Author Topic: Travel Bag?  (Read 13485 times)

bertrandhustle

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Travel Bag?
« on: May 08, 2015, 11:55:12 AM »
Hey Team,

My SO and I are headed to Europe for a trip this summer. We are only bringing one backpack each. Is it indefensible/will future me facepunch myself for investing in a bag like this one http://www.tombihn.com/travel_bags/TB0906.html when ones like this http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/catalog/index.cfm?fuseaction=product&theParentId=8&id=139 exist? I always travel with a maximum of one bag, so whichever bag I choose will be my luggage for the foreseeable future.

I want one that opens like a suitcase and carries like a backpack. Any suggestions outside of the two above?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 11:56:44 AM by bertrandhustle »

lise

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2015, 12:04:47 PM »
How often will you carry your pack on your back?
These bags are not comfortable for anything longer than a 15 min walk.  The hybrid thing really didn't work out for a friend of mine so I stayed away.

Depending on what type of trip I'm taking (city trip vs adventure trip), I have ended up either travelling with:

A rolling carry on bag like this:
http://www.ebags.com/product/victorinox/avolve-20-20-spinner/257103?productid=10251807

Or a back pack with side entry like this:
http://www.campmor.com/Product___84423?cm_vc=PDPZ3

This pack is 55 litres and I wish I had purchased a 45 litre one.  WAY more comfortable than the hybrids you are looking at.



Migs

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2015, 12:46:30 PM »
I'm a big fan of the Osprey Farpoint 40

http://www.amazon.com/Osprey-Farpoint-Charcoal-Medium-Large/dp/B006P5Q02Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431110634&sr=8-1&keywords=osprey+farpoint+40

I have the S/M size that I took on a 2 week trip to Portugal. The backpack straps on it are a lot more comfortable than other convertible bags I've tried. *Edit* Actually, it was the hip-belt and load straps that made the bag comfortable more than anything.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 12:50:05 PM by Migs »

lise

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2015, 12:49:39 PM »
I'm a big fan of the Osprey Farpoint 40

http://www.amazon.com/Osprey-Farpoint-Charcoal-Medium-Large/dp/B006P5Q02Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431110634&sr=8-1&keywords=osprey+farpoint+40

I have the S/M size that I took on a 2 week trip to Portugal. The backpack straps on it are a lot more comfortable than other convertible bags I've tried.

Oh I like the look of this one ... !

SailorGirl

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2015, 12:49:53 PM »
I have a bag from Rick Steve's that's very much like the one pictured.  I purchased it in the early 90s and it's since gone with me to Europe several times, Eastern Europe, Mexico, Canada, Africa and my parents' house.  It's been my sole luggage for more than 20 years and it still looks almost new - no fraying seams, no sticky zippers, no tearing lining.  I'm not sure why you wouldn't consider it an "investment" just because it doesn't cost over $200.

lizzzi

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2015, 12:58:59 PM »
I have the Aeronaut, but think it is a little big for airline travel. I love it for car trips though--I would highly recommend it for motor touring (fancy pants term for car trips--lol). It is definitely BIFL. Get a few of the Tom Bihn packing cubes for it, too. I have the Absolute strap, but have found that I hate carrying bags on my shoulder. I either hold it by the handle like a briefcase, or if I'm carting around other stuff, will take out the backpack straps and put it on my back. (For instance, if I'm carrying my harp into a hotel…easy-peasy with the Aeronaut on my back, and both hands free to carry the harp.)

 For airline travel I would really suggest the TriStar, if you're going to spend the money for TB. That center compartment is ideal for a laptop…I have the MacBook Air 11", so can also get my Kindle in there with it. I leave the Absolute strap at home, and just carry it by the handle..either carry my smallish purse cross body, or pack it and wear a Scott e Vest for the stuff that would normally go in the purse. I love, love, love the TB backpack option for sticking that TriStar on my back and running across airports. It also makes bathroom runs much easier…put it on your back and you are hands-free and also don't have to put your bag on the disgusting floor.

If you want a genuinely hiking-type of backpacking bag…like for jaunts up mountains or whatever…I'll let others make suggestions. I know there are lots of good choices out there.

GreenSheep

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2015, 01:12:13 PM »
Patagonia is expensive, but their stuff just doesn't die. I love their Black Hole bags:

http://www.patagonia.com/us/search/black%20hole

I have the 45L one, and although it doesn't come with backpack straps (larger ones do), I can use the handles as backpack straps in a pinch. Of course this only works for short distances or waiting in an airport line; I wouldn't do it for actual backpacking excursions. It holds a ton of stuff, though. I've used the 45L one plus a school-size backpack for a 2 week trip in South America, and I packed excessively (wetsuit, down coat, hiking boots, tons of food for the plane, etc.).

