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Thread: Confession: I don't think I *want* to one-bag it for business travel...

  1. #1
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    Confession: I don't think I *want* to one-bag it for business travel...

    I'm relatively new to the world of business travel, making a short trip (1-2 nights) every week or two. I'm also a One Bag devotee for non-business travel. Hoping to duplicate this for work, I even bought a Brain Bag last month, but just can't seem to get this right...

    My work requires me to lead 3-hour hands-on events with equipment that is (usually) shipped from location to location and then hauled around locally either in my car or my rental car. Think two large Pelican cases of iPads and MacBook Airs. I have to be able to hook up an Apple TV to pretty much any projector in any space a customer has available for me. This means having a variety of dongles and adapters at the ready. For that reason, I was having a hard time keeping everything together in my ID when I'm local and then shifting to the Brain Bag when I'm on the road. Plus, the Brain Bag just doesn't work with a shirt and tie (for me, anyway).

    I know I could "modularize" and I have to some extent with a Snake Charmer and pouches, I just hate the idea of flying somewhere and realizing I left something in my other bag. Too stressful.

    And here's the other confession: When I'm traveling for work, I like to be comfortable. I want to carry a pair of running shoes so I can exercise or a pair of jeans to go out. I don't necessarily always want to be "minimal" when I'm away from my family for a couple nights.

    So I'm actually thinking that for business travel, I may actually go with a rolling carryon (probably a 20" to keep it small - I have an old one I'm using now, but might spring for a Travelpro in the future) and maybe pop for a Zephyr or Empire Builder which is about the same size as my ID, but presents a more professional appearance for meeting with Superintendents and the like.

    While the Zephyr looks a little smaller than my ID based on the specs, the Empire Builder looks enormous and, arguably, is not quite small enough to be my "personal item" if the airline really wanted to get picky. If I didn't need my 13" MacBook Air, I would go laptop-free; however a big part of my presentations involves using the Air. In addition to looking for professional, the Zephyr (and EB) also have the ability to go over the handle of a piece of rolling luggage.

    I've been tempted by the TriStar, but then I'm also carrying my briefcase so I'm not sure how that would work. One on the back, one in the hand?

    My main carry includes the 13" Air (in a Cache), two iPad Minis (one is mine and one is for demo purposes), and assorted cables, dongles, and other items like a Mifi, a WD Passport 1TB portable USB drive, etc. You know the drill. I'm thinking it's probably a little too much for a Cadet and no way it's enough to fill an EB.

    So here I am. When most people are minimizing and going down to one bag, I'm thinking about expanding to meet my needs while on the road for business. Because of the amount of technology I need to carry for my job, I am still struggling to find the perfect travel setup...
    Active Duty: Synapse 25 (Black/Wasabi) & Western Flyer (Black/Wasabi) for me & Imago (Cardinal/Hemp/Steel) for my wife
    Reserves: Cadet 13/15 (Black/Wasabi), ID (Black/Steel/Wasabi), Ristretto for 11" MBAir (Black/Steel), Medium Cafe Bag (Olive/Wasabi)

  2. #2
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    Could you combine the content of the briefcase and the ID into the Tristar?

    Do you use a khakis/dress shirt/tie outfits? And how much outfits do you bring every trip?

    Would you be ok using ultralight running/exercise shoes?

    Those questions are just a way to figure out the capacity you need, clothes/personal stuff wise.


    I know that the main carry: " the 13" Air (in a Cache), two iPad Minis (one is mine and one is for demo purposes), and assorted cables, dongles, and other items like a Mifi, a WD Passport 1TB portable USB drive, etc." would fit in the center compartment of the Tristar with no problem.

    Is that also the content of the briefcase?


    The Tristar can be used at home (backpack style) and on the road (briefcase style), having one bag will alleviate the anxiety, which I can relate to, of losing or forgetting something .

    Furthermore, it will enable you to color code tongle/wire wrangling containers, keep them there and forget about it until you have to go to a client (using a handy checklist) and once you have to pack back up at the client site.

