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  1. #16
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    A30 and Daylight, both in Dyenema. An SE in dynema is also good. Clear packing cube with strap for 3-1-1. I know I've gone over, but if you want to unburden yourself, that's the way.

    I also agree on really checking the temps at that time of year up there I was there in Early August and never had a need for wool. I wore long but light pants it was actually warm. Take something in case the NoSeeUms are out. I spent my time at the visitor center at Loch Ness and didn't make it down to the ruins because I was the sacrificial meal to those little buggers. I've tried more natural means and the only thing that works for me are the Deep Forest Wipes by Cuutters. Those are the easiest to pack as well. Only day I forgot them was when I went to visit Nessie.
    Any way of making it to the Tattoo. Tickets might be gone by now, but that's an experience of a lifetime!

  2. #17
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    The Guide's Pack would be another option to consider. It'll fit into most carry-on luggage boxes, and would be better for carrying weight in than the other suggestions as it's got an internal frame.

    Downsides are that it's a shade bigger than the Smart Alec, and a little deeper. Plus it's one of the most expensive packs in the Bihn range. Oh, and it's obviously a backpacking rucksack, so might not fit with the image you're trying to present.

  3. #18
    Forum Member Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post

    I suppose I could take the S19 squashed as flat as possible inside the Mother Lode, which I would under pack as much as possible. Carry it all backpack style in a single unit. Then I would have the S19 as my EDC once I get there. On the way back, if I end up with more stuff than I left with (always), then I would always have the option to bring the S19 as my carry on, and check the Mother Lode. Or just awkwardly haul both of them on the plane with me.

    That's probably the most prudent alternative so far, I suppose... the Mother Lode with the S19 inside it. At least then I can buy something else with those same funds I would have spent on myself-- maybe Tom Bihn gifts for my husband's relatives??
    ^ I have both bags and that's what I was going to suggest. At least try packing everything you would take in each bag and see if it all fits. Put the savings towards another trip somewhere. Smilie

  4. #19
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    It seems the A30/Daylight Backpack combo would be more space efficient.
    This worked really well for me in a couple of trips.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    How? It has no cinch straps.
    I meant to say that it compresses nicely and doesn't look odd partially full. I guess I had Brain bag on the brain when I typed that...
    Last edited by ceb; 02-24-2015 at 10:25 AM.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  6. #21
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    Can you borrow your son's S25 for an evening to practice pack it?

    The weather in western Europe has been much warmer those past summers, don't wear boots.
    Instead of a nice dress, why not bring dressy pants like wrinkle free travel pants.

    If you are of medium built and can do laundry, the S25 is your best bet.
    If you want to bring souvenirs and gifts the A30 with the Daylight Backpack.

    Get everything in Dyneema, the difference in weight is incredible.


    While I have a Brain Bag, I say no to it for transoceanic flights, it looks like a casual backpack and you really don't want to see it checked, even gate checked, because your cabin mates have filled up the overhead with bulky rollaboards to avoid the checking fees.
    Backpack straps and the rough handling given to checked bags do not mix, so that also rules out the Smart Alec.

    The A45, 30, TS and WF look like dress luggage and they have a backpack option.

    Walking, sprinting, waiting in line around an airport holding a Dyneema A45 and carrying a S19 with a SCB as PLO was very very easy, even in late winter, with my jacket, fleece and hoodie over my arm because it was darn workout to make it from one side of the airport to the other.

    The Daylight Backpack wasn't invented then, I think you could replace the S19 with the DLBP.

    Electronics: ditch the Wacom and get a mini mouse,
    -" The equivalent of 1 half cube of assorted computer/charger stuff" that's too much
    (Anker 6-port charger, how big is that aparatus?
    UK plug adapter, a must
    Monster mini multi-outlet strip, which I could ditch if I really had to,it depends how much electronic both you and your husband plan to take, a clever use of each room available outlets could work just as well but you will have to bring 2 plug adaptaters
    Macbook charger, phone spare battery charger,
    several cables, see if you can streamline as much as possible
    in-ear headphones)

    Electronics is very heavy, try to pack down to nothing more than 14 pounds, that is what I did, you'll thank me later.

