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Bored ... Evaluated and weighed everything. Again.

I thought I had whittled the carryon down but my grab'n'go rig massed a whopping 8.61 kg, including the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45L (1.38 kg).

Following my own oft-repeated advice, I ruthlessly reevaluated the entire kit for multi-functionality, necessity, durability, fashion inappropriateness, and weight. Ended up with a discard pile that massed 2.0 kg, consisting of duplicates, misguided attempts at color coordination, and doodads easily purchase in-country. Got the package down to 6.65kg. Just when I thought I'd found the limit, I realized the 45L bag was but 75% full. The whole rig easily slipped into the smaller 30L Aeronaut. Shazam! I am undersized and under-massed.

Still, we rationalize a few must-haves, do we not? I simply must have the blazer (550 g), a garment that veneers me in temporary respectability, and binoculars (380 g).

Posted by
3301 posts

reevaluated the entire kit for multi-functionality, necessity, durability, fashion inappropriateness, and weight

At that weight, you have earned the right to add back in something that is single-purpose, flimsy, garish and serves precisely one fun function, whatever that may be!

Posted by
6108 posts

Sorry, no I don’t rationalise any must-haves. If they are must-haves, they go with me as I always take a checked bag unless I am only away for a week. In addition to my one checked bag for the two of us (usually 20 kgs), my hand luggage usually weighs 8-10 kgs and his with camera kit weighs 10-15 kgs. All easily manageable until it’s put into the hire car at the destination airport. I don’t want to spend half my trip obsessing about when and where I can do some laundry.

If you have the capacity and can manage the weight, why take less than you need? It will save having to wash clothes out every night.

Posted by
3450 posts

For people who travel by public transportation, like we usually do, rather than hire car, it is important to keep things as light as possible for those times you have to carry luggage up or down stairs when there is a broken escalator or lift. It is also hard for some people to step over the gap and up two steep steps on train platforms in some countries. I’ve never gone to the extreme of weighing individual items but I evaluate the weight and volume of what goes in our bags. Different requirements for different traveling styles and abilities.

Posted by
1870 posts

Bogiesan, How did you do that?! That’s under 15 lbs. What don’t you pack?

I spent the day labeling, bagging and bottling drugs/supplements and 311 stuff. Then I did the test pack. I thought I had it all figured out. Was I wrong! Covid masks and not-young-anymore lady supplies and supplements are testing me.

My goal was to be near 20 to 25 pounds total between carry on and tote. Since I alway have to a problem keeping the RS rolling carryon below 9 1/2” deep, I struggled, rearranged, discarded and rearranged some more before I got it closer to United’s 9 inches deep. I ended up with the suitcase down to 20 lbs. but the tote hits the scale at 11 lbs because of some suitcase overflow and needing some things within easy reach when in transit.

Clothes aren’t a problem. My feet will hate me if I give up a pair of shoes. It’s all the Covid masks, drug supplements and supplies for 30 days that weigh up.

Nothing like recreational packing on a rainy, windy day.

Posted by
8135 posts

I simply must have the blazer (550 g), a garment that veneers me in temporary respectability...

I couldn't love this wordsmithing (and analysis!) any more.

I do have to ask though: what is the point of discarding something from your pack for weight when you say you will buy it when you get to your destination ? It will simply be weighing in your pack then instead of at home. Is there a prize for a pack that weighs less at home even though it will weigh the same at your destination after you purchase the item you specifically left out ?

Posted by
12215 posts

Is there a prize for a pack that weighs less at home even though it will weigh the same at your destination after you purchase the item you specifically left out ?

Yes. For some, the weight of their stuff determines whether or not their trip is a success. And they compete as to who can take less. They watch packing videos and drool over the former guide who only takes 5 ounces in her two ounce bag. I can understand the desire to keep weight down for carry on purposes, but this contest as to who can take the least has me scratching my head.

It's like those people who buy a ticket on Ryanair for 5 euros add on extras and wind up paying over 50 euros .But they tell people their flight was only 5 euros.

One strategy could be to start with a bag around 33 - 37 liters and make, that is, force yourself into packing within the bag’s limits. I am under 5’5” and know that I can’t carry a 45 liter pack. I shoot for packs around 37 - 40 liters. Weight becomes nearly negligible when using a smaller pack.

Posted by
3929 posts

Although I consider myself pretty good with SI units, I am perplexed how a person computes the volume of a carry on bag in liters? Looks like I will need graph paper to understand this topic completely.

Tom,
It’s about buying a bag. Learning the dimensions and liters. Then, deciding whether or not it works for you. Not a great way to learn. Trial and error. Or, learning from posters on this forum. Some companies list liters including the volume of pockets; others - main compartment. Configurations impact packing volume and bag access as well.

General ranges: 13 - 22 liters = daypack, 27 - 33 liters = 3 days of clothing underseat bag, 38-45 liters = travel pack for 4 - 7 days, 50 liters and larger - outdoor camping with gear.

Posted by
42 posts

Do we really need to mock people who have different styles and preferences? I'd choose wine over beer, cake over pie, chicken over fish - does this mean that people should talk about me with disdain?

I prefer to pack light because we use public transport and it is easier for me to handle a lighter load when boarding. I've found over time that I don't need a different shirt for every day of the trip and I can get by with bringing 4-5 shirts and doing laundry once every 7-10 days in a laundromat (I have some fond memories of easy conversations with "strangers" as we helped each others and "bonded" over our shared experience of doing the mundane task of washing clothes). Others may prefer not to do laundry while on vacation, so they can pack extra clothes or pay for the service - that is their choice! I welcome friendly sharing of tips and stories, but bristle at being told that I'm in a competition. I'm doing "me".