  3. #3
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    Hi Backpack -

    Yes. The items listed as my main carry are what live in my ID. Although the Snake Charmer is a bit of a squeeze because it doesn't actually like to sit on top of the cache so it's kind of squeezed in vertically at one end with the MB Air shoved to one side.

    If I'm going to be doing two days of events, I usually bring on pair of pants and two dress shirts and ties in my Eagle Creek folder. I also do wear Brooks Pure Flows which are pretty minimal running shoes, though definitely not in the ultra light category.

    Just so I'm following, are you thinking using the TriStar all the time as my only bag, period? I had actually thought about this with a Western Flyer because it's probably more "briefcase like" in size and appearance.

    Thanks in advance!
    Active Duty: Synapse 25 (Black/Wasabi) & Western Flyer (Black/Wasabi) for me & Imago (Cardinal/Hemp/Steel) for my wife
    Reserves: Cadet 13/15 (Black/Wasabi), ID (Black/Steel/Wasabi), Ristretto for 11" MBAir (Black/Steel), Medium Cafe Bag (Olive/Wasabi)

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    ScottE22,

    I'm in a similar situation regarding travel and having to schlep along docs or equipment. Almost all of my travel (40-50% of my time) is international via 1-2 hour flights within tropical countries. And I do field work, so I need hardy field clothes, some more decent attire for travel or occasional dinner meetings, and exercise gear. Black-grey-white-khaki businesswear won't cut it for me. And, as I get up in age, I need my creature comforts and a small collection of emergency medicine and gear for the inevitable unforeseen whatever.

    One-bagging is my goal, and, like you, seems to work best for leisure travel. Don't let those one-bagger zealots make you feel bad. Stand up for your rights to carry whatever makes you feel good, and whatever you need to work! Business travel is enough of a drag; one shouldn't have to give up on anything that makes it a bit more bearable.

    I use the Brainbag as a personal carry (laptop, reading material, iPad, etc.) and depending on trip length and purpose either an Aeronaut or 21" rollaboard as a carry-on, or the 21" or larger rollaboard checked-in. One of my fieldwork creature comforts is a decent pocketknife, definitely something that I cannot carry onto the plane. So I often end up checking a bag that would qualify as a carry-on. I this case, I prefer not to use the Aeronaut. It's sturdy, but airlines destroy luggage.

    I enjoy TB gear for what it is: well-designed, well-built travel and EDC gear. I don't remember signing any commitment to one-bagging when I bought my TB gear. Life is too short to get my pants in a knot about one-bagging.
    Last edited by tdivcr; 04-16-2013 at 02:06 PM.
    Darcy and lomo like this.

  5. #5
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    Maybe get a rolling luggage handle WF? This would allow you to one bag it when you feel like it but also give you flexibility to combine with rolling luggage when you need it. It has bigger internal volume than the EB so may be overkill for EDC, however outside dimensions are slightly smaller and since it is less structured it may look/feel smaller when it isn't full.

  6. #6
    JLE
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    I have always found one bagging for business to be much harder than for leisure as well. I find two bags usually work better for me and is amore convenient setup in this situation Have you thought about flipping the two bags so the briefcase is on wheels and your clothes are in a shoulder bag? My rule of thumb is whatever is heaviest goes on wheels, so if the tech equipment and papers etc are heavy then I would be considering a rolling briefcase of some sort. Then the WF with luggage sleeve would work well on top of the rolling brief. It's a very good size for 1-2 night trips with the typical packing list you've described. If you prefer to use a roller for clothes, it might still be worth looking at the WF. It can be kitted out to work quite well as a briefcase, it looks like a large laptop bag if you choose a conservative colour so it could be taken into most professional environments and you'd get lots of use out of it for short leisure trips as well!

    On the other hand, if your tech load never expands beyond what you've listed because most of your equipment is being separately shipped anyway, then backpack's suggestion of the Tri-Star is definitely worth considering.