    Before buying my Dyneema beauties, I used to travel domestically with my Brain Bag and Large Cafe Bag, 45 pounds, I could run with both but at the end of the trips, I always wondered why I was tired on the return trip.

    Before my BB/LCB pair, I dragged non TB bags internationally and domestically. Talk about being exhausted at every stop, needing to rest at the destination and using the evening before departure to pack the majority of our stuff, usually missing out on anything planned that evening. On the return trip, most, if not all the bags, were checked.
    Of course once, on the last flight of the trip, one my bags went missing.
    Last edited by backpack; 02-24-2015 at 12:26 PM.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Can you borrow your son's S25 for an evening to practice pack it?

    The weather in western Europe has been much warmer those past summers, don't wear boots.

    Instead of a nice dress, why not bring dressy pants like wrinkle free travel pants.


    If you are of medium built and can do laundry, the S25 is your best bet.

    If you want to bring souvenirs and gifts the A30 with the Daylight Backpack.

    Get everything in Dyneema, the difference in weight is incredible.


    While I have a Brain Bag, I say no to it for transoceanic flights, it looks like a casual backpack and you really don't want to see it checked, even gate checked, because your cabin mates have filled up the overhead with bulky rollaboard to avoid the checking fees.
    Backpack straps and the rough handling given to checked bags do not mix, so that also rules out the Smart Alec.

    The A45, 30, TS and WF look like dress luggage and they have a backpack option.

    Walking, sprinting, waiting in line around an airport holding a Dyneema A45 and carrying a S19 with a SCB as PLO was very very easy, even in late winter, with my jacket, fleece and hoodie over my arm because it was darn workout to make it from one side of the airport to the other.

    The Daylight Backpack wasn't invented then, I think you could replace the S19 with the DLBP.

    Electronics: ditch the Wacom and get a mini mouse,
    -" The equivalent of 1 half cube of assorted computer/charger stuff" that's too muchTrue
    (Anker 6-port charger, how big is that aparatus?Not that big - less than the size of two packs of cards and weighs little. The advantage is that it adjusts the output of each USP port to what is plugged in, so it will charge power heavy tablets as easily as a flip phone. It comes with a long cord but I've replaced mine with a "figure 8" right angle plug like this Amazon.com: SF Cable, 2 Prong Right Angle Plug Adapter, USA IEC 60320-C7 receptacle to NEMA 1-15P: Electronics to save room and weight.
    UK plug adapter, a must
    Monster mini multi-outlet strip, which I could ditch if I really had to,it depends how much electronic both you and your husband plan to take, a clever use of each room available outlets could work just as well but you will have to bring 2 plug adaptaters I love the Monster strips because it allows me to plug in multiple multi-voltage items with US plugs and only use one outlet adaptor
    Macbook charger, phone spare battery charger,
    several cables, see if you can streamline as much as possible
    in-ear headphones)

    Electronics is very heavy, try to pack down to nothing more than 14 pounds, that is what I did, you'll thank me later.Very good advice

    Before buying my Dyneema beauties, I used to travel domestically with my Brain Bag and Large Cafe Bag, 45 pounds, I could run with both but at the end of the trips, I always wondered why I was tired on the return trip.

    Before my BB/LCB pair, I dragged non TB bags internationally and domestically. Talk about being exhausted at every stop, needing to rest at the destination and using the evening before departure to pack the majority of our stuff, usually missing out on anything planned that evening. On the return trip, most if not all the bags were checked.
    Of course once, on the last flight of the trip, one my bags went missing.
    Yes, I remember those days. See my comments in green above as well.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  8. #23
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Exellent tips everyone. Thanks for all these great suggestions. I'm going to see if I can pare down my electronics, which is adding quite a bit to the overall weight. The other thing I swore I'd bring with me next time we go to a hotel with problematic wifi is a mini travel router, which I ordered last night: Amazon.com: HooToo TripMate Nano Wireless N Pocket Travel Router: Computers & Accessories. It's pretty small and only 1 ounce, so I'm hoping it will make the cut. Has anyone used one of these?

    I'm going to start this process by whittling down what I definitely don't need. Glad to know that the summers are warm enough that I don't need heavy stuff, like my boots. I'll then pile it all up and see what's the smallest container it can fit in. I'll see if I can borrow my son's Synapse 25 for an afternoon just to test. If I can get away with what I've already got, great.

