Updating our Travel Gear (and introducing our Level 8 bags)
We’re halfway through a month-long trip through Spain. It’s been our first major trip together since the beginning of Covid (ie. almost 2 years ago).
It’s also marked another change in the way we travel.
The above was us when we started travelling full-time in 2014 (Lissette had her own backpack that you don’t see in the photo). There’s no doubt we overpacked. But at the time we had no base/no home and Lissette was still working (she had 2 computers just for work, along with notebooks, files…)
By the 2nd year (2015) we had changed our gear, dumping the backpacks for 2 oversized suitcases along with 2 slightly oversized backpacks (like student backpacks, but slightly bigger). It was still a lot of stuff but it was easier to manage. But then we started getting charged for overweight luggage (because of the suitcases) every time we got on a plane…
It was only in 2018, after a year of living in Croatia, that we decided that we had to travel much lighter. It was then that we replaced the oversized suitcases for a couple of Samsonite carry-on sized rolling suitcases. Everything was carry-on sized so we no longer had to check in baggage. It made a huge difference to the way we travelled. But we still thought we could do better. The major problem was that those over-sized backpacks were good in carrying our stuff from A to B but they weren’t comfortable for everyday sightseeing. We had to pack a couple of bicycle-courier type sidebags for that (Cocotte, made in Quebec, is a great brand if looking for something like that).
On this trip we’ve replaced our oversized backpacks with 2 new, top-of-the-line, normal-sized backpacks. They’re by Level 8 and they’re easily the most modern travel equipment we’ve used with independent laptop departments, lots of pockets for organization, padded straps…. What we especially like is that the backpacks are durable for carrying our stuff from place to place but also light (they’re made with some kind of ultra-modern, water repellent Polyester fabric) enough to use as daypacks while sightseeing. We’re 2 weeks into our trip and they’ve already changed the way we travel. We’ll be doing a detailed review of them after our month of travel.
Judging from what we see when we travel, packing (and travel gear), is something people struggle with. We see people lugging huge suitcases and wonder if they’ve packed their entire wardrobe. They pull them up stairs at train stations and lug them through the cobblestoned streets of Europe’s old towns. They no doubt pay huge penalty fees for overweight luggage when getting on flights. We used to be guilty of the same. The thing we’ve learned is that lighter is always better.
How do you travel? And how has your travel style evolved with time?
Related: A Review of our Level 8 Backpacks