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Bag-related ramblings...

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    Bag-related ramblings...

    Since no one (literally – NO ONE) wants to hear my bag related thoughts IRL, I figured I’d dump them here…..

    I travel a lot, both for business and fun, and am not the most organized person. I’ve been trying to get a bag system together that would aid me in not forgetting stuff when I switch between travel bags. I still have a few kinks to iron out, but I am quite happy with my current, TB-powered, system. Please let me know if you have any improvement suggestions or how you like to organize your frequently used items when traveling!

    I do different types of travel, and have given up on a one-bag-fits-all solution. So - the key to how I try to organize my life as a bag-lady is that all the stuff that I bring, regardless if I am going away for 1 night or n nights, are in two packing cubes, and I can just move them from bag to bag. (This is not counting my purse EDC stuff). I have nothing “loose” scattered around in my bags that I can forget to transfer to the next bag (in theory at least… it has been pointed out to me by my SO that this instead enables me to forget a lot of things in one convenient go….). The downside is that I don’t utilize all the nice pockets available in most TB bags.

    Purse EDC: a Side Kick as an organizer with a wrist loop that I toss into the chosen purse of the day. It contains: (The SK is a tad too large for this but wanted all the pockets so went with it rather than the SE for that reason)
    • Keys on a key strap in the outside pocket (outside pocket)
    • Slim wallet - “RFID Nero wallet” from Etsy (outside pocket)
    • Clear Organizer Wallet for cash and membership cards etc (outside pocket)
    • Mini Q-kit with headphones and a GoToob mini Tubb with ibuprofen
    • Clear Small organizer Pouch with iphone and kindle cables and a travel charger, pass cards
    • RFID passport holder, Kindle, iPhone, Daily miscellanea

    For 1 to N overnights - two packing cubes with essentials: Clear quarter packing cube and small tristar packing cube

    Clear quarter packing cube: (this one is also a tad to large, but I like the dual side visibility enough to use it anyway)
    • Side A: Makeup, face wipes, band-aids, etc.
    • Side B: a 3D organizer cube, clear: (My TSA “liquids bag”. It’s overkill with the “cube inside the cube” when not flying – but I just leave it as is so I don’t forget stuff). It contains:
      - GoToob tubes, small, one each for: Shampoo, conditioner, hair-prettification-stuff
      - GoToob Tubbs (mini) with: Facecream, eyecream
      - Anything else that any countrys version of the TSA might possibly concieve to be a liquid

    Small Tri-Star packing cube:
    • Foldable flats
    • 2 Eagle Creek specter quarter cubes, one for clean underwear and socks, and one to put laundry in. They do a great job in compressing stuff and take no room whatsoever
    • Workout top, Yoga capri pants
    • Clear Organizer pouch – pen/pencil containing:
      - Makeup brushes
      - Anything too long to fit into the clear quarter packing cube

    Bags I use atm:

    2-3 overnights work travel, or 1 overnight with two lappys: The Tri-Star. I love this bag for work travel. It’s flat packing system is perfect for work clothes and electronics, and perfectly sized. It’s not so great when not packed at least semi full.
    • Large back compartment: large Tri-Star packing cube with work clothes OR medium packing cube with clothes and small packing cube with running shoes
    • Middle compartment: 1 laptop in a braincell. Second laptop in a neoprene folder. If bringing two laptops the smallest power adapter stuffed down the side next to the braincell
    • Medium left front compartment: The small Tri-Star packing cube, small snake charmer with power adapter and misc. adapters. A Bluetooth mouse in a small stuff sack
    • Small right front compartment: Clear quarter packing cube and gloves or something I need quick access to on top
    • Horizontal left outside front pockets: not so much use of the two top ones. I kind of wish they did not go all the way to the bottom as stuff tend to pool down there if the bag is not full. The bottom two I put snacks, chewing gum, swiss army knife (unless flying) and a small roll of duck tape (fixes everything from a broken bag to hemming of pants… wonderful stuff)
    • Vertical right outside front pocket: Zijorushi thermos mug. Mainly used for water. Love the lockable lid

