Road Warrior Series: My Current Laptop Bag

Recently, Chris Brogan did a video blog on his new Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 carry-on bag. I was so impressed, I went to REI that afternoon and bought one. It have now taken several trips with it and love it.

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

In like manner, I thought I would do a series of “Road Warrior” posts, since I travel a good deal myself. I always find it helpful to see what others are doing, and I hope this might prove helpful to you as well. I am also hoping to get additional ideas from you. I am always looking for ways to improve my system.

The video explains it all, but for reference, I am currently using the Knomo (pronounced no-moe) Stirling Messenger Bag. The company is based in London, but I got it in a few days. To my surprise, their U.S. office is in Brentwood, Tennessee, not far from my home.

What’s inside? Here are the items I mention in the video, in roughly the order I present them:

To see how I pack all this up, you can watch the video. I want to acknowledge that this is a work-in-process. I continue to fine-tune as I go.

Questions: What kind of bag do you use and what do you carry in it? What am I missing in my system?
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  • http://www.noveljourney.blogspot.com Gina Holmes

    Cool purse! (ha-ha, just kidding :-) You know, it's stupid but I never thought to have a separate carrier for my cords. Organization isn't my strong suit. Great idea.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That was actually the biggest hurdle in getting comfortable with this bag. My daughter calls it a man-purse or “murse” for short.

      • http://twitter.com/mindyspradlin @mindyspradlin

        You could also refer to this as a satchel…Indiana Jones had one…so Nathan says. That should make you feel a little more manly.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JeffHolton Jeffrey Holton

    I feel very low-tech. I use ziplock baggies to separate all the categories I need. Not that I necessarily throw them away after every trip (I don't!), but I think I might go to REI and pick up those pouches. Thanks for the tip!

    Now I just need a job that justifies carrying an iPad and a MBP with me everywhere I go. I *do* carry my MPB when I travel, but it's a personal supplement to the PC my job requires. The only solution I've found for this is to have two separate bags, one for under the seat in front of me, and one for the overhead compartment. I tried it for a while with one big bag, but it was a bit unwieldy.

    The one thing I can't get a good solution to is check-in/security. I've kind of gotten it down to a science of taking off my belt, taking off my shoes, putting any jacket I have in a separate bin, emptying my pockets, opening the first laptop bag, opening the second laptop bag, remembering to hold my boarding pass and ID… You get the idea. By the time I'm through the other side and have everything back on me or in the correct bag, I'm already tired, and I'm not even at the gate yet!

    How many bins do you find yourself putting things in as you go through security?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I only use two bins. My laptop in the first one. the iPad does not have to come out of the bag. The second bin holds my shoes, iPhone, wallet, loose change, pen, and liquid container pouch. I do not take off my watch, rings, or belt.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/oceanpoet oceanpoet

    Love how you label everything :). Very organized.

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Ha! I have a Saddle-Back Bag and I love it! (Smells good and looks good). I could make use of more compartments though for all of my technology and other things I carry with me when traveling. Also love the Eagle Creak items…

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/dmbaldwin dmbaldwin

    Thank you Mike. A great video blog. I have settled on the Swiss Gear Ibex 17-Inch Notebook Backpack. Now I don't spend time with bank presidents, etc. or may use something else. I have carried this backpack all over the world and it still looks the same as the day I bought it. There are enough pockets and spaces to hold all I need.
    There are several things I need to add to my travel stuff, so thanks for the step-by-step of what you put in your bag.
    Have a GREAT week.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  • http://bigisthenewsmall.com Scott Williams

    Well done my friend… Your personality type is an ISTJ I believe and that "J" is off the charts LOL. I think Knomo should send you a box of those bags to give out on your blog for the advertisement.

    I've tried about every combination… Look and durability are key. How durable is that Knomo?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I am an INFJ. Still the J is very strong, as you noted. I would love to give away a bunch of these bags!

