Ultralight Business Travel: Your Travel Bag

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Ultralight backpacking seems to be all the rage as is ultralight equipment in bicycling. I don’t see why there isn’t the same trend as people slep bags from one end of the world to the other.
The technology is getting better all the time, but I see all kinds of folks dragging gigantic laptops, huge bags, 10 changes of clothes for a 2 day business trip. So, here’s a list of what I’ve done and the current recommended road warrior equipment. With this stuff, I’ve been able to go to Europe for a week in an amazingly small bag.
_A few caveats, this works if you aren’t being James Bond with ten parties and so forth. It actually works better if you are just doing business formal because then you just need suites_
Actually I’ve been using a no-name rolling backpack from my Microsoft days for 5 years now, but it is finally breaking. Here are the key features, make it as small as possible so you can stuff it in the baggage compartment above. It really helps if you can turn it into a backpack too. Folks think backpacks are small, but rolling luggage is big. You need both because your pack is going to be *dense* so you don’t want to carry it on your back through 2 miles of airport on a humid day in Heathrow or Toronto. Also, running to catch a plane is way easier if you have a pull along. Another important thing are water bottle holders. This no-name bag has a pair of pockets perfect for holding water and Luna bars (more on that later).
Since I can’t id this bag exactly, I can say it is 18 high x 15 wide x 7 deep and look for something similar. “Ebags Rolling Backpacks”:http://www.ebags.com/backpacks/wheeled_backpacks/category_search/index.cfm?N=2003995. Ebags has a huge set of wheeled backpacks to choose from. Two of the better looking ones are:
* “Ebags Router Wheeled Laptop Convertible”:http://www.ebags.com/ebags/router_wheeled_laptop_convertible/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=20172. $90 and seems like a well thoughout product, but it is new and first shipments are August 11. It is 19.75″H x 14″W x 12″D, 7 lbs 13 oz. It has place for water bottle, it is a rolling backpack. It has room for a water bottle as well. It won’t be available until August 11 though, but there is a preorder period.
* “Jansport Wheeled Optimizer”:http://www.ebags.com/jansport/wheeled_optimizer/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=19940. 18.75″H x 14″W x 9″D, 7lob 4 oz, 1580 cu. in. Its a bit expensive at $130 but has side pockets, top loading laptop holder.
* L.L.Bean: Microfiber Rolling Pullman. This isn’t a backpack as well, but it is microfiber so is supposed to be 20% lighter. Weight in at 8 lbs 5 oz and is 17″H x 14″w x 9″D with 1,500 cu. in.
* “Wide-Mouth Excursion Pack”:http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=1&catalogId=1&categoryId=34015&productId=467386&catalog_id=KO&sc1=shopping_cart. OK, this bag isn’t a rolling bag, but it can be a shoulder bag or a day pack. Only weighs 2lb 10 ox. and is 161/2″H x 12″W x7″D. Also it has those all important water bottle holders.
* “Shockware Pack, Rolling”:http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=1&catalogId=1&categoryId=34922&catalog_id=EI&feat=ay. You’ll laugh, but this comes from the LL Bean kids collection so only the grey color could be used for business. It is large at 2,125 cu. in. 6 lb. 2 ox. 18″H x 14″W x 7″D. It isn’t clear from the photo online if the side pockets are big enough for water bottles though.

2 Replies to “Ultralight Business Travel: Your Travel Bag”

  1. I found your post through a Google search. After many hours of research, I am either going to buy the one of the two backpack roller laptop bags that you are recommending or the Briggs & Riley @ Work Compact Rolling Bag. However for the cost of the B & R bag, I could buy both of the bags you are recommending! I was stranded in the Denver Airport last Monday for about 8 hours with my computer bag and a canvas bag — each weighing 10 pds a piece and I tried to stuff all of my electronic gear into the B & R bag at a luggage store in the airport and could not… this was after I had packed most of the non-essential AC adapters and papers in checked luggage. So I think I am going to give the ebags new bag a try as it is bigger than the B & R and Jansport bags — even with an igo Juice, I still have stuff to carry all of the time. Now I am going to save my poor back and hope that my carpal tunnel goes away!!! Don’t you carry a digital camera on your trips?

  2. Glad you found the information useful. I’ll look at the B&R, but like you I’m going to give the ebays one a try. As a pleasant side note, I took my current no-name bag, about the same shape as the ebags one for a week to China.
    I was amazed I made it. Had to make lots of compromises, but it was certainly traveling light. Even brought suit, dress pants and five white shirts, etc. Couldn’t fit a computer though so that was the big tradeoff.

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