Okay, okay, okay... I'll write the gear post before the year's over! One of the things that keeps me from writing all year is that it never really feels like the stuff in my pack has changed all that much. I switch one item at a time, never thinking I have much to write about. Then the end of the year comes, the citizenry demands a post, and I'm always surprised to see just how much has changed.
I called last year's gear post the Style Edition because although it was 100% functional, I also made a few choices to have slightly better looking clothing. That trend has continued a little bit this year, but I'm calling this one the Zen Edition because my already minimal packing list has become even shorter.
When I first started traveling, the minimalism aspect of it was pure coincidence. I had intended on buying a normal backpack, but Todd convinced me to go smaller. Our first 28L Deuter Futura backpacks seemed impossibly small at first, but after a year of learning what is and isn't necessary, space gradually opened up. My response was to fill it with new gadgets-- eventually I had a portable kettlebell, a full cot with silk sheets, and who knows what else.
As the years went on, Todd continued to get smaller backpacks, which influenced me to get smaller backpacks as well. I would always pack them completely full until recently. Last year I had some empty space, and now my pack is less than halfway full. If I could find a well organized and designed 12 liter pack, I would use it.
Part of the reason I have less stuff now is because technology keeps getting better. My laptop is tiny and light. The camera I have now couldn't exist five years ago when I started all this. Everything charges with the same cable. The other reason I've continued to reduce what I travel with, though, is because carry unnecessary items makes your trip worse. They weigh your pack down, clutter it up, and make it take longer to pack and unpack. The less I travel with, the better my experience is. At this point my pack weighs 10.7 pounds, which makes it trivial to carry it all day, even when climbing through the mountains.
Before I get into the guts of my gear, I'll share with you my newest mini project: Best in the Land. If you love gear, go to BestInTheLand.com and subscribe. Every once in a while I will send you an update with gear I've found. An email might be a full review of all digital cameras suited for travel, it might be a great USB cable I've found, or it might be some crazy deal on a flight to Japan. You might get an email or two every week, or maybe just one a month. I'm not going to commit to any sort of schedule because the point is to only share stuff that I really love. I don't find that sort of stuff on a schedule.
The links will sometimes be affiliate links (like many of those below) and I may sometimes review stuff that's given to me for free. If you don't trust me to remain unbiased, this list isn't for you.
Okay, onto the gear. First a forty minute video of me talking about every piece of gear, and then a wall of text.
Backpack: Tom Bihn Synapse
I'm still using my trusty Tom Bihn Synapse in Dyneema. I've never before used a backpack that reflects such a highly developed understanding of travel. The compartments are perfectly laid out and sized so that they never encroach on each other, even when stuffed. Everything is easy to access. It's comfortable, even for multi-day hikes, but doesn't look like a ridiculous backpacker backpack. The only way I could think to improve this pack would be for it to be more waterproof (it's already good enough that light rain doesn't concern me, even when my laptop is inside), and for it to be smaller. I think something in the 12-15L range would be perfect.
Also, I should add that the people at Tom Bihn are great. They've tweeted and blogged about me a bunch of times and always offer me new bags for free. If they didn't make the one I paid for so durable and functional, I could actually take them up on it.
Buy at Tom Bihn.
Laptop: Asus Zenbook Prime 11"
I've written all about it here, so I won't go into it again, but the Asus Zenbook Prime UX21A is the perfect nomad laptop. You can read my whole review of it, but the three major features that make this the ultimate travel laptop are:
1. Size and weight. It's the size of a MacBook Air and slightly lighter. Two and a half pounds, which is so light that sometimes I panic and think I've forgotten my laptop, so I have to unzip and check. It's so light that I bring it on side-trips just to charge other gadgets.
2. Two amp USB charging, even when it's off. I've had laptops that can charge when off before, but never one that pumps out a full two amps and has a control panel to adjust settings on it. This means that it charges my phone, kindle, camera, etc. as fast as they would be charged from a wall socket. If your laptop doesn't do this, it will sound like a minor feature, but when you're traveling it's really great.
3. Best screen on a laptop. The screen is 1920x1080, which is twice the resolution of the MacBook Air, or almost any other small laptop on the market. Resolution is probably the most important factor to consider in terms of actual productivity.
Combine those factors and you have a great laptop that can do anything, charge your other stuff on the go, and is so small and light you barely notice that it's there.
