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Carryon plus day pack

Silly question, perhaps, but I'm curious how people manage the larger and smaller bag. In the past I had the day pack on my back and the carryon on my shoulder with the strap. But Rick suggests having the carry on on your back, so what do you do with the day pack. Or do you taking every out of your day pack and put in all in your suitcase at the airport until you're in your lodging?

Jim

Posted by
1341 posts

My day pack is a cross body bag and I carry it under the carry-on, which is a backpack. That way it is easy to take off the backpack and shove it into place before I slip into my seat. Then I take off the day pack :-)

Posted by
2768 posts

I use a carry on size roller bag! As a short woman, backpack carry ons are uncomfortable - too big for my torso. So my "daypack" is a shoulder bag, big enough for a DSLR camera but not huge. Then I roll the roller. My shoulder bag can hook over the handle of the roller if needed. If I am without my DSLR, my small purse can fit in the roller - only one bag! But the camera is a space hog. Worth it to me.

For long weekends, I can fit everything in a day pack backpack. So I wear that on my back and my shoulder bag over my shoulder.

My husband has a backpack carryon he uses sometimes, and a crossbody messenger bag. So carry on on back, messenger bag across body, laying at his side.

Personally, I hate backpack day packs. Seems inconvenient to get stuff out, and easier for a thief to get into. Plus they are not allowed in some sights on your back. Messenger bags are better to me.

Posted by
5837 posts

My carry is similar to LP's, Patagonia Half-mass messenger bag over shoulder with bag front and RS Classic carry-on backpack. I also have a Patagonia Lightweight (12 oz) 26 L travel pack that I carry in my bag for use during day excursions but not during transit days.

With winter travel, the above setup leaves me with both hand free to pull a wheeled ski box and wheeled gear bag (checked baggage).

Posted by
1259 posts

My preference is to only have one carry on while on the plane. I store a light sackpack in my carry-on which I use during daily touring.

I have also seen the other extreme where are the traveler carries the big backpack on the back and the smaller day pack on the front (ie. wearing it backards). It does seem to help the front to back balance and keep the hands free.

Posted by
420 posts

I use a roller bag and a Pacsafe cross body sling bag. It's really only large enough for essentials (4 passports, credit cards, cash, iPad mini). I use my Rick Steves Civita tote to carry non-valuable essentials (food, water, umbrella)

My sister used a 20 inch Pacsafe roller bag. She carried one other bag. A small Pacsafe backpack camera bag. It also doubled as her purse and held her medication. She was so glad she traveled light. She was delayed in New Jersey for 24 hours. In that time they sent her to a hotel 1.5 hrs away from the airport. Next day she had to go back to the airport in New Jersy where she picked up a new plane ticket. Then the sent her by cab to JFK. Once in Milan it took her hours to get a train ticket to Tuscany. She was so glad she never needed anyone's help with her bag.

Posted by
4411 posts

Most importantly, do whatever works for you.

If you can fit your daybag into your main backpack for those in-transit days, then definitely do it. Less is more. One less bag to keep up with, two hands for handling train tickets, food and drinks, holding handrails and poles/straps in the metro/bus.

But if you're like me ;-) that isn't usually the case. I carry my main backpack on my back, then usually hand carry my other bag (usually a Civita Backpack or something similar; most smaller backpacks have a hanging strap at the top for hand-carrying, or just use one of the straps). I sometimes put one day bag strap over or under one of my backpack straps and carry it on my shoulder (like a purse). Depending on the two backpacks, it can be difficult getting the smaller bag's strap to stay on the larger bag's strap. Or, wear your smaller backpack on your frontside - just put your arms through the straps and wear it on your chest/tummy, either under or over your larger bag. Trust me, you won't be the only person you'll see doing this.

FWIW, I have probably worn my day bag backpack on my back for about 1 hour total in accumulated minutes over many years. I wear it slung over one shoulder like I wear my regular purse.

With all of the crap stuff I've been known to carry in my main backpack, I'd have some serious shoulder and back issues if I carried it on my shoulder with a shoulder strap for longer than a few minutes here and there, so I applaud you for (apparently) not having a terribly heavy carry-on bag!

