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Moving away from backpacks as personal items: how'd you do it?

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    Originally posted by bchaplin View Post
    I agree that this is a quandary. Some people carry both bags, "turtle-style".
    My husband has taken to doing it this way. He uses the Smart Alec as his main carryon, but he uses a WF Packing Cube Backpack as his EDC (including keeping his laptop in it). When he flies, he does NOT like to reshuffle stuff around, so the stuff in his PCBP stays in there. That means he carries his Smart Alec as a backpack, then slings the PCBP over and on top of the Smart Alec as a second backpack, double-decker style.

    He says he doesn't mind, but it's a little tricky for him to balance that PCBP on top of his SA. In his situation, a larger Packing Cube Shoulder Bag (an extra large one about the size of the PCBP) would probably be the best solution; he could easily just sling that thing over his shoulder or wear it cross-body when he's carrying his SA.


      Originally posted by backpack View Post
      You can use a backpack and a luggage that has a backpack mode.

      If the trip is tiring, complicated or both, the Daylight Backpack or even an almost empty S19 can be slipped into the luggage in backpack mode.

      I am sure the Daylight Backpack is ok in the Tristar, A30 and A45, people who own the Western Flyer need to share their experience.
      An empty DLBP or a DLBC easily slips into the strap compartment of my WF and gives me something to use as a day bag at my destination...

      On the flight, my Scottevest and/or a small bag (SE, PCSB, and now a SK), hold what I need for the flight and can slip into my main bag for traveling through the airport.
      Last edited by Grandcache; 12-08-2016, 04:20 PM.
      Lots of assorted purples, some blues, and a bit of black: 2S19, 5SE, 2WF, MCB, SCB, Imago, 2S, LS, TT, K, 2QC, 5 3D, 4WFSBPC, 2WFBPPC, FJNB, 4Wallets, 4LSB, 2SSB, DLBP, Pilot, Assorted sacks, packing cubes, organizer pouches, key straps :-)


        Just because the Aeronaut can be carried backpack-style doesn't mean it has to be. I've done a lot of trips with my Smart Alec and Aeronaut 45. The Smart Alec gets carried as a backpack while the Aeronaut rides on an Absolute Shoulder Strap. I find it the combo works great.


          For a 3-week international trip, I packed most of my things in an A-45, and had "seat stuff" and valuables in a DLBP. I initially stuffed a SSB in one of the pockets, for shopping & general whatnot. I had the same problem - what to do with 2 backpacks on my 5'3" frame?
          Easy! Drop the DLBP into the SSB, and hey, presto! Padded handles to carry the (packed) DLBP at my side. Bonus points for having extra room to shove a bottle of water & my lunch in there, too!
          Once at my destination, things not necessary for EDC went into the A-45 & into Hostel locker. SSB into outer pocket of DLBP, which was my lightweight walking-around carry.
          Black Dyneema/Wasabi SA (with UMP & LMP and GloWire), Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Olive/Wasabi MCB, Verde/UV Swift, Black Dyneema/Island A30, Black Dyneema/Iberian Co-Pilot, PCSB in Wasabi, SSB's in Black & Wasabi, LSB's in Zest & NW Sky, TT's in Steel & Wasabi, Various Packing Cubes, TSS's, YSS's, OP's, and QKITs


            I don't take a backpack as a personal item, I take my co-pilot or LCB. I could take a backpack as a personal item, but I just don't pack enough to warrant it and if I did need one, I'd just stuff it into my A45 empty.

            I am a HUGE proponent of doing laundry (even on vacation...it not like I'm beating the clothes against a rock by hand) so I usually only pack 5-7 days of clothing regardless of the trip length. It also helps that nobody cares how fashionable I am (i.e., I'm not a model or celebrity and don't have to dress like one). Clean, business casual is A-OK for my business & travel - the company pays for laundry over 4 nights for business, and I seek out a laundromat or coin-op on vacation (there's an awesome on in Athens!)