Camera: Sony RX100
I'm really excited about the camera recommendation this year because it represents a real technological breakthrough, and allowed me to ditch all of the accessories and clutter associated with my old camera. I'd read about the RX100 and even been shown it by people, but it's so small that I just assumed it couldn't be very good. I was wrong.
The RX100 is much smaller than my NEX-5N. It's small enough to fit in my pocket comfortable, and for me to forget it's there. That means that photos that wouldn't have been captured otherwise are now being captured. Fitting in a pocket is the only thing the RX100 has in common with it's nearest competitor, though. It's more like a miniature DSLR.
The sensor on the RX100 is a 1" sensor. One inch sensors are found on small interchangeable lens cameras like the Nikon V1, but never before on a pocket camera. Large sensors are important because besides being the most important factor for image quality, they also dictate how narrow a depth of field (background blurring) you can attain, and how well the camera performs in low light.
Coupled with a reatively large sensor, the RX100 has an f/1.8 Zeiss lens. The stock lens on my NEX-5 was an f/2.8, which means that the RX100 lets in twice is much light. Account for the 4x bigger sensor in the NEX, but add in 2 stops gained from the RX100's optical image stabilization, and the RX100 actually captures about twice the light of the NEX-5N with the stock lens.
That's all back of the napkin sort of calculation, and I also used to shoot with a f/1.4 on the NEX, but the point is this-- the RX100 can reasonably be compared with much bigger and more "serious looking" cameras.
It also has a zoom lens, which goes from 28mm equivalent to 100mm AND can shoot macro from less than two inches away. Sony/Zeiss really nailed it in making a lens that works extremely well in all critical situations (portraits, landscape, medium light, macro) and decently well in all other situations (distance, extremely low light, shots requiring narrow depth of field).
Everything about the camera is highly customization - much more so than the NEX-5N, meaning that you can bend it to your will and really get 100% out of it. I could really rave on about this thing forever. For the first time ever, we're talking about a camera that can take "archive quality" shots, and fits in your pocket.
Phone: Samasung Galaxy S3
I have a Samsung Galaxy S3. It's a great phone for traveling, but isn't so unique that it's necessity like some of the other items I'm mentioning. The truth is that any modern Android/iPhone can probably do whatever you need while traveling. Here are a few reasons I prefer Android as a nomad:
- Tight Google Voice integration means that you can text from anywhere
- Google Maps lets you cache maps offline
- Nice big high-res screens for watching movies
- More expandable (Mine has 16gb internal + 64gb sd) for storing a ton of media, backing up photos from computer, etc.
That said, a lot of people travel with iPhones, and they do just fine, too. I don't have one, but I have the feeling a Galaxy Note II would be a perfect travel phone. It's still small enough to fit in your pocket, but is big enough to use as a tablet.
One thing you may not be aware of is that you can buy these high end phones and then have them flashed to pay-as-you-go carriers like Boost or Cricket. Besides saving you about 50% on your phone bill, you can just stop your service for a few months while traveling.
Buy on Amazon
Headphones: Shure SE530
My headphone recommendation is still the Shure 530 headphones. I think the real ultimate solution is to get custom molded headphones, but I've been unwilling to shell out the $1k+ necessary to get a good pair made.
Buy on Amazon
Speaker: SoundMatters Foxl 2.2
I've also started carrying around the Soundmatters Foxl 2.2. If you've ever seen the more popular Jawbone JamBox, you're familiar with it-- Jawbone licensed the technology to make a nearly identical but slightly more bulky version. This speaker will redefine what you think is possible in terms of compact audio quality. It has real bass that you can feel, and crisp sound as long as you don't crank it up too loud. It's loud enough to fill a hotel room full of good quality sound.
Buy on Amazon
I really like what Kindle has done with the newer models (I actually bought a Paperwhite, which I later returned), but no Kindle since the 3G has offered free web browsing over 3G anywhere in the world. This feature has been a huge benefit to me, so I can't upgrade. That said, the Keyboard 3G paperwhite isn't much of a compromise. It doesn't have the cool built-in illumination or the high res screen, but at the same time, it's still a really great reading experience. I burn through books far faster than I would if I had to deal with paperbacks.
