Pilot (for clothing) and my Swift (for knitting/day bag). Believe me, that was a huge amount of progress for me! But now my goal is to get down to just one bag. I doubt I'll achieve it on this upcoming trip, as I will likely need the Synapse for the conference, but I'm getting closer to my goal!

GoStanford
05-13-2014, 08:50 AM
I haven't been to a conference since I rediscovered TB a couple of months ago, but at prior conferences, I always tried to use my own messenger bag instead of the giveaway from the meeting. Those free bags have advertiser names all over, often have a synthetic chemical smell, are oddly sized sometimes, and just wasteful in my opinion. I would go through the bag for the conference program, return it to be re-used, and then walk around with my own bag feeling like I blended in more in the city.

For an upcoming meeting I plan to take either my Co-Pilot or Pilot. As you may remember, I have the Co-Pilot in black Dyneema/wasabi and a Pilot should be arriving today or tomorrow in the same color scheme, and I'm going to see which one will work. Though I had my doubts about the vertical front pocket, as I feel like it "interrupts" the space in front, I am likely to be proven wrong as today I forgot my (recently cleaned - see Not About Bags) Zojirushi flask at home. My tea will be nice and hot for me this evening!

nsh
05-13-2014, 09:02 AM
For conferences: I use my Synapse 19 and my MCB. The Synapse is my only piece of luggage and carries my clothes and personal gear. it stays in my hotel room. Thank goodness I am no longer a graduate student and have my *own* room! The luxury!!

I use the MCB as my day bag. I can fit my Macbook Air (in a TB sleeve), my iPhone in the MCB, a TB pocket pouch with business cards, a small moleskin and space pen, and a TB wallet with my money clipped into the interior. By keeping all the conference papers digital, I find that I don't have to carry lots of paper etc. Most conferences also post itineraries on-line now or have twitter feeds so I don't have to carry around the program either. I never take the freebies either. Sometimes I carry one of those rolled flat water bottles that I fill at a fountain so that I don't have to needlessly spend money on bottled water or lug a heavy bottle. I also have space for a small scarf that is usually nice to drape around my neck or shoulders in drafty meeting rooms!

For field research- I love my FJN.

flitcraft
05-13-2014, 10:39 AM
I'm at a conference in Seville right now. I brought a Tristar as my main bag for clothing and sundries (I'll be traveling and lecturing for about a week and a bit after this conference). My conference bag is also my personal item--the Imago. It easily swallows what I need during the day--my computer, some paper, a hard copy of my presentation (the day I present), the conference program, water bottle, and miscellaneous stuff--and the Absolute Strap means it feels light and easy on the shoulder. I've also used a LCB as my conference bag--I agree that conference bags these days are tacky and often nasty--it's so much nicer to have a Tom Bihn bag instead!

roessletb
05-14-2014, 04:29 PM
Synapse 25 unless I'm traveling very light. Then, it's the co-pilot.

moriond
05-27-2014, 02:20 PM
Hi All,

Thought I would revive this thread by giving a link to the ProfHacker blog posting on Tom Bihnís Travel Bags for Conference Travel (http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/tom-bihns-travel-bags-for-conference-travel/57129?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en) at the Chronicle for Higher Education, although I think the reviewer needs to do some more practice packing to hone his one-bag packing skills.

moriond

backpack
05-27-2014, 04:24 PM
Hi All,

Thought I would revive this thread by giving a link to the ProfHacker blog posting on Tom Bihn’s Travel Bags for Conference Travel (http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/tom-bihns-travel-bags-for-conference-travel/57129?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en) at the Chronicle for Higher Education, although I think the reviewer needs to do some more practice packing to hone his one-bag packing skills.

moriond

Wonderful website! Thanks for sharing

flitcraft
05-27-2014, 08:49 PM
Nice to see a shout out for Tom Bihn in the Chronicle. But I have to say, having just gotten back from a two and a half day academic conference/lecture trip to Spain and Portugal with my Tristar, it's hard for me to relate to thinking of it as a 2 or 3 day bag. ;-)

scribe
05-27-2014, 10:45 PM
"The Tri-Star is best suited for 2 days worth of clothing (perhaps 3 if the weather is warm)" - is this guy especially tall or something? How many sweaters do you need to pack for a 2-day trip? The mind boggles :)

That said, if he's taking running gear in addition to regular clothes, the shoes alone are going to eat up space. My DH has far more clothes than me since he took up running + cycling + swimming!

Peruvian
07-22-2014, 07:40 PM
I know I'm a bit late to the "dance", but will share my two cents...;) The best day bag for me is the Pilot. It's truly amazing the amount of stuff it can carry. I have packed in the main compartment a MacBook Air 11 in its TB Cache, an iPad in a sleeve, plus 40 9-page presentation brochures!! I only travel with my MBA 11 when there are important soccer games during the week (or weekend, if the conference is longer) that will not be televised (gotta love those "pirate" sites :p ) and I can not miss. Truly can't live without soccer!

As for note taking, I can not recommend enough the Livescribe 3 (http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/smartpen/ls3/) pens, that is what I use.

Hope this helps someone!

scribe
07-24-2014, 11:47 PM
As for note taking, I can not recommend enough the Livescribe 3 (http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/smartpen/ls3/) pens, that is what I use.


Another vote for the LiveScribe - I was sent an Echo to review on my website (http://www.annelyle.com/blog/technology/tech-review-livescribe-echo-smartpen/) (blogger freebies FTW!) and now use it daily at work.

I also agree that the Pilot is a great (and maybe under-appreciated*) bag - it's incredibly versatile!

* I'm planning on making up for this a little by blogging a review

jmoz
07-28-2014, 01:06 PM
It seems like the TS usually works for 1 bag for a conference of normal length, even with some days tacked on the end (~1 week or so.) I just got (and loved) the LCB for a packable day bag for conferences. If I need more stuff (nicer camera, more variety of clothing, etc.), I add my Pilot for 1+1 travel, and that works nicely, too. I can't imagine carrying much more than a TS+Pilot at this point, unless I had some very specific needs.

My conferences, however, tend to skew pretty casual and are generally only 3-5 days.