    Electronics so far:

    - 1 UK plug adapter
    - 1 monster mini multi-outlet strip (so I can charge everything off a single outlet)
    - 1 Anker 6-port USB adapter (I did like the long cable which gives me more flexibility for where to position it, but I just ordered the short L shaped as well as a straight one from Amazon, to see which configuration will be better)
    - 4 retractable or short Micro USB cables for charging 2 phones, 1 tablet, 1 spare battery via the Anker
    - 1 kindle (husband's)
    - 2 phones
    - 2 computers (we have to work)
    - chargers for both computers (bulky)
    - charger for spare Samsung phone battery, so I never run out of phone juice
    - I'm considering swapping the wacom for a small portable mouse to save weight and space. I only used my wacom a couple of times on the last trip.
    - small in-ear headphones

    ELECTRONIC STUFF I WANT TO BRING BUT MAY BE EXTRANEOUS:

    - JBL Micro bluetooth speaker. I used this a lot on our last trip. Great while we're cooking or hanging out with relatives. Charges from a micro USB, which I"ll already have.

    - Google Chromecast dongle. So I can cast our photos and videos to the TV, and watch movies via Netflix from my phone (I use Hola to bypass the country restriction). Micro USB port. I've never travelled with this before but I am thinking it would be the most efficient way to broadcast to the TV

    - Hootoo Nano travel router. Uses Micro USB also.

    - I also ordered the larger Hootoo Tripmate Elite to compare to the micro. The advantage of it is that it has a built-in 6000 mAh battery and can charge phones, or be used to charge 2 USB devices at full speed. (Overlap with the Anker?) I could potentially bring this in lieu of the Hootoo Nano and the Anker.... hmmm.... that would give me 3 USB charging ports, when you count the one built into the Monster plug.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  9. #24
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    I have been to Scotland in July/August and it can be quite warm. I am not sure you will need the boots at all. If you are planning on hiking around there, you will need a hiking shoe. I would say the A30 might work well for you; the laptop and other stuff should fit into it, since you are only planning two half cubes of clothes. After a lot of packing and unpacking (see Just For Registered members/Help Me pack my A30 thread), I find that half cubes work better in the A30 than one big packing cube. For every day carry: I would recommend a Co-Pilot; it will hold a MacBook air; it can also hold a ton of other things, and it does "pass" as a purse. You can also use a small shop bag.

  10. #25
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    I have been to Scotland in July/August and it can be quite warm. I am not sure you will need the boots at all. If you are planning on hiking around there, you will need a hiking shoe. I would say the A30 might work well for you; the laptop and other stuff should fit into it, since you are only planning two half cubes of clothes. After a lot of packing and unpacking (see Just For Registered members/Help Me pack my A30 thread), I find that half cubes work better in the A30 than one big packing cube. For every day carry: I would recommend a Co-Pilot; it will hold a MacBook air; it can also hold a ton of other things, and it does "pass" as a purse. You can also use a small shop bag.
    About that Copilot... will it hold a Macbook Air (or in my case, a Macbook 13" Pro Retina) in a cache? I like the small size and it looks like it would be very convenient for car travel and sightseeing-- even more than the Synapse 19-- but I did want to make sure it could do double duty as a laptop bag. From what I read, it looked like I'd have to size up to a Pilot to fit my laptop in its cache. Also, my cache is vertical, so that seems a little more awkward for fitting in a horizontal bag.

    I read your thread about how to pack your A30. Lining up the half cubes like books on a shelf looks like a great way to go.

    I am bringing my Side Effect which will "pass" as a purse as well. Most days I'd only want to carry the stuff that would fit in that. And I don't see hauling my laptop around that much... I'd probably only use it at the houses and hotels we stay in, so in reality, I probably don't need to worry about a larger EDC for when I'm there. (Okay, there's ONE decision finally made!)

    I'm now leaning towards these 2 options:

    Plan A: buy an A30, pack the laptop in its cache inside the A30, and use my Side Effect as my EDC. For overflow on the way home: the Sea to Summit 40 liter duffel which I already own, and it's cheap and strong.