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/ronlane Ron Lane

        Give away on here or to family and close friends? (I promise not to ask to be adopted ;) )

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

    Wow, Michael, what a complete post about a travel bag. I'm impressed with your organization, especially the small REI bags. I'm forever trying to find individual adapters in my laptop bag, so that one idea alone is worth at least five minutes. I just flew back from Chicago on an American flight and realized they do not provide snacks anymore. I like the idea of a segregated snack pouch to keep crumbs and stuff from contaminating the main bag. I usually carry an ipod touch for audio books, so an internal pouch usually works well for that.

    People that fly a lot might want to look at the 13 inch Macbook Pro. It's lighter and more compact than the 15 inch and comes in at $1100 with the education discount. It's a great size for flying but also has a full size keyboard and a 10 hour battery. A small, cord retracting mouse would be a useful addition.

    Thanks for the great video, your wife did a great job with the camera. It's nice to see that you are not underwater. I hope things dry out in Nashville soon.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I didn’t add the Eagle Creek bags until a month ago. It has been a huge time-saver. It creates the illusion of organization!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/jasoncrossmusic jasoncrossmusic

    I see you travel with your iPad. Now that you've had it for a few weeks, what uses are you finding for it and why does it make the trip with you?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      As a publisher, I am trying to keep up with all the various devices. Right now, I am mostly using the iPad to read on and to watch videos. I think it is great if consuming content is your primary objective. For creating content, I still need the MacBook Pro. I can do it on the iPad, but it just seems like too much work. IMHO, it’s the wrong tool for that particular job.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/colleencoble colleencoble

    I am seriously lusting after one of these! Don't you know it's a sin to cause of the little ones to sin? LOL Like you, I've tried a lot of different bags. Since I'm a girl, heavy things are a bit of a problem. I've lately settled on just a sleeve for my macbook that slips into the top of my carry on but then I'm rooting all over for the cords and other things I need. I LOVE this! Love the little bags too. If only you'd posted this before Mother's Day. It's a long while to Christmas. I might have to break down sooner!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      You might check out Knomo’s site. It looks like they specialize in women’s bags. You might want something a little more “stylin’”.

  • http://www.davidsfinch.com David Finch

    Michael, thanks for sharing your current mobile setup. I always learn a trick or two from every video like this I watch.

    One thing I noticed you may want to consider is trying out the “Field Notes” in place of your Moleskine. I’ve been a Moleskine fan for years, but recently added the Field Notes when I travel. For one, they don’t take up as much room and they’re lighter.

    I still use the Moleskine, but I’m finding that I like the Field Notes as part of my mobile setup.

    Thanks for great post!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I forgot about these. Great suggestion. Moleskine make some similar ones.

  • http://www.jenniferrothschild.com Philip Rothschild

    Great demo Mike. I use a clear view pocket/folder as my “travel folder.” It allows a quick glance of my itinerary when it is “facing out.” No need to open the folder. Appreciate you Mike. Phil

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Great idea on the clear folder!

  • Jeff Scholen

    You might check out a product called the PowerCurl from Quirky.com. It's a cord wrap for the MagSafe Adapter with the extension cord. I've been using in and it works well in my Incase Bag similar to yours.

    Link: http://www.quirky.com/products/15-PowerCurl-Mac-C

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That is VERY cool. I just ordered one.

  • Brad Blunt

    Great post. Two additional items I would have on hand for traveling would be a few blank note cards to acknowledge great service; nothing quite as powerful as a quick handwritten note to a supervisor. For risk management purposes I would carry a small stain removal stick in the event the coffee spills on your white shirt.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I use to carry a stain remover stick. I will add that back in. Great suggestion.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenni_Burke @Jenni_Burke

    Just in time for ICRS! Thanks for the helpful video-post, Mike.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/rikerjoe rikerjoe

    Fantastic post, Michael. Thanks for sharing. I have a backpack-style case, and I agree with you – it's fine for regular, casual use, yet seems out of place when wearing my suit.

  • http://www.rachelheldevans.com Rachel H. Evans

    I love this idea for a series.

