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Thread: My first ultra-light weekend trip--wish me luck!

  1. #1
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    My first ultra-light weekend trip--wish me luck!

    I've long been a convert to the lighter-simpler method of travel and Tom Bihn has been essential to achieving it. Like many of you, I can go for weeks with a Tristar as long as I pack carefully and wash periodically. The problem for me recently has been that, as a result of an unfortunate injury, I can't carry something as heavy as the Tristar.

    I did buy a Western Flyer in the delectable Nordic Dyneema, which I took along on a week long trip recently and it worked out fine, though I was traveling with my husband, who volunteered to tote my bag along with his through the airports.

    I had planned to take the WF on a long weekend trip from Seattle to Boston, but when I looked in the closet I saw to my horror that my husband beat me to it when he left for a week long trip yesterday. (That'll teach me for persuading hi that packing light is the way to go. No good deed goes unpunished...)

    So I was trying to figure out an alternative arrangement that didn't involve admitting defeat and bringing my wheeled briefcase. I love my Imago--my everyday carry. But that wouldn't do for clothes and the computer and miscellany I need. I used to carry my computer in a Ristretto, but I gifted that to my daughter when I went over to the Imago...but wait! She's storing a few boxes and bags at our house while awaiting a new apartment to come vacant--and there it is, my old Ristretto.

    So here's the plan for this weekend. I did a test pack this morning. In the Imago back pocket is the thin plastic folder with my hotel confirmation, boarding passes, and a hard copy of my presentation. Next to the plastic folder is my GO inflatable back-cushion. Inside the Imago in the zipped pocket is my Tom Bihn wallet and my smartphone. In the main area of the Imago, I have a half sized WF packing cube containing two blouses, one silk long undie for extra warmth, two pairs of undies and two sets of socks, a big King Felix t-shirt for pjs, and an extra bra. (I roll for wrinkle-reduction and space saving.) Also tucked in is a mini umbrella and a small barrel-style hairbrush. Behind the packing cube is my travel tray containing dental floss, a comb, a few dry makeup bits, a few packets of Via and tea, a memory stick and extra SD card, a small sewing kit, my travel toothbrush, and a small packet of Clorox disinfecting wipes. Sitting on top of that is my 3-1-1 ziplock with the usual hygiene and beauty items.

    The Ristretto has a nice padded place for the Acer S-7 computer, and in the main area is a Side Effect holding the rest of my electronica--my camera, chargers for my electronica, and my Kindle in its Kindle sleeve is in the open back pocket.

    I know, I could cut down on the electronica, but I'd rather not. So that's what I plan to travel with--leaving Friday morning and coming back Sunday night.

    If you have additional suggestions, I will adapt my list. I don't leave for a few days yet. And I'll report back post-trip about what I might do differently next time.
    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
    Registered User flaneuse's Avatar
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    That sounds great! I know, I love traveling light! It makes life so much easier hope you have a wonderful trip and looking forward to hearing how your imago and ristretto work out.
    My TB family:
    A45 in black/iberian, black/steel • BB • S25 in black dyneema • S19 in black/iberian • LCB in steel parapack/iberian • CP in navy ballistic/solar • Swift in steel dyneema • LS in Aubergine • SE in steel 400d dyneema, nordic dyneema/solar, solar • TTs • various pouches/key straps/YSSs • iPad mini cache • LSBs, SSBs • PCSB, A45 PCBP in Nordic dyneema • 360mm Quiver •

  3. #3
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I don't think I can improve on that! It's pretty much what I'd take for an informal weekend trip, except that I carry an iPad Mini with keyboard unless I absolutely have to have my MacBook Air (which is very rare). My version would therefore be Swift + S/MCB - but I covert an Imago with the cork fabric...

    BTW, what happened to the crimson WF in your signature?
    Collections:
    black/aubergine + wasabi (WF, SA + UMP, TT, TSSs, SE, Swift, QK, YSSs & KTPs)
    forest/cork/linen + steel/olive (Imago, Pilot, SCB, COW, QK, OPs)
    olive/plum + steel/UV/wasabi (S19, SE, MCB, TSSs, SSBs, YSSs, OPs)
    black/steel + iberian (SE, SCB, FJN, TSSs, YSSs)
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Well done, flitcraft! I assume you are wearing a jacket and a wool underlayer. Temps in Boston this time of year can be all over the place...I remember when it SNOWED on my birthday, May 1.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    Monkeylady, you are so right about the variability of weather in New England. I remember attending a Red Sox game in mid May when it was snowing in the morning and sleeting by first pitch. Good times... But according to the WBZ website, it's supposed to be in the high fifties and showery on Saturday. I'll check again the day before I leave, just in case!

    I'm planning on wearing a light knee length jacket over my go-to-meeting professional blazer for traveling.
    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.

  6. #6
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    BTW @flitcraft...reading through your signature, I see that you are the proud owner of the steel/cork/wasabi Imago. IMHO it is the most beautiful fabric combination that TB has ever made. I hope you keep it locked up and have triple security at your house. Perhaps you could charge admission to view it. Would you ever be willing to post a picture to torture us all?
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    BTW @flitcraft...reading through your signature, I see that you are the proud owner of the steel/cork/wasabi Imago. IMHO it is the most beautiful fabric combination that TB has ever made. I hope you keep it locked up and have triple security at your house. Perhaps you could charge admission to view it. Would you ever be willing to post a picture to torture us all?
    @monkeylady you can find a picture of the Steel/Cork/Wasabi Imagon on the forums. You can also see one of Darcy's posts of the outside of an Imago in Steel/Cork (with an inside color of deep blue) in the New Imago Colors thread. Scroll down to see pictures (not taken by me) of the Hunter/Cork/Sage Imago that I have.

