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Thread: Dyneema packing cube backpack question

  1. #1
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    Dyneema packing cube backpack question

    I'm unable to get around these days without a walker, which requires me to have both hands on the walker while I'm out and about. I've been grounded from travel for a few months, but my doctor has given me the go-ahead for a trans-atlantic trip in April. Problem is, my packing strategy has been based on my pre-walker lifestyle. Typically I'd travel with the Tristar and the Imago for a personal item, but I find it awkward to have the Imago on my shoulder now. I've figured out that I can repurpose an old wheeled laptop bag as my personal item and bought a bungee thingee to attach the Tristar. But that leaves me without a day bag for after the flight. The packing cube-backpack seems ideal--it's a packing cube on airplane days, then a day back on other days.

    My question is, how usable for a day pack it is, really? Could I tote as much as a 13" 2 and half pound laptop (plus a few light sundries) or is that more than it can handle? The website has 'light duty' and I guess I'm hoping that my conference-gear or day rample gear is within that definition. So, any advice from users would be much appreciated.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  2. #2
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    With a Cache or similar to provide padding, and loaded close to volume capacity with clothing and the like, yes it's doable. But the straps are thin and so may start cutting into your shoulders after a while. Would you need to carry the laptop this way a lot of the time, or could it be left somewhere secure (eg hotel safe)? Perhaps it's time to look at lighter weight options like a tablet, if the budget permits.
    Enlightened traveller since 2009

  3. #3
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    Before I got my UV Synapse, I used a Packing Cube Backpack for the Aeronaut for light errands.

    It is really great and so lightweight!

    I have a TriStar Packing Cube Backpack and a notebook with a Cache, I can use them tomorrow while doing housework.

    The straps are indeed thin and I wonder if the Ultrasuede Shoulder Strap Wrap - Thick, comfortable strap wrap for our Cafe bags - TOM BIHN could not be rigged in some way and the Travel Money Belt TOM BIHN used for stability.

    Look what I found on the Blog/Flicker page! Packing Cube Backpacks in Nepal | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


    However, I believe that a Synapse and an iPad would be a better solution.

    The Synapse has all the padding you need and the iPad is much lighter than a laptop.

    Budget wise, I would sell the wheeled luggage and replace it with the two items above.
    Last edited by backpack; 01-23-2013 at 05:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered User JonP's Avatar
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    I agree. The packing cube backpack is plenty strong to hold a laptop and some other things, it would benefit from the padding of a cache to provide padding. It's actually easier to wear it when it has something to fill it up height wise. The straps are the standard nylon webbing so they aren't the most comfortable when worn for a long time or with a lot of weight, but it's a nice, flexible lightweight bag that I've used many times as a day bag, and use as a cube when in transit.
    Steel/Ultraviolet Aeronaut, Steel/Solar TriStar, Black/Steel Checkpoint Flyer, Steel Packing Cube Backpack, Steel Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, Solar Travel Tray, Snake Charmer, Pouches, 3D Clear Organizer Cube, etc.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by flitcraft View Post
    I'm unable to get around these days without a walker, which requires me to have both hands on the walker while I'm out and about. I've been grounded from travel for a few months, but my doctor has given me the go-ahead for a trans-atlantic trip in April. Problem is, my packing strategy has been based on my pre-walker lifestyle. Typically I'd travel with the Tristar and the Imago for a personal item, but I find it awkward to have the Imago on my shoulder now. I've figured out that I can repurpose an old wheeled laptop bag as my personal item and bought a bungee thingee to attach the Tristar. But that leaves me without a day bag for after the flight. The packing cube-backpack seems ideal--it's a packing cube on airplane days, then a day back on other days.

    My question is, how usable for a day pack it is, really? Could I tote as much as a 13" 2 and half pound laptop (plus a few light sundries) or is that more than it can handle? The website has 'light duty' and I guess I'm hoping that my conference-gear or day rample gear is within that definition. So, any advice from users would be much appreciated.
    Your laptop description sounds like a 13" MacBook Air, so I tried this out with a cache in the Western Flyer/Tri-Star Packing Cube Backpack and also in the 400d Dyneema Synapse. Yes, you could carry your conference gear in the PCBP. If you are carrying sundries like a power brick, I'd recommend using something like the Clear Quarter Packing Cube, which is nearly the width of the 13" MacBook Air Cache. The reason is that you'd be better off using a pouch or cube that more closely fills the horizontal dimension of the PCB, and that provides some structure, which you'll get from the Urethane windows, while still being light weight. This is similar to JonP's comment about the PCB being easier to carry with something filling the long dimension -- it's easier to carry with good weight distribution rather than putting smaller, heavier items in a a few, small pouches that would cause the Dyneema to sag more in spots.