Buy on Amazon
USB Cables: iGo Keyjuice
I've really fallen in love with this little dual USB cord. It can't get tangled, is pretty hard to lose, and lets you charge TWO devices at the same time off one socket. Now that we're in the era of super slim laptops with fewer USB ports, this is a great feature. If you don't have things that charge off mini and micro USB, you can get adapters.
Buy on Amazon
HDMI Cable: SMD Thin HDMI Cable
Another great little item to throw in the bag. It allows you to hook your laptop up to any TV with HDMI, making it possible to watch movies or do photo slideshows anywhere. I'm obsessed with how thin this cable is.
Buy on Amazon
Shirts: Icebreaker V
I've been flipping between Smartwool and Icebreaker shirts over the years as I prefer one style over another. Both are equally high quality. For those who don't know, wool stays cleaner, smells good for days on end, keeps you warm even when wet, and is effective at wicking sweat. I have only two shirts and I switch off wearing them every few days. My current favorite is the Apollo V from Icebreaker.
Buy on Amazon
Pants: Versace Wool Blend Jeans
My pants are extremely hard to find, BUT two pairs just showed up on eBay. Here's one (size 31) and here's the other (33). There was another pair in size thirty, but I just bought it as a backup. These pants are the best travel material I've ever seen: 80% Wool and 20% Nylon. Very durable and easy to deal with. If I was greedier I'd buy up both of those pairs and then sell them to you for $300+ because they're worth it.
Buy on eBay. Good luck. If I was a total baller, I would buy the Christian Dior ones at the top of that list.
Hoodie: Nau M2
The best Wool Hoodie out right now is the Nau M2 hoodie. It's very lightweight in case you need to stash it in your backpack, but adds a significant amount of warmth. I wear mine all the time in San Francisco, where temperatures are usually between 50 and 80.
Buy on Amazon
Jacket: Montbell Ex-Light
For the longest time now I've been wearing the Montbell Ex-Light down jackets. I'm sort of jealous of the new cool colors they have, but my several-year-old one is still keeping me warm. This jacket is as deceptivey durable as it is warm. It's the only insulation I wore through two seasons of skiing, a trip to Iceland, climbing in the Peruvian Andes, etc. It's not as warm as a big bulky jacket, but it can handle some pretty serious situations.
Buy on Amazon
Waterproof Shell: Marmot Mica
My original Marmot Mica wore out, probably because of the hood flapping behind me on my motorcycle, but they sent me a brand new one for free under warranty. Judging by the size and lack of heft, you might be surprised at how effective it is at keeping you dry, even through heavy storms.
Buy on Amazon
Shorts: Icebreaker Tracer
I usually only wear these shorts when working out or when doing laundry, but I was in Mexico a couple months ago and ended up wearing these around most of the time. I could have sworn that they had another version that was slightly longer and had pockets, but they're either discontinued now or a figment of my imagination. Luckily these have a tiny internal pocket that you can put a key and a couple folded up bills in.
Buy on Amazon
Random Wool Warmth Accessory: Buff
I wish I was the genius that came up with this idea. It's essentially a giant wool tube that can be adapted to a million different uses. I use it most as a scarf, hat, balaclava, or even as a sleep mask if I forget mine.
Buy on Amazon
Underwear: Icebreaker Anotomica Briefs
I wear Icebreaker Anotomica Briefs. I'm not sure how much I can say about underwear, except that they're very comfortable, fit well, and look pretty cool. And, of course, they're wool and have all the associated benefits.
Buy on Amazon
Long Underwear: Icebreaker 260 Leggings
Sometimes short underwear just doesn't cut it-- like, you know, when you're blasting on a motorcycle through the icy expanses of Alaska. In those cases, go with the Icebreaker 260 Leggings. They fit well and you forget that you're even wearing them, except that your pants are magically warm all of a sudden.
Buy on Amazon
Cards: WW2 Vintage Kem Miniature Cards
A year and a half ago or so I learned the PAO system to learn to memorize decks of cards. To practice while traveling, I bought a deck of KEM cards. The trick is that these cards were only manufactured during World War II, so finding a deck is very difficult. In fact, now that I've written about it on this blog, it will probably be impossible. I have two decks, each of which cost me around $40 on eBay.
Search fruitlessly for them on eBay. Good luck.
