Your “One Bag” Travel Tips

Over on Facebook, we asked you to share with us your top “one bag” travel tips. Here they are:

Steve: “Loosen up, recognize when something is nonessential, and temporarily abandon it.”
Angie: “i got nothing..i’m a ridiculous over-packer…”
Chris: “Take only one bag.
William: “Travel warm places and try not to be 2+ meters tall. Much easier to pack normal sized warm-weather clothing than things I wear during temperate/cold weather.”
Fawn: “Layer, layer, layer.”
Teagan: “Ummmm, owning an Aeronaut.”
Lisa: “Wear your bulkiest items / extra layers on the plane!”
Alexandra: “yeah, an aeronaut helps. My main tip is to separate everything you need and then remove all the items you think you “might” use…”
Carl: “Wash underwear and other clothes nightly in hotel sink. Significantly reduces amount of clothes needed.”
Frances: “roll. Also, be okay with wearing things over and over again.”
Matt: “No one cares if you wear the same shirt twice when you’re on vacation. Only bring a couple of tops/bottoms & wash your own stuff at the end of the day. Need something else, buy it there. I never take more than I can carry on.”
Beers & Beans: “I second the roll!”
Dale: “Packing Cubes
Miles: “Don’t pack the Kitchen Sink – use travel size items – buy at destination if possible.”
Natalie: “Capsule wardrobe – all tops shoulf be able to be worn with all bottoms. All shoes should be able to be worn with all outfits.”
Steve: “Learn from each trip you take. If you didn’t use it/wear it on your previous trip, leave it at home this time.”
Matthew: “Make sure that most things can be mixed and matched with all of your outfits. Don’t pack items that stand out on their own (example: orange and black shirt with crazy pattern) but wear items that can easily be worn multiple times.”
Terri: “Do not bring anything “just in case”.”
Matt: “Putting everything you’re planning on taking in a pile, then get rid of half of it”
Mendi: “Merino wool t-shirts and pullovers! No stinkies, so you can wear it then air it out and wear again before having to wash it. Great brands with styles ranging from sporty to casual are Icebreakers, SmartWool and Ibex.”
Cameron: “Have a selection of gear specifically for one bag travel; don’t attempt to shoehorn every day gear into something this specific; I use icebreaker almost religiously for this”
Chris: “One pair of shoes and wear your jacket.”
Adam: “Don’t bring 3 oz. of any one toiletry. That is a months worth of shampoo! And the Aeronaut with packing cubes is amazing!”
Nels: “Just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.”
Jeff: “I’ve routinely done weeklong trips with nothing but a 1,600ci Western Flyer. Leave the laptop at home if you possibly can- the only electronic item I’ll typically bring is a smartphone. I’ve had great success using the bundle-packing method and packing cubes. Bring light, well made travel friendly clothing like anything by Ex-Officio. Plan to sink wash which takes no time at all, give you more daily what-to-wear choices, plus keeps you from accumulating dirty laundry. Laundry tip- when done sink washing, wring as much water as possible into the sink, then finish wringing by rolling wet clothes in a towel, applying pressure to wring out most of what remains, then hang dry ( I like the clothespin-less Rick Steves clothesline-)”
Christin: “If you consider travel clothing a fashion downgrade bring fewer items that you wear everyday and love. For me this includes some long sleeve merino wool tops, but beyond that I just a few staple pieces that complement the weather in my destination. Simply bringing less has allowed me to live out of a Synapse backpack for a month or more.”
Heather: “I use travel detergent sheets. They are a little bigger than those breathmint strips & come in a little plastic case. I buy them at REI.”
Aaron: “Roll everything tightly to the exact width of the bag.”
Tracey: “I forgot where I got them, but woollite has singles.”
Warren: “Trash bags and a vacuum = Redneck Space-bags… You’d be surprised how readily a hotel will provide both if asked…”
Mary: “Compression bags”
Rita: “Bring more money, fewer clothes.”
Brett: “Roll baby! Mail purchases home.”
Deanna: “Bundle…even better than rolling.”
Easter Cat: “You only need 1 pair of good shoes. If your shoes don’t fit 95% of what you’re doing (walking, night out, business), you need a new pair. You can add light weight flip flops if necessary.
Pack (this doesn’t include what you wear) 1-2 pairs of underwear and socks, 1-2 pairs of pants, 2-3 tops and lightweight sleepwear (e.g., t-shirt and shorts). Bundling is the best minimizer, but it requires practice. It’s all about washing every night. If you shower at night, you can wash your clothes then or put them in the sink. If you have to pack for cold weather, you need thin layers–not bulky clothing. The layers won’t add too much to your load. I have to bring my own toiletries b/c of allergies and I can pack a 12-13lb bag.Check out for a comprehensive guide. It’s where I got my start.”
JP: “Don’t have kids ;)”
Dinielle: “Two sets of shoes was a must for me. My feet are sad when I don’t switch it up. Ballet shoes on plane, nice sandals in the bag. Layered clothes work! Leggings under maxi skirt make a warmer skirt or two warm weather bottoms. A tank top and 3/4 sleeve sweater does the same thing.”
Eric: “Before a trip lay everything out and then be very critical. For every item ask do I need this, if so is there a smaller/lighter version? Can I get something that will replace two or more items etc. After you come back, repeat the exercise adding, did I use it? Don’t buy a great bag then fill it, work out what you need to take, then buy the smallest bag you can get away with.”