    Just started traveling more frequently ahead of my book release and I feel like a total klutz at the airport with all my bags. I watch more seasoned travelers glide effortlessly through the terminals and I wonder, "What's their secret?"

    Looking forward to reading more!

  • http://twitter.com/jacobpaulbreeze @jacobpaulbreeze

    Really enjoyed the post. I travel to the Dominican/Haiti frequently to teach and am always critiquing and changing my packing.

    I wonder, have you seen/considered hard graft?http://shop.hardgraft.com/

    Also, do you have any other tips on receipts? I've tried the folder and I've not yet been successful with it. Also, I travel with a moleskine and I use the folder in the back to store jotter notes. I've experimented with using that folder for receipts as well, but, it gets messy quick.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      The Hard Graft looks great, but I didn’t see one big enough for my needs.

      I don’t have any other tips on receipts. I simply use what works for me. The folder is easy and accessible. It sure beats my pockets!

      • http://www.johngallagherblog.com John Gallagher

        A dated envelope inside the folder could help keep receipts in storage. Also, I find that taking a digital snapshot of them makes it easier to coordinate for turning into our local office.

  • http://twitter.com/dougpetch @dougpetch

    Good stuff. Have you considered using a Gomadic charger (http://www.gomadic.com) instead of separate chargers for every device? The system consists of a single charger (mine has 2 cords to allow charging 2 devices at once) with interchangeable tips to match whatever device you need to charge. I don't think they have a magsafe tip for a macbook pro, but other than that you can get pretty much any tip you might need.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      No, I haven't considered that. But thanks. I will check it out.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/kaikunane ThatGuyKC

    Great video review. I use an Oakley backpack for my daily commute to work, but for traveling default to a Timbuk2 messenger bag. However, your Knomo is very streamlined and well constructed. Might have to pick one up.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      It’s definitely worth checking out.

  • http://www.actioninternational.org/stewart Brian Stewart

    Thank you, Mike, for this helpful post. I just purchased a couple of things from Eagle Creek. (They will look and function better than my gallon-size zip-lock bags!) I think this is the third post from you in the past year where I have discovered and purchased very useful items. Thanks again.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    I had to laugh–I carry stuff in a backpack at school because it's much easier to carry heavier loads that way. I get a kick out of when this grandma is mistaken for a student, so I empathize with your hesitation to use one in business meetings. Also, my gum of choice is Dentyne Fire–it really wakes me up when I can hardly keep my eyes open. And, finally, I keep a supply of Taster's Choice instant hazelnut coffee on hand to help banish the temptation to take an afternoon nap. So, even though I don't travel that much, I enjoyed your video.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/AndrewWilkie AndrewWilkie

    The problem I have with most laptop bags themselves are they themselves are so heavy. Not great fun walking around with and carrying. How heavy is that leather one? 1st bag Tumi?

    I'll check out the Stirling Messenger Bag, My thing is does it have a zip to cover the top, not just the flap cover?

    Now I just put everything into a Mandarina Duck Isi Trolley bag and pull. All my cables etc are a very high tech old washing powder box. It goes short and long haul. Works like a charm. Laptop is in a Crumpler laptop pouch.

    If I'm not travelling and just needing my laptop, I can easily put it into a Samsonite light shoulder bag (can't seem to find it on their www. anymore). Very light.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      The Tumi is pretty heavy. I don't have the absolute weight, but it's probably two to three times as heavy as the Knomo. You won’t miss the zipper. The flap is very secure.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ronlane Ron Lane

    Good review of what you take and how you pack them. I really like the itinerary folder, that is a great idea.

    Is there room for a 17" laptop in the new messenger bag?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Not in this particular bag. It doesn’t appear that they make one specifically for the 17".

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/lancecashion lancecashion

    Good info Michael. My trips are usually a day trip or a single overnight. I use the High Seirra ATQ Carry-on Computer Tote Bag. It's extremely light-weight and expands nicely, if need be. The bag is very well padded. I carry the MacBook Pro 17in and plenty of compartments for cords/wires etc. Another nice feature are the open side pockets where a 16oz drink bottle can fit. The main compartment unfolds like a file folder so, you don't have to put items on top of each other. There is plenty of room for a change of clothes as well.