I'm still using the LD15. It's a nice tiny AA flashlight with ridiculous battery life and several different brightness modes to manage the power/light output balance. It's also waterproof, which would have been perfect for cave diving in Tulum, Mexico, if I had ever once remembered to bring it with me to the caves.
Buy on Amazon
Pen: Ohto Tasche
When I was in college (and gambling professionally), I bought this ridiculous fountain pen (http://www.nibs.com/PelikanWallStreet.htm). Although it didn't motivate me to take better notes as I had hoped, I really liked the pen. I finally sold it before traveling (for a steep profit, I might add), but when it was time to replace my Inka pen, I decided to see if there were any small fountain pens. Lo and be hold, the Ohto Tasche. I expected that the pen may not write that well, but it's actually quite good-- close enough to my Pelikan that I can't tell the difference.
Buy on Amazon
Sleep Mask: Bucky 40 Blinks
Over three years ago I bought this sleep mask. I was trying some new gear, and figured that I'd take the ugly pink stripey model because it was priced a dollar cheaper. Three years later it's still my favorite eye mask (I've tried many), and it's holding itself together well enough that I can't convince myself to buy a slightly more stylish one. A sleep mask, along with ear plugs, is the kind of item that doesn't sound like a big deal, but when you NEED to sleep on a noisy train, it's a life saver.
Buy on Amazon (Continue my proud tradition and buy the ugly blue one for $2 less)
Ear Plugs: Hearos Extreme Protection
Just like the sleep mask, sometimes you need to sleep in a hostile environment. Ear plugs top out at 33 decibels of sound reduction, and these Hearos are generally the best rated of the 33db crowd. You can wear them many times in a row, or throw them out each time. I tend to bring one or two pairs per trip and wear them out.
Buy on Amazon
Power Adapter: Kikkerland
I accidentally left my now discontinued APC INPA power adapter in China. Luckily for me (and you), Kikkerland has licensed the design and sells them for ten bucks on Amazon. This power adapter has the unique benefit of being able to adapt any socket to any plug. Even weird one-off ones like a proprietary vacuum cleaner power plug I saw on a Japanese train once will work. It's also smaller than all of the other ones. Maybe best of all, the Kikkerland one is cooler colors than the APC.
Buy on Amazon
In case you missed them, or didn't just get enough gear crammed into your eyeballs, check out my past packing lists:
For even more gear, sign up for my Best in the Land mailing list at http://bestintheland.com. The first email will be a special hiking/camping edition of the gear list, talking about the stuff I brought to Peru.
I'm actually wearing a pair of Outlier pants right now, the Kerin Cut Dungarees: http://shop.outlier.cc/shop/retail/keirin-cut-dungarees.html. I absolutely love them. I wear them to work, hiking, or wherever; you can dress them up or down. I'm a big fan of Cordora, my backpack (Camelbak Urban Transport) is also made out of Cordora.
I spent much time searching for Wool pants, but ended up deciding on these instead. Outlier came highly recommended by Ev Bogue, who is also a minimalist packer. These pants are beer/wine/blood/stain resistant; if you spill liquid on them, the liquid basically hovers and doesn't absorb into the material, it's very impressive.
I just bought them based on your recommendation. Since I live in Germany it was quite a gamble,because I have to pay 19% custom fees on top, 45$ shipping and cant really send them back if they dont fit. Dont regret a thing - best pants I ever owned.
Quick comment: The link to the Kikkerland Power Adapter leads to Ear Plugs
Aside from the sandals, what multi-purpose nomad shoes do people recommend? I have yet to find something that can go from trail to club to airport and hold up under the strain and still look good. That's the one item I feel I'm missing from my arsenal.
Just stumbled across these pack-flat wool shoes/slippers: Lasso Flat-Packed Slippers which might be of interest to some of the people here. :)
I recently bought these and am 100% satisfied. If you remove the inlay they offer a very authentic barefoot experience (thin sole + big toepocket) and at the same time are fashionable and provide decent cold-protection. Available in many colours, in black they even work for night clubs: http://www.vivobarefoot.de/Mens/Vivobarefoot-Gobi-Men.html?listtype=search&searchparam=gobi%20men
I've been using a pair of sockwa's as my only shoes for a while, and I recommend them: http://www.sockwa.com/
They're confortable, have the closed shoes look, and I had no problem hiking, biking, or walking a lot. My only issues are that they smell bad easily (although being machine washable helps), and get uncomfortable when wet or in the cold (reason I'm still looking for something else).
