Packing with a Carry-on

Hi All, I wanted to reach out because I’m looking to get a new carry-on bag and wanted your opinion. I’m a big guy (5’ 8’’, 340 Lbs.) and my clothes are big (2 to 3 X shirts and 50ish pants). I’m looking for a new carry-on that can work for week-long trips. I want to be able to hold the clothes, toiletries, and maybe an extra pair of shoes. I’m not sure if I’m going to go with something like a duffle or a hard-sided case. Any help is appreciated.


my two cents:
There are three reasons to get a hard case:

  1. You want it to roll rather than carrying it on your body
  2. You have something very delicate to protect
  3. You want ironed clothes to stay perfect

For everything else, a duffle is way more flexible; for example, if overhead space is an issue you can condense into one bag and put your duffle under the seat in front of you. And if you’re careful with rolling your clothes when you pack, you can get there without too many wrinkles.

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I’m personally in a similar space (2x shirts, 42-44 waist) and have successfully done a safari in Africa for 2 weeks, with all the camera kit, with just a minaal daily and carryon. It was tight, but it’s doable. These bags are ridiculously spacious and I’d recommend them over a hard sided case any day of the week.

Reasons to go with a Minaal summed up:

  • It fits anywhere (overhead or under seat) even on the little European planes
  • You’ll rarely be asked to gate check it - seriously, I’ve had mine over 80 lbs and not had anyone blink an eye while every wheeled case around me was being forced into the hold (and lost at the other end)
    *With the right attachment (straps) you can carry it a variety of ways and each will work well.
    *Once you get used to using it, you’ll be able to pack it in 5-10 mins and out the door. I know because I’ve done this with this bag.

The fact is the Minaal option gives you the one thing you can’t get more of back. Time. Yeah it doesn’t have wheels, but it can fit under your seat instead of having to get stowed 7 rows back because someone filled the bin above you.

It’s not hard sided, but it is well designed and uses the space it has to the max to the point where you will find it surprising how much you can fit.

It will make you think of travelling differently. Just 1 trip with just that bag as your luggage and you’ll never check a suitcase again if you can avoid it.

And it may, at somepoint, give you critical hours back when they matter most because you can pack and go and hit that last minute flight. That might be hours in paradise, or it might be a chance to say goodbye in person that you otherwise would have missed. It’s given me both. And the team behind it have proven to be human at the times that most mattered.

I absolutely endorse this product and recommend it as the choice.


I appreciate this! When packing the carry on did you use the packing squares?

Absolutely although I also did leave some out in a couple of places where I needed the size. The key with this bag is it’s flexibility. It’s hard to get until you have it in hand but basically you pack is a bit oddly (or at least I do) by opening it up fully, packing the front “scoop” section, then the back segments and then folding together. Once you get the hang of it you’d be surprised how much fits.

Also you’d be surprised how it forces you to make choices which seem daunting but once you do you’ll find you are enjoying the trip more as you have a lot less to cart around. You’ll likely also realize you were taking way more stuff than needed previously.


@subtleabyss Reading messages like yours are EXACTLY why we’re doing this. Thank you :slight_smile:

You’d be surprised how it forces you to make choices which seem daunting but once you do you’ll find you are enjoying the trip more as you have a lot less to cart around

^^ Couldn’t agree more. A couple of hundred years ago it would have been considered crazy to travel with anything less than a retinue of mules and servants. Humans have been gradually downsizing ever since!

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