Over the last couple years, we’ve become luggage snobs. We are pretty picky when it comes to our bags. We have tried many options and have come to really love – like REALLY love – our backpacks and bags.
We each have our own Tom Bihn Backpacks and our GoRuck Backpack. We keep most of all our clothes in our Tom Bihns and our books/electronics in our GoRucks. When we settle into a home, we use our GoRuck for day-to-day activity like coffee shop work, gym workouts, or day hikes.
Don and I both love the Tom Bihn Aeronaut Bags. They are soooo easy to pack. The packing cubes make it easy, and we find there is plenty of space for all our necessary clothing and supplies. We have a toiletry kit, a pair of shoes, and I also keep my hair straightener in there as well. It is so convenient to carry these into a hotel on your back, keeping your hands free.
The kids all have a Tom Bihn backpack. Jadyn and Isaac are still fine in the 19L Synapse, but Gabe needs the 25L Synapse because his clothes are pretty much adult-size now! They all love the various compartments to store their wallet, flashlight, knives, 18 oz Widemouth Hydroflask, and unique memorabilia. The Synapse zippers are high-quality, and everything is water-resistant.
You can’t go wrong with a GoRuck Echo. For starters, you just look so cool wearing it. We love how the zippers open all the way down so that they lay flat and pack easily. With one outer pocket and 2 inner mesh pockets, you can access important things easily. They fit so well on your back – slim, not bulky. They pack well into a car or locker. I even like the top handle – I use it to carry when I have my bigger Tom Bihn on my back. Don is thinking of even using the GR1 (26L) for his main travel clothes bag, but we haven’t tested that out yet.
And then for car travel, we have been completely happy with the REI Medium Travel Duffels. These canvas bags are so sturdy. We each have one for our shoes now. The others are filled with extra jackets, sports gear, hammocks, kitchen gear, roller blades, and books. They fold up into themselves once we settle into a home for easy storage. We can’t say enough about them for road trips!
This year, we also started using the Tom Bihn Large Shop Bags regularly for miscellaneous things like dirty laundry and travel food/snacks. They are water-proof – don’t ask me how I know ;)……..ok, I have actually leaked half of my water bottle TWICE into these bags, and they didn’t spill out into the car! They also fold up easily into themselves and are easy and enjoyable to carry.
It’s funny how the “packaging” matters in life. We consider these bags as the packaging to all our gear. While they “just” hold all of our important things, they have become quite valuable and enjoyable because of their quality and ease of use.