Archive for May 12, 2014

Why I travel with a backpack instead of rolling luggage

As you’d expect, being a stand up comedian I spend a lot of time on the road – which always ends up with people asking me about my choice of luggage. Unlike many people who like rolling luggage, I’m a backpack kind of guy. The nice thing about traveling with a backpack is that it forces you to not take yourself as seriously as you normally would in your daily life. With a small bag on your shoulders, you literally have to take an assessment of what’s really important to you. What items will you allow to take up some of that precious space? Things you thought were critical when you’re home may be necessary for just that place… your home.

Because I’m always staying in hotels on the road, I can eliminate a whole heap of those little travel sized toiletries and the insane rules that go with carrying them on board a plane with you. All I take is my toothbrush, some toothpaste, my notepads for my routines and a minimal collection of clothes. Also a big bag of sweets for a quick energy boost if I’m feeling a bit tired.

I bought the SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart backpack after seeing it on a list of cool backpacks and deciding that it was perfect for my needs. I liked the idea of buying a backpack from a brand that also manufactures traditional luggage. I also looked at a lot of the backpacks from The North Face before deciding on this bag. I’m not going to go into a full review on this blog, but I will tell you that it is one of the best travel hacks I’ve ever made.

I avoid checking my bag whenever I travel as much as I possibly can, because it speeds up the travel process. I can get to the airport later, avoid queuing up to drop off my bag and it allows me to fly cheaply on budget airlines like Southwest… after all, being a standup comic doesn’t pay that well for each gig.

I like that the bottom is rubberized since you never know where you’ll need to put your backpack down. There’s three large pockets with double zippers to make it easy to get into the bag from any angle, as well as a little pocket on the front that is perfect for stashing your boarding pass or a snack.

The back straps have an anatomical design that are designed to make it comfortable to wear the bag, and there is an “Air Mesh” backing that is designed to stop your back from sweating when you’re wearing the bag. Also, I find the design of this bag is neat and compact. Above the wet pocket is an organizer space where I can easily reach the essentials, say for instance, a granola bar. But there’s also room for lots more.

There’s also plenty of room in there to store a laptop. Depending on how long I’m going to be on the road for, I’ll sometimes pack it in there – it’s got a nice secure spot to keep my Macbook.

This is the backpack of of my dreams, that is if I was some kind of backpack nerd who actually dreamed about finding the perfect backpacks.