    ATQ is also easy to use when passing through airport security (computer removal and stash your keys/cell phone/belt in the side pockets while waiting in line at TSA). Rather than have several separate packets for my gear, I use the built in pockets/compartments in the bag.

    I've been using this bag for over a year now. You can pick one up for around $55 bucks. http://www.luggageguru.com/product.asp?pid=3296&a

    Over and out,
    Lance

  • http://godisdoinganewthing.blogspot.com Heidi Bylsma

    Ha! What a great concept…a moleskin pad! Like do you have to *write* in that! :-) I just took to carrying a notebook with me EVERYWHERE. I am so glad that I am not alone. I get ideas that seem so good and then forget them if I don’t write them down when they hit. Thanks for the detailed recommendation. Putting it on my birthday list!

  • http://twitter.com/mattlantz @mattlantz

    Thanks, Mr. Hyatt! Loved your recommendation and have been looking for a bag like this for some time now. I noticed on the knomo.com website that this particular bag is on sale for $125 right now (normally $250) with free shipping!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I saw that, too. I hope it doesn't mean they are discontinuing it!

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    Very cool. Was that Mrs. Hyatt doing the fine recording job? :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, indeed.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/wesgay wesgay

    Great review Michael. I currently use the Mountain Hardwear Memo messenger bag. I also use the Eagle Creek small sac for random cords and adapters. I love my regular size Moleskine for sermon notes, journaling, ideas, etc, but I just bought a pocket size one the other day to function as a "mobile inbox" (for use in my GTD workflow). I may switch to a Saddleback Leather briefcase soon. Just got their gadget pouch for my Kindle last week. Very cool. Smells great. Look forward to future videos. My inner nerd anxiously awaits the next one.

  • http://jennieallen.com Jennie Allen

    Hey! It is like Oprah's favorite things! You could have a series….Hyatt's favorite things… you just have to figure out a way to give away a few of every item.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I like the give-away part. I probably should have contacted Knomo before I did the post!

  • http://wayoutwise.blogspot.com Jeff

    I love the video. I”m a 45 year old going on 20 so I still carry a backpack but have used the Eagle Creek packing cubes for all my cords similar to what you have done. The one thing I missed was packing some goodies in one. Bravo!

    I use 2 backpacks. My daily backpack is a Targus with an opening for my MacBook Pro 15″ laptop and my cord carriers, another slot for my files and travel documents and two small outside pockets for quick access to mints, Kensington iPhone charger and sunglasses. The other backpack is a LowePro for carrying my laptop with cameras and camcorder while I’m on mission trips and want to document the travel coming and going.

    Thanks for the presentation and ideas.

  • Eric

    Love the video blog and I'm hoping to see many more from you. Would love to see how you manage your calendar and appointments as a video and perhaps a "day in the life" video blog. Also, an organization video on how you have your office organized or perhaps your home office would be great too. Thanks for what you do…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Eric. I will consider that.

    • D. Shick

      I support Eric's idea. I'm always ready to learn from others.

  • http://www.blaneyoung.com Blane Young

    I use a backpack with a built-in laptop compartment to carry the following:
    15" Mac Book Pro & AC Adapter
    2.5" 320 GB External Hard Drive
    Cell Phone
    8GB iPod Touch & Headphones
    Off-Brand Moleskine (Dave Ramsey would be proud)
    Tums (because sensitive stomach + love for spicy foods = bad)
    At least two pens
    Manila folder with presentation documents
    Current Read: Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times

    And I carry this backpack almost everywhere I go, from work to coffee shop dates with my wife.

    I think you are missing a Flip Video (the new Flip Video SlideHD looks promising).

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I do have a Flip HD video. In fact, that's what I shoot the video above with. However, I don't carry it with me. The video on the iPhone is sufficient for everyday use. Thanks.

