I’ve become addicted to what is called one bag travel, which is traveling with only one carry on bag.
Why we Love it so Much:
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.
The Monolith Weekender from Heimplanet is a massive bag for maximal one bag travel. This thing is surprisingly useful.
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.
A very well designed, stylish travel bag for one-bag travel with enough pockets, organization and access to make travel smooth.
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!
The Travel Bag from Nomatic is a solid offering in one bag travel.
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.
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 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 50L duffel from Aasgard is a very exciting idea — massive space in a weatherproof simple duffel with backpack straps. (The shoulder straps could use an update though.)
The Best Medium Sized Travel Bags:
Medium sized one bag travel bags are smaller than the big ones, but not quite small enough to be carried as DAILY CARRY bags once you get to your destination. (For bags that do both, see the “Minimal 1-bag Travel” section below).
This is the bag that started it all for me. The Carry On backpack from Minaal is one of the professional traveler's best friends with its sleek design, killer materials and medium sized capacity for minimal travel.
The Stor backpack from Trakke is a lovely 30L pack for travel and gear moving.
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!
The Prima System from Boundary Supply is, to me, the best in this category of kickstarter-y tech/camera/daily-carry because of the material feel and functionality in use.
The Wandrd Prvke (pronounced "provoke" or "perrrrvrkeeee") is a great bag for technical 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.
The Hideout Pack from Everyman is a solid take on a street/urban/heritage bag with lots of organization at an affordable-ish price point.
The Monolith Daypack from Heimplanet is a 22L carry-all daypack made from great materials with a solid aesthetic and plenty of attachments for accessories.
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!
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.
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.
I love how functional a solid rolltop bag can be, and this is one of my favorite rolltop bags.
The Rainmaker backpack from Greenroom136 is an extremely solid everyday backpack suited for carrying lots of gear or compressing down to a minimal daily carry haul.
The Subterra backpack from Thule is designed to be a minimal travel bag with room for both your tech needs, daily needs and weekend travel needs.
More 1-Bag Travel Bags:
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 🙂
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Created by Chase Reeves