As a consultant, I am constantly traveling, and even during my sabbatical I was constantly traveling. How do you organize yourself so that traveling does not become a burden?
One solution that worked for me: minimalistic travel and only taking as much as can fit in a carry-on bag. Naturally, one possibility is the oft-praised trolley. However, more and more people are coming to the conclusion that it is no fun to schlep a trolley over brick roads and sidewalks in the urban jungle. If you want to take public transportation or want to hop on a bicycle, you need a different solution. The top variation at the moment: One Bag Travel.
With one bag around the world
The newest trend is to travel with only one bag having a volume of up to 40 liters, regardless if you are traveling through Europe or the whole world. The idea is captivating: Instead of hauling around lots of luggage, you limit yourself to one single bag. As a frequent traveler, I have long followed this principle, albeit unknowingly: I try to get by with just a trolley or, for short trips, I have used my Tumi Backpack.
Recently, I came across a really fantastic website, packhacker.com– since then I have been “hacking”. In my case, I must have the perfect bag for traveling around the world. One bag that can do everything. I spend hours watching reviews on YouTube from people who have specialized in evaluating travel bags. Yes, such a thing exists. The videos are brilliant, entertaining and extremely professional. (Attention: There is a danger that you will become a Hacker after watching these videos!)
What got me hooked was this genius backpack: Goruck GR2. This video, found on Packhacker, triggered in me the desire for just the right bag. But then I found out that this backpack, manufactured by a small company, was just the tip of the iceberg. An iceberg of companies that are start-ups turning the luggage market upside down, independent from corporations like Samsonite and Tumi. They also receive support from video bloggers who are constantly and passionately reviewing bags.
The professional luggage blogger
I already mentioned Packhacker. If you take a look, the Guide, which you can use to find the best bag, is really well made. You will also find guides for Merino travel clothing there, which I highly recommend if you also want to travel as minimalistic as possible.
As I was looking for other reviews for the super backpack Goruck GR2, I came across the slightly eccentric YouTuber Chase Reeves and his website BagWorks– he does incredibly good reviews. Take a look at his review on Wandrd PRVKE– extremely entertaining! The work that Reeves puts into the accompanying text and commentary shows that a professional is at work. I spent hours watching his reviews and researched one bag after the other. I came across really ingenious backpacks and the companies that make them:
- Wandrd developed a backpack that apparently is very appealing to photographers.
- A super-stylish backpack from the small startup company Remote Equipment.
- Dayfarer was founded by a German who came up with a nice solution for office and gym.
- Not to mention, the genius bag from Mission Workshop: Completely different, and I would have chosen this one if I would be more inclined towards street style.
- In any case, Trakke must also be mentioned. It is manufactured in Glasgow and there is no plastic in their product. I will surely order one bag or another from here. However, I know that up till now I also haven’t used the waxed bags more often. But they are really wonderful.
- The Hamburg company Heimplanet is also doing really innovative designs. Their Transitive is really something. Their One-Bag-Travel option was the Monolith Weekender, that was spoken highly of by Reeves. An option, in any case, when you want to take a lot with you.
That is only a small selection of companies that caught my attention. I also found the solutions from Cotopaxi interesting, as well as those from Peak Design, which is currently all the hype. Also, don’t forget about Minaal. Help with selecting a bag can found on the website Carryology, among others.
Which one should I choose?
Well, it was nearly impossible to decide which backpack could be the right one for me. Ultimately, after many, many hours watching reviews, I decided on the Wandrd Prvke 31L. Why? I wanted a lot of space and a unique look. The Monolith Weekender was too bulky for me and the bags from Mission Workshop were brilliant at first glance, but then the price scared me off. And the wonderful backpacks from Trakke had too little external organization.
Whether or not the Wandrd Prvke 31L will be sufficient if I am traveling with children or a tent, I will let you know.