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  1. #1
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    NFTD and Luminary used as carryon & personal item overseas, Co-Pilot went along too

    I just returned from a two-week trip to Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, London and Dublin carrying only the NFTD (Night Flight Travel Duffel) and the Luminary. I haven’t checked luggage in about ten years so everything I pack is in my carry-on and personal item (if one is allowed!). I have a Synapse 19 which is my go-to carry-on bag but didn’t want to carry two backpacks. I was determined to try out the Luminary as my EDC on the trip so I had to get creative. I bought the NFTD last year for my husband to use as his personal item but it’s too big to qualify as that on Norwegian Air so I decided to make it work as my carry-on bag. I bought him a Co-Pilot to use as his personal item. Sadly I figured all this out too late to order the packing bags made specifically for the NFTD. I ended up using a small square generic packing bag I picked up from TJ Maxx which worked okay but I will be ordering the NFTD packing bags once they’re available. My husband uses an Eddie Bauer backpack as his carry-on but when it’s ready for retirement I think a Synapse 25 will be next.

    So here is what I packed in the NFTD starting with shoes (women’s size 7) - I packed a pair of flats and a pair of sandals in each of the larger end compartments. I used the 3D clear organizer cube as my 3-1-1 bag and packed it on top of one pair of shoes. I stashed my camera, a spare pair of eyeglasses and my sunglasses on top of the other pair of shoes. In the end curved zipper pockets I had odds and ends like cough drops, a baggie of band-aids, Compeed in their own container (great to take in case of blisters which nearly always happen- we walk alot), extra pack of tissues and wet ones wipes.

    In the main compartment I packed one pair of pants, one pair of leggings, one tunic top, one short-sleeved tee shirt, one long-sleeved tee shirt and a thin jean jacket – all of this was folded as flat as possible and stacked on top of each other. In the small square packing cube I had 2 pairs of socks, a silk scarf, three pairs of underwear and one bra – this was placed on top of the stacked clothes in the main compartment. I could have fit more in there.

    In the Luminary I had a Kindle with charger in the zipped back part along with a small notebook and home cell phone. In the main compartment I had a small zip-up bag (with mascara, lipstick, hair bands, comb, bobby pins, and a barrette), a Cubelet (with allergy medicine, prescription medicine and packets of Sudafed, immodium and a small container with some motrin), a small cross-body purse (with passport, travel cell phone, pen, hand sanitizer, RFID wallet, tissues), an umbrella and an empty water bottle. I left the middle zipper inside unzipped as it was easier to pack the rolled raincoats across the bottom.

    I carried a raincoat on the plane, which is the kind you can fold up, however after arrival I rolled it up and stashed it in the Luminary along with my husband’s raincoat when we were out and about along with a camera, packed snacks and water bottle. I kept band-aids, mints and chapstick in the tiny zippered sections under the main zipper. I wish I could have stashed my cell phone in one of those small pockets but it was too big to fit.

    The Co-Pilot was also a winner – my husband used it as his personal item and it is the Mary Poppins of bags! In one of the front side zipper compartments his 3D clear organizer cube (used as a 3-1-1 bag) fit with his camera on top. In the other front side zipper compartment he put a (generic) organizer cube (packed with both camera chargers and three converter plugs for the UK & Ireland) with space left on top. In the water bottle container he stashed an umbrella, again with space left over. In the main compartment he packed a 10-inch tablet and his very bulky earphone case along with tissues and a pack of gum stashed in the interior pockets. In the back open pocket he had a Reader’s Digest and a folder with our itinerary information. With all of that there was still room for more.

    I don’t usually carry a back-pack as an EDC so it was an adjustment on my part but the Luminary was very light and convenient. I am short (5’2”) so it hit my back in the right spot. My husband is taller and I think it would look a bit funny on him. I did find at times my back was sweaty especially after some particularly long coastal treks but it didn’t bother me. As far as keeping things dry, it worked great. We were in a pouring rain walking quite some distance (another coastal walk); I wore the Luminary over top of my raincoat so it was completely exposed. Once we were back in the car I checked the contents and everything in there was dry.

