Over the last two weeks in Hungary, I can't count the number of times we sang the praises of Tom Bihn - in particular, the unexpected HERO of the trip - the packing cube/backpack.
After the first 12-hour day covering the World Show, the Ego unfortunately proved too uncomfortable and the PCB stepped up to the plate to become my go-to gear for the remainder of our visit. I was able to put the equipment in the bottom, the MCB on top, and wear everything I needed on my back for the hectic long days with transportation by tram, subway, city bus and train. So the item I bought as a last minute after thought became the star performer. If I had the Synapse, I would have been golden.
The MCB I was going to return for a Large went along "just in case" and was immediately put into use daily! I couldn't believe how much it carried. I could easily fit a Side Effect loaded with the Bihn wallet, my passport, cell phone and important stuff tethered inside the MCB as well as a water bottle, pocket camera, tablet and more. My café bag spent a lot of time at cafes in Budapest and Vienna.
We took an evening train to Vienna for an overnight visit with the Tri-Star (my friend & I each had one). Since we didn't know if we could stow luggage at the hotel during our day's walking tour, we were prepared to pop out the backpack straps - Bihn makes 'on the go' travel so accessible. Turns out the hotel held our bags so out came the PCB (for me, my friend opted to walk with the Tri-Star) and off we went to the Spanish Riding School to watch the Lipizzaner stallion's morning exercises and then miles and miles of city walking. My feet may have had enough but the comfort of carrying all my gear was outstanding.
The Travel Tray, needless to say, was in constant use. The organizing pouches were priceless for keeping documents, money and receipts sorted. I took 2 Snake Charmers; one for all the charging cables and another as our first aid kit.
On the way out, I packed the Tri-Star with my "hand carry" fragile items (a lot of local pottery I had purchased) and the basics I needed - cosmetics, protein bars, etc for the 14 hour trip home. To my horror, I was told that it would have to be checked luggage as everyone only got to carry a purse on the flight from Budapest to Vienna. Now my Ego became the hero, fitting (astonishingly) not only my camera gear which has been it's main task, but also the fragile pottery. What a life saver. The Tri-Star came through the ordeal unscathed and I didn't even have time to pack away the Absolute strap.
Took a few photos of our bags on the trip.
My packing cube/backpack, medium café bag and my friend's Ristretto in front of the Press Box at the World Dog Show 2013 in Budapest.
My Tri-Star on an overnight to Austria by train.
In the lobby of the Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof, Vienna.
My Ego & Tri-Star in the middle, dwarfed by my friend's titanic rollers. There's another Tri-Star and the Ristretto in there somewhere ;)
Barely room for my MCB on the flight from Budapest to Amsterdam.