If you're going to be truly backpacking, it's hard to recommend a particular pack for an individual; you really need to go to a place like REI and try on a bunch, preferably with some help from someone who works there. You might be able to find whichever one you like on a site like sierratradingpost.com or maybe on Craigslist. Or, REI has decent sales sometimes, or you can check reioutlet.com.

Riff

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2015, 01:17:50 PM »
This is my travel bag.  I did two weeks traveling in Italy last fall with it.  Using a backpack like this made me a lot more mobile than my travel companions with their rolling bags.  It's awesome traveling carry-on only.

http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-weekender-convertible/143101

protostache

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2015, 01:32:33 PM »
This is my travel bag.  I did two weeks traveling in Italy last fall with it.  Using a backpack like this made me a lot more mobile than my travel companions with their rolling bags.  It's awesome traveling carry-on only.

http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-weekender-convertible/143101

I have this same bag and have made several trips with it. I got a variety of eBags and Eagle Creek packing cubes as well, which really helps optimize packing and keeps me organized on the trip. The eBags cubes and tubes are pretty cost effective too.

JoJo

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2015, 02:01:11 PM »
I bought a $200 eagle creek 10 years ago and it's just as nice as it was then.  I have literally backpacked around the world multiple times, and lived out of this bag for over 24 months of my life.

This is sort of my bag:
http://www.ebags.com/product/eagle-creek/rincon-65l-travel-backpack/209769

or

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/eagle-creek-rincon-vita-backpack-75l-for-women~p~4353m/?utm_source=GooglePLAs&utm_medium=PaidShopping&utm_term=Eagle_Creek_Rincon_Vita_Backpack_-_75L_For_Women&utm_campaign=PCGOOGLES5&currency=USD&codes-processed=true

Mine has 2 compartments plus the zip on back pack.

aspiringnomad

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2015, 02:14:57 PM »
Patagonia is expensive, but their stuff just doesn't die. I love their Black Hole bags:

http://www.patagonia.com/us/search/black%20hole

I have the 45L one, and although it doesn't come with backpack straps (larger ones do), I can use the handles as backpack straps in a pinch. Of course this only works for short distances or waiting in an airport line; I wouldn't do it for actual backpacking excursions. It holds a ton of stuff, though. I've used the 45L one plus a school-size backpack for a 2 week trip in South America, and I packed excessively (wetsuit, down coat, hiking boots, tons of food for the plane, etc.).

If you're going to be truly backpacking, it's hard to recommend a particular pack for an individual; you really need to go to a place like REI and try on a bunch, preferably with some help from someone who works there. You might be able to find whichever one you like on a site like sierratradingpost.com or maybe on Craigslist. Or, REI has decent sales sometimes, or you can check reioutlet.com.

That's a great travel pack. Kelty Redwing 50L is another good option, but not as good looking. Both can be found for $120 - $140 online.

rhut

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2015, 02:15:35 PM »
I bought a jansport backpack on clearance at rei for $60 over a year ago. It's big enough to live out of for a week, and small enough to be my daily bag for biking to work (I'd guess under 30 liters). I'd highly recommend checking out an rei or similar store and digging around for a quality bag on clearance.

The_Crustache

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2015, 02:34:41 PM »
Im an advocate of backpacks
I have the North Face Terra 45, and its great.
Why?
It fits in a carryon, if you dont overpack it.
It's made with quality, and utility.
I am able to carry it a bit more comfortably than some normal pack for extended periods of time/walks,
I can use it for other things, like getting groceries on my bike, doing laundry, every trip i ever take anywhere, etc.
Also I'm pretty sure it has a lifetime warranty.

Wheels, and collapsable handles take up space, add extra weight, and break. If you've got a tight connection on at an airport and you gotta run, you'll be able to move faster and with more agility with a backpack, than dragging a dumb looking roller suitcase. I don't need extra compartments and crap. I dont need more than backstraps.

Also do not underestimate the feel of a bag. Try it out, put some weights in it, and see how comfy it is. For extended carries this is important.

Godspeed, and crust to you.