I'm a big fan of classic sneaks, I've been wearing these for some years now:
I find they fit my foot better than any other shoe and they take me all the way through winter in Denmark if I let them. They are the preffered shoes of many handball and inside soccer players, because of their great grip and feel. Good for hiking, running, playing soccer, dancing and there's no metal for the airport security. I've even used them as head-pillows quite a few times, when I've passed out on a bench or a floor. If you take it easy on the mudbath/soccer front, you can easily go to a semifancy club wearing those as well.
Right now I'm in Vietnam with hiking boots and flipflops. I wouldn't recommend hiking boots, they are heavy, and if i don't feel like wearing them when I'm in transit, it's quite a mess. I'm going for invisible shoes when I find a place to buy thin enough leather or get home. I definetly regret that I brought boots instead of my good old Adidas. But now I feel quite confident in the thought, that hiking boots just aren't worth the hassle.
@Tynan: what was the conclusion with the invisible shoes, why the change for earthrunners?
All the best
Hey Tynan! Been waiting for this post for a while. I notice you keep talking about a 12 liter backpack you want.. that's only around 730 cubic inches i think. Are you sure you want a backpack that small? I ask because I have been designing and making backpacks by hand recently and can't figure out why anyone would want one!. Most of the packs I have designed and made are around 2000 ci, but I'm trying to wrap my head around a pack that small. I think I can come up with a plan for one, but I'm confused as to how your things would pack in something tiny..
Hey, I'm definitely interested in this. Could probably help you sell a lot of them, too, if you were interested in that. If you look at the video, you'll see that my bag is pretty much empty even when packed. I take almost no clothes with me, which is why my bag is so much more empty than most.
Hey Edward, you make backpacks? Is there a site I could check out, I might be interested in buying some.
I actually do not have a website yet! Since I do them by hand, it takes about a week to make each one at most, but I can work on getting some samples finished up pretty quick. I actually tore one apart to make it into a different pack, but I will post a picture of it here as I finish up my latest project.
I do have to add that the packs I have made so far are 1000D cordura, so they are a bit on the heavy duty side, but the designs can translate to 500D cordura and other materials.
To make it easier, could you guys tell me what it is you are looking for in your packs? I have some excess fabric that I didn't use and I'd love to come up with a mock up to show off.
Like, do you want top loader, panel loader, what size zipper(#10 is what I prefer), I am thinking I could potentially make the interior lined with silnylon(decently water resistant), What do you guys like on shoulder straps, sternum straps, waist belts?
If my packs are good by most standards, I'd love to see more people using them!
For the size, I'd like something in the 12-15L range with a normal 20L backpack silhouette and a thinner depth. Material-wise I'd like the lightest durable fabric with some amount of water protection. It doesn't have to handle falling into the water, but light/medium rain shouldn't be an issue.
I hate top loaders... panel loaders are way better. I'd like the zippers to go all the way down, too, at least on one side.
I like to have lots of 3D pockets (so that they don't interfere with each other), a big main pocket with a laptop sleeve on the back (I'd love for the sleeve to be lined on one side with semi-rigid plastic to make it easier to stff the laptop into a full bag). There's really no amount of pockets that's too many. I've actually looked at getting a camera bag because they're all small compartments.
The straps of the pack should also have pockets. I'd love to be able to store my headphones (maybe some cool pegs to wind them around) and flashlight there. Camera would be great, too.
Items that don't store well in my backpack now:
I also think that the interior should be a fluorescent color. True fluorescents actually convert invisible wavelengths of light to visible, so I think a fluorescent color would make it easier to find things at low light.
Not super important, but I like the idea of little clips at the end of each zipper to clip the zipper to. Makes it so that in crowded public trains or whatever, you don't really have to worry about someone sneaking into your bag.
An integrated rain cover on the bottom (like the Deuter 28) is a good idea and makes it so that you don't have to waterproof the whole bag.I think that on a bag this side, waist and sternum straps are useless. I took mine off of my Tom Bihn.
