Deciding which bags to carry is often the single biggest question I have to answer before I start my trip. The factors in making the choice are convenience, allowed/required volume and sometimes style. Notes mentioned here try to address the various scenarios with a combination of bags that I use.


2013: Currently, this is my list of bags and their combinations on trips.


Medium suitcase x 2
Samsonite 28" hard-case. One for a couple of months. Two for longer.

Carry-on
Samsonite 20" leather strolley has enough space for a week's stuff, can carry a laptop and goes into the aircraft cabin.

Small Duffel
Wildcraft 40L duffel to carry your jeans, tee shirts and shoes.

Large Backpack
Wildcraft 58L backpack with detachable sleeve for laptop for those week long trips on the road.

Photo backpack
National Geographic photo backpack can carry all my photogear, laptop and enough stuff for a weekend.
Long trips (0-6 months)
1/2 suitcases + 1 carry-on + 1 personal item (photo backpack)


The two suitcases carry my entire stuff, empty laptop backpack is packed into them, and they are checked in. Carry-on carries the laptop. Camera backpack carries all the photogear. Both go into the aircraft cabin.
Short trips (0-2 weeks)
1 carry-on + 1 personal item (backpack)

or
One suitcase carries stuff I mostly need, empty laptop backpack is packed into it and checked in. All photogear is packed into the camera backpack. This backpack and the laptop go inside the carry-on which is now ready for aircraft cabin.
Bike rides / Road trips (0-14 days)
1 duffel + 1 backpack

or
Carry-on carries all necessary stuff for a week. Laptop backpack carries the laptop (or camera backpack packs all photogear). Both go into the aircraft cabin and save you a lot of time at the airport.




2007: This is a list of bags I have and the various combinations follow.


Large suitcase
Samsonite 30" soft-case can carry half of what constitutes my universe.

Medium suitcase
Samsonite 28" hard-case can carry the other half.

Carry-on
Samsonite 20" leather strolley has enough space for a week's stuff, can carry a laptop and goes into the aircraft cabin.

Laptop backpack
Samsonite backpack can carry a laptop and enough stuff for a weekend.

Photo backpack
National Geographic photo backpack can carry all my photogear, laptop and enough stuff for a weekend.
Long trips (3-6 months)
2 suitcases + 1 carry-on + 1 personal item (photo backpack)


The two suitcases carry my entire stuff, empty laptop backpack is packed into them, and they are checked in. Carry-on carries the laptop. Camera backpack carries all the photogear. Both go into the aircraft cabin.
Mid trips (0-3 months)
1 suitcase + 1 carry-on + 0 personal items


One suitcase carries stuff I mostly need, empty laptop backpack is packed into it and checked in. All photogear is packed into the camera backpack. This backpack and the laptop go inside the carry-on which is now ready for aircraft cabin.
Short trips (0-2 weeks)
1 carry-on + 1 personal item (backpack)

or
Carry-on carries all necessary stuff for a week. Laptop backpack carries the laptop (or camera backpack packs all photogear). Both go into the aircraft cabin and save you a lot of time at the airport.
Weekend trip (2-4 days)
1 photo backpack

Camera backpack carries all photogear and stuff necessary for a weekend. Can stuff in the laptop if necessary - but do you need a laptop on a weekend? The bag goes in the back of your car, under the bus seat or simply on your back.
Office or street walking (Everyday)
1 laptop backpack

Goes to office everyday. Carries your laptop + camera + iPod + book(s). Very versatile. Very light.


Updated: Mar 2013