    Get both and leave the tags on until you decide which to return?

  7. #7
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    Yes, I was thinking about the Tristar as the work bag both for everyday and travel, my thinking came from the non negligible amount of stress on a recent trip brought by the time I had to spend helping my husband wrangle his wires, at every stop,


    Just as you and Rory suggested, ScottE22, the Western Flyer might fit the bill better than the Tristar.

    And one with a rollaboard handle would bring you the best of both world.


    The Brain Bag would be the perfect fun time/trip bag and it might end up being used by one of your family members, one day.


    People have the right to set up their travel gear how ever they see fit, amount of gear, health, ruggedness of terrain, travel style... All contribute to a unique set of gear, ways of packing and even mean of getting there.

    Phileas Fogg was all adventure travel, getting there fast by any mean necessary, until he took a lady along.

    Phileas Fogg was a one bagger, the lady was not.
    lomo likes this.

  8. #8
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    I often chime in about loving my Zephyr, so will just say that. Love my Zephyr. Works great as a personal item with a roller carryon.

  9. #9
    ceb
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    Somehow there is this misconception out there that "one bagging" is something bad or that you end up missing something. The other misconception is that wheeled luggage has more "room" than a strap bag.

    I think one has to look at requirements. Do I want carry-on only? Will everything I need to take fit in the size bags I can carry on?

    When I pack, I first determine what I will wear each day. Then I see if I can combine things (in another post I discussed wearing a suit one day and a contrasting pants - with the same suit jacket - the next day. Perhaps a minor fashion faux-pas but most wouldn't notice or care about the differences between a suit jacket and a sport coat.) to reduce the load.

    Once I have the clothing done, I do the same for electronics - except - I actually have a pre-packed packing cube for travel with spare chargers, cables and what not. To that I add the electronics (computer, phones etc) and double check to make sure the chargers are there. Don't forget a car charger if you need to use your phone as a GPS.

    Now, lay it all out and see where what bag(s) will work.

    Now - to the OP - test pack the clothing for your next trip. Fold them into packing cube sized piles - the TriStar and WF cubes are very close in size and you don't need to be exact. I'll bet you end up with one clothing pile.

    Make a new pile for your "at your hand" stuff on airplanes. That can be your Mac and the two minis, your book and whatever else you may need handy.

    The third pile is your chargers, dongles and other electronic "stuff."

    I think you'll find that a small briefcase style bag (or even a Ristretto type messenger) will work nicely for your "at your hand stuff"

    Now, get a TriStar and put the packing cube in the back, your shoes and electronic gizmos in the front and you're ready to rock and roll.

    But wait - that center compartment is all empty and lonely.

    That's where you stick your small "briefcase" or ristretto while moving through the airport. Pull it out at the boarding gate, find your seat - push the oversized bags that are there out of the way and stow your TriStar. Sit down and stick your Ristretto under the seat.

    At the hotel you leave the TriStar and take your Ristretto or whatever bag you're using.

    For longer trips you can put a packing cube in the middle and carry both the TriStar and the Ristretto.

    If you don't do shoes then a WF would work too.

    If you do get a wheeled bag, look for closeouts on Briggs&Riley - one of the only companies out there that covers all types of damage no matter what caused it - airline rips a wheel off, no problem. You don't get that with Travelpro or Tumi anymore.
    Darcy likes this.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  10. #10
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    ScottE22, check your PM inbox. I'll be happy to let you try my TriStar, Western Flyer and/or Empire Builder for size over a pint of Dale's. Much easier when you get to see them up close and personal.
    Enlightened traveller since 2009

  11. #11
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceb View Post
    Somehow there is this misconception out there that "one bagging" is something bad or that you end up missing something. The other misconception is that wheeled luggage has more "room" than a strap bag.
    A gentleman came into our Seattle store with the wheeled bag on the left, seeking to replace it with an Aeronaut. With the help of some Packing Cubes, he was able to fit all of his stuff from that fully packed wheeled bag into an Aeronaut. Because he didn't need the wheeled bag anymore, he left it with us -- a pretty liberating experience.