Well, the pack is underway. I'll hopefully have something to show before the new year arrives. Will definitely keep this updated
Interesting, I looked heavily into solar power packs a year ago (there's a company in round rock TX that specializes in these) - and at the time concluded they're largely pointless unless you're planning to maybe hike the appalachian trail. They take up a a fair bit of visual space, and can usually only charge a smartphone (and an ipad really slowly)
I've usually done what Tynan's done to charge things when travelling - I just make sure I buy a laptop with an always-on usb port (macbooks do this, most thinkpads do this, and ty's asus laptop does this)
Love this. I've been daydreaming about making my own pack as well. I've been looking at the goruck and 5.11 bags, but the gorucks are so much money and the 5.11 isn't quite what I want. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
hmm, I'm interested in something custom as well. Right now the only two packs I'd consider are the goruck gr1, goruck radio ruck, or 5.11 rush 12 (which i own). The reason isn't aesthetics - it's because these packs keep the laptop in a separate compartment, and are still relatively durable, and the zippers go all the way down.
The 5.11 rush wins over goruck in terms of organization, and it also has a separate lined pocket for glasses. Sadly, I have to switch away from my rush 12 soon since it doesn't fit a 15" macbook (it's perfect for my older 13" though).
My biggest complains of the gorucks/5.11's are the lack of water pockets - adding on an extra molle hydration pack looks really nerdy to me. Also, I'm not the biggest fan of army-colors, something lighter colored and not black or camo or army green. Light sand colors are currently what I rock, but I'd love a rugged pack that's aesthetically pleasing/modern.
Well. I'm still awaiting my silnylon for the interior of the pack, but I'll throw it together as soon as I get it. Thanks for all of the input thus far, this is turning into a very exciting project for me!
If the pack Tynan and I are putting together isn't quite what you are looking for, feel free to give me suggestions on what you'd like to be done differently and I'll see what I can come up with for you.
By the way, what do you think of 'foliage grey' as a color? That's what the pack I'm working on currently will be since that's what I currently have, but I should be able to do just about any color of backpack.
I really need to finish my personal backpack since it might be something you'd find interesting. Its about twice the size of Tynans pack concept, but I think it should still be good for carry on luggage. I'm also hoping to add a few strips of velcro to hold my camelback in there for overnight hiking and all.
Foliage grey might work, I did some googling and it looks a bit too green for some variations, the more greyer ones looked decent though.
As far as color prefs, I personally tend to like browns (I have a nice espresso color + pattern timbuk2 bag I hoard because I love how it looks), really light canvas/sand colors, white (a white cordura pack would be neat), and also steel blue-ish or sundried-tomato red styles. Basically colors with a bit of natural-hue to them.
The other thing I've liked in the military packs is that usually EVERYTHING is the same color, down to the zippers and pulls. It really gives it a more solid object look. I've usually hated packs where the zippers contrast too much against the bags main color (i.e. black zippers on yellow), but that's me. That also probably explains why so many folks sell/buy black backpacks too.
For full disclosure, I did end up ordering a GR1 in sand a few days ago, and will be doing a comparison between it and the 5.11 rush 12 (which I have in tan) on my blog soon. I know I'm going to regret the lack of organization in the GR1, but if I really hate it I figure I can sell it for close to what I paid.
Most packs do not come with the GoRuck GR2 / REI Overnighter style 'luggage' zipper that zips all the way open. It's like a panel loader, but just more zipper. I find that style very very useful. Also making the interior a very bright color is fairly useful too. Something like the REI overnighter, but with a laptop pocket, clips with a metal latch vs plastic and a lighter fabric to save weight would be fairly useful.
The full length panel is definitely going to be part of the project. I don't know if others use them, but I plan on adding a loop on the interior of the pack for attaching a small keyring light. Before I took my current pack apart, it had one in there and having it was a godsend.
I'm having some difficulty finding a source for luggage style zippers, though. I do know that a #10 zipper should accommodate a lock, but it's far from ideal as some smaller objects could be pulled through the opening it'd create.
What are you referring to when you mention "clips with a metal latch?" Metal hardware like side release buckles, triglides, ladderlocks, etc.?
Thus far, what I have come up with shouldn't actually need too much hardware like that due to the requirements of the pack.
I don't mean luggage style as in being able to attach a lock, but able to zip all of the way open. I guess that is the full length panel. Go checkout a REI overnighter at a REI to get what I'm seeing, it's pretty close to ideal. The REI overnighter side pocket is also completely flat and is able to take a coffee tumbler quite securely.By metal latch, I mean metal hardware anywhere there would be something to clip on (like a messenger bag strap) instead of flimsy plastic. Also the strap clips that clip on to metal loops should be metal too. A lightweight metal although.