    So a big thumbs-up for all three bags. These bags are addictive. When I first bought the Synapse 19 and read the forums I thought why do these people have so many bags??? Now I know...

  2. #2
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    Nicely done! Thanks for sharing.

    I am laughing at your last line, I totally get that!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the trip report! That detailed packing list was super-helpful.

    I'm going to Scotland in mid-September and have been thinking a lot about how I can fit my clothes into the NFTD. It's my goal, anyway.

    Quick question about the raincoat: Do you think that in a month's time, the weather in the Highlands will be cold enough to require a winter coat? Were you warm enough with the raincoat all the time, including the evenings? This is the conundrum for me. I even hit up the REI sale looking for outerlayers. Overdressing and underdressing all have their perils. People sometimes recommend layering, but I actually think having one coat might be preferable to toting both a raincoat and something to line it with, which I've done on previous trips out of necessity.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  4. #4
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    I would take a rain coat that is more than a windbreaker, but without a thinsulate liner (unless you're coming from Florida or something).

    Scotland is a funny place, weather-wise. I used to live in Glasgow and when I would go out to Argyll, which is only an hour or two drive away, I would have to take another layer because it was always colder out there. Same probably applies in the highlands, though I didn't spend as much time up there as I did out west.

    One of the biggest differences in my experience of moving from the US to Scotland is how damp-cold feels vs dry-cold (usually damp-cold in Scotland). Damp cold feels horrible and bone-shivering to me, whereas dry cold, even well below freezing, feels crisp and refreshing. It is hard for me to say what you should pack/wear since I am used to the cold UK summers but I do just wear long sleeves and a raincoat in the fall. Maybe a nice pashmina shawl would be wise as well.

    Hope this helps!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Cristina

    You are living my dream and i would love to talk to you about living Scotland. I would love the chance to chat with you if you don't mind.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendybeachbum View Post
    Cristina

    You are living my dream and i would love to talk to you about living Scotland. I would love the chance to chat with you if you don't mind.
    Sure thing! PM me anytime.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Quick question about the raincoat: Do you think that in a month's time, the weather in the Highlands will be cold enough to require a winter coat?
    Just a thought: when my wife and I visited Scotland in May, our Airbnb host said that many guests don't bring extra layers on purpose, but instead visit a thrift shop on their first day in country to purchase a cheap jacket/coat, and then re-dinate it when they leave. Your values may vary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs_Wilde View Post
    Sadly I figured all this out too late to order the packing bags made specifically for the NFTD. I ended up using a small square generic packing bag I picked up from TJ Maxx which worked okay but I will be ordering the NFTD packing bags once they’re available.

    These bags are addictive. When I first bought the Synapse 19 and read the forums I thought why do these people have so many bags??? Now I know...
    I just wanted to say that the Mini Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cubes are close to the size of the Night Flight Halcyon Packing Cubes that are currently in production. The main size difference is that the rectangular cross section of the NFTD Halcyon Packing Cubes (7.9" x 6.3" x 3.5"/200 x 160 x 90 mm) means that there is extra room in the shorter direction (6.3"/160 mm) if you place it inside the Mini Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cube (8.4" x 8" x 3.6"/215 x 205 x 90 mm) (both with the handle loops or handles at the top).

    I'll excerpt a picture from The New Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cubes thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    Here's a comparison picture of the Mini Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cube with the Halcyon Packing Cube for the Night Flight Travel Duffel. You can just fit the NFTD packing cube inside the Mini YD Packing Cube, and you can use it interchangeably inside the Mini Yeoman Duffel.



    I've found that I now carry an empty Mini Yeoman Duffel Packing Cube around with me for Farmer's Market purchases and off the cuff buying when I don't need a Shop Bag.