I'm not worked up, just disappointed as I come here to learn from other's experiences. There is enough negativity in the world, so let's try to focus on the positive!

Posted by
4819 posts

Tom, one liter is the volume of a 10x10x10 cm cube, i.e., 1000 cubic centimeters.
So, if a rectangular suitcase is 55x35x25 cm large, its outside volume is roughly 48,125/1000 = 48 litres. Usable volume is less in practice because wheels, handles, and the volume of the shell itself. As for duffel bags and backpacks... Here you'll need your graph paper 😅.

Posted by
2002 posts

Before this topic gets entirely tooo serious, with too many mathematical calculations and the such, I have only one question for the OP:

Did you pack undies, or would you be planning to "go commando"?

Posted by
2 posts

This may not relate, but I'm considering buying dress shoes for church services and theatre visits from a local thrift store/charity shop when I go to Wales & Ireland next spring. The reason: I don't want to take up room in my RS rolling backpack for shoes I may not end up wearing. If I buy things from a thrift store, I'll just donate them again before I leave. Advice or responses welcome. --R

Posted by
12215 posts

SueH.....you're not in competition. You are taking what you want and how much you want without comment. However, there are some very light packers who lament anyone for taking more than them. Those are the ones I was talking about.

No one here should tell anyone else what to take or how much to take. If asked, they can make suggestions. But if the person decided to do something else, that's their decision.

Personally, I don't care about liters or millileters or square inches or cubic inches. I want to know that the outside measurements of my bag and its weight meets the carry on requirements of MOST of the airlines I'm flying. I say most because there might be one that I don't.

As an example, In two weeks, I'm on a turboprop for a one hour flight from one smaller airport to an even smaller airport. I am allowed one carry on bag measuring no more than 15.7" x 13.7" x 7" ans weighing no more than 13.2 lbs. Should I take less of what I normally take for a two month trip just to meet its carry on requirements? No. I'll check my bag for that flight. It's not through Heathrow or Schipol. Just two smaller airports. Others might refuse to even take that flight because they would have to check a bag.

I understand there are some who normally carry less than that. If doing so makes them happy, I'm glad.

Posted by
1190 posts

Thank you all for participating!

Sorry, no I don’t rationalise any must-haves. ... usually 20 kgs [plus] 8-10 kgs [plus] camera kit weighs 10-15 kgs. If you have the capacity and can manage the weight, why take less than you need? It will save having to wash clothes out every night.

I could never take less than I need. Neither would I pack more than necessary. I am fastidious and I like fresh clothes so I usually do laundry nightly. It is a simple task I learned as a child. Laundry has never bothered me in the slightest.

I’ve never gone to the extreme of weighing individual items but I evaluate the weight and volume of what goes in our bags.

A precision scale enables a brutal objectivity. There is a saying among us: count the ounces (grams) and the pounds (kilograms) will take care of themselves.

Bogiesan, How did you do that?! That’s under 15 lbs. What don’t you pack?

Unnecessary stuff? Eliminated! Secret: Decades of ultralight backpacking and bicycle touring. I learned what I need to stay warm, dry, and comfortable; I understood both my capacity for enjoyment and my limits when roughing it.

what is the point of discarding something from your pack for weight when you say you will buy it when you get to your destination ? Is there a prize for a pack that weighs less at home ?

Sorry, I left out an important phrase: "UNIMPORTANT AND UNNECESSARY doodads &c." There is no prize, don't be silly. Incremental gains resulting in reduction of mass and numerous of items give me satisfaction, a concept non-carryon-only people simply will not grasp. Another is the idea that shopping in strange lands is an adventure.

And they compete as to who can take less.

That is an unworthy mischaracterization and you know what people say about the use of unbridled sarcasm.

... start with a bag around 33 - 37 liters and make, that is, force yourself into packing within the bag’s limits.

Yes, that is a technique often recommend to those new to the idea of packing lightly. I have approached carryon-only from previous experience (under, I might add, far worse conditions).

I am perplexed how a person computes the volume of a carry on bag in liters?

One should verify product specs by reading the reviews and calling the maker's customer service line. Someone around here who purports to be a luggage expert has said bags are filled to near bursting with plastic spheres which are then poured into standardized measuring devices.

Do we really need to mock people who have different styles and preferences?

No, no, we do not. But abuse is both popular and cheap on the interwebs. One grows thick skin dealing with prejudice, sophomoric and moronic humor, treatable ignorance, and, in some cases, incalculable stupidity.

I welcome friendly sharing of tips and stories, but bristle at being told that I'm in a competition. I'm doing "me".

If I am competing, it is only with myself. Well said and I enjoyed your comments, thank you for contributing to the thread.

Did you pack undies, or would you be planning to "go commando"?

Even when wearing my kilt, I prefer clean clothing and adhering to minimum standards. My reevaluation exercise reduced my kit from five to three pair. An important question. I thank you for asking.

If I buy things from a thrift store, I'll just donate them again before I leave. Advice or responses welcome.

That can be controversial discussion around here, peppered with cheap entitlement and Karen-ish tropes. Enjoy a guilt-free tour.

I understand there are some who normally carry less than that. If doing so makes them happy, I'm glad.

Eh.