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  1. #1
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    First trip with my S25. Impressions.

    So, I just got back from my first trip with my new S25 (black ballistic) and wanted to share a few thoughts about one bagging with it and overall impressions in general. Previously I've always used a Filson duffle bag. I got the bag a few days before my first trip with it and I agonized over what bag to get in general (from other manufacturers) and what size (I briefly debated on the S19) before I settled on the S25. When I opened the box I was surprised at the overall size then I started putting some edc items in there and it started looking better and fit great. I got an F Stop Gear small ICU to fit my photo stuff in but ended up not using it at all on the trip because it just took up way too much space. I liked having a bunch of organizational pockets to put little accessories in and I just wrapped my cameras in clothes and called it a day. Which brings me to my next two points: next time I need to get packing cubes or something and how much I love having external organizational pockets. On that first point, I couldn't afford to buy anything before this trip but I immediately noticed how a packing cube or two would have really helped me keep everything together and more organized in general. I think I'd like to try some compression cubes from Eagle Creek or something from Amazon just to help slim down all the bulky cotton items and just stick my cameras in Domke wraps or something. The external organizational pockets were a damn lifesaver. I packed my S25 completely up and it easily slid under the seat on our flights (737) and they made it so easy to stash stuff and quickly grab stuff when I needed them (snacks, passports, wallet, ear buds, iPhone charger, etc). I don't think I'd travel without a bag having external organization again. Stuff for next time, different toiletry bag and a few more small organizational things so I don't have shit just free floating in the bag. Also, I now know why people hate on cotton so much when traveling. That stuff took up so much room and was so bulky and took forever to dry in Mexico (granted it was humid because it's hurricane season but still). I definitely think I could have saved space/weight by having more tech wear not to mention odor prevention and faster drying and keeping me cooler during the day in general. I'll *definitely* be adding some merino/tech shirts at the very least to my wardrobe soon (when I can afford it).

    Bag impressions, the S25 is literally perfect for me. I got it with the frame and I think that helped with keeping stuff from poking me in the back. Again, organization was a lifesaver on the trip and it's working out great for edc so far. I think the S19 would be fine for edc but definitely wouldn't have cut it when I travel. Materials and fit/finish are awesome which I expected. I fully expect this bag to last me a long time. I did my research and I'm a BIFL kind of guy so I didn't mind spending the money and definitely think the bag hits the sweet spot for performance to cost ratios for me.

    Sorry, I didn't know where to put this since it kind of pertains to bag discussion and kind of pertains to travel/packing.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for sharing this! I'm curious to know how long the trip was, and whether you were carrying anything other than the S25.

    I recently bought an S25 Guide's Edition, and the organization has been a revelation! It's such a wonderful improvement over the backpacks I've been using for decades, typically just a bucket with one external zippered pocket. With the S25, there's a place for everything, and I can retrieve small items without rummaging through the bottom of the pack.

  3. #3
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    I was gone for 4 days. I didn't carry anything else but the S25. My wife is definitely not a minimalist packer so I even had a little bit of her crap in my bag as well and she wanted me to have a different button up for all 4 nights of dinner so if I was traveling solo I could have for sure traveled lighter by only taking 2 button ups and 2 t shirts and rotating them, not packing some of her stuff in my bag, etc. I could have also only brought my film Leica and some film rather than that plus digital equipment (she does social media stuff so we had to have the digital stuff).

  4. #4
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    next time I need to get packing cubes or something
    I have a medium tri-star packing cube that fits great in the S25. Width-wise, it slides in well; it only takes up 2/3 of the S25's vertical height and half or less of its depth.


    Quote Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
    I'll *definitely* be adding some merino/tech shirts at the very least to my wardrobe soon (when I can afford it).
    This gear is definitely pricey. With that caveat, check out Duckworth. Their vapor tees are only 30% merino, but my usage suggests they have about 95% of the odor-resistant properties of 100% merino. Get a tee and a polo and you'll be all set for a week or more. I will note, however, that their shirts run long. If you are not a tucker-inner or you are short, Duckworth gear might not be for you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
    My wife is definitely not a minimalist packer
    Neither is mine, but I coaxed her into switching out her Patagonia 32L travel backpack (a great backpack, but no TB) for an S25 in alphaviolet. Now if only I can convince her to get rid of the wheelie suitcase...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdh View Post
    I have a medium tri-star packing cube that fits great in the S25. Width-wise, it slides in well; it only takes up 2/3 of the S25's vertical height and half or less of its depth.




    This gear is definitely pricey. With that caveat, check out Duckworth. Their vapor tees are only 30% merino, but my usage suggests they have about 95% of the odor-resistant properties of 100% merino. Get a tee and a polo and you'll be all set for a week or more. I will note, however, that their shirts run long. If you are not a tucker-inner or you are short, Duckworth gear might not be for you.
    Thanks for the tip! I might go with the Tri-Star cube or I thought about trying out some of the Eagle Creek compression cubes to try and save a little bit of space. I've got a few trips coming up (1 trip each month till 2019) and I have an REI near work so I might try a generic compression cube or two first and return them if I don't like them since they're cheaper. On the second bit, I'm not much of a tucker inner but I don't mind spending a little money to get something nice if it'll work better for me. I won't wear them all the time so I'm not too worried about them breaking down but the SmartWool stuff looks like a good entry into the field too. I'd *really* like to get an Outlier Core Pack (Slim Dungarees and Ultrafine T) but I'll probably start with some Lululemon ABC Slim Warpstream pants and a SmartWool 150 T shirt and go from there.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
    I'd *really* like to get an Outlier Core Pack (Slim Dungarees and Ultrafine T)
    You and me both!

    I'll probably start with some Lululemon ABC Slim Warpstream pants and a SmartWool 150 T shirt and go from there.
    That sounds like a reasonable plan. I've had generally good experience with both companies, though I haven't used either product specifically.

    (FWIW, Duckworth also has a 100% merino fabric for its tee shirts called Maverick.)

    Enjoy the S25!

  8. #8
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    What kind of camera do you have? A Billingham Hadley Pro insert fits perfectly in the main section. When I don’t use that, I use those neoprene lens pouches for my lenses and they clip on the o-rings. A Tenba BYOB fits in the bottom pocket nicely as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
    I have an REI near work so I might try a generic compression cube or two first and return them if I don't like them since they're cheaper. On the second bit, I'm not much of a tucker inner but I don't mind spending a little money to get something nice if it'll work better for me.
    REI does their own store brand merino blend items too, so check those out.
    I'm currently using some of their Tareen short sleeve t-shirts (currently disco'd) as well as some Icebreaker long sleeve shirts
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcumeda View Post
    What kind of camera do you have? A Billingham Hadley Pro insert fits perfectly in the main section. When I don’t use that, I use those neoprene lens pouches for my lenses and they clip on the o-rings. A Tenba BYOB fits in the bottom pocket nicely as well.
    I've got a small variety. Leica M3, Leica IIIg, Rollei 3.5E3, Canon F-1 and a few lenses for each and a Fuji X Pro2 I use for the wife's social media stuff. If it's just me traveling I just take the M3 and maybe the IIIg, Rollei or F-1 and some film. If I'm going somewhere with her we have to take the Fuji so it's probably gonna be the M3 and and one lens and maybe the IIIg because it's small. I got a F-Stop Gear Small ICU off eBay and it was way too big but I'll keep it for storage anyways. The wraps seemed to work fine. I don't baby my stuff but I'm not slinging my gear all around either.

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