Right now I have a large backpack for travel (~40L), a smaller backpack for everyday (12-20L), and a small packing cube for use in the airplane (5L).
I looked at other backpacks (listed under "some examples" below), but I realized that I do not really need another one.
The only things I would improve upon are the aesthetics of them.
The everyday backpack is torn up. I could get a new one in a similar style or slightly larger size.
For the small packing cube, I could get something a little more stylish, for use when traveling.
Here are some of my bag ideas for traveling light:
one bag travel - go for it, look it up, it is a game changer. once you figure out how to pack for a trip from 2 days to 30 days in just one bag, you open up a lot of good things for travel.
save money - i know some people don't care, but you save money on baggage fees. i have free bags, so it isn't much, but i also
save time - i have not had to wait at a carousel in years. years. not when i get to a place, not when i am flying home from a place. i land and walk out the door. first to the cabs and transportation. oh wait, i have had to wait when flying with certain people.
have fun - after arriving at the destination, when we flew to paris, for example, we could take a normal train in and not have to worry as much about our luggage. we could sit in a normal seat. we could easily walk the streets. instead of being a walking target dragging a rolling bag around winding cobblestone streets, well, we were semi-targets with slightly large backpacks.
what bag to use while traveling?
the best bag set up i have used two bags.
*one larger bag. like a 29-40L bag. - ideally a backpack, doesn't have to cost a ton.
*a smaller bag stuffed inside of that bag. - the purpose of this bag is as a personal item where you can keep stuff while you're on the plane, or as overflow on the way back home. it should be empty on the way out.
how much do i pack?
if closer to the 40L that bag will be about 70% full on the way out. i then use the extra space to pack gifts for friends, or bring home souvenirs.
any bags in particular?
large bag - they're sold all over the place under different guises. osprey farpoint, goruck GR1, tortuga, there's a canadian one like MEC, tom bihn
small bag - something that can fold up like a rickshaw bag, tom bihn briefcase (that's the one i want to try out probably in cordura),
*get a normal looking bag. no need to get a high tech, shiny, HEPA sealed bag. get something black, grey, tan, even dark red.
i have traveled with friends, had people come visit, and they bring two pieces of luggage for a few day trip. there's struggles to fit everything in the bags, fit everything in the car, etc. contrast that with one friend i can think of who comes with a small backpack everytime. she can travel almost indefinitely with a small backpack and still have different outfits. i think her secret is packing a few dresses in the mix...takes up less space and more versatile.
what do you put in it?
that is a whole other post. but the basic concepts are: a few things, that go together, and do laundry if it's a week.
*learn to pack light - repeat after me, a few shirts, two pairs of pants, a few pairs of underwear, a jacket. that's really all you need. i have written a longer piece on how i think about difficult packing trips, but the concept is the same.
*do laundry - yes, if you are traveling for more than a week, you will likely have to do laundry. i mean, i wouldn't want to be carrying around 2 weeks of dirty laundry anyway...i do laundry every 4-5 days when traveling. some people do laundry every night and rotate between three outfits. if it is a week trip, i might do laundry once. since i've gotten better at packing, i sometimes don't need to do laundry.
going to texas, it is going to be hot.
2 nights, 3 days 80s-90s, casual, swimming
shirt - fun shirt, button shirt, black running shirt (2)
pants - 1
shorts - 1 grey blue swimming
underwear - 2
socks - 2 running
footwear - flip flops and running shoes
dopp kit - toothbrush, etc.
electronics kit - chargers, etc.
neti pot - if dry helps me with travel, travel packets
gift - some beer - oh man i'll likely have to check that bag
missionworkshop the fraction rucksack 14L - 2.5 lbs
The Sanction : WX
the sanction is 20L - 2.6 lbs
minimalist 20L 3 lbs
R2 Arkiv Field Pack
17L 1.9 lbs
Main Compartment: 18"H x 12"W x 5"D
they make this one with a waterproof sailcloth for $30 more
on the airplane, i have my packing cube
for bringing stuff back, i have my chrome backpack
around town, a small, black, sling style bag would be good
basically a little 10L sling bag, like a small camera bag, ideally a sling bag, basically i already have one
tom bihn briefcase daylight