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The 1-Bag Travel Buyer’s Guide

I’ve become addicted to what is called one bag travel, which is traveling with only one carry on bag.

You know that moment when you quit a job and realize, “not my problems anymore!” It feels like that.

“Traveling this way means I’m light and agile on my feet, carrying everything on my back, easily running through airports or train stations, etc.”

“And no more roller bags tipping on me or endlessly bumping over cobblestone streets and down stairs!”

But you have to have right gear to do it well…

 

How to find a good one bag travel bag:

There are tons of things to consider when picking a one bag travel bag. Here’s some I think are important:
  • Capacity — can the bag fit enough stuff for how you like to travel?
  • Look and feel — too hip? not hip enough? don’t care at all?
  • Organization — are there enough pockets?
  • Comfort — is it comfortable to carry? You might have some long walks in this sucker during travel.
  • Access to pockets — can you access what you need to on the outside of the bag?
  • Durability — is this bag going to last you the long-haul? Or is it going to leave you with a broken zipper in Thailand?

Massive Comparison Video:

View all the links and notes on this video in the YouTube Description.


The Best Maximal 1-Bag Travel Bags:

Maximal one bag travel bags can have lots of space to fit things, but can also be heavy, bulky, uncomfortable, and impossible to use as a “daily carry” bag once you get to your destination.

Tortuga Setout Travel Backpackpack  

Tortuga Setout Travel Backpackpack

This thing has so much capacity! One of my favorite bags when I know I need to bring a ton of sh*t. There's a simple tech organizer which is totally satisfactory, and then there's just a huge space for everything you need.

GoRuck GR2 Backpack  

GoRuck GR2 Backpack

This bag is built like a tank and I think it's one of the best looking bags out there. Simple, minimal, bulletproof aesthetic, excellent materials and build quality, and enough space to carry your sh*t!

Nomatic Travel Bag  

Nomatic Travel Bag

The Travel Bag from Nomatic is a solid offering in one bag travel.

Heimplanet Monolith Weekender 40L  

Heimplanet Monolith Weekender 40L

The Monolith Weekender from Heimplanet is a massive bag for maximal one bag travel. This thing is surprisingly useful.

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack  

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack

The Outbreaker backpack from Tortuga is a solid 1-bag travel pick. I personally prefer the less bulky (and more spacious) experience of traveling with the Tortuga Setout, so be sure to check out that bag too. This Outbreaker, however, has quite a bit more padding and protection around the entire bag, so if you know you'll have delicate stuff inside you may prefer this one.

Aer Travel Pack  

Aer Travel Pack

The Aer Travel Pack is a large 1-bag travel bag with quite a bit of organization and a nice looking design.

Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 + 45  

Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 + 45

Tom Bihn makes two Aeronaut bags — the 30L and the 45L. These bags are excellent for any traveller who a). wants a bag that's going to last forever, b). doesn't need a laptop or tech organizer built into their bag, and c). wants to fit so much stuff in a bag!

Wandrd Hexad Access Duffel  

Wandrd Hexad Access Duffel

Wandrd makes 2 duffel bags — the Hexad Access (this bag) and the Hexad Carryall. This is the one you want to be looking at for carry on travel.


The Best Minimal 1-Bag Travel Bags:

Minimal one bag travel bags are smaller, lighter and easy to travel with, fits under seat in front on the airplane (no jocking for overhead cabinet space!), works as a daily carry once you get to your destination! But you have to pack light!

Nomatic Travel Pack & Backpack  

Nomatic Travel Pack & Backpack

Ok, these bags from Nomatic are chock full of pockets. There are 2 different bags: the Travel Pack expands up to about 30L, perfect for short trips and minimal travel. The Backpack is 20-24L daily carry. Both are very sleek and, like I said, so many pocketzzz!

Minaal Carry On Backpack  

Minaal Carry On Backpack

This is the bag that started it all for me. First of all it looks great. The design of this bag is sleek and thoughtful, with very minimal, tasteful branding.

Arcido Akra Backpack  

Arcido Akra Backpack

The Akra backpack from Arcido is designed to be a minimal travel bag with plenty of organization and pockets. It does the trick! It's a lightweight bag with some interesting hidden pockets and quick access pockets.

Wandrd Prvke Rolltop Backpack  

Wandrd Prvke Rolltop Backpack

The Wandrd Prvke (pronounced "provoke" or "perrrrvrkeeee") is one of our favorite bags of all time for both daily carry and minimal travel. Built rugged, good looking, water resistant with tons of pockets. It comes in 2 sizes — we like the 20L for daily carry and minimal travel and the 30L for bigger bodies and longer trips.

Tom Bihn Synapse 25  

Tom Bihn Synapse 25

One of my all time favorite bags for it's utterly functional design and rock solid manufacturing (made in the USA). To me it may not be the best looking bag on the street, but its accessibility, organization, comfort and capacity make it a LEGENDARY BAG. Seriously.

YNOT Magnetica Rolltop Backpack  

YNOT Magnetica Rolltop Backpack

I love how functional a solid rolltop bag can be, and this is one of my favorite rolltop bags.


More 1-Bag Travel Bags:

 

 


Conclusion

So, what do you think? What bag are you going with? Hopefully this article has helped you make a decision for your next journey.

Because remember, travel is about having clear eyes and an open heart… the right gear can just help you stay in that mindset 🙂

Bon voyage!

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Created by Chase Reeves