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Best Airline Travel Carry-On Bag?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by TARFU, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    Got a couple of boxes today...

    [​IMG]


    That second box supposedly contains my Patagonia Carry-On. Brings to mind that quote from the movie Roadhouse, "I thought you'd be bigger".
     
  2. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    More curious about what you ordered from TB!
     
  3. TARFU
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    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    It's just the Absolute Shoulder Strap. ;D

    Here are the two together unboxed. Initial reaction on both is very positive.

    It's hard to get excited about a strap but I tried the Absolute Shoulder Strap out with my fully loaded Kato Messenger and it does distribute weight across the shoulder extremely well due to the length of the contoured pad and the material it's made of. Incredibly straight forward design but shockingly effective.

    As for the Patagonia MLC, I could tell right away the build quality is top notch. Nice color... almost an OD Green. I'll do a full review in a separate thread. Lots to talk about regarding the MLC. Admin pocket... hidden backpack straps... internal organization and tie downs... very, very cool.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. aaronu

    aaronu Loaded Pockets

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    Good choice. I believe Doug Dyment mentions the MLC on onebag.com as well as he is generally in favor of the tri-zip design. It may not be as overbuilt as a Red Oxx but is a solid product that should last you a long, long time.

    I have an Air Boss because I do, in fact, travel well over 100,000 miles/year. Currently Seattle to Philadelphia every week at ~5,500 air miles round trip.

    The one thing about the Air Boss is that it is very much a purpose-built item co-designed by Red Oxx and Doug Dyment. It is perfect for carry-on, one bag travel but you will not find any organizer pockets with pen holders, etc. That's the one thing an EDC-aholic would want that I believe is at cross purposes to one bag travel.

    My answer is to carry a smaller EDC bag that can fit inside the Air Boss if needed. It comes out when it's time to board the plane and has all the stuff I want available when I fly. This greatly simplifies things when I'm actually on the plane and gives me the means to EDC a few things with me that would not fit well in my business casual travel clothes; a Kindle, travel first aid kit, Quark 2xAA flashlight, etc. I got a PacSafe Metro 200 for Christmas and that's currently my travel EDC bag. It's not optimal but it works well enough.

    I'd recommend a similar approach for your MLC. Depending on how you pack it, you may have room in the center for a slim notebook brief or other fairly flat EDC bag. Let that be your EDC organizer and use the MLC admin pocket for backup/secondary stuff.

    The Absolute Strap is a must have. It's a nice strap at any time but whenever you fill up that MLC, the strap will make a world of difference.

    Another EDC-friendly suggestion is a travel tray. I have the Red Oxx tray. Whatever hotel I'm at, I'll know where to find all my EDC stuff -- ID cards, flashlight, etc. Tom Bihn has one as well, as do other makers.

    Cheers,

    Aaron
     
  5. TARFU
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    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    Aaron - thanks for the feedback. I will definitely check out the travel tray and I like your other recommendations as well. Excellent post sir!
     
  6. TARFU
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    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    So just had an excellent customer service experience with Patagonia that I thought I should share...

    Patagonia sent me an email about their Fall 50% Off Sale. I browsed and discovered that they had put the exact bag, the MLC in Seaweed (Green), on Sale for $79! I had paid $111 just a week ago. I started a chat with a customer service rep and come to find out that Patagonia has a policy to credit a customer if an item they purchased goes on sale within two weeks of the purchase date. So, I'm getting a $31 credit back to my original form of payment.

    The bag at the original price I paid was a good deal. At $79, it's an absolute steal! The sale lasts until February 27th. Here is the link:

    http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/patagonia-mlc-maximum-legal-carry-on-bag?p=48107-1-902
     
  7. MashBill

    MashBill Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for sale info. I just purchased one. Thanks also for the great review!
    Bill
     
  8. J4C3

    J4C3 Guest

    Look forward to your review
     
  9. TARFU
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    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    Yeah, knowing more guys might be interested at that price point, I'm working on it now. Will post shortly. Stay Tuned.
     