I'd be wanting exactly what you make for tynan xD
I think I might be able to pull something like that off. Do you guys like side pockets? Like water bottle type? Or would you rather have a sleek bag?
Sidepockets are useful but dont really look good. I would want the back to have a very sleek look.
Mabe you can hide the water bottle holders like this Vaude bag does (I have exactly this model and the problem is that the net is not strong enough and has too much stretch)
You see the net where the bottle is in? This net can be hidden in a small zipper pocket. If you want I can take photos of it on my bag.
yeah. I do like the sidepocket setup on this, and also the synapse. I'm weary of half-height mesh pockets though because I once lost a nice water bottle using one of those pockets.
I'll see what I can do. I'm having a difficult time finding something that has enough elasticity to hold a bottle(nalgene sized) and be able to compress itself back down. Could you post detailed pictures of the zippered pocket on your bag for me? I can come up with something. I want to keep the pack somewhat simple so less can go wrong, but I really like that idea and need to see how that is done. it sounds very clever..
I messaged Tynan the other day.. I ordered a bit of fabric online for the interior. I was hoping to find the color that you will see construction/DOT crews wearing around, that sort of bright green/yellow, but I don't think anyone makes it, so I ordered a yellow instead.
I usually use a needle and thread to make things, but the interior will have be sewn by machine, which will speed the process of construction up. I'll probably still sew the body itself by hand for strength though. I know from experience that the artificial sinew I use is very difficult to rip at the seams, so the pack should for certain be rugged.
Also, I have been calculating the dimension of my pack lxwxh and I'm coming up with between 800 and 1000 cubic inches depending on the depth. This is actually incredibly easy to change, so I can potentially make each pack a bit different as far as volume goes if required.
I'm hoping to have some pictures of the completed pack up around Christmas, depending on shipping of the fabrics.
Do you still use the Vivobarefoot shoes?
I just bought a pair of sneakers that sound similar, "Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove"
bought them for weight training, running sneakers make you always almost-fall-forward. They also fold down to nothing, my back pack went from crowded to comfortable again.
I only have one Icebreaker shirt right now. But I only own three shirts, so it's a significant part of my wardrobe. When I go to LA for a pit stop before Japan, I'm going to buy two more Icebreakers and get rid of my other shirts. That's how good they are.
They're lightweight, breathable, and luxuriously soft. I wear mine working out as well as out to dinner or karaoke. Wool is NOT itchy and gross anymore - this is WAY more comfortable than cotton.
But here's what's REALLY amazing about it : it doesn't smell bad. EVER. I can literally do a full workout, be dripping with sweat, and smell awful. I take a shower and get out, and I go to give the icebreaker a sniff test.
Taking a note out of tynan's books and my experiences travelling, travelling with less is always more. Having heavy bags, having to find a place where to store thing, and being bogged down is not how I like to travel, and thus I choose to travel very very minimalisitcally, Although I think tynan might be pushing it wanting to go sub-19 liters, but to each their own.
Laptop: Macbook Pro 13'
I love this thing, and now that the price is very competitive compared to other windows laptops in the range there is really no reason not to pay the, now, much smaller premium. before mac book would cost 25%+ than windows laptops in the same range, now the differnece is probably only 10%. For example, that asus zenbook 301ux LA (my current favortie windows laptop, I don't like tynans because the processor is not 4258u or 4558u which means lower wattage, worse built in graphics, and slightly worse performance, although his computer does weigh substantially less and due to lower wattage uses less battery. , so to each their own) costs about the same, give or take 100 dollars ( about 7% of the price) as the mac, except with mac you can run mac osx, and other oses, although the mac does weigh a little bit more, but I like the build a bit better.
Overall with the macbook pro you get a top of the line processor with the best built in graphics for ultrabook use, weighs a measly 3.3 pounds, which is a lot compared to the air and such, but you get a rugged build, and a 2560x1600 display resolution. and you can just bootcamp windows and linux. Overall I really like it, and I don't mind the extra weight because I find the gestures and the mac osx environments so useful on a laptop that I can't see myself going back. and I can just run windows apps within mac osx via parallels, whats not to love?
backpack: Tom bihn 19 synapse.