    I love that this is so light weight that it's easy to stash in my Side Kick!

    moriond
    I don't have time to take more pictures now, but you can totally use two of the Mini Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cubes for packing in the main compartment of the Night Flight Travel Duffel. You might prefer using the mesh Halcyon NFTD cubes for clothing, but I'm saying that the Mini Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cubes will also work here. I'd stack them book-end fashion (with the mesh handles on top, just as in the Yeoman Duffel pics), or as @kkintea showed with the Side Effects in the middle of the Night Flight thread:

    NFTD and Luminary used as carryon & personal item overseas, Co-Pilot went along too-paragypu-jpg

    (She also did comparison pictures of the NFTD with both the Pilot and the Co-Pilot on that web page, in case you're interested in bringing this full circle back to your Co-Pilot. And you can look on the next page, starting with her post #261 for packing with the Eagle Creek Specter II cubes).

    This also reminded me that I was able to put two of the Mini Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cubes upright in the NFTD, and insert one of the new 525d Ballistic Side Effects in between, holding a folded up Steel Ballistic Mini Yeoman Duffel, all inside the main compartment.

    HTH

    moriond

  9. #9
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    Cristina - Thanks for your kind comment!

    bchaplin - I run warm so a raincoat with layers underneath works for me in just about every type of weather (even winter one year in a very wet & snowy Amsterdam). My plan for a trip later this year is to take one of those fold-up puff jackets with a fold-up raincoat stashed in the pocket (or backpack).

    moriond - Thank you so much for the packing cube recommendations, links and photos. I did look at the Mini Yeoman Duffel packing cubes on the Specs/Dimensions page. I originally thought I would prefer the mesh so I could see inside but with the different colors offered I could just color-code. Also, love the idea of a Side Effect nestled in there which could pull double-duty as a purse. Look at that - how easy to justify buying some more bags!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomGault View Post
    Just a thought: when my wife and I visited Scotland in May, our Airbnb host said that many guests don't bring extra layers on purpose, but instead visit a thrift shop on their first day in country to purchase a cheap jacket/coat, and then re-dinate it when they leave. Your values may vary.
    @ThomGault,

    That's an interesting suggestion about using thrift shops for short-term outerwear. Just for your information, slightly before Christmas 2014, @haraya posted a plea for help (#172, 12-14-2014) in the middle of the Ice Breaker what? thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Northern European Bihnions - do you know of other clothing brands that offer merino clothing? My mom is in Sweden right now and complaining of the cold weather. She is from the tropics and has no idea how to dress properly. I told her to look for a place that sells Woolpower or maybe Helly Hansen. But I just don't know what might be available in Stockholm.
    About 4 posts further down in that thread, I replied with some store locations where she might purchase Merino garments, but also with references to thrift stores (excerpted bits quoted):
    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @haraya,
    There's also a big general department store in Stockholm named NK (Nordiska Kompaniet) that pretty much carries everything, but is semi-up market.



    This Huffington post article gives the name of thrift shops (Myrorna and Stadsmissionen).

    ETA: Here's an older article on layering clothing to dress for winter weather in Sweden
    Also, here's a web site with information about sim card selection for Sweden

    ETA2: Here's the Yelp search location for Stadsmissionen thrift shop locations in Stockholm and here's the Yelp search for the locations of Myrorna thrfit shops in Stockholm
    Later in that same thread @haraya reported that although she hadn't heard more about use of the thrift store locations for heavy winter clothing, they did come in handy for kitchenware (post #186)

    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    @moriond Thought you would be amused to know that my mom found one of the Myrorna thrift stores near her, and has been stocking up on kitchen gear (I gather there isn't much in the kitchen where they're staying, and she wants to entertain). But no word on whether she has acquired any merino. She did say that the best way to stay warm in Sweden is to be a Swede. All the relatives were wearing T-shirts or soccer jerseys under their coats, while she huddled in her four layers. ;P
    I wrote back (excerpted, and with emphasis added just now):
    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @haraya. It's an unexpected side effect of forum enabling if your mom suddenly has a lot of items to pack and carry back, but I assume she'll return them to the thrift shop or leave them in the kitchen. Perhaps we should have a separate forum thread for light travelers listing locations of thrift shops in foreign countries so we don't have to tote all the things we want to use while there!