  • Will

    I always carry 2 quart size freezer zip lock bags in by brief case or computer bag when I travel. I use these for going through security at airports. I take the things out of my pockets and place them in the bags. I then put the bags in the trays. This way, after I go through security, I can just grab the zip lock bags instead of having to put everything back in my pockets right then. It helps immensely if I am running late to catch a flight. I also cuts down on the amount of things I have to pick up after going through security so I don’t forget anything. I stick with the zip lock bags because they take up virtually no space when they are empty.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      The Eagle Creek bags are small when empty, too. They are a little more durable than zip lock bags.

  • Jeff Brown

    Mike – What backpack is that? I'm on the search for one since I'll be biking to the train station. I'm shopping now and I'm looking for opinions.

    Thank you – Jeff

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      It is an Incase backpack. I forget the model number.

  • Anthony

    What do you think of the Pogo Stylus? Do you recommend someone buying it specifically for the iPad?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      The problem is that it is not fine enough. It is like taking notes with a thick Sharpie. Honestly, it's not much better than your finger. I may give it up.

  • http://www.wisdom4lifecoaching.com Jason Ayers

    Michael,

    Thank you for showing us how the pro's do it.

    I use the Robert Ware Field Portage Messenger Bag. A bit more relaxed in style but sized similar to the Knomo. I carry much the same items as you…minus a few of the adapters (which I will purchase) and the Ipad. I love to carry Odwalla or Kashi bars in the event of delays and time spent on the tarmac oasis. The Robert Ware bag has a slot that fits the smaller moleskin notebook, located under the flap it is readily available for those flashes of insights.

    The one item I would add to your setup is a Incase neoprene sleeve for your MBP. Yes, the sleeve adds an extra step to using your laptop but makes for a quicker transition at airport security checkpoint. No worry of damage from bag, to bin, back to bag. Or last minute items added to the bag in a rush that may scratch.

    Three bins: 1st=MBP+Iphone 2nd=Messenger Bag 3rd=Sport Jacket

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I actually have the Incase sleeve, but it creates too much friction with the Knomo and actually slows the process down. I do like the protection, however.

  • Brian

    Great review on this bag and I think it might perfectly meet my needs as a fellow road-warrior. My only question is how does it attach to your rolling carry-on? Walking through airports, it's nice having my briefcase securely connected to my rolling suitcase. You mention this, but do not show how you attach the two together. Can you elaborate? Thanks so much,
    Brian

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I intended to show this, but the video was running long.

      If I don't have far to walk, I just carry it on my shoulder. If I have further to go, I clip it on to my Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 with an auxiliary belt that came with the Tarmac. If you want, I can do a quick video and shoot it to you.

      • Brian

        I understand. Since the bag is vertical, does it drag on the ground when you clip it to the front of your suitcase? Can you get the bag low enough so that the 2 combined bags are stable? I really appreciate your help. Getting the right gear that actually works makes travel much more enjoyable.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

          No, the bag doesn't drag. When clipped, it is still about an inch off the ground. It is very stable.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeremybarr Jeremy Barr

    Thanks for the recommendation on the Knomo bag. Currently, I use a bag really similar to that, the Muzetto messenger bag from Waterfield Designs.
    http://sfbags.com/products/muzetto/muzetto.htm

    The bonus for me with this bag is that while it has a fair amount of room, it's not overly spacious so it helps me pair down what I take with me and only take things that are important, not everything I can possibly carry.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That bag looks very similar. Thanks for sharing.

  • D. Shick

    I have a feeling that my search for the best bag will go on forever. I'm still looking for the one bag that I can use for daily use to and from the office plus when I travel on business. I currently use a Lands End attache for daily use (http://tinyurl.com/238tkhy ) and the larger version for when I travel..but I dislike repacking. Michael, maybe in a future edition you could share what you use on a daily basis. Great topic. Thanks!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I use the Knomo on a daily basis. It's just perfect for that.

      You are probably right. I will forever be on the quest for the perfect bag—and computer, and phone, and everything else. You have me pegged!

  • Karensa Lee

    Great post! My husband told me about your blog a few weeks ago.