            I am extremely regimented on how much weight I carry per trip (<20 lbs) especially since I love to use my A45 in backpack mode so I really feel what I packed. I always list everything I take on a trip, and then note what I don't use so I don't bring it again - this is really what helped me get to 2 bag travel (half empty A45 and half empty co-pilot). I love it...its not like there isn't a Walmart or whatever in Orlando...you aren't going to the Mars. Pack light, buy stuff at your destination if you really need to, go forth and conquer.

            If you prefer to carry a backpack, that's cool - you can hand carry your overhead luggage (or not carry a personal item and shove the backpack up there). But my opinion is to really be critical of what you're packing and maybe you'll be able to consolidate the overhead and backpack, if you wanted.
            Last edited by snayak; 12-08-2016, 08:41 PM.


              Having only just become a back pack person when travelling here is what I have done over years of travelling for business/pleasure.

              Roll-aboard with briefcase/messenger/horizontal style personal or laptop bag that would hook on the suitcase handles
              Roll-aboard with messenger/tote/shoulder vertical style personal or laptop bag that would hook on the suitcase handles
              Roll-aboard suitcase with computer compartment and purse

              All of the bags were capable of going in the suitcase but rarely went there because I wanted an on-the-plane bag or an on-the-ground bag.

              Since switching to Tom Bihn I carry an S25 and a side-effect. Since the SE fits in the S25 and the S25 goes under the seat - no need for separate plane bag. On business trips I'm only there one night usually so the S25 goes everywhere with me - much easier than towing a suitcase and a laptop bag.

              I've considered the NFTD and a MCB as laptop bag but I like just having to keep track of the one bag. Also, my padded laptop cover has a shoulder strap if I really want to just take the laptop into the office.


                I can understand moving away from backpacks as personal items. I personally hate them as I have to take them off my back to get things out of them. I am about to go on a 5 day trip to Scotland and plan to get an A30 and pack a Sidekick in it for the plane. I will have a 13" MacBook Pro with me along with many things in a 3-1-1 bag I will need to take out at security. I can follow up after the trip to let you know how it goes. I am so looking forward to one bagging it this trip! I hate carrying a lot of luggage with me and I hope it goes well.


                  Originally posted by teprice View Post
                  My wife and I got away last weekend. I met her there carrying the s25. She came with the a45 with one absolute strap. On the way home I realized the problem with having two bags that are best backpack carried.
                  I carried the a45 on my back and slung the s25 cross bodied with the absolute strap...one end clipped to the handle the other where a waist strap would attach. It wasn't perfect but way better than carrying the s25 by the handle.
                  I even had hands free to drink coffee.

                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  What a great idea! I may try using the shoulder strap I have with my S25. Thanks!
                  Navy/Wasabi S25, Sitka Mini OP,
                  Nordic/Iberian SE, Nordic PCSB, Navy Medium Clear OP, Iberian 8" Key Strap, Ultraviolet 8" Key Strap,
                  Black/NWS SK, Ultraviolet Large OP, Fjord Small TT, Verde Small Double OP, Island Origami Swan, Island 3D OP , Island SSC , Nordic/NWS LCB, Multi Color Clear OW


                    Originally posted by pott View Post
                    For example if I'm gone for one week, I COULD take a Tri-Star. But then how do I bring my laptop to work?
                    Or, for a three weeks vacation without the laptop, I could take an Aeronaut 45. But then what personal item do I take with me on my airplane seat?
                    If you ask me, *not* having a personal item take up extra legroom is a bonus. Insofar as I have a personal item, I always go with something that takes up so little space I can still stretch out my legs or just innocently put it in the overhead bins. (I actually got a Side Kick for the main purpose of being a "personal item").

                    Having said that, to address the first point, why not get a Brain Cell? You can use it in your Tri-Star as a laptop compartment, but remove it and carry it on its own to work. Maybe it's not the most stylish option, but hey, it's better than a naked laptop.