Travel Gear

An unsorted list of travel gear I pack in my backpack. Inspired by Matt Mullenweg's "What's in my bag" post, Polle de Maagt's travel notebook.

I like to travel with only the minimal essentials. Everything that I'm not using regularly, I simply don't want to take it with me. IMHO there is no need to pack your backpack for "What if" moments.

My preferred backpacks

Goruck Echo
My daily EDC backpack that I use for commuting to work when I only carry essentials. And still some space available for an extra jacket or some groceries.
Goruck GR1
This is my other daily EDC backpack that I use when going to the gym before or after work. It always contains the same EDC gear as the Echo, plus the extra (gym) gear that I need for the day. It has a volume of 26L. This daypack is also big enough for a weekend or midweek away.
Goruck GR2
The GR2 is great for longer trips. I used it to travel around Japan for 3 weeks. And the best thing is, it is still a TSA carry-on compliant backpack, so a great travel backpack.

For me, the pro's of the Goruck backpacks is first of all the aesthetics. It has a low profile, it is not obvious that you are a backpacker or tourist and thus carry value stuff. Plus it looks good when traveling for work. The bag opens flat, this makes (un)packing so much easier. It has a separate compartment for my laptop, which you can easily access.

A big con is definitely the steep price. (Be patient and wait for a discount like 4th of July or Black Friday.) I think it will pay itself back because of the robust build of the bag. It feels like it will last a lifetime. The outside front pocket is not very accessible when your bag is full with your belongings. It's not really a quick access pocket. For that purpose, I use the one small pocket inside the bag.

Comparison of the Goruck backpacks

Centimeters and Kilograms are converted from Inch and Pounds mentioned Goruck' website.
Goruck Echo Goruck GR1 Goruck GR2
Volume 16 Liter 26 Liter 40 Liter
Width (Centimetre) 29.21 cm 30.48 cm 31.75 cm
Height (Centimetre) 41.91 cm 50.8 cm 55.88 cm
Depth (Centimetre) 10.79 cm 17.15 cm 22.86 cm
Width (Inch) 11.5″ 12″ 12.5″
Height (Inch) 16.5″ 20″ 22″
Depth (Inch) 4.25″ 6.75″ 9″
Weight (Kilogram) 0.88 kg 1.45 kg 2.15 kg
Weight (Pounds) 1.95 lbs 3.20 lbs 4.75 lbs
Laptop Compartment Up to 13″ Up to 17″ Up to 17″
Price Discontinued $295 $495
Source - Warranty & Customization

What travel gear is in my backpack?

Field Pocket GR1
3L field pocket that carries all sorts of small EDC and valuable items. Like all the Apple adapters and cables. I also have the Echo and GR2 field pockets that I can use as packing cubes.
Sea to Summit See Pouch (medium)
Handy and light dopp kit. Because you can see through it, makes it very easy to go through security at an airport when traveling with only carry-on.
Ikea packing cubes
The field pockets by Goruck are great for holding EDC or valuable items. So I was still on the lookout for lighter and slightly larger packing cubes for my clothing. For now, I'm going for the packing cubes by Ikea. Simply because they are cheap. Put some cedar wood chips in them to keep your clothing fresh.
Apple MacBook
With charger + cable.
Apple World Travel Adapter Kit
Handy kit with all the adapters that you may need. They work for the laptop and iPad charger. I always take an iPad charger and cable with me for charging my iPhone. And only the adapters that I need to take for the specific trip.
Apple AirPods
Maybe the best gadget purchase I have done in the last couple of years. I don't miss untangling the cables. And I feel totally comfortable wearing them while biking through Amsterdam.
Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Canceling headphones
I can't imagine flying without noise canceling headphones anymore. To me, they are essential for a comfortable flight.
Anker Powerbank (20.100 mAh)
ABC! Always be Charging. To charge my iPhone and MacBook a couple of time. I noticed it can charge my iPhone at least 5 times.
Dopper water bottle
Stay hydrated. Drink water. Alcohol doesn't count. Reduce plastic waste. But make sure it's empty before you go through security at the airport. Fill it up after security and you will easily save €5,- every trip.
Secrid wallet
I actually have 2 wallets. One is in my pocket with the most important cards that I use daily. And a second one with less important cards and some emergency cash.
Fenix E15 flashlight
Small but powerful EDC flashlight. Handy when you need to find a lock in the middle of the night. I make sure it's always in the same spot in my backpack. That way I can always find it by touch when it's dark.
Pacsafe TAS cable lock
Not the best lock, doesn't feel very solid, but it works. For example for lockers in a hostel or to lock my backpack.
Other small items
Lip balm, tissues, pen, eye mask, earplugs, nail clipper, painkillers, sleep aids, multivitamines, protein bars, and a deck of cards.