Monday, June 03, 2024

Refreshing Luggage

I have got a few weekend trips planned and have been rethinking my current luggage set up which has served me pretty well.

For weekend trips I usually travel with an ebags TLS Mother Lode 21" rolling duffle (20.5x13.5x8.5; 38 Liters) and a Case Logic Backpack.  For longer trips, I will go with a standard 25" suitcase instead of the 21" rolling duffle.  For trips with a lot of running around, I will add a travel vest just to keep things organized/available instead of digging in a backpack that is in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of me.  

In the past, I would pair the Crew Cooler which fit perfectly above the TLS duffle for snacks and an under seat bag.  I also gave Patagonia packing cubes a try for under the seat in front of me and these are pretty nice for flights longer than a couple of hours to keep a charger, snacks and windbreaker accessible.

Rolling Duffle purchased in 2012.  I got hooked on packing cubes in 2011 in preparation for a trip to India.  I added the shoe bag when we were attending weddings more often.  The Case Logic is just the latest iteration of backpack.  The ScotteVest was purchased in 2011 for the same India trip.  Everything has held up extremely well over the past 13 years which saw on average 5 flights per year including international travel.


  • Change of clothes
  • Rain jacket
  • First Aid Kit
  • Electronics and Chargers
  • Medications
  • Snacks
  • Hand sanitizer, misc travel items
  • Guards
  • Toothbrush/Bite Guard
  • Sunglasses
  • Reading glasses
  • Ear buds/noise canceling headphones
  • Ziplock bags
  • Mask
  • Pen
  • 500mL water bottle
  • 2-3 days clothes (for 4-6 days of clothes, I go with a full size suitcase)
  • workout clothes
  • swim suit
  • toiletries
  • pair of shoes
Travel Vest
  • Phones/charger
  • EDC wallet/keys/currency
  • First Aid
  • Water bottle
  • Mints/snacks
  • Passport

ebags was having a 75% off sale, which is not unusual, but caught my eye this time.

I decided to purchase a  Mother Lode Jr Travel Backpack - $45 (19.5x13x10.5; 42 Liters) - As much as I like the rolling duffle, it is tricky to navigate over surfaces and along the airplane aisle.  My daughters both use wheeled uprights that move better than my old TLS.  In a perfect world, this replaces my TLS rolling duffle and removes the need for a backpack.  It also seems to be lighter at 3 pounds versus 8.7 pounds and have more internal capacity as it does not have to stow a rolling handle.

(2) Four piece sets of  packing cubes - $10 each - I have enough packing cubes, but as I was buying one set for my older daughter, I thought it would be a nice to have item for me also.

Mother Lode EVD Backpack - $29 - This will be a daughter's new backpack for 10th grade.  If she does not like it, I might give it a try.

Crew Cooler Jr - $12.50 - This just caught my eye.  The full size crew cooler is great and it has actually seen more use by my wife who uses it for week long trips to Colorado Springs.  I wanted to give the junior a try as a travel accessory or maybe a daily lunch box.


The new set up will be overkill for New Orleans, but should be perfect for Las Vegas and Kansas City.

New Orleans is essentially a day trip which should be easily accommodated by my backpack and travel vest.

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