Never check your bag

by Volker Weber

I cannot remember the last time I checked a bag. I always travel light, I avoid suitcases, and I prefer messenger bags. For those of you who like backpacks, this might be the ultimate travel bag.

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You use a messanger bag for clothes and stuff?

René Fischer, 2016-06-07

Yes, I do. And nylon bags within the bag. It's in this photo and contains everything I need for five days.

Volker Weber, 2016-06-07

How can you pack for five days in a messanger bag?
Any tricks or directions for us poor souls?

giuseppe grasso, 2016-06-08

Your Instagram URL showed me the Sonos Kitchen. Is it me?

Stephan H. Wissel, 2016-06-08

Guiseppe, simple, but long story. It's more process than what I pack.

Wear three layers: jacket over long sleeve over short sleeve. Pack two short sleeve, one long sleeve, socks and underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste. This goes in one nylon bag. Wash short and long sleeve, underwear and socks before going to sleep with hotel shampoo. Shower with hotel soap at least twice a day. Number of days does not matter, since I reset once a day.

To bring the (lightweight) messenger bag down under five kg or eleven pounds, I need to restrict gear. Pack one phone, one tablet, one keyboard, five port usb charger, one powerbank, one microUSB, two iPhone, one combined microUSB/iPhone, one Watch cable. This goes in second nylon bag.

Optional: Buy one pair of sneakers and jeans on arrival, leave the ones you are wearing behind when you return.

Finally, bring one more phone, passport, drivers license, two credit cards, cash, headset and spare glasses. Serious camera only when needed.

[I made a funny mistake for IBM Connect this year. Instead of the messenger bag I brought a bigger bag with the same items in it. I was expecting a conference bag from IBM and then had to resort to one of the nylon bags instead.]

Volker Weber, 2016-06-08

Stephan, white/red bag is on the table.

Volker Weber, 2016-06-08

Für mich als Kontaktlinsenträger ist das immer etwas schwieriger, vor allem bei längeren reisen. Wenn ich ankomme und erstmal einem linsenmittel nachrennen muss, mache ich mich vor dem kunden schon mal unmöglich. In Asien ist alles etwas anders, als wir es uns im westlichen Kulturkreis gewohnt sind. Aber tolle Idee, so für 2-3 Tage.

Chris Frei, 2016-06-08

Keine Ahnung von Asien. Kontaktlinsen habe ich vor 25 Jahren aufgegeben. Lösen Tageslinsen das Problem nicht?

Volker Weber, 2016-06-08

Leider nein, als blinder maulwurf mit astigmatismus krieg ich knapp (dh unterkorrigierte) torische Kontaktlinsen. Mit Brille habe ich dizzy head syndrom, also auch keine alternative. aber ich beklag mich auch nicht, bin nur ein klein wenig neidisch wenn ich die kurz-reisenden sehe. meine reisen dauern immer so 2-3 wochen...

Chris Frei, 2016-06-08

Aber bei einem richtigen Urlaub, z.b. 2 Wochen USA etc würde Deine Methode nicht klappen, oder?

Karl Heindel, 2016-06-08

Warum nicht? Abgesehen davon: wer viel reist, macht Urlaub zu Hause. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2016-06-08

thanks a lot @Vowe! what really surprise me is being able to dry the clothes on the night!

Giuseppe Grasso, 2016-06-08

They don't have to. As you know, I have one spare set for the next day and an emergency short sleeve. But in fact they do dry in a few hours. Google "Assos DB".

Volker Weber, 2016-06-08

@Guiseppe: As to quick drying, take a look here:

That way you can actually put all those hotel towels to good use.

Ole Saalmann, 2016-06-08

eBags has a couple of carry-on style back packs called the TLS Weekender and TLS Professional Weekender. Very similar to the shown functionality.

Michael Rohrbach, 2016-06-08

bag looks great, but he forgot his phone (and charger) in the airport

Samuel Orsenne, 2016-06-08

The shoe compartment looks smart. Shoes are always a headache.

Stephan H. Wissel, 2016-06-09

Samuel, and the book on the tram. Michael, possibly. But they don't look as nice.

Volker Weber, 2016-06-09

Stephan, depending on the required style: Mizuno Wave Universe 5 ultra-light running shoes, or Geox.

Haiko Hebig, 2016-06-09

Haiko, Stephan talks shoe storage not shoes.

Volker Weber, 2016-06-09

What about this one ("Slicks" from Switzerland):

Jörg Quenzer, 2016-06-09

Very cool. Has quite a few features I don't need, but different needs for different people.

Volker Weber, 2016-06-09

Vowe: Yes, and using shoes that weight 100 grams per pair doesn't leave much of a storage problem to begin with. It's like switching from cotton shirts to Assos :)

Haiko Hebig, 2016-06-09


There's a rule I found whilst backpacking: no matter what size backpack you travel around with, it will always end up full. The solution is starting with a small backpack and then cut down to the essentials.

On my first trip to India I had a huge backpack (70 liters) and I spent three months carrying a heavy woollen sweater and two pairs of jeans, never used. Nowadays I pack the minimum in a small backpack and buy clothes locally when needed.

Andrew Magerman, 2016-06-10

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