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2015, 02:54:58 PM »
I have done a ton of research about maximum carryon sized bags, and I think the wingman by timbukt2 is the best: http://www.timbuk2.com/wingman-carry-on-duffel-bag/528.html

I've had mine for almost 3 years, and it's seen 11 countries in that time and is still going strong. It's my go to for all kinds of travel, be it a 3 day conference for work or 5 weeks in Europe. Things I love about it:

- It's got the open like a suitcase/carry like a back pack deal
- It's 40 liters, and it will actually fit under the seat in front of you on an airplane, if required.
- It has the best pocket arrangement I've seen in a bag. It has a padded laptop case, a small size pocket that is idea for a laptop charger and an easily accessed bag of toiletries (for airport scanning), and my favorite, an expandable pocket that is great for keeping your shoes, a wet towel, or dirty clothes away from the rest of your stuff.
- It's 150$, and has a lifetime warranty.

The cons are that it doesn't have a hipstrap, which is actually fine for normal travel with this bag, but the straps get a bit heavy if you were to say, do a walking trip through scotland, and needed to walk 8-15 miles a day with it. But it's perfectly comfortable for normal use, and an hours walk from a train station to where we are staying is perfectly comfortable. Similarly, it doesn't have a water bottle pocket (again, mostly a problem when doing something this bag wasn't designed for), but a water bottle fits in the aforementioned side pocket. If I was going to do a long walking trip again, i would consider a Tortuga (http://www.tortugabackpacks.com/), which looks like it's got better support for that sort of thing. I will say that my partner has the Patagonia MLC, and it is very similar to the wingman. He's had his for 4 years, and it has been great as well, I just don't think the pocket arrangement is as good.
 

Papa bear

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2015, 02:59:59 PM »
I LOVE this bag.  http://www.meivoyageur.com
Been using it for a few years for trips to Europe, skiing, Puerto Rico, cruises, you name it.  Very comfortable as a backpack (padded straps, adjustable hip belts, internal frame), looks decent when it's in "luggage" mode (I bought black), and is very durable (made in USA and lifetime warranty).

I may even try a 2-3 night backpacking trip with it this summer. 

Maybe I should go into sales for them haha



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Papa bear

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2015, 03:02:05 PM »
Oh, and I should add, it's carryon size; I've never had to gate check as it fits in the smaller overhead compartments when those crap roller bags can't.


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SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2015, 03:03:21 PM »
How often will you carry your pack on your back?
These bags are not comfortable for anything longer than a 15 min walk.  The hybrid thing really didn't work out for a friend of mine so I stayed away.

Depending on what type of trip I'm taking (city trip vs adventure trip), I have ended up either travelling with:

A rolling carry on bag like this:
http://www.ebags.com/product/victorinox/avolve-20-20-spinner/257103?productid=10251807

Or a back pack with side entry like this:
http://www.campmor.com/Product___84423?cm_vc=PDPZ3

This pack is 55 litres and I wish I had purchased a 45 litre one.  WAY more comfortable than the hybrids you are looking at.

I've found that often when traveling the only place flat enough to use a rolling bag is the airport or in a hotel lobby. There are just too many cobble streets, or streets without sidewalks, or stairs to make a wheeled bag practical for anything other than the kind of travel where you taxi from the airport to your destination.

I have a hybrid and find it comfortable to wear in large part because it's hard to seriously overpack a 40-45L bag. I'm a 5'8" tall female, and I prefer to keep the weight of my bag at most 25 pounds with my laptop in it. As I mentioned in my other post, this is fine for up to an hours walk with the bag, but not ideal for serious backpacking. I would consider the tortuga pack, which has a hip strap, if you are a smaller person who would have a hard time carrying that weight, or if you plan to do some serious walking with your bag.

RetireAbroadAt35

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2015, 03:05:44 PM »
I'm a big fan of the Aeronaut but it was stolen a few years ago.  I've been holding off replacing it (mustachianism and all) but when I do, I'll go with something that is more of a tri-compartment bag.  The weird side compartments on the Aeronaut were great for shoes but made it impossible to pack a suit. 

Right now I'm using an Osprey Porter but that's more of a single compartment backpack.  Good for backpacking, hiking, and slummin' it but not so great for biz/city travel. 

