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Carry On

Packing List :: My One-Week Work Trip

by , August 21, 2015

Two weeks ago, I set sneaker across gangway, stepping into the hulking belly of a red-tailed Qantas 747 headed for the US of A. My driving force: a one-week work trip. First stop on the itinerary, the sunny Bohemian streets of San Francisco, then onto the mountain-fringed Salt Lake City for the Gear Mecca that is Outdoor Retailer.

I packed light. Keeping things stripped back to my essentials. In doing so, I shirked the burden that is overpacking and superfluous luggage. And I thought it’d be cool to run through my travel gear, dig down into my essentials and dish up some handy tips I’ve gleaned along my travels.

A small disclaimer: in no way am I a One Bag Zen Master; nor am I a schlepper. Let's just say I know some stuff that might be helpful. ;)

 Alchemy Equipment AEL008 Carry On

 Alchemy Equipment AEL008 Carry On

My Carry-On of Choice

Of course I rode with this year's Carry Awards winner: the Alchemy Equipment AEL008 Carry On. I won't go into too much detail, because we have an in-depth review on the way, but the AEL008 was epic. A sleek, functional bit of kit with, for me, the perfect array of pocketing. It also offered 3-way carry options. A pleasure to travel with and a standout among the generic travel fodder that squeaked and lurched from every corner.

Alchemy Equipment AEL008 Carry On

Another fav: the GORUCK GR2.


The carry industry is a casual bunch. Sneakers and collared shirts are the status quo. So if you’re more formally inclined, I’d add more collared shirts and maybe a sweet blazer to the below.

"Tip: Invest in lightweight and breathable. Things like Merino and some performance synthetics a) breath, reducing odor, b) are washed less, c) dry quickly.

"Tip: Consolidate your garb. Pack muted colours that match. Keep the Hawaiian shirt at home. Think black, blue and greys."

And before moving on, I’ll get it out of the way: I have a brand crush on Outlier. There, I said it! Those dudes really own this space. 


2 x Ultrafine Merino T-shirts

These t-shirts tick a slew of boxes. Woven from 17.5 micron yarn, they were beautiful to wear and to touch (really, I’ve lost who-knows-how-much-time kneading these bad boys between my fingers).

They’re crazy versatile and tailored with soft drape, which means they look great with shorts or jeans, but can be dressed up with a blazer or nice shoes when the evening calls.

And given that they’re Merino – fast wicking, naturally cooling and antimicrobial – they kept me cool in the heat, insulated me in the cool, and wore more between washes.

Outlier Ultrafine Merino T-shirts

1 x Duckworth Vapor Tee

My slightly cheaper option (buying Merino really adds up!). This Tee is a lightweight blend of Merino, cellulose and polyester, and did most of the above with a workman-like attitude. Not as nice on the skin and the eyes, but certainly nicer on my wallet.

Duckworth Vapor Tee

"Tips: Choose tailored fits and subtle branding. That way you can flex from tourist-y endeavors to meetings. And of course, pack less.  

1 x Mojave Pivot Shirt

For this trip, I only went with the one collar – risky, I know!

This cotton, linen and ramie blend was a breeze in the heat. Light and dry like a linen but washed up like a cotton. And like its name, it pivots like a champ. It was awesome with shorts for long days out and about and dressed up sweetly when dinner gigs called.

Outlier Mojave Pivot Shirt


1 x Outlier New Way Shorts

Another versatile offering. I love the idea of shorts tailored like dress pants and made to wear like boardshorts! These New Ways, although lightweight and breezy, had enough structure and fine lines to look good in the evening, whilst being durable enough for my travel, press junkets and day hikes in SLC’s Wasatch Mountains.

A big plus, they’re “water-ready” too. Kitted out with flow through pockets, a drawstring waist with mil-spec paracord, and finished with a water-repellent treatment, they dried quickly and were awesome for a quick dip in the hotel pool.

Outlier New Way Shorts

"Tip: Oh multi-function! A shirt that can be hiked and dined with = one less shirt to pack."

