Steve’s One Bag Journey

My journey becoming a one bagger started in 2015 with an eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible, moved onto an Osprey Farpoint 40 in 2016, and has brought me to my Mystery Ranch Urban Assault and GORUCK GR1 26L.

Motivation

I was traveling with the typical backpack or messenger bag and a roller suitcase. As I started to travel more for work, I realized this setup was making my life more difficult while traveling. It seemed like 2015 was the year when one bag travel was becoming popular, so I was able to get some advice and give it a try.

The Journey

I started traveling with a set of cotton clothing for each day, a pair of sneakers, and too many electronics. All together, this made for a stuffed and heavy backpack or a full sized roller bag. Whether I packed all this into my eBags backpack or a roller bag, it ended up getting gate checked (or checked to my final destination) on any small plane and many full flights. It only took a few trips before I got very tired of all this and got motivated to slim down on my packing.

To start packing lighter, I started to move to synthetic underwear and polos. While this didn’t allow me to pack less clothes, it helped my clothes pack smaller and better fit into my bag. After packing like this for a while, I decided it was time for a better bag.

The Osprey backpack, while not much smaller, was easier to fit under the seat while flying. Once I experienced flying without fighting for overhead bin space, I was sold.

The next phase of my journey consisted of beginning to explore better technical clothing that I could wear for multiple days. That search brought me to Wool & Prince Button-Downs (our review) and OUTLIER Futureworks pants. These two items are still part of my wardrobe and come along on almost every trip. The Wool & Prince shirts are almost magical in how many times they can be worn without needing a wash. The next key acquisition was Darn Tough socks and a merino undershirt, further reducing my clothing load.

At this point I had shirt and pants, socks, and an undershirt that gave multiple wears. I tried to find underwear that could last for multiple days, so I just wash my underwear in the sink. Finally, I decided to leave the pair of sneakers at home and just do bodyweight exercise in my hotel or walking for exercise. If I had one tip for one bagging, it would be to leave the extra shoes at home — you’ll be amazed at how much space you save.

It was at about this time that Ben and I decided to start Everyday Wear. Through trying out pieces and reviewing them for the site, I’ve found some other great pieces for my travel wardrobe, including the Bluffworks Gramercy Pants (our review) and the Wool & Prince Blazer (our review).

Conclusion

It is a journey to become a one bagger, and even a longer one to get to the point where you can pack in a fairly small backpack. If you are new to one bagging and are intimidated by packing lists you see, you can rest assured that it wasn’t a quick journey for that person to gain the wardrobe and confidence to pack lightly. We are also here to help with our reviews, guides, and packing lists.

Steve’s One Bag Journey