    We watched the video together and got a few great ideas; especially the the Monster outlets.

    Looking forward to the next Road Warrior posts – thanks!

  • http://www.rever.ag Zac Wilkinson

    Hi Michael,

    Nice video, thanks! I have pretty much the same set-up but with 13″ mpb. I use an incase bag made for that size, and have loved it… until I bought my iPad! I have been just carrying the iPad around and looking for a good bag to accommodate both.

    One thing I thought you might like is incase makes a combo-charger that will do iPhone and iPad and has both car and wall charger in one. It is a lot smaller than the one that comes with the iPad a little bigger than the one that comes with the iPhone, but you can just carry the one, or keep the iPhone one too if you want to charge both at night. Here is the link: http://www.goincase.com/products/detail/combo-charger-ec20024/3

    -Zac

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/zachterry Zach Terry

    I carry a sharper image laptop backpack with rollers. I find it helpful to keep a bag of hot peanuts or almonds in my bag. Curbs my appetite when I'm tempted to get off track. Also carry a voice recorder so I can grab thoughts easily while driving. Recently purchased some mace to stick in the side of my bag, have no idea when I would need it, but saw it and thought it was cool. :)

  • Dean Wilkerson

    I'm late to this post, but found one aspect interesting that doesn't have anything to do with the bag. You mentioned that you used to carry a Kindle and now you have an iPad. I understand the different features of the iPad, but why would you carry that and your laptop. If you take your laptop with you, why give up the Kindle? The Kindle would also be lighter to carry. I'm curious since I have been spending a lot of time recently researching ereaders and digital books.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think the iPad is great for consuming content, but not for creating it. As a result, I really need my laptop. I us the iPad mainly for reading books and occasionally for watching a movie. I agree the Kindle is lighter and would be sufficient. However, being in the publishing business, i have to test these devices and give them a try.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/christianne118 Christianne

    Wow. You are totally a man after my husband's heart. He loves bags! Actually, we both do. On our honeymoon in Paris, we decided to buy each other bags as honeymoon gifts. (I know, we're geeks like that.)

    He has that Eagle Creek series, too, and I think you've given me a great new idea for an anniversary gift with this Knomo bag. It's beautiful! And I loved learning how you pack away different categories of items. Thanks for sharing, Michael!

  • http://twitter.com/ronswanson Ron Swanson

    Thanks for giving great practical content!
    I need this (just ask my wife:)). Been using the Eagle Creek tarmac and packing cubes for a while but am on a search for daily bag use, as well as travel.
    Any posts on long International traveling? I go to Israel a couple times a year and am looking to streamline.
    Thanks Michael for doing what your doing!

  • http://twitter.com/singerguy0 @singerguy0

    I just ordered one of the Knomo bags. I've switched from carrying a netbook to only my iPad, and have been looking for a sleek bag like this. It will also come in handy if I do need to carry my laptop. Thanks for the tip!

  • Luther Davies

    This messenger bag can certainly hold a lot of things. I really like the idea of using Pack-It organizers to pack stuff like power chords and misc. tech gear. I use a messenger bag from Briggs & Riley and the organization system it’s got is outstanding. The bag has separate pockets for a cell phone, iPod, USB drive, pens, files, documents, etc.

  • Matthew

    3. A few 9"x6" little manila envelopes that i use for expenses. A box of 100 is like 7 bucks … and each time i start a new trip i just take out a new folder and shove receipts inside, keeps the receipts nice and contained.

    4. A Sharpie (for labeling the expense envelopes)

    5. Short USB cables. I have a 5" USB cord for my Ipod shuffle, and 12 inch cords for my Ipod, USB mini and micro for cell phone charging. The short cords REALLY reduce the cable bulk. I got mine at cablejive.com and usbfirewire.com

    6. I carry a blackberry … so i can actually pack an extra cell phone battery. Just in case.

    7. I also carry a small amount of reserve cash in case i got some place and a power outage struck … it solves rental car, hotel, return flight, whatever.