    1 overnight or as laptop EDC
    Synapse 25. This bag is amazingly comfortable to carry, regardless if full or empty, and looks a lot smaller than it is. It’s only 7L difference from the tri-star, but feels more like an EDC and less like luggage. (I’m still working out how to use the side and top pockets best – since I switch bags all the time I actively try to have everything in packing cubes and not spread out)
    • Bottom pocket: Small snake charmer with power adapter, small stuff sack with mouse and adapters
    • Waterbottle pocket: Zijorushi thermos mug
    • Inside: I actually don’t use the rail system – I don’t want the laptop closest to my back as I have the biggest size cache and it’s the entire length of the bag and makes it less comfy to carry. So I have the medium tri-star packing cube and the Clear quarter packing cube on top of it closest to my back, then the laptop in it’s cache. The small tri-Star packing cube is stuffed down in the big inside pocket.

    Weekend trips: I really REALLY want an Aeronaut 45. Right now I use the Synapse 25 with a very light packable duffelbag if I need more space (like if I need to bring extra shoes). I know the A45 is perhaps overkill for weekends, but I don’t carry it with me all the time typically, and I want something big enough that if I go shopping I can add more stuff to it without having to check any luggage. I am having a hard time justifying it though as I recently bought the S25 and pretty much every accessory available…. Plus I know that if I get the A45, I’ll also need to get a DLBP as not bringing the S25 AND the A45… and I need a backpack for walking around… and down the rabbit hole we go….

    If you have read all this you deserve a cookie!

    Chocolate chip, please!

    Though I sigh as I am trekking with you sister! I am new to Tom Bihn and realize I want to buy basically every single bag they make, which is apparently the general consensus among TB lovers. So to start my rant: 😁

    I just bought a SK by mistake, meant to buy an SE but soon realized it wasn't a mistake because I love ❤️ , no I mean love, the bag. It will basically replace all my purse type bags now or be put into them because I can't imagine going anywhere without it. However I am also considering getting the pilot/co-pilot (because I can't decide between them). I think the pilot is too big for me because I don't carry a laptop but I like the design of the bag better the co-pilot i.e. placement of pockets etc. I also am eyeing the daylight briefcase because I have seen video of people packing the same amount in the daylight as the co-pilot and it seems to be more packable...

    Then I bought a Nordic A45. I wasn't sure on the Nordic but decided I did really like it but the A45 was too much of a bag for me so I am selling it. I want to try an A30 but then this is where the true rabbit hole starts. Will it feel like A45 in my back (probably my preferred method of carry)? But then since I am in the 30 liter range what about the WF/TS or S25/SA? Which is a whole other bag of worms. TS am afraid it's too big, WF afraid it's too small... and with both not sure I like how compartmentized everything is but then that is exactly why I want both bags in the first place. Then there's the S25 and the SA. When I originally started looking for bags I absolutely did not want a top loading bag so I figured S25. But I also have found that I like to make my own organization while traveling (everything in its place) and the SA is better for that. Or what about the S19 because I'll more than likely be using it as a personal item and want it to fit without issue. But if I am getting the main luggage part then I should get a shoulder carry as the personal item. I also bought a DLBP in original halycon (again by mistake, love the black halycon). And I am completely unsure of how to use this bag in a way that works for me. I am struggling with liking it but it is very packable which is the only thing I actually like....

    Wait... what was your question... oh yeah organization. Personally, I am a huge fan of double sided cubes. I love the eagle creek Spector cubes, especially the double sided, compression, and tube cubes. It sounds as if you're pretty set up. One thing though, I've read/seen/watched many people use their DLBP as a packing cube in the back of the WF/TS and presto! Problem solved.