What’s in Matthew’s Smart Alec

What's in Matthew's Smart Alec

See the photo by Matthew H Johnson on Flickr. See also: the Smart Alec.

In stock: Travel Stuff Sacks, Shop Bag, Kit, Brain Bag, Aeronaut

Thanks to our Seattle factory crew, the following bags are back in-stock and ready to ship within one business day:

Travel Stuff Sacks, all sizes and colors

Shop Bag, Small and Large, all colors

Kit, all colors

Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack, all colors

Cache, in the following sizes:
Size 1, Vertical
Size 15″ MacBook Pro Retina, Vertical
Size 13″ MacBook Pro Retina, Vertical
Size 13″ MacBook Pro Retina, Horizontal
Size 6Z, Horizontal

Ready to ship in some colors now:
Brain Bag in Black/Steel/Steel, Black/Plum/Steel, and Black/Navy/Steel
Aeronaut in Nordic Dyneema/Steel, Steel Dyneema/Steel, Steel Dyneema/Wasabi, Cardinal/Steel, Forest/Steel, Aubergine/Steel, Aubergine/Wasabi, Aubergine/Ultraviolet, Black/Iberian, Black/Steel, Navy/Iberian, and Steel/Wasabi
All other colors of Brain Bag and Aeronaut will ship by early March.

TOM BIHN Travel Stuff SackTravel Stuff Sack in Steel

Proctor’s How To: Snaphooks on a Utility Strap & 25mm Split Ring

“Utilizing the new utility strap, 3 snaphooks are reduced down to 1. 5-7 can fit on a single split ring on the end of a modified key strap.”

Snaphooks on a Utility Strap & 25mm split ring

Read the full post by Proctor in the Forums. See also: the Utility Strap and Key Straps.

Miking’s How To: Conceal Organizer Pouches with Handle Loop

How To: Conceal Organizer pouches with Handle Loop

“The Tom Bihn Handle Loop can be used to conceal any of the Organizer Pouches inside your pants. Shown here with the Pocket Pouch but could be used with any of the smaller organizer pouches.”

Read the full post by Miking in the Forums…

papids2000: A Day at the Beach Backpack Packing Cube

Packing Cube Backpack on a morning bike

“Today we took a morning hike at our local beach in Pensacola with our Tom Bihn packing cube backpack. We always use this because it is lightweight and easy to clean the sand off. Today we were collecting some shells. I also carried a pair of sandals, small towel, some snacks, keys and water in the pack. So glad we were hiking here and not in the snow they had in the northeast.”

Read the full post by papids2000 in the Forums. See also: the Packing Cube Backpack

Tizi: What’s in my Co-Pilot

Tizi What's in my TOM BIHN Co-Pilot

See more photos by Tizi in the Forums. See also: the Co-Pilot.

How To: Cobra Knot Zipper Pulls (by Miking)

TOM BIHN Cobra Knot Zipper Pull

Posted by Miking in the Forums:

This is what I have done for the lid zipper on my Aeronaut. It’s called a cobra knot, and if that’s not a cool name for something I don’t know what is! As an added bonus you can untie it and you have a yard of 2 mm cord that you can use to:

make a clothesline
replace a shoelace
make an emergency belt
lash your bag to an alpaca, vehicle or sturdy friend
make a splint with sticks or a magazine
build an impromptu shelter
build an impromptu pillow-fort
make a tripwire to alert you to intruders
make a hair tie
spice up your love life
hold your seedy hotel door closed
snare rat living in seedy hotel
along with duct tape; repair just about anything
individual strands can be used for thread, floss, fishing line etc…
the list goes on and on….. Add any of your own below!

bvp663’s How To Add a New Address Tag

“I don’t own a home so I’m always changing the address on my luggage tag. For those who would like to print out a replicate of the paper slip that was included with their luggage tag, you can print on from this pdf I created. When you print, be sure the scale is set to 100% so the sizing is correct. Enjoy!”

– Posted by bvp663 in the Forums.

TOM BIHN luggage tag

PGJohnson: Synapse at Joshua Tree

PGJohnson: Synapse at Joshua Tree

See the full-size photo posted in the Forums by PGJohnson. See also: the Synapse.