What if you could travel with one bag only. No suitcase.
What if it could all fit under an airplane seat. With all the stuff you need.
With necessities for a few days away from laundry. Without trading for comfort or being a smelly traveller.
It's called onebagging, and it's awesome.
I've always been attracted to minimalism and trying to keep my material belongings to a minimum. Since last year I decided to go 100% in and travel with only my everyday backpack.
People I meet have a hard time believing that bag is the only thing I have.
Going in and out at airports takes no time.
Because it's so compact, it serves as my day bag once I'm settled.
I can move by (motor)bike without hassle. I can attach a tent to it and go hike up a mountain or sleep in Maui on a desert beach.
Transiting becomes much more convenient. Getting to my hotel is just like heading to school.
Oh yeah, it has one downside: you can't buy useless shit on the road.
Honestly there are 100+ backpack models that do the trick.
Strict rule is to get one that won't break, if it does you're in deep shit.
For mine I settled on a Mission Workshop 20L Sanction.
It's expensive (~$280) but worth it.
The top expands a bit (+- 5L). It's made of super strong materials. It won't break on me.
It's fully waterproof when closed, I don't care about pouring rains.
If you need inspiration on which bag to choose, I made a website to help: onebaglist.co. Check it out.
Finally, even overpacked as hell it sits nicely on my back and doesn't hurt.
The downside is its missing more pockets, and the pockets are hard to access when the bag is overpacked.
For first layer, the trick is to get clothes that dry rapidly. Wash them in sinks and they'll be ready the day after.
If you travel in Asia, it can get very humid so cotton clothes will take forever to dry (AC does help a bit). Plus the occasional rain will leave you soaked.
Merino wool and synthetic clothes are real good at drying fast. Merino is a bit expensive, but quite comfortable.
You can wear a merino shirt multiple days in a row and it won't stink, assuming you give it some fresh air every night.
Bonus, you can wear them humid, it doesn't feel too uncomfortable.
I have 3 merino shirts and one cotton sleeved one for chilly nights.
You won't have the room for a full blown parka and 3 pull-overs.
The best way around is layering. Basically you get multiple pieces of cloth that each respond to one need.
By putting them all on, you get your parka.
It goes like this:
Layer 1: tshirt
Layer 2: pull-over
Layer 3: down jacket (hot & very compact, ugly)
Layer 4: wind and waterproof jacket (also very compact, stylish)
If there is no wind/rain, remove layer 4, if it's not that hot, remove layer 3, etc... you get the idea.
It you're traveling to Africa or SE Asia only, skip the down jacket.
- 3 merino t-shirt
- 1 cotton sleeved shirt (for mosquitoes and classy nights)
- 1 tank top
- 1 Uniqlo pants with zip pockets
- 2 shorts that double as wet shorts
- 1 light pull-over
- 1 Uniqlo ULD puffy jacket
- 1 Uniqlo Bloktech parka (windproof/waterproof)
- 1 merino Buff (doubles as a sleep-mask)
- Socks: 1 cotton, 2 merino
- Underwear: 2 cotton , 3 Uniqlo Airism
- Airpods Pro
- Macbook Air
- Travel power adapter
- Aukey Quickcharge USB-C charger
- Xiaomi 10k mAh powerbank
- Small utility bag (for passport, toilet stuff, adapters, papers, etc..)
- Card wallet
- Toilet stuff: razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, suncream, vegetal oil for the skin
I've bought on Amazon those 2 lightweight compression bags for clothes.
Best buy ever.
One for under-wears and one for the rest.
Put clothes in it, zip-it and it's compressed. Plus stuff stays organised.
Stuff I got rid off
I started with a bunch of stuff that I eventually got rid of.
I didn't need it or it didn't justify it's weight/space.
You can buy all the basics locally in most places of the world. Even third-world countries.
A towel takes a lot of space and 100% of places I've stayed at provide towels.
It's only useful for chilling at the beach or if you plan on going off the grid.
Still if you think you need a towel, take a compact one that dries fast (you're fucked when you need to leave and it's all wet).
It's dope, but takes a too much place. You can save a bit by not taking the box with you.
The Airpods Pro take like 1/20 of the space and the noise-cancelling is on-par (at least for me).
I used to have an inflatable one, which didn't take a lot of place but gave it away because on most long-haul flight you can adjust the above part of the seat to hold your head.
Plus they sometime provide a pillow.
In any case I don't sleep well in airplanes so the cost it brings didn't justify the reward.