      Chocholate chip it is! (Although you may want to try the Momofuko Milk bar composte cookies if you havent already - just overlook the name - they are my newest baking addiction)

      You have inspired bag envy - you have thought of, and bought (even if by mistake), the bags I want! Now I will OBVIOUSLY have to go put together a new order.... thanks for that....


        For weekend trips, Have you looked at the Medium Road Duffle (aka the Doggienaut 36)?

        It's that sweet spot between the A30 being too small, the A45 being too big, and it's much lighter and stores in less space because there are no backstraps.

        Plus, the Eagle Creek Specter Clean/Dirty and Compression cubes fit perfectly in it. I love those cubes because at the end of the trip, you're all packed.

        I LOVE my D36.
        Last edited by BWeaves; 04-06-2017, 05:06 AM.


          Well yes, actually I believe I talked myself into potentially buying all the bags and ... ahem... returning the ones that will not fit my needs. Because I am sure there will be some to return, right?! I will have to look up those cookies.

          I have heard a few people talk about the D36. Never really looked into it because I want the back strap option. The one duffel I have been thinking about is the NTFD. It seems about the perfect size for a quick trip or joint to the gym but I am not sure about it because I don't quite think it will fit the shoes I need it to fit. I also don't like the yeoman so.... maybe I'll look the the D36.


            For a road trip, you really don't need the backstraps. For me personally, I can't use backstraps, so I like that the Absolute Shoulder Strap can be attached to the D36 several different ways. Plus, the D36 actually comes with a good strap. I just happen to have 3 Absolute Should Straps, so I might as well use them. I've used the D36 for plane travel and it works great.


              Originally posted by Mbladen View Post
              I think the pilot is too big for me
              Totally with you on the rabbit hole!! The pilot was smaller than i expected it would be person. Of course I had to buy both the ballistic and the halcyon and make the difficult decision to return one of them. I really wanted them both. I do find it hard to visualize the size of the bags, even with a ruler... It would be just faster and I would save a lot of postage if i just bought one of everything up front, but then they would add new colors and i would need more.... It is both scary and comforting to know how many other bag people are out there loose in the world.
              A30-halcyon/UV,, S19-black halcyon/Island, SCB-Original halcyon/Wasabi, MCB-Halycon/Wasabi, SK-black halcyon/Island, SE-Aubergine/Wasabi, LS-Aubergine Fjord, shop bags and numerous bits and bobs in as many colors as i can rationalize


                Originally posted by Apresski View Post
                Chocholate chip it is! (Although you may want to try the Momofuko Milk bar composte cookies if you havent already - just overlook the name - they are my newest baking addiction)
                This comment has nothing to do with bags, but I just finished lunch and was rueing that I did not buy a chocolate chip cookie. But, I work two blocks from a Momofuku milk bar, and I always forget it's there, but this reminded me, so now I will go over there and get a compost cookie.

                The TB community is useful on many fronts.


                  Originally posted by turnleftbrighteyes View Post
                  This comment has nothing to do with bags, but I just finished lunch and was rueing that I did not buy a chocolate chip cookie. But, I work two blocks from a Momofuku milk bar, and I always forget it's there, but this reminded me, so now I will go over there and get a compost cookie.
                  I am seriously jealous of your office location.... Enjoy!

                  PS - they are the best cookies to bake. I go heavy on the pretzel and caramel. Yum.


                    So what did you end up getting?


