I recently returned from a conference trip with my two graduate students. We were gone almost a week. While leaving my house with my luggage, I had my usual panicked moment where I was convinced I had overpacked. (I'm not the only person who has irrational moments in regards to packing, right?) I had packed, in addition to toiletries, 2 pairs of pants, 1 skirt, several shirts, and (the reason I couldn't take my TriStar) 3 jackets and 1 pair of dress shoes. I also had my reviled Timbuktu laptop bag because my presentation wasn't finished and I had to lug my 15" MBP with me. So, I had a soft-sided carry-on and a computer bag "personal item". My Absolute Strap made the laptop bag a little less horrible.
The first two times student #1 and I went to a meeting together, he had a medium-sized roll-aboard that had to be checked. This trip he had a small (<20") roll-aboard and a small laptop bag. He was so happy that he'd packed less than me. (I was happy, too.)
Student #2 had a GIANT suitcase. It was larger than the other two bags put together. On the way back, I saw that it weighed 48.5 lbs. How does one manage to pack 48.5 lbs for a 1 week conference? I'll admit that I'm nowhere near as fashionable as student #2, but I still don't understand.
I didn't make any comments about her bag other than that we could check it as mine for free because of frequent flyer status, but I do hope that she tries traveling with a smaller bag on our next trip.