How many bags did you go through to get to your "perfect" one bag travel bag?

I’ve gone through an absurd amount of bags trying to find “the one.”

Since this is a Minaal forum I’ll assume everyone is pretty happy with their bag but how long did you have to search before finding it and what bags did you try along the way?

I must have spent months of doing research, but the bag legend Chase Reeves of YouTube has helped me immensely along the way. The bag I used before this was a Columbia 34L that was built for hiking and carrying a laptop. I chose this one because it was the best all around minimalist bag setup and went with it. I must have watched every video Chase Reeves released and additionally every full bag review on Minaal before finally pulling the trigger before my trip to Cairo.

I used to have a Patagonia 18L sling until the Minaal one came out. The only bag I still have is an osprey 15L bikers bag that is super durable that I use for climbing and hiking.

None of the bags so far that I’ve bought/used have been good for solo backpack travel, so safe to say I haven’t found “the one” yet. Buuuuut I have been keeping my eye on Minaal/keeping up with the bags for years and finally decided to pull the trigger!

With all the extra time at home, I’ve gone down many rabbit holes looking for new bag(s)! Probably still not done yet…

Took me a looong time. Took a lot of trial and error. A lot of it was me ordering bags and returning them. This gave me a chance to put my things in it and walk around with the bags to see if I should keep it and if it would be a good fit for me. I was a kickstarter fan and researched bags through there and by google searches until I also found Chase Reeves and he has been great at reviewing bags. His website is if you wanna check him out.

I’ve looked at Arcido, Tom Bihn, Minaal, Cotopaxi, Peak Design, Evergoods and Aer but Minaal seemed to be minimal with their free advertisements on the bag itself, was a great tech compartment, size of the bag, carry on specs and simple in use compared to the others I looked at.

My family call me a gadget lover, and this is so true but I can’t help it and I don’t keep what I won’t use or that isn’t high quality.

I watched Reviews for months before pulling the trigger. I was planning a 3 month trip around Europe and initially I was going to do check in bag. The more I looked into it the more I realised I wont need most of the stuff I had thought I would need.

I really liked the look of the bag plus the size was perfect for Carry on. I ended up buying eagle creek packing cubes but they ended up making my bag super heavy because i was able to pack more into them. The cubes are great for organisation just try not to stuff them too much or you end up with something super heavy to lug around. It also helps you control the amount of souvenirs you buy, no space for that!!!

I also preferred a bag without too many bells and whistles. like do we really need that many strips and compartments a lot of hiking bags come with? I have become someone who doesn’t pack much in my bag when I travel or even day to day, through my experience with doing carry on for 3 months.


I tried so many bags- Gregory, Osprey, Peak Design, etc. Minaal has all the features I needed while still being sleek enough for work and school. Plus I love that it does not scream “tourist” when travelling. Years later, I can also say that it is the most durable bag I own.

Super interesting to hear people’s respective journeys - @victoria interested in yours too!