    moriond
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs_Wilde View Post
    moriond - Thank you so much for the packing cube recommendations, links and photos. I did look at the Mini Yeoman Duffel packing cubes on the Specs/Dimensions page. I originally thought I would prefer the mesh so I could see inside but with the different colors offered I could just color-code. Also, love the idea of a Side Effect nestled in there which could pull double-duty as a purse. Look at that - how easy to justify buying some more bags!!
    Yours was a great first post. I do think that the mesh Halcyon NFTD cubes may work better for clothing, but I'm also surprised at how much I like that size in the Mini Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cubes. It's really handy for toting a lunch box (separate pictures in the linked The New Yeoman Duffel Aether Packing Cubes thread, but here's an excerpted picture example of the pack-up using the Mini Yeoman Duffel Packing Cube as a Lunch Bag:


    The next larger size (Small Yeoman Duffel Packing Cube), can also be used if you want to include a larger thermos, but the Mini YD Packing Cube (shown closed in Carbon at the left, while the Small YD Packing Cube in Violet is open on the right) is a good size match:



    Again, there are more pictures of the different size Yeoman Duffel packing cubes in the linked thread. I didn't have a Night Flight Travel Duffel to compare with at the time of those posts -- only had the NFTD packing cubes.

    HTH

    moriond

  11. #11
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    @bchaplin, I got back two weeks ago from a trip to Scotland (well, Shetland, which is a rather different place than mainland Scotland, but maybe close enough, if not cooler than what you'll encounter.) Temperatures were in the 50s during the day (about 11-15 C), and on some days very windy; evenings dipped into the low 40s. Based on my experience last year, when I did not bring enough warm clothes, I took an unlined wool camp jacket and layered that with a merino hoodie and a flannel shirt, and that worked out (mostly) really well. I should have brought a wool sweater, though, but I was afraid of the bulkiness, but there were times when it would have been nice.

    Shetland isn't that rainy, and it didn't rain much when I was there, but when it did, I was fine with a Marmot Precip layered over the aforementioned merino hoodie and other layers.

    I would not have wanted a proper winter coat. I also could have very well have worn a classic Barbour, and I spotted quite a few Shetlanders wearing Barbours (or the similar field jackets.) Mine is a little tight (I like cheese a little too much these days), which is why I went with my wool camp jacket, which layers really well.

    If I could live anywhere, I would buy a little house and live on the coast in Shetland (or maybe along the north coast of the Scottish mainland.) Scotland really is the best place anywhere.

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    @turnleftbrighteyes isn't Shetland wonderful? Where did you stay---Lerwick? My wife and I were there for four days in May. Our experience was very different---it rained cats and dogs every day---but it was so beautiful and wonderful I wouldn't change it for the world.

  13. #13
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    @ThomGault, Shetland is the most perfect place (aside from the hassle getting there from the U.S.) I might go back again next year, although I'm intrigued by Faroe, which seems to have some similar alluring aspects but would be different.

    For the first part of the trip, I stayed at the Eshaness Lighthouse (you can rent the former keeper's cottages at all the lighthouses; I stayed at the Bressay lighthouse last year). The Eshaness Cliffs might be the most gorgeous place on the planet. And you can be out for hours, and never see another person (seals and sheep on the other hand...)

    The last couple of days was at a small hotel with great food, Burrastow House (on the West Mainland; we stayed there last year as well. Pierre is an excellent cook.) I'd stay at both places again, although staying a few days on Unst would be great, too, just because that (alongside Northmavine) was my favorite place for walks.

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