    Plan B: Mother Lode packed so that the whole thing weighs no more than 15 pounds. Overflow fits in the same bag.

    Backup plan for a larger carry bag once I'm there: the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Slingbag which I also own already. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world for carrying heavy stuff, but it's very small and fits in my Side Effect, and works great for groceries, and could carry my laptop in a pinch.

    This is sort of solidifying in my head now. Thanks to all of you for your excellent, helpful suggestions!

    @Seesul - Thanks for the tip to pack some of those insect wipes. I nearly got eaten alive by mosquitos things in Italy several years ago. They were like flying piranhas.

    (Funny how my efforts to get more minimalist always result in a lot more purchases.)
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  11. #26
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    I have been to Scotland in July/August and it can be quite warm. I am not sure you will need the boots at all. If you are planning on hiking around there, you will need a hiking shoe.
    Thanks. My go-to shoe for hiking and running the past few years has been the Vivo Barefoot Evo II. They're minimalist (no padding, zero drop) but the sole is thick enough not to hurt when walking on sharp objects. They feel like slippers. They're waterproof, and they squash down flat. When we went to the French Alps last Spring, I wore them 90% of the time, including hiking in Chamonix. I'll probably wear them on the plane this time. Then I'd only need to bring one extra "nice" pair of black shoes to dress up in. (I still don't own any nice looking yet comfortable dressy shoes.)
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  12. #27
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    About that Copilot... will it hold a Macbook Air (or in my case, a Macbook 13" Pro Retina) in a cache? I like the small size and it looks like it would be very convenient for car travel and sightseeing-- even more than the Synapse 19-- but I did want to make sure it could do double duty as a laptop bag. From what I read, it looked like I'd have to size up to a Pilot to fit my laptop in its cache. Also, my cache is vertical, so that seems a little more awkward for fitting in a horizontal bag.
    Yes, you're correct—you would need a Pilot, which is substantially larger and looks closer to a laptop bag than a purse. I don't think it's too big of a deal that your Cache is vertical, though. It obviously won't work with the horizontal rails, but it's not too hard to use in practice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    I'm now leaning towards these 2 options:

    Plan A: buy an A30, pack the laptop in its cache inside the A30, and use my Side Effect as my EDC. For overflow on the way home: the Sea to Summit 40 liter duffel which I already own, and it's cheap and strong.

    Plan B: Mother Lode packed so that the whole thing weighs no more than 15 pounds. Overflow fits in the same bag.

    Backup plan for a larger carry bag once I'm there: the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Slingbag which I also own already. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world for carrying heavy stuff, but it's very small and fits in my Side Effect, and works great for groceries, and could carry my laptop in a pinch.
    Do you see yourself using the Aeronaut after this trip? If so, I would recommend it—it's one of my favorite bags, very versatile, and could do the job of your Sea to Summit sling bag—not as elegantly for just a laptop, but much more comfortably for heavier loads (including hauling groceries). If you can't see you or a family member ever using it again, though, it might be best to go with what you already have. I say this even though I am someone who seems to catch get-new-stuff-itis every time I go on holiday. The A30 isn't exactly inexpensive, and it kind of does sound like it might be a compromise for what you want it for, though I might be wrong.

    Regarding shoes: without knowing your style I don't know if these recommendations are helpful, but knowing that you wear Vivobarefoots (barefeet?), I might suggest Camper, which I always do, and Soft Star Shoes. The former aren't zero drop but they do have low-profile insoles and decent ground feel; the latter come in a ballet flat style that are zero drop. The Campers to me get a slight edge, mostly because they're a bit more interesting and have some options beyond the plain ballet flat.

    +10,000 on the mosquito wipes.

    ETA: regarding electronic accessories—not sure if any of this will be helpful but here goes:
    * Would it be necessary to take a multi-plug power strip if you're already carrying a multi-port USB charger? Besides the things you mention I don't know what else people in your family are bringing so the answer might be "yes."
    * Also (and I'm an idiot about non-Apple devices so forgive me): can you charge your extra phone battery without using a special charger? If not, the new HooToo might be a good buy because you could just charge your battery with that on your flight, and leave the extra battery and charger at home (not sure if that's possible).
    * Is the Kindle for you or for your husband? If it's for him, make him carry it Wink If it's for you, could you use the Kindle app on your phone? I know it's not as good, but it does save a little bit of weight and is one less thing to keep track of and charge up.
    * Some of the "nice to have" items on your list do sound nice to have, and seem to be enjoyed by the whole family. Can you split the weight between you/the kids/your husband? If everyone is using these devices, it seems fair to have them help carry it.
    Last edited by Badger; 02-25-2015 at 08:41 AM.

