Choosing a “one” bag


The #onebag thing  is about traveling with, having all your possessions in a single bag. All of us could do this, if we just had a giant bag. But really, the unspoken limitation is that this bag should be carry-on size; that is, the one bag with all your worldly possessions should fit neatly into the overhead bin on a major airliner.

Process that for a second.

Most people pack more than one bag for a long weekend trip. I’m talking about all your stuff, all of it, fitting into one bag. That fits in the overhead.

Still with me?

This can be done. It just takes some work. Some hard choices. Some commitment to an idea. And some focus.

It usually also means high-quality gear, and some disposable stuff. You clothes are a good example – if you have only a bag’s worth of stuff, your clothes should be special. They should suit for most occasions. Be amazing at protecting you. Require very little maintenance. Be tough enough to endure exposure to Some Shit.

Makes sense, yes? But at the core of the #onebag way of life is the one bag. Which bag do you choose?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • It might be easier to choose a bag hat others have reviewed, that others have tested, and that has passed those tests. Why re-invent the wheel, or explore new ground with such an important thing? Do your research. There’s a whole #onebag community out there.
  • Your bag should fit in the overhead bin. Just saying. Checking your one bag sucks. Losing it because you checked it and someone was irresponsible sucks even more.
  • It should be durable. If you go with well-reviewed and rated bags, this won’t be a problem
  • It probably should not stand out. If all your shit is in a single bag, it would hurt a bit more if this bag were stolen, yea? So don’t advertise so much. Don’t get a day-glo bag. Don’t get one that screams Rich Traveler Here. Don’t adorn it with all your lift tags, and other steal-me-bling. Get something plain, one color, non-neon and non-reflective.
  • It should be sized for your body and gender. Duh
  • To paraphrase Olivander – the bag chooses the bearer. You’ll know it when you see it, when you feel it on your back.

Some onebags I’ve tried on for size: The Deuter Futura 28, the Futura 42, the Tom Bihn Synapse 26, The CamelBak BFM 500, and the Osprey Farpoint 40.

I’m currently going with the Osprey.

2 thoughts on “Choosing a “one” bag

    1. Ahhhhhh the problem with being devoted to your gear! You get the perfect piece, but at some point it stops being the perfect piece, if if you’re doing the One Bag thing, really the old Highlander adage applies – “There can be only one!” What’s a girl to do?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s