If/when my business travel picks up, I'm going to go with:

Everything you could ever want to know about one-bag travel: http://www.onebag.com/bags.html

use2betrix

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2015, 03:14:00 PM »
My gf got this for overnight hiking trips. Incredibly functional and comfortable: http://www.rei.com/product/846424/osprey-kyte-46-pack-womens

I think all it comes down to is how far you plan to be carrying your luggage. Will you be walking long ways, trains to hotels, etc. etc. Or will you be getting off the plane, into a cab, and getting dropped off at the hotel? Much more than that and I would get a dedicated backpack for it.

jwilliams0215

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2015, 03:19:20 PM »
I'm a big fan of the Osprey Farpoint 40

http://www.amazon.com/Osprey-Farpoint-Charcoal-Medium-Large/dp/B006P5Q02Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431110634&sr=8-1&keywords=osprey+farpoint+40

I have the S/M size that I took on a 2 week trip to Portugal. The backpack straps on it are a lot more comfortable than other convertible bags I've tried. *Edit* Actually, it was the hip-belt and load straps that made the bag comfortable more than anything.

We just came back from Italy - two weeks using this same bag. I purchased it for my wife and it served as one of our two backpacks. Comfortable and carries quite a bit of luggage! Easy to travel around with for sure, we would recommend it. 

bleumanchu

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2015, 03:29:57 PM »
I LOVE this bag.  http://www.meivoyageur.com
Been using it for a few years for trips to Europe, skiing, Puerto Rico, cruises, you name it.  Very comfortable as a backpack (padded straps, adjustable hip belts, internal frame), looks decent when it's in "luggage" mode (I bought black), and is very durable (made in USA and lifetime warranty).

I may even try a 2-3 night backpacking trip with it this summer. 

Maybe I should go into sales for them haha



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I have used this bag for both a 2-week and a 10-day trip to Europe, with some pretty varied weather conditions, and I was able to bring everything I wanted/needed and then some. The most surprising was I convinced my wife to  use the Voyageur for those trips, and she actually became a huge fan of the bag as well. Price is surprisingly good, and it's a rock-solid product. They seem to be a small operation, and it takes a little bit to get the bag from the time you order it, but I really can't say enough good things about the bag.

bertrandhustle

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2015, 03:54:42 PM »
Thanks everyone! I ended up going for the eBags TLS Weekender. Seemed to be a solid combination of cost/quality. Plus since I'm getting the bag/packing cubes for myself and as a birthday gift for my SO, it was one of the few that fell within my budget.

Glad I came here before springing for the $300 bag...

dragoncar

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2015, 04:29:09 PM »

jeromedawg

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2015, 05:12:14 PM »
Osprey bags are awesome. I have an Osprey Porter 46 backpack/duffel that I got a few years ago and have taken to Europe, Asia, on cruises, and to a bunch of other destinations I'm sure I'm forgetting. I love how it can be packed down and compressed into a smaller form-factor too. Easy as a carry on or for checking in.

Rubic

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2015, 05:15:47 PM »
I'm facing the same decision.  I've got an old $20 student backpack which won't hold up for future travel.

I'm intrigued with the Tortuga Air Backpack:

Tortuga Backpacks  http://www.tortugabackpacks.com/

A question for those who've recommended the MEI Voyager:

MEI Voyager: http://meipacks.com/

It doesn't appear these have a slot for a laptop? (essential in my case).

jeromedawg

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2015, 06:00:31 PM »
I'm facing the same decision.  I've got an old $20 student backpack which won't hold up for future travel.

I'm intrigued with the Tortuga Air Backpack:

Tortuga Backpacks  http://www.tortugabackpacks.com/

A question for those who've recommended the MEI Voyager:

MEI Voyager: http://meipacks.com/

It doesn't appear these have a slot for a laptop? (essential in my case).

LOL, it's funny you bring these two up - I just stumbled across this article while looking into it more: http://www.tortugabackpacks.com/pages/tortuga-travel-backpack-vs-mei-voyageur

Well, that doesn't seem biased at all :P In fact, they really seem to rail hard against MEI for using Netscape emails! Seems a bit tasteless IMHO but it is what it is and they do have some good points as to why you should buy a Tortuga vs a Voyageur.

As far as laptop protection, you could always get a padded sleeve I'm sure.

Rubic

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2015, 02:30:17 PM »
As far as laptop protection, you could always get a padded sleeve I'm sure.

Thanks for the link.  It's not so much for protection, although a padded case is one more item to pack, but having a slot for your laptop is convenient to remove it for use without disturbing any of the other contents.

IllusionNW

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Re: Travel Bag?
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2015, 11:21:24 PM »
I love the Osprey bags as well.  One thing to be mindful about is whether to have a top loading bag or a side loading bag.  I had a traditional hiker's top loading bag on a three-week trip to Europe.  It gets pretty annoying having to basically unpack and repack your bag every time you need to get something from the bottom.  Now if I'm traveling, I use an Osprey side loading back pack that I love.  It fits as a carry-on and is a fairly comfortable back pack.