    Thanks for the post …

    Matthew

  • Matthew

    Michael,

    First … this is the best blog entry for laptop travel i have ever read. I travel quite a bit for work (Sales engineer for an enterprise software company) and family and acquaintances are always forwarding links.

    My travel rig looks stunningly similar to yours. Tumi Alpha, Ipad, Lenovo T400s, misc stuff all broken down into Eagle Creek pack-it's, Burts Bee's, i carry crystal lite instead of coffee. I also have a EC Tarmac 20 and 22 ..

    I am constantly AMAZED at the number of business travellers whose mouths fall open when i pull out a travel power strip. They are so cheap and solve so many problems.

    A few additions for the group to digest:

    1. Belkin travel power strip (it adds 2 usb ports) Its a touch more bulky than the Monster, but its squarish so it packs nicely. I have both this and the Monster … its a 50/50 toss up which is better.

    2. Zip lock bag with about 10 wet-wipes (like what you use for babies) … amazing how handy these things can be.

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  • http://www.dalebag.com/laptop-bags/ laptop bags

    The laptop bag looks fine.

  • http://www.aussiejoyslife.com Joy Argow

    Hey there Michael
    I’m in the market for a case and sleeve for my new MacBook Air. Any recommendations? Found your video very insightful!
    Thanks

    Joy

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I can’t recommend a case, but I have the Belkin neoprene sleeve, which is very nice. Thanks.

  • mcnair wilson

    Very helpful ideas, Micheal. One adjustment to video (surprised you didn’t catch this.) When shooting a “black-on-black” bag (inside and out) and the camera zooms in we get a close up of blackness. Even with the light dialed to max on my Mac I SEE NOTHING—no interior details. It became a radio show at those points. A wider shot and a small spotlight would have made this video perfect. We did get the general drift though of the vertical format bag and the use of the smaller bags for groups of tools and grub. I use them also for my array of arts supplies that are with me 24/7 + attachment bag, headphones, and pipe, tobacco, & tools. I carry an 8″x10″ hard cover sketchbook (no iPad) fro notes, doodles, designs, ideas. Have filled 150+ blank paged books since college.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for the coaching on this. I am a total novice and just learning. Thanks.

      • Joe Questel

        Michael, do you ever carry files with you when you are traveling? It seems that only the larger Tumi bag has sufficient space for any amount of files you might require.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Not often. I carry a plastic file folder for receipts and another folder with a printout of my speech (if I am speaking). Other that that, everything is in my computer, especially Evernote. I’ve tried to go paperless as much as possible.

          I have one of those big Tumi bags. It is awesome but heavy.

          • Oddtaco

            Michael, do you know where this bag can be purchased in the US?

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I’m sorry, I don’t. I got it online.

          • Food Waste Recyclers

            In that case it should be easy enough to find via Google.  I like your tactic of trying to go paperless to be able to carry less.  I haven’t tried Evernote, but it’s probably about time I stop littering my desktop with text documents.

            Jeremy
            Food Waste Recycling

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V3AZJW2IEXJD5A6DXK5AUQTRT4 Hanz Lautner

    When buying a laptop you should protect your new laptop from damage.When you bring the laptop along with you, an effective way to protect the laptop is using a quality hard metal carrying case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mikael-Sundström/100000262162732 Mikael Sundström

    I use laid off laptop sleeves to pack additional shirts and pants the same way as you use the eagle creek bags to pack cords and stuff. If properly folded, suit pants and shirts look perfect when unpacking and if your laptop bag is big enough you can get away with only carry-on luggage even if you need to make a trip which requires both casual and not-so casual wear.

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  • Vig

    Won’t you get shoulder pain when all the weight goes on one shoulder? I prefer backpack. Where I’m at, people wear suits and carry backpacks.

    • http://www.minibins.com/ MiniBins

      I think the trick would be to switch shoulders occasionally.  That or make sure you buy a nice light laptop.  A backpack may be better on your back and shoulders, but it doesn’t have that same business professional look.

      Jeremy
      Vancouver Bin Rentals