And however you carry them, take them off on metro cars, buses, and boats.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks to all for helpful answers. I'm flying Alitalia from jFK, so I can save $50 on those flights with a carry -on. Otherwise I could go I could go larger as Alitalia doesn't charge first bag. So far I'm looking at an Eagle Creek Tarmac carry-on ($170) about 45 liters and small enough for their requirements (a bit smaller) and 8 kg weight. That and an REI very lightweight Flash 22 day pack.

I like the suggestion of carrying the day pack and then the carry on with the shoulder strap over it. I've tried to make as many 2-3 daystops on my 3 week trip to minimize hauling luggage, as well as having a car for 6 days in Sicily.

Besides an around the neck pass port pouch, I have found long sleeve Kuhl, Mountain Hardware, and Ex-Officio shirts with zippered chest pockets really useful for a secure place to put tickets, etc.

One last question: do people suggest raincoat/umbrella for I Italy in april/May? Anyone know of light weight brolly?

Molto grazie,

Jim

Posted by
11613 posts

Regarding your umbrella question: I usually pack a cheap rain poncho that will cover my daypack (works for backpack, too). I don't carry an umbrella since, in Italy, the first sign of rain brings out the €3-5 euro umbrella vendors.

Posted by
994 posts

My carry on is a backpack and if I can't fit everything in, I bring as small of a shoulder bag as possible as my day pack. The less I have to carry, the better. I do prefer an umbrella to a rain jacket in warmer weather. I bring a small, light one. If I am going somewhere in cooler weather, I might also bring a rain jacket.

Posted by
8647 posts

Jim your question is why many people prefer to use roller bags for their carryon. I do what Karen says - carry-on is a backpack. Day bag is small enough to carry in one hand or over one shoulder, or even in front, which might not look so cool, but works. You're only carrying both for relatively short parts of your trip.

Posted by
23 posts

Hi Jim,
I have done roller bag/day bag and the convertible back pack /purse or messenger bag. Hands down in Europe, backpack much better for me...can use railing at stairs and on public transportation. Hands free to use map, hold tickets, eat, drink and no issues with uneven pavement or several flights of stairs.

Posted by
5837 posts

One last question: do people suggest raincoat/umbrella for I Italy in april/May?

Having worked in the West Coast windy city by the Bay (high rise wind tunnels), I have a preference in favor of raincoats. First of all, for a spring trip, a quality raincoat serves as a wind coat during cooler times. (A waterproof, poorly vented raincoat can be a disadvantage during a warm humid season).

The second reason in favor of a raincoat is raincoats are both hands free and another barrier protecting your goodies from sneaky fingers. The worst case combination with respect to pickpocket attacks is a deployed umbrella held in one hand and pulling roller baggage with the other.

Posted by
41 posts

My fiancee and I both carry Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 bags as our primary bag and then split a RS Civita day pack. We use the backpack straps on the TB when moving through airports and for the train, and I carry the RS Civita bag in my hand. It's easy enough to manage bags when you don't take much stuff in the first place!

Posted by
15694 posts

The worst case combination with respect to pickpocket attacks is a deployed umbrella held in one hand and pulling roller baggage with the other.

I would just summon up the spirit of Don Quixote and use the umbrella to fend off the pickpockets. It makes a fine epee.

Posted by
2768 posts

I vote raincoat with a hood. If you will be hiking or spending lots of time outdoors, then a heavy duty waterproof jacket. If you're in cities and towns, going in and out of sights, then any water-resistant jacket with a hood would be fine. I find umbrellas less than useful - I like my hands free, and I've never had good luck with the small, travel ones - they seem to get blown around and not work. The huge umbrellas are useful but not packable. And umbrella sellers seem to come out of the woodwork in cities all over the world in the rain, so you could always buy one there if you find it necessary.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks for the many replies. It really helps to visualize what can be done and then what I would prefer. It's great to know many of you get along fine with this limited space. Just in general this forum is incredible and pople are quick to respond.

The Eagle Creek bag I have is It's called the Tarmac Weekend bag, 2745ci/45L, 2lb 9 oz, .no wheels. Rather than a duffel it's a clamshell suitcase. For me I think it's a lot easier to pack. Costs $170 plus 10% REI dividend, so good value for my budget.. I imagine it looks clunky as a pack, compared to Bihn or Red Oxx. I've got enough room, just need to pack it in efficiently, so I'm experimenting a lot, trying permutations .

Jim