Best Travel Carry-ons for Millenial Jetsetters in 2018

Let’s be real, whoever said they’ve found the holy grail of backpacks, one that was made for every type of traveller; he/she has not tested that theory out. I’m sorry not sorry, to burst that bubble of yours. I don’t believe there’s a “best” travel carry-on for every traveller in every situation. But I believe that there is one for everyone and their unique needs. If you are currently on the search for The Best Camera Bagpack Ever Known To Photophiles, or the UltimateOne Bag Travel” – that is your entire travel needs packed into a single bag sans luggage, or a Sleek Cabin Bag for Light Packers, you will want to read on for them.

If you’ve been following my Instagram or this blog, you would’ve noticed that my trips involve a diverse mix of adventures. From snorkelling amidst marine life in Maldives, to driving as we hugged the cliff face of the steep and rugged coastlines of Italy, snowboarding in Hokkaido, and lots more; I’m always down to hunt for the best spots for a unique experience and capturing them. The latter is the part that gets tricky especially when we are trying to capture shots in crowded locations, tough terrains, and/or against the elements. It boils right down to being prepared for your shots in the littlest time possible. That means, narrowing down the amount of time wastage when it comes to setting up and switching equipments between takes. In my opinion, the best way to do so is to have everything you need packed efficiently and easily accessible. Before I continue, it is crucial I mention that between my husband and I, we have different needs in travel carry-ons.

My husband is my photographer and videographer and whenever we travel for shoots, we don’t like to check our equipments in as checked baggage. Typically, we like to have control over our gears in the event of lost baggage. As such given the extensive amount of gears he has, his ideal carry-ons should be able to store his full frame DSLR camera body, at least 2 medium sized lenses, videographing equipments, drone and gimble, 15 inch laptop, cables, spare batteries and a change of clothes. Whereas for me, my ideal carry on would be more of a “One Bag Travel”. I need to carry with me cosmetics and makeup for shoots when we touch down in a location, 15 inch laptop, hard drives, power banks, mirrorless camera with two lenses, cables, neck pillow for a good night’s rest on the plane and preferably a change of clothes. Furthermore, my bagpack has to double up as a suitable daypack so that upon arriving, I can unload all of the previous packing and repack it to carry all that I need for shoots – change of at least 3 outfits and undergarments, makeup and hairdressing necessities, itinerary for the day, shooting props, spare footwear,  sunscreen, mosquito repellent spray and etc. Between the two of us, we have gone through an exhaustive list of carry ons in order to find one that can measure up in terms of both design, comfort and function. That is until now…

These are my favourite carry-ons in 2018, to have with me as I actively tick off my bucket list (from right to left):

  1. Thule Covert Dslr Rolltop Backpack – Dark Shadow
  2. Thule Subterra Carry On 22″ – Dark Shadow
  3. Thule Paramount Backpack 24L – Black

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The Best Camera Bagpack Ever Known To Photophiles

A.k.a. Thule Covert Dslr Rolltop Backpack – Dark Shadow

We feel like the toughest terrains and situations require the most out of your bagpacks. Why you might ask? Imagine being out in the open in deep winter, while it is snowing. You want to document a particular experience or landscape, against the elements, and accomplish two simple tasks of shooting images as well as flying your drone. Sounds pretty simple right? Within the first minute of taking your gloves off, just to reach into your bag for your camera body, you will experience your first moments of feeling your fingers stiffening up in the cold.  The camera body is out and after popping in the lens, you switch on the camera to only realise that the camera is fogging up. As you wait for your camera to defog, you try to warm your fingers while ignoring the subzero temperatures. Now, let’s throw in the mix of having to switch lenses to achieve different types of shots. Oh, what about having an SD card error issue or batteries depleting life while out in the cold? Don’t forget the falling snow and leaving your bagpack out in open makes it a challenge to keep your gears dry. Before you know it, painful minutes go by and you might have just missed out on capturing a beautiful moment. When I say painful minutes, I don’t just mean have to be out in the cold and figuratively miss out on those shots. I literally mean your hand starting to numb out and excruciating pain shoots through your finger tips to your nails due to the freezing temperatures. Once you reach this point, you’ll start regretting your decision to shoot outdoors let alone fly your drone in deep winter conditions and forgo shooting altogether. Sounds familiar? That is why finding a proper camera bagpack – smartly designed for comfort, function and style, proved to be near impossible. Until now, we’d almost gave up on the search for our dream camera bag as all we always only managed to fulfil only 2 out of 3 of our criteria! Thankfully, we did not stop our search.

Not only did the Thule Covert Dslr Rolltop Backpack – Dark Shadow fulfil all of our criteria, it managed to exceed our expectations.

Basic specifications:

  • Weight: 2.254 kg
  • Dimensions: 17.7 x 7.9 x 21.3 in
  • Laptop compartment: 10.6 x 10.6 x 10.2 in
  • Colour: Dark Shadow

So here’s what we LOVED about it:

