I’ve been fortunate and have had the opportunity to travel all around the world. For me, planning for a trip is just as fun as going on the trip itself. One of the most important, if not the most important component of any trip is the luggage.
Early in my travels I traveled heavy, very heavy. I recall a 2 week trip to Australia where I actually packed a set of clothes for each day. The wheeled duffel bag I used could have easily held a full grown kangaroo. It was so big it could have easily held a kangaroo, me and the luggage I travel with now. I learned a lot from that trip; wagging around that gigantic bag, dealing with keeping the dirty and clean clothes separated and just contending with the sheer size of this item that I had to share sometimes limited space with was educational.
As I gained more travel experience, my taste in travel style began to shed weight and size. For longer trips, I still would check bags but for short trips I got by just fine with a few carry-ons. I’m embarking on another trip later this week and have gotten ambitious; for this trip I’m going to carry only 1 bag. For such an undertaking I needed the perfect bag.
I’ve done a lot of research on the topic. Size, style and brand are all key points in selecting a bag. Backpack or wheeled? Lightweight materials or sturdy? Big named brand or boutique manufacturer? How much space do I need for my gear? How much space will I have to store my bag?
The web is full of sites to help make the decision. Finding concrete data for various airline’s capacity for bag stowage has been dificult. Each airline is different for the various jets, their configurations and class of service. I had to use the limited available data to create my criteria. In making my decision I read a lot of bag reviews. Reading someone else’s experience with a product is invaluable. Advertising is one thing, real-life testing is something much much more.
Eventually I decided that I wanted a sturdy, backpack no bigger than 18″x14″x7″. After much dilberation I decided on the Red Oxx airborne carry on rucksack. This American-made bag fits all my criteria, has a great warranty and is made by a small manufacturer in Montana. Red Oxx products are geared toward the outdoors, adventure travel and safari.
The true test will come later this week. I’ll be packing up a few sets of clothes and other paraphernalia for a 9 day trek to Peru. We’ll be traveling through Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu and we’ll be doing it with one bag each. No checking bags, no waiting and worrying for luggage at the carousel. Only liberating, no-fuss travel with all that we need on our backs.
Packing for such a trip with such a limited space requires a lot more thought and planning which could/may be it’s own post. You’ve really got to be sure that each item you pack can be used well and serve many purposes for many days. I’ve actually done a test pack already. Carefully packing my gear, my clothes take up about 1/3 the space in my C-ruck. My camera gear and toiletries will take up another 1/3, leaving another 1/3 for miscellaneous debris and things I’m sure we’ll pick up along the way.
I’m excited to try out all my new gear. I forgot to add I bought all new travel clothes for this trip too – new bag = new gear, right?
Links:C-Ruck by Red Oxx