  10. aaronu

    aaronu Loaded Pockets

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    TARFU,

    You're very welcome for the feedback. It's nice to see someone start up a thread and share information like you've done. Glad to hear you got that refund, too.

    Just wanted to mention something before you write a review...

    I got my Air Boss the day before a two week international business trip. It was my first attempt at one bag / lightweight travel. Like most do, I overpacked. And it sucked.
    :'(

    The awesome "one bag" travel philosophy looked good on paper but didn't pan out at all. I had too much of the wrong stuff and barely enough of the right stuff. I didn't give up on one bag travel but it was discouraging.

    On my next trip I paid attention to what I actually used and what I didn't. I started leaving stuff behind. My Air Boss got a little lighter. And then it got merely "tightly packed". And then loosely full. And now I have just enough in the center section for the bag to keep its shape, and I've actually added a few luxury things back in the mix. FWIW I carry not only a laptop computer in the center section but a bulky, clunky CPAP breathing machine as well. This load weighs between 21 and 26 lbs depending on clothing choices, and up to 30 lbs with the Metro 200 bag stuffed in there. If I have much walking to do, I wear the Metro bag on my left and carry the low 20 lb. Air Boss on my right. I'm a big guy and these weights are reasonable for me to carry; if I were smaller, my clothes would be smaller and my bag would be lighter and it would STILL be all good.

    So the moral of this post is, if you are less than delighted with your Patagonia after your first trip, don't get bummed and write a poor review. Keep track of what you used and what you didn't, and evolve your packing list and packing style as you go. You'll find that your travel experiences will get better and better. Write a review only when you're sure you're evaluating the MLC and not your packing and travel habits.

    Cheers,

    Aaron
     
  11. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    The price on the MLC would certainly be very tempting... if I didn't already have a TB Aeronaut that I'm very happy with!

    Back in the day the one travel pack I lusted for was the MEI Voyageur:

    http://www.meivoyageur.com/

    Sadly, this was before MEI decided to set up their own website and start marketing themselves, so all there were to go on were blurry photos and MEI's own line drawings. Looking back at all the reviews that have since popped up, it seems the Aeronaut actually fit better with what I wanted in my travel bag!
     
  12. TARFU
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    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    I looked at the Voyageur, but it would look more at home at a Youth Hostel versus a 4 or 5 star Hotel during a Business trip. Guess it just depends on your intended use.
     
  13. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    Indeed, part of the reason why I went with the Aeronaut. It looks very much more professional.
     
  14. Chiro75

    Chiro75 Loaded Pockets

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  15. pinzgauer

    pinzgauer Empty Pockets

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    OK, totally contrarian to most of the EDC posts.... after 30+ years of business & pleasure travel, I have ended up back with a hardside carryon. Pelican 1510 wheeled (no foam)... Yep, it's about 3 lbs heavier than the softcase rollers. But.... it fits overheads, it rolls great, and with careful packing I think I actually fit more than my softsides did.

    Yes, it' breaks several one bag rules. But just seems to get less hassle at checkins, TSA, etc. Mine is khaki, so it does not look tacticool. I can get repair parts for it. If I have to check it, it survives without tears. I even think airline crew treats it better. I found it for under $100 with free shipping.

    That and a vintage North Face Wasatch day pack (not the new version). Both carry on, and I use them for business travel (business casual) and for pleasure trips. The daypack has reasonable organization inside, the side pockets will carry a nalgene each if needed. Or for a weekend trip, one is stuffed with socks & underwear, the other with shaving kit items, etc. Still room for a couple of days clothes change, etc. Straps were good enough to use as a real daypack with sternum & waist belt. (THough I'd not carry it full of heavy stuff backpacking).

    I was a hardcore soft bag guy for literally decades, can't totally explain why I like the hardcase Pelican. I'm adding some straps to help keep things from moving inside if not fully packed. There was a day that I'd be worried about theft, but I don't lock it, and I see other travelers using them. In a jam (cobblestones, snow, etc) I can hand carry it by the side handle.