  13. #28
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    HI Amy
    The Macbook Air 11 inch fits fine in the Co-Pilot; and will in addition hold a Kindle; or iPad Mini; various chargers and cables; a water bottle etc. It will not hold a Macbook 13, I am afraid. I think you could pack it into the A30, but it does mean fishing it out at security, I guess.

  14. #29
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    @Badger -- thank you so much for your suggestions. I'd never considered the A30 as a multi-use day carrying bag before. I love the form factor of it. I'll ruminate on that option a few more days, and also wait for my new gadgets to arrive so I can see what electronics make the cut.

    I have never heard of those Camper shoes-- thanks for the suggestion and I'll take a look. I hate the look of my big feet in ballet flats or mary janes, but if they work best with whatever outfits I end up taking, I'm sure I can get over it. I've always been jealous of those women who look so cute in those types of flats. I think they make me look grotesque, like a sad clown at a freak show. (Irony: why is it I do not feel that way when wearing Vibram 5-toed monkey shoes?)

    The Kindle will be carried by my husband, as will his own laptop, charger, and personal stuff, but I just wanted to make sure he's going to have a way to charge his devices with the plugs I bring. I can always shove some of these electronics in his bag.

    The spare phone battery charger is very light (maybe 1 ounce or less), and it means that it can charge up a spare battery overnight while my phone's internal battery also charges-- leaving me 2 fully charged batteries by morning. I definitely do want to bring it. On our last trip to France, taking photos and using my GPS all day, I had to swap batteries by late afternoon. I suspect it'll be the same situation this time. (The iPhone users in our group were a *leetle beet* jealous, I suspect.) Also, its a lot more compact to bring a tiny spare battery with me than to bring a heavy battery pack and cable, and have to wait for my phone to charge.

    The Monster outlet strip is going simply because we need a way to charge our two laptops, and it also gives me an extra foot of length from the wall, and because it also has a USB charger on it. I hate that it's as heavy as it is-- half a pound-- but it's something I always bring and always use. I've used in in airports a lot. I've even given them as gifts. How geeky.

    I've got high hopes for the Hootoo Tripmate Elite as a replacement for the Anker. Between the Hootoo and the Monster, I'd have a way to charge 3 USB devices, which means my husband would bring just one additional "wall wart" for charging the fourth device-- his Kindle. And he could bring the Hootoo on long day trips so he has a way to top off his phone's non-replaceable battery. The Hootoo should alleviate our problematic public wifi problems we've experienced in the past, and also it can serve as a NAS for us to wirelessly share & upload our phone photos to a USB stick (not sure if I'd actually use that feature or not).

    I'm thinking the Hootoo nano will stay behind because it's not as multi-use. But I may bring the Chromecast since it's tiny and light.

    I think I'll definitely bring the bluetooth speaker because it always makes a gathering more fun when you have music.

    I'll weigh it all when it comes in and see if I can make it happen!
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  15. #30
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    I have never heard of those Camper shoes-- thanks for the suggestion and I'll take a look. I hate the look of my big feet in ballet flats or mary janes, but if they work best with whatever outfits I end up taking, I'm sure I can get over it. I've always been jealous of those women who look so cute in those types of flats. I think they make me look grotesque, like a sad clown at a freak show. (Irony: why is it I do not feel that way when wearing Vibram 5-toed monkey shoes?)
    These are one of my favorite pair of shoes (by Camper). I have the all black and a green/citron pair. Personally, I think they look better in the non all black option. Their "Right" collection is really comfortable. I've walked 5-14 miles in them easily.

    This year they have a lot more flat options.

    I sprayed my shoes with a waterproofing spray and did just fine in the rain in London. They pack super flat. I was only in the city, but all I wore were the Campers and a pair of minimal sneakers.

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