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    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    A gentleman came into our Seattle store with the wheeled bag on the left, seeking to replace it with an Aeronaut. With the help of some Packing Cubes, he was able to fit all of his stuff from that fully packed wheeled bag into an Aeronaut. Because he didn't need the wheeled bag anymore, he left it with us -- a pretty liberating experience.

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    darcy,

    why is that wheeled bag twice as big as the aeronaut?
    Darcy and backpack like this.
    -m

  13. #13
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    "never judge things by their appearance...even carpetbags." -mary poppins


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdivcr View Post
    I don't remember signing any commitment to one-bagging when I bought my TB gear. Life is too short to get my pants in a knot about one-bagging.
    Quote Originally Posted by ceb View Post
    Somehow there is this misconception out there that "one bagging" is something bad or that you end up missing something. The other misconception is that wheeled luggage has more "room" than a strap bag.
    I completely agree with both of the above. When appropriate, one bagging is definitely the way to go. What I'm kind of learning is that, while an admirable goal, it's not always the "best fit" for every occasion.

    Regarding wheeled luggage, it's not that I think there is more room, it's just that I have never been able to find the right way to have two bags hanging off my shoulders. I've done a backpack and cross-body with my Ristretto for 11" Air or my ID, and that's about the best I've done. I would consider a Tri-Star for this kind of arrangement in combination with a Zephyr, although I like what you said here...

    Quote Originally Posted by ceb View Post
    I think you'll find that a small briefcase style bag (or even a Ristretto type messenger) will work nicely for your "at your hand stuff"

    Now, get a TriStar and put the packing cube in the back, your shoes and electronic gizmos in the front and you're ready to rock and roll.

    But wait - that center compartment is all empty and lonely.

    That's where you stick your small "briefcase" or ristretto while moving through the airport. Pull it out at the boarding gate, find your seat - push the oversized bags that are there out of the way and stow your TriStar. Sit down and stick your Ristretto under the seat.

    At the hotel you leave the TriStar and take your Ristretto or whatever bag you're using.

    For longer trips you can put a packing cube in the middle and carry both the TriStar and the Ristretto.

    If you don't do shoes then a WF would work too.

    If you do get a wheeled bag, look for closeouts on Briggs&Riley - one of the only companies out there that covers all types of damage no matter what caused it - airline rips a wheel off, no problem. You don't get that with Travelpro or Tumi anymore.
    I'm thinking I could probably make this work with a Ristretto, Cadet 13/15, or even a Large Cafe Bag (which would give me flexibility to throw in my 11" or 13" Air in their respective Caches).

    I'm definitely not thinking Aeronaut. That's likely way too big for my needs.
    Active Duty: Synapse 25 (Black/Wasabi) & Western Flyer (Black/Wasabi) for me & Imago (Cardinal/Hemp/Steel) for my wife
    Reserves: Cadet 13/15 (Black/Wasabi), ID (Black/Steel/Wasabi), Ristretto for 11" MBAir (Black/Steel), Medium Cafe Bag (Olive/Wasabi)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    A gentleman came into our Seattle store with the wheeled bag on the left, seeking to replace it with an Aeronaut. With the help of some Packing Cubes, he was able to fit all of his stuff from that fully packed wheeled bag into an Aeronaut. Because he didn't need the wheeled bag anymore, he left it with us -- a pretty liberating experience.

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    I don't know... Now you're making me re-think the Aeronaut...
    Active Duty: Synapse 25 (Black/Wasabi) & Western Flyer (Black/Wasabi) for me & Imago (Cardinal/Hemp/Steel) for my wife
    Reserves: Cadet 13/15 (Black/Wasabi), ID (Black/Steel/Wasabi), Ristretto for 11" MBAir (Black/Steel), Medium Cafe Bag (Olive/Wasabi)

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