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  1. #1
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    Help! Too many choices!

    I am a long time member of the 1 large and 1 small bag club (sometimes putting small bag in large bag, for 1 bag).

    I want a large bag to be a backpack.

    It needs to hold Eagle Creek Specter Tech packing cubes: 1 medium and 2 small (this holds all the clothes I would need for 7 days).
    1 pair of shoes (size 7) sandals or dress depending on destination.
    Toiletry kit

    The second bag needs to be a crossbody and if it can transform into a backpack that would be great.

    It needs to hold:
    1 water bottle
    1 IPad
    1 jacket (lightweight for air conditioned places)
    My EDC TC
    Room for items I might buy during day trips.

    I keep confusing myself in what would be best. Synik (either size), A30, Maker’s Bag, mini Yeoman . . .

    I don’t want the bag for my clothes to be too packed, because I might want to put the second bag in it for ease of carrying.

    I am 5’ 6” and about 120 pounds and small frame.

    Any suggestions?Smilie
    Last edited by Katsage; 08-09-2019 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    A30 for sure for the main bag! I'm roughly the same size as you and can easily fit 3 EC packing cubes in it- maybe even 4 if needed. Shoes will fit in an end pocket with no trouble. The size and style of it means you can fit a TON in there for longer trips, but it isn't huge for shorter ones. I love my A30 a lot.

    The 1 small bag that can fit inside sometimes is my biggest struggle, but after trying the Co-Pilot (which cannot fit in the A30 if it's packed, but can fit a water bottle), I went down to the Side Kick for the small bag. It can be squished successfully in the end pocket of my Halcyon A30. It's crossbody but can't become a backpack- it can become a fanny pack though, if you're into retro style. Smilie

    One other option that can hold a bit more would be a Maker's Bag- not sure how the sizing for that is and if it would fit in an end pocket. Maybe someone else can chime in on that.

  3. #3
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    Now that’s a very interesting thread. I’m in the same situation as you, although I already settled on my main bag which is the A30 (and recently the A45 for longer trips)
    But for the small bag I’m still struggling. I ordered a SK precisely because it would fit in the end pocket of the A30. But I find it too small for what I carry and I can’t fit a water bottle in it. I’ll still use it because I like the flexibility of being able to stuff it in the A30 pocket. But I’m considering getting a CP, DLBC or P.U. to use as second bag.

    I didn’t consider the MB because of the flap system. I much prefer a bag that closes shut with zippers. Otherwise it looks like a great bag and well sized for your use.
    Last edited by theedge; 08-09-2019 at 12:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    From what I've heard, you're not going to beat the A30 for the main bag, just like runningtravels said.

    For crossbody/shoulder day bags, my personal favorite is the Side Kick (already mentioned), but space for what you said is really constrained unless you do a 16oz water bottle, tiny jacket, and iPad mini, and transfer your TC contents into the SK's pockets.

    Based on recent comments from others, if you don't need much additional structure beyond what the TC provides, the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, Daylight Briefcase, and Pop Tote are all pretty minimal and extremely packable while providing enough space to hold what you said plus varying amounts of additional "stuff", although I don't see an easy way to turn any into a backpack.

    The A30 Packing Cube Backpack is not my style, but fits the A30 ( Smilie ) and looks extremely versatile, having backpack, sling, and fanny modes.

  5. #5
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    I know several are saying A30, I personally would go Synik (and obviously I've never used it). Nothing wrong with the A30, but the organization of the Synik/Synapse is great. And, by all accounts the straps on the Synik are awesome and will be a more comfortable wear than the A30.

    For Cross bag, I would try a PCSB to see if that works. If its not rigid enough (may not be for an iPad if you don't have an iPad case/cover), then you can use it as a Packing Cube.

  6. #6
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    I totally forgot about the PCSB when writing my response, but I was torn between that and the SK before choosing the SK. It will definitely fit the water bottle and a bit more than the SK, so that might be a good option!

    Quick note for theedge- I didn't like the CP for a 2nd bag because it just looked huge on my frame. If you're taller or larger overall than me, or maybe use an underfilled Halcyon one, it might be a fine fit.