    HTH. moriond
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  8. #8
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    @flitcraft

    Good luck with your ultralight packing adventure. I was pretty appalled to read about your experiences with Lufthansa (on the other thread). The Imago is a good choice with the packing cubes. I also find that I can fit some of the Eagle Creek packing cubes, as well as WF packing cubes and travel stuff sacks into that bag. The only slight concern I have is whether the cross-body carry of the two bags (Imago and Ristretto), both loaded, will be comfortable for you. I think you should use this opportunity to get his and her Western Flyers (even though they don't currently stock them in Dyneema)!

    Another thought: if you need to you can probably off-load some items into a shop bag that you carry along to rebalance your load.


    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @monkeylady you can find a picture of the Steel/Cork/Wasabi Imagon on the forums. You can also see one of Darcy's posts of the outside of an Imago in Steel/Cork (with an inside color of deep blue) in the New Imago Colors thread. Scroll down to see pictures (not taken by me) of the Hunter/Cork/Sage Imago that I have.

    HTH. moriond
    That Steel/Cork/Wasabi Imago is GORGEOUS! Consider me tortured!!!
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    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  10. #10
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Ssshhhhhhh, @taminca.....your forest/cork Imago will come unhinged with jealousy..
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    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  11. #11
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Could we have a long moment of silence for cork? Oh, how I miss it so!
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    This is a great packing list. Nice work! It looks very manageable and I doubt you'll want for anything on this trip.

    For future travels: reading your list makes me wonder if you might want to try the Synapse 19? I took a trip that was similar in terms of items (see here) and I found the S19 to be perfect. The nice thing about it, too, is that with the weight distributed across your shoulders, everything feels lighter. If you have been thinking about another TB purchase down the road, the S19 might be one to consider. (Also: having written this I can't remember if you actually like backpacks or not. If you don't, please disregard.)

  13. #13
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    I carry the steel/cork/wasabi imago for work now (acquired from another forum user) and its awesomeness astounds me on the daily. Love the colors together and the compartments feel as if they were made just for me.

    Swoons dramatically.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    This is a great packing list. Nice work! It looks very manageable and I doubt you'll want for anything on this trip.

    For future travels: reading your list makes me wonder if you might want to try the Synapse 19? I took a trip that was similar in terms of items (see here) and I found the S19 to be perfect. The nice thing about it, too, is that with the weight distributed across your shoulders, everything feels lighter. If you have been thinking about another TB purchase down the road, the S19 might be one to consider. (Also: having written this I can't remember if you actually like backpacks or not. If you don't, please disregard.)
    I second Badger's recommendation of the S19, I was carrying it into various doc appointments after falling late fall of 2011 on one side and early fall of 2013 on the other side.
    I have the Dyneema version and it is so lightweight, it is like carrying nothing and having all your stuff with you.
    Kind of like having your cake and eat too, which is not recommended when not able to do a full dance routine, which I have used in lieu of exercise, way before ShawnT was on the scene.


    Just like Moriond and many other forum members, I was appalled by the lack of compassion and attitude given to you by Lufthansa personnel.

    On this trip, don't hesitate to ask for a wheelchair if you have pain or experience fatigue, if you can get pre-boarding, it would be nice too.

  15. #15
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    Back from my little two and a half day trip with the Ristretto and the Imago. In the end, I decided to skip taking my computer with me, though it did fit in my test packing. I figured for such a short trip I wouldn't end up using the computer much, and that I could access email with my phone and take notes longhand at the colloquium.

    It was nice to have all my stuff organized in the packing cube and the travel tray and still be traveling ultra light. I carried the bags two ways--cross body in opposite directions, and sometimes with just one cross body and the other toted by its top strap. I remembered again why I ended up gifting the Ristretto to my daughter--it rides really low, and as a short person, it hits down the front of the thigh, so that with every step I'm bouncing it a bit against my leg. The Imago, on the other hand, hits at the hip level and stays steady while walking. I think a largish vertical bag is not so well-suited to us short folks. (My daughter is about six inches taller than I am, so she has no problems with it.) Because I had a bag on each side of the body, it did make me a 'wide load' walking!

    I am definitely considering getting the Synapse 19 as an option for the ultra-light two to four day trips. The only downside for me is that I am not a big fan of backpacks when I am traveling wearing the blazer that I will be wearing at the conference--they get a bit rumpled looking that way. For example, I often end up carrying my WF and Tristar by the absolute strap rather than in backpack mode unless I'm doing leisure travel (in which case, the backpack mode is way more comfortable than the 'suitcase' mode.) Also, if the narrower strap placement were still available, I'd go for that over the current design.

    Incidentally, I did get to pre-board (just after the elites boarded) on Alaska Air because they let those who won't be using the overhead bins board just after the MVPs. Since I have no status at all on Alaska, I just assumed I'd be among the last to board. Instead, it was nice to board and get settled early. So no wheelchair needed this time--just my trusty quad-pod cane.

    So...overall verdict? The combo did work, it would have worked with a thin and light computer if I'd chosen to take it, but it probably isn't as easy as a single medium bag like the Synapse 19.
    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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