1 x Faherty Brand All Day Short

Once I’d discovered the fizzy appeal of tailored shorts with board-y characteristics, I stumbled across the All Days. Again, slightly cheaper, this time with a vintage, sun-kissed look. They looked a little worn for when I needed my slickest A-game, but as a day-to-day, they were rad. Some of the perks: they’re super quick-dry, odor repellent and are made from eco-friendly and ethically sourced recycled polyester.

Faherty Brand All Day Short


1 x Slim Dungarees

These are the chameleon of pants. They look like jeans from afar, but on closer inspection they’re like a tight-fitting, stretchy slack. You can wear these all day, everyday because they’re designed to breathe, and much like Outlier’s Merino Ts, they’re super-versatile, flexing from casual to more fashion-ready environs with the addition of slicker shoes and a buttoned-up shirt.

They’re also pimped with a "self-cleaning" NanoSphere®, giving them a nice resistance to water, coffee, wine and dirt (which came in handy) and the ability to quick-dry overnight.

Outlier Slim Dungarees


1 x Ultralight Freeshell

This shell is not only like its kin above: lightweight, quick-dry, aesthetically dynamic, but to boost its appeal it packs into a rear pocket, and can be carried around like a mini shoulder bag, good for holding small things like sunglasses and such. Genius! 

"Tip: Check with the Weather Gods pre-trip. Abnormal cold snaps or heatwaves can sizzle a trip quick smart."

Outlier Ultralight Freeshell

"Tip: Points for protection. If fabrics have protective coatings, it’s a big plus. If an errant spill can bauble on the surface instead of stain, that’s one saved trip to the dry cleaner."

Outlier Ultralight Freeshell


3 x ExOfficio Boxer Briefs

ExOfficio are known worldwide as the “traveller’s underwear”. Tim Ferris recommends them, so do a large chunk of the One Bagger community.

“17 countries, 6 weeks, 1 pair of underwear (okay, maybe two)” is their tagline (I rolled with three).

Super comfy, made with ultralight mesh, they’re breathable and quick-drying – again, perfect for washing in the hotel sink – and antimicrobial, making sure I stayed odor-free.

ExOfficio Boxer Briefs


1x Outlier Megafine Merino Socks (black)

Temperature regulating, wicking, and bacteriostatic, these bad boys wear longer between washes and look awesome.

Outlier Megafine Merino Socks

2x Icebreaker Multisport Cushion Mini Socks

Same deal…but white.

Icebreaker Multisport Cushion Mini Socks



Like many, I was formerly a print idealist. But 3 years gone, my girlfriend gifted me a Kindle and it’s still my favorite gift! It holds something like 1000 books, has a battery that lasts for weeks, it’s super-slim, super-light, and if you run out of books (what?) you can just track down a wi-fi and download MORE! Enough said. A must for me when I’m blowing time in transit.

"Tip: Forget ‘what if’ scenarios. Buy for the unexpected when it comes."


Ray-Ban Highstreets (6039/71)

Sometimes you just can’t beat the original. There’s a ton of new and awesome sunglass brands out there, but I’m a purist when it comes to eyewear. Timeless. Classic. Black. Ray-Bans. Enough said.

Ray-Ban Highstreets

Bellroy Travel Wallet

When I travel I always rock The Owl (it’s pretty much in my contract, ha!) . It’s long-ish, no denying that. But when you can keep your cash, cards, boarding pass, customs form, pen and your passport all in the one place, it makes up for it – a breeze to travel with.

Bellroy Travel Wallet

Bellroy Phone Case

Every phone needs a little protection. But add a card slot, and in some situations it takes away the need for your wallet. In my case, this rang true when out for dinner. The wallet stayed in the hotel, and my phone and Amex tagged along for the ride. Easy.

"Tip: Unlock and go SIM. Foreign SIM cards are cheap and effective and way better than going global roaming!"

Bellroy Phone Case

GORUCK Field Pockets

Compartmentalising is a long word. In short, you can find stuff easier. I used these bomber pouches to store my tangle of cords and chargers, and my pens and toiletries and business cards. I highly recommend. There’s other lighter and great options out there, but GORUCK’s my choice. 

"Tip: Pouch it. In no time your bag can look like it’s been turned over by a team of overzealous narcs. With packing cubes, you can keep things sorted and neat and together."