  • Expertly built and designed specifically for the camera user in mind. There are two compartments, a top loading and side loading compartment that allow for easy access to camera equipments. Straps were designed to make it easier to quickly flip the pack around and access the camera equipments, we’d stored in the side loader. The front spare compartments are perfect for storing everything from personal items, batteries, etc.
  • Comfortable to wear for hours with exceptional back support and high-quality harness that feels freeing, instead of feeling like you’re constantly dragging something behind. Something that all our previous camera backpacks was not able to fulfil; either straps were poorly positioned resulted in straps slipping off the shoulders or shifted when packed differently. Although it’s hard to avoid the old sweaty back with longer periods of wear in hotter climates, we have found that the back panel is so well designed, it felt cooler and more well-ventilated than others!
  • Covered with ample padding for camera equipments to be well protected yet didn’t have to compensate too much on space. We were able to load 2 medium sized zoom lenses into the side loading compartment where the camera sits and still had the whole top loading compartment free to load our Mavic Pro Fly More Combo together with it’s shoulder bag, Ronin S gimble, 15 inch laptop, and an additional set of clothes. I’m inclined to think that if you are the type who travels with a spare backup camera, you could replace the space used for our drone set and gimble with another full frame DSLR camera and two zoom lenses. The compartments are massive!
  • Durable and of great quality to withstand abuse in long travels. We felt that the quality of the fabric and zippers were of superior quality and didn’t feel fragile with rough usage.
  • Caters to compression and expandability without causing a disproportionate weight shift when packing to the brim.
  • Weather resistant for rain, spillage and poor weather conditions.
  • Sleek and stylish aesthetics

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This bagpack has become our go-to travel camera bags and certainly championed all others to be the camera bagpack of our dreams!

The Ultimate One Bag Travel

A.k.a. Thule Paramount Backpack 24L – Black

As mentioned, I’ve set out to find an all-in-one travel bagpack that could be used interchangeably as a daypack. My requirements were much easier to meet than my husband’s since I didn’t have so much gears to carry. Nonetheless, I hadn’t found one that really made me feel like I’d found my go-to backpack. Like my husband, my ideal backpack has to be one that is smartly designed for comfort and style. Yet, on the component of function, I struggle with finding one that is designed functionally to double up as a daypack as well as an all-in-one travel bagpack. I needed one that was lightweight, versatile and flexible in material, this way I could easily pack less items and have it not be too large as a daypack yet allowed for expandable volume. At the same time, I still needed ample protection from my electronics and gears.

Alas, the search is over for me as I’ve found the perfect solution to my bagpack woes with the Thule Paramount Backpack 24L – Black!

Basic specifications:

  • Weight: 0.907 kg
  • Dimensions: 11.6 x 10 x 20.5 in
  • Laptop compartment: 9.8 x 0.9 x 14.3 in
  • Colour: Black

So here’s what I LOVED about it:

  • Main difference between this and the Thule Covert Dslr Rolltop Backpack – Dark Shadow is that this backpack was super lightweight and gave me a freedom in terms of versatility and flexibility in packing. It could easily be used for city commuting in crowded public transportations without becoming a burden -essentially what I was looking for in a daypack. Yet, it is very forgiving when you’re trying to pack your bag to the brim for use as an all-in-one-bag.
  • Thoughtfully built and designed with convenience in mind. With a dual-access point, you can access your laptop and tablet through the top-loading compartment or side zipper. This is a splendid feature as I often need to reach for items packed at the bottom of the bag without wanting to unload the whole bagpack. The front spare compartments are perfect for storing everything from personal items, cables, batteries, handphone etc. Straps were designed to make it easier to quickly flip the pack around and access the side zipper.
  • Similar to the Thule Covert Dslr Rolltop Backpack – Dark Shadow, the bagpack is comfortable to wear for hours with exceptional back support and high-quality harness that feels freeing, instead of feeling like you’re constantly dragging something behind. The back panel also felt very well designed such that it felt cooler and more well-ventilated than others. I felt little to no stress on my back even after long hours of wear.
  • Covered with ample padding for laptops and handphone storage, yet keeping it roomy for packing up to the brim. The space is massive.
  • Durable and of great quality to withstand abuse in long travels. I felt that the quality of the fabric and zippers were of superior quality and didn’t feel fragile with rough usage.
  • Caters to compression and expandability without causing a disproportionate weight shift when packing to the brim.
  • Weather resistant for rain, spillage and poor weather conditions.
  • Sleek and stylish aesthetics

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Sleek Carry On for Light Packers

A.k.a. Thule Subterra Carry On 22″ – Dark Shadow

For our leisure and long weekend trips, we prefer to ditch all our gears and travel light. Especially so, when we travel to places where we’d expect to be commuting in crowded public transportations or when we do self-driving road trips. Carrying a backpack is always an option but most of the time, I love having a roller cabin bag. This way I can be dressed to the nines; instead of creasing my favourite dress or the bagpack causing my dress to ride up.

Most cabin bags don’t exactly scream sleek or stylish. Not the Thule Subterra Carry On 22″ – Dark Shadow, it is not just a thing of beauty but one with a good amount of space.

Basic specifications:

  • Weight: 3.175 kg
  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in
  • Colour: Dark Shadow

 

Here’s what I LOVED about it:

  • Comes in the perfect size with smart organization of the space to maximise the storage for light packing. It was big enough to store clothes, footwear, toiletries and makeup for up to a 3 days trip.
  • Allows for easy lifting with top, side and bottom grab handles.
  • Both the hardshell body, back panelling as well as retractable handle feels superbly sturdy.
  • The handle and flat profile of the carry on makes stacking a backpack on top effortlessly easy.
  • 2 wheeled carry on which rolled very smoothly and didn’t have me constantly tripping over the wheels, unlike my other 4 wheeled cabin bags.
  • External pockets made it easy for me to store house keys and smaller items I needed quick access to.

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We have found that our best travels are those where we are able to focus on enjoying all that a location has to offer and capturing shots in the littlest time possible. All of which is hardly possible without travelling comfortably with functional and well designed carry ons for easier travels. It certainly pays to be well packed and organised for travel adventures.

I hope that you have found this article useful to prepare you for your next travels.

If you like what you see, you can click here to find out more. Also, you can get 15% off for your online purchase with a discount code –15OFFGERMAINETTRAN.

 

 

 

 

This post is done in collaboration with The Planet Traveller X Thule. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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