                      So I was thinking about this thread this morning and thought I would tell you what I discovered. I still love my SK but I also bought an SE. It is the perfect little bag if I just want to carry a few items. I did buy a new A45 when it was released to see if the extra foam padding made any difference on my back. It did not, so it now has a new home. I bought an A30, which I love and is perfect for me. I have bought both the WF and TS. I love the WF. The TS I ended up selling thought there was not much difference. It is slightly bigger and I could tell that. I also felt that I wouldn't use the middle pocket in the way I wanted so then I wouldn't use it at all. Then it seemed like a mute point to me so I stuck with the WF. I also discovered I hate wasabi as the TS had a wasabi interior. As for the S19/S25/SA, well I am still up in air. I bought both the S19 and the SA. The S19 I felt was too small but yet would have been a great day bag. Though I had bought it in cordura and quickly discovered I don't like that material. I ended up selling it. I tried it again with a navy/ solar combo but the previous owner had cats and I'm allergic, so to eBay it went. The SA I had a love/hate relationship with as I said I would. I liked it because it was one big open cavern and I hated it for the same reason. I ended up selling that too though I have a bit of sellers remorse and am thinking about buying it again and giving it another chance. I have not bought an S25 as of yet. I'm waiting on the new release before I buy anything else. I ended up selling the DLBP and he DLBC. I really did not like the look of the DLBP and never found a way to make it work for me. The DLBC I didn't give much of a chance to. It is alright but I really do prefer the copilot. I like the seperate pockets and the water bottle pocket. I did buy both the pilot and the copilot. I do think the pilot is too big but I won't sell it because it is a Nordic/steel and I love the combo. I also think it may come in handy someday...

                      I also bought the D36. I caved here and wanted to see if I could handle the bag. I like the bag but not as much as my A30. As far as duffel bags go it is an awesome duffel bag and I can see using it. However I can't carry that amount of weight on just one side of my body. I have to be able to balance the weight or split it up. Yes, in general it is the same amount of liters I am carrying, or more but I have a bad ankle which does not allow me to carry weight in this manner. So as of now I am selling the D36 or returning it. If it had backpack straps I would keep it. I also don't like the coyote. Its like a green tan and I'm not a fan.. The same with the wasabi here. It has a green tint to it. Its like Puke yellow or puke tan. Just not my thing. If it was just yellow or just tan then it would be a different story. I have also tried the LS, which I am a big fan of but wish the urethane was mesh, at least one side. I own a makers bag and a MCB. I am not a huge fan of messenger bags and am not sure I will hold on to them. Again I don't care for cordura, I seem to be a huge fan of halycon though I love my NTFD and my mini yeoman. I decided to give the yeoman a try though I am still not really a fan of the design. It is prefect to a gym bag/ work bag as I can fit my lunch box and a change of clothes in it so I am only carrying one thing.

                      What did you decide?


                        @Mbladen, how much weight would you say the A30 removable foam padding saves if you remove it from the bag? Are you using the A30 with the foam in or out generally?


                          The bag weighs 2.4 with the foam and 1.4 without( the halycon version). I wouldn't use the bag without the foam padding as to me this defeats the purpose of the backpack straps. I need the stability. I did just try the bag packed both ways and There was a slight difference, but not much. It did pull on shoulders and lower back a bit. Though if you aren't planning on using the backpack straps or don't need the stability then I suppose it wouldn't matter. Have you considered the medium road duffel as it is cheaper and doesn't include the backpack straps or the padding. The d36 weighs in at 2.1 but it is a ballistic bag which adds weight. The foam padding is easily removable if you decide to take it out, at least in the new version.

                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                            Thanks so much for checking! I'm looking at taking a flight with a 6KG carry on limit.... so 1lb would make a big difference then. Maybe a Yeoman duffel would be better in that case, since it's even lighter. But that's the same as the Road Duffel with no backpack straps, which I like to carry the bag around throughout the trip.


                              Originally posted by Mbladen View Post
                              The S19 I felt was too small but yet would have been a great day bag. Though I had bought it in cordura and quickly discovered I don't like that material. I ended up selling it. I tried it again with a navy/ solar combo but the previous owner had cats and I'm allergic, so to eBay it went.
                              That very same S19 (the navy/solar one) was my schoolbag for the first day of summer classes today. It held a large textbook, an enormous textbook, and everything else I needed! So it found a good home.
                              I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

                              I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.