I’ll depart for a few days to Tucson for work in early February and then after that, a week in San Diego via the Amtrak. For a number of years I’ve been a user and have great appreciation of OneBag. The site is organized around a central idea about how to travel sanely and completely get away from checking bags or traveling with what I consider to be the bane of all existence those wheeled bags which seem to just barely fit into a overhead compartment. These bags also seem to conveniently run over feet, bump into heads, and be a major nuisance in the terminals as well.
There are two bags to consider. One I have had for awhile which is the RedOxx AirBoss.
This bag has seen me through months long travel to India, trips to Singapore, Japan, and Vietnam and all around the states in a variety of conveyances (train, car, flights). Its look is rather minimal so one has to find a method to pack it which will be optimal. Luckily OneBag also provides a template and approach which I have changed ever so slightly.
The main idea here is to arrive at a number of clothing easily packed. You create a central core which will hold small items like underwear and socks and then wrap things around it. I travel with the rule of four primarily. For a months long trip on business I only packed 4 pair of underwear, socks, and t shirts. I also packed a second pair of jeans. Perhaps I was lucky in that work did not require suits and ties. Since I was going to a warm climate, a jacket or flannel was not required except for leaving so I wore it.
This bag then fits into just about any overhead compartment I have found on flights. Smaller regional aircraft and larger international flights. When I get to the destination, I’m already out the door by the time the other frustrated travelers are getting their checked bags. In another example, I traveled to Singapore and on to Chennai India but the company booked the tickets through for me with only two hours layover and then the connecting flight was delayed. Had I checked the bag, I would have been without just about anything I could have really used. Having everything with me in a traveler’s hotel in Changi Airport was very handy!
A Second Bag
I’ve wanted a different form factor bag for awhile. The AirBoss is good but its not a backpack type bag. So I started looking. OneBag again has recommendations so I found a second bag that I will start using that also fulfills the packing and TSA size requirements. The second bag is the MEI Voyageur.
This bag fulfills a different set of needs and if you read its reviews and uses, you can see it has a different set of features and functions than the AirBoss. It is very flexible, turns into a backpack but has that core room needed for the rule of four I travel with. Now I have this bag and cannot wait to give it a try on both my Tucson and San Diego trips.
If you have traveled and have felt the frustration and irritation with the whole checked bag thing, check out the resources I’ve listed. I’ve found the rule of four to be indispensable in lightening my load and giving me a truly flexible travel arrangement. You simply do not need much. In another example a friend and I traveled together. He checked his bag and was then bumped from the flights or they were changed after his bag was checked. Where was the bag when he got left in Denver for an unplanned night due to weather. I have been unceremoniously dumped at airports but have had the AirBoss with me with my stuff.
Give it a try when you travel next and see what you think. Its very liberating to not have a checked bag that rolls around on those irritating wheels behind you.