  7. #7
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    I think carrying a second bag reduces the need for the organization of the synik, especially if a laptop is not on your must-carry lost. And the A30 is a perfect bag for carrying stuff from one place to another that you don't need to access en route. The second bag has the stuff you need on the road.

    For that two bag combo, I'd go A30 and co-pilot (ZTSB packed in the pilot for shopping).

  8. #8
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Help! Too many choices!

    The side kick can fit a water bottle if you get a square bottle like the memo bottles. I am similar in size (5ft 130lbs) and I find that lighter is better in any bag, but the frame sheet is a game changer. I would recommend if youíre going with the synapse or A30 get the frame Sheet. Although my smart alec doesnít necessarily need a frame sheet I canít help but wonder sometimes how much it would be a nice added benefit. The synik of course will come with it. In the past for two bag Iíve done a synapse 25 with pop tote, smart alec with pop tote, synapse 19 with large ztsb, s19 with pop tote, A30 with packing cube backpack, packing cube backpack with large ztsb. If I had to do two bag again and one was a backpack then I prefer something with a crossbody strap, like a mini/small yeoman, side kick, or a dlbc. I wish there was a way to add a crossbody strap to the pop tote or the shop bags. I know the A30 is a dream bag to live out of, but I am one of the few people that didnít like it. It didnít ride well on my body in backpack mode and was not a comfortable carry in duffel mode. Iím an odd bird though. My current travel carry is a smart alec with a fanny pack (yikes, so uncool), because I like the cavern style of the smart alec, but I fly spirit and need a small inflight bag that I can tuck away from gatekeeper attendant eyes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  9. #9
    Forum Member Aeon's Avatar
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    My "one-bag" go-to combo is the Smart Alec with the Side Kick as an UMP. I use the SK as a crossbody purse at my destination. If I need to add a second bag, out comes my small Yeoman Duffle. I normally fill it with clothes, a second pair of shoes, and toiletries so it's very lightweight. I like the Yeoman because it can be checked on the return trip, and can be used as a gym or overnight bag.

    Recently, I've grabbed the Yeoman as my main travel bag and paired it with the TC which is my EDC purse. This works most of the time, but I have wanted a larger EDC when I'm out all day, and I'd prefer a backpack over a crossbody bigger than the SK or SCB. I think the SN22 (or S19) will work well for that. Great organization for EDC and my TC can easily fit in it.

    Or, I'd add a packable backpack and put it in my backpack or Yeoman.

    So either a SA+SK with a Daylight Backpack, or Travel Cubelet +small Yeoman Duffle + DLBP. For reference, I'm 5'3” and size XXS/XS, so most TB bags visually look like they're about swallow me whole, but that doesn't bother me.

    **

    Synapse 25 - When I purchased it, I thought it would be the great one-bag to rule them all. It worked amazing well for EDC, but I hated it for travel. I'm a put everything in a packing cube and throw it in my pack type, and the Synapse's outer pockets just messed my packing style up. I had to pack the S25 Tetris style and that got old real quickly. I had no issue carrying the S25 all day though. (I'll note that I prefer the length of the S25 over the S19 that I sold. The S19 always felt like it rode too high and was creeping up my back, so I had to let out the straps so it sat lower on my back. It wasn't a deal breaker, but I definitely reached for my S25 over the S19 every time because it fit me better and accommodated my EDC much better.)

    Aeronaut 30 – I purchased it because it's a duffle bag and fits my packing style over the Synapses. Unfortunately, it's an uncomfortable carry. If I hand carry, I'm leaning over toward that side. Ditto if I wear it on one shoulder. If I wear it crossbody, the strap (Absolute, mini-Op Tech, doesn't matter) creeps up onto my neck. Worn as a backpack, it is NOT comfortable for anything longer than 10 minutes. That's not the fault of the bag; it's designed to be a duffle first and foremost, but I don't get much use out of it.

    Long live Burnt Orange! Zest! 152!

  10. #10
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    I am a big fan of the Aeronaut in situations like you described. The second bag helps with tech goodies that may not have a natural spot in the Aeronaut and can make things more readily accessible when the Aeronaut is stowed. For the second bag, I have both the Co Pilot and DLBC and love both. The DLBC in halcyon packs really well inside other bags.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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