GORUCK Field Pockets

Vapur Collapsible Drinking Bottle

I used this every day. The Vapur drinking bottle collapses, or more precisely rolls up and is latched shut by an integrated carabiner clip. Saving a ton of space when empty, this “anti-bottle” was super useful. All I needed was a hotel faucet or drinking fountain and I was good. Add up all of the $4 bottles of water I didn’t buy, and I’d say the Vapur paid for itself 10x over.

Vapur Collapsible Drinking Bottle rolled

Vapur Collapsible Drinking Bottle

Bose QC25 Noise Cancelling Headphones

I – and every frequent flyer I’ve spoken to – swear by these. When you need that little corner of peace and serenity on the plane, these are a godsend. Clamp a set over your ears, flick the noise cancel button, and bear witness as the engine roar evaporates into thin air! And everything else, like the crying and clanking, dampened to a cruisy and palatable level. 

Oh, and they fold in on themselves, flat, into a sleek, slim case. Pretty nice add-on. And if you’re not a 90s Hip-Hop fanboy like me, and don’t love the look of giant cones on your ears and want the bulk gone, try the In-Ear option.

Bose QC25 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Clairefontaine Essentials Notebook

I’m a writer, so I need paper and pen, that’s just how it is. Random jotting occurs frequently. Personally, I dig the French-made Essentials Notebook: 96 pages of high-quality 90gsm paper sourced from self-managed sustainable forests, and so smooth to write on.

"Tip: Layers are handy and thin to pack. Even when heading to summery locales, things like shells are a must. Nights can get cold and so can airplane air conditioners."


Clairefontaine Essentials Notebook

LAMY 2000 Ballpoint Pen

This is my fancy pen. It gets unsheathed in meetings and such. It has great weighted balance and looks suave in its brushed stainless steel – everyone needs a fancy pen!


Uni-ball Jetstream Rollerball Pen

My workhorse. It gets thrashed by everyday use, works smoothly, and costs a few bucks. Highly recommended.

LAMY 2000 Ballpoint Pen and Uni-ball Jetstream Rollerball Pen

mophie Juice Pack

No matter how hard I tried, I still ran out of juice a few days of the trip. So the Mophie came in handy. Sleek and compact, it charged my tech rapidly and stored away easily. A backup charge when not a power outlet was to be found. Lifesaver.

"Tip: Leave the laptop. Our smartphones can access The Cloud, Skype and answer emails."

mophie Juice Pack

Olympus OM-D

I’m no camera expert, but it’s part of the journalism gig – awesome imagery is essential in the blogosphere – so, last year, I hit up a friend – a professional photographer – for a recommendation. He suggested this. It’s super easy to use, takes great pics and you can wirelessly DL your photos directly to your phone or laptop. It’s served me well, but there are more compact options for the space-saving sticklers.

"Tip: Get snap happy. Photograph important docs and upload them to The Cloud."

Olympus OM-D

Cole Haan Owen Sneaker

When on work or headed to the world’s biggest gear expo for work, you need comfortable shoes!! These Cole Haan’s were cool to kick it with. The inner sole softened quickly, the mesh let my feet breath, and they looked great with a shirt and dungarees or nice and casual with shorts. Versatile and comfortable.

Cole Haan Owen Sneaker


The Alchemy AEL008 was an epic carry-on, but for the floors of OR I needed something smaller, a daypack, to house my business cards, water bottle, pens and shell.

Thanks to my lean packing, I had room to spare. At first, I planned on packing the Outlier Ultrahigh Backpack – ultralight and awesome – but one of the team had snatched it for a snowboarding trip!


My second Plan A (in-joke for those who attended Product Underground): the Kletterwerks Daypack.


Man, it was rock-solid. Simple. Classic. Comfortable. Flat enough to pack. A nice extra – if you can make room, that is. ;)

  • fer

    Did you guys review the Outlier Ultrahigh Backpack?

    • TeamCarryology

      Hey @fer, we’ve tested it, the review’s not far off!

      • fer

        I can’t wait.

  • AA

    Dude! Forgot the first rule of Outlier club, now the sizes are going to be even harder to get 😉 although being an average height super skinny dude I usually get lucky.