    Now, even though this is possible with the Packing Cube Backpack, and it's lightweight, my questions are: how much more are you going to be carrying in addition to your laptop, and for how long? Are you really pressed for space? Because my own inclination would be to recommend that you use a Synapse in 400d Dyneema. The other comments you received are relevant here. If you don't need to carry your laptop most of the time, can you leave it in the hotel safe? (as lotuseater suggests, a 13" MacBook Air should fit in most hotel room safes). How long will you be carrying the load? Everyone's comments about the thin straps being less comfortable and cutting into your shoulders with more weight and extended use are also true. In your case, I would prioritize the comfort of carrying the bag in all circumstances at the other end over the weight/space savings. Nothing can mar the travel experience so much after having to recover from changed physical capabilities, as having to deal with any unwieldyness in your bags. If you're spending much time at the conference with this bag and a laptop, the Synapse is not only going to benefit you by the comfort of its padded straps, foam backing and contoured fit to your body, and ease for long-term carrying, even weighted down, but it's also much easier to set down and open to get out your laptop and other items. You should consider how the bag works for you, not just when you're carrying it with your walker. For example, the laptop in a cache inside the PCB is OK while being carried, but the structure of the Dyneema packing cube design is not meant to be balanced or provide much protection when you put the bag down, whereas the shape and pocket construction of the Synapse does provide better support. The Packing Cube Backpack a simple rectangular cube, with a zipper that opens all the way down the long sides, for easy packing access to the interior when you lay it flat. The Synapse is designed with compartments that let you set the bag down, open just the side pockets (e.g. Pen pockets in the side, or bottom pocket for your power adapters), and also keep things from falling out when the main compartment is accessed (zipper only goes go down the sides half way, so items stored in the bottom can't fall out when the bag is opened.).

    I agree with backpack that the most comfortable solution would be to carry a Synapse and an iPad. Yes, I couldn't run a detailed data analysis on the iPad, but I can store a presentation and even run it from there (but more likely, transfer it to the conference facilities), take notes, directly search for and pull down professional preprint articles and read them on the fly, and do most of the operations you use your laptop for at a conference. But even so, I think you would be more comfortable with a Synapse, and really, your physical comfort at your destination and while travelling is what I would put ahead of the space/portability factor here.

    moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 01-24-2013 at 10:41 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all of the input! I realized that a Synapse would be ideal for the toting part, but not so much for the flying part of the trip. I'm reconsidering whether to bring the laptop at all. I don't need another electronic goodie, and can't afford an Ipad anyway, being on disability these months, and it occurred to me that bringing my presentation, handouts, and a dozen or so useful papers on a memory stick will do me fine for that purpose and I can use my smartphone for email, maps, the Web, etc. So the main reason to bring the laptop is for access to all of my documents and for note-taking at the conference. Really, I can just tote a couple of extra pens and a small notebook for note-taking! (It's embarrassing how long it took it to dawn on me that you could actually take notes non-electronically!!!)

    The biggest hassle is going to be traveling, I can see. I haven't used a wheeled bag in years (and now own only my little wheeled laptop bag supplied by work--my other wheelies went to Goodwill) so I am going to try to find a way to make this work with my Tristar attached to the top of the wheeled laptop bag. I can use that arrangement both for flying and for the trains, I hope.

    I'll report back on how it all worked for me once I'm back. Again, thanks for the kind suggestions and help.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  7. #7
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    You can also save documents online in the cloud, in addition to the memory stick.

    Handouts can be printed in situ.

    Remember that European airlines weight the main carryon. Make sure to take advantage of pre-boarding privileges awarded to people with limited mobility.

    Arrive at the airport very early, check the departure and arrival airports website for updated information on ground transportation, rental cars and location of the gates your airline uses the most.

    Please share when you come back!

  8. #8
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Remember on European airlines to pre-book boarding assistance or they may refuse to take you! RyanAir will only carry 4 disabled people and you must book help at the time you book your flight. Jet2 will only carry 2 and must be booked again. Others are more flexible - EasyJet and FlyBe have no arbitrary limits, but do require 48hrs notice. All of them will carry your walker (or a wheelchair or small electric scooter) for free, but almost all still insist on only one carry on bag and have weight limits.

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    Ah, I hadn't thought about the issue of Euro lowcost airlines. I'm thinking about taking a flight between Toulouse and Barcelona on Vueling to save me an all day, multi-leg train trip. I'd better check the carry-on rules with them, or bite the bullet and check the Tristar.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  10. #10
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    flitcraft, I used Dropbox for cloud document storage. Had heard about it for years, and finally tried it. It works really well for syncing documents as I work on them, and I can access it from my phone, ipad, laptop, desktop. When I head to grad school residency this summer, I plan to leave the laptop at home, and just access Dropbox from the school computer lab if I need to print copies.

    I hope you can report back if you use the combo of wheeled laptop bag and Tristar. I need to look into options like this too.

  11. #11
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    Dropbox works well and is idiot-proof, which is important for a non-techie like me. The only drawback I have found is that it is blocked in China, so I have to be sure that I have any necessary items accessible outside of Dropbox when I travel there.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.


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