    Anyway, that ultralight freeshell, I’m guessing that isn’t moss green from this year’s run? I have deep grey and am a bit disappointed I didn’t risk a brighter colour. Also, I’ve never seen a full sleeve Mojave, that looks like one of the OPPs?

    Got and love my Ultrahigh backpack, just wish I had the duffel to match.

    • TeamCarryology


      Sorry man. Broke the first rule, ha!

      The Shell, yup, it’s Moss Olive from this year’s run.

      Oh, and too right, disclaimer: DO NOT run a GR2 with Marino, haha!

      • AA

        We had a good conversation about your article in the subreddit. It was well appreciated. Your freeshell pics look wildly different from Outlier’s, actually prefer how “mint green” yours looks.

        I’ve had Goruck wear on a lot of my clothes sadly. Loving my Ultrahigh as a result.

  • wg

    I’m looking forward for the the AEL008 review. A part of me, wonder why it doesn’t have any Padded Hip/Waist Belt. I feel it is kinda vital for a 45 Liters Bag. I understand it is “carry-on” only but it could be use with Backpackers, traveling from cities to cities.

    • AA

      They have a new travel pack coming out that should be better in this regard.

      • wg

        Wow. Great to hear that.
        Luckily, I haven’t land myself on the Osprey Farpoint 40.

        Thanks @AA

        • LMF

          Farpoint 40 could have much more space available IMHO.
          I have Farpoint 40, 55, & had recently acquired the AEL 008

          • wg

            Interesting. Thanks @disqus_7EpR5GZeUI:disqus for your input. It will be great, if you could point why you think that? Is it because of AEL 008 Main Compartment Design or its Fabric being used? Or Farpoint 40 is more flexible?

            I haven’t get both. I’m still looking forward for the said AEL 012 and AEL 008 Full Reviews by Carryology.

            I will be looking forward for your full review @LMF comparing the two, if you are able to do so. Thanks!

          • LMF

            well, @disqus_ZPkQUoS3Gm:disqus to be frank, AEL won miles in term of looks and shape. It is why it got me hooked. Clean, sleek and minimalist.
            It’s so organised that it limits.
            And sometimes, when the AEL is on my back, it looked like a shell on me 🙁

            FP40 gives more flexibility in term of space and that hip belt, its a must when i’m walking miles.

            Don’t get me wrong, both has it’s advantages. When i’m on my suit and shorter trip, AEL is what i need.

            To me it’s a 7 days vs 4 days worth of clothing.

          • wg

            I agreed with you @disqus_7EpR5GZeUI:disqus. I truly understand that there are pro and cons of either Bags. And like you and me, I was attracted to AEL because it looks terribly clean. There isn’t really much “Clean” design Carry-on Bag though it is not perfect, either.

            Let’s see how the AEL012 turns out. I definitely want a good Padded Waist Belt for more than 40 Liters Carry-On Bag.

            Thanks again @LMF for your brief review! 🙂

    • TeamCarryology

      Hey @disqus_ZPkQUoS3Gm:disqus, just to back AA up, yes, their upcoming #12 would be perfect for that. The #8 is better suited for plane-to-cab-to-hotel types of scenarios.

      • wg

        Thanks @TeamCarryology:disqus for the re-assuring. I will definitely wait along and wouldn’t mind to wait until early next year. But I hope it doesn’t really take that long 😛 It is unbearable anticipation. I have one question though, where is Alchemy Bag/Products made? I know it is a New Zealand company but is it made in New Zealand too? I am having difficulty sourcing for the info.

  • Jojo

    Just a note, you’re not filling anyone putting a blazer or sport coat over a t-shirt, no matter how nice it is. You look terrible like that, just like everyone does.

    • Nawksi

      It’s how 45 year old fathers of two dress-up to look “groovy”.

      I don’t know. I suppose some people can pull it off, but not everybody is Italian.

  • LMF

    i had the AEL008 and, being too technical, it has less free space for clothing. But it’s a plus for having a laptop space.

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  • KevinE

    Hi, The AEL008 at 40+ litre looks like overkill for that small load! All the clothes would easily fit in a medium packing cube, plus the tech etc should easily be swallowed by a smaller bag. I regularly travel with an Osprey Porter 30 litre that takes a lot more than this pack list. The bag also discourages me from overpacking and shopping

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