Everything I Own 2021

It’s the first day of 2022, which means I’m probably due my annual blog post. Huge thanks to my readers – all 4 of you – for prompting me again this year. I do mean that – it’s so nice to be read 🙂

So it’s been another year of almost no travel and while I have to confess that I haven’t been AirBnB-ing it through the pandemic I’m still proud to say that all of my personal belongings still fit in my Onebag.

For those that don’t know I left the UK in 2012 with my worldly belongings on my back and I’ve been living ‘light’ ever since. This blog was started to help others that might want live a nomad lifestyle – or just travel with some lightweight (but functional) gear. Also I only wear black.


So what’s new? Well not a huge amount – I do seem to have settled on a base wardrobe that hasn’t changed much in the last few years, but I have new trainers and jeans, replaced boxers and I have ditched some (but not all) formal wear that wasn’t being used.

Like most, I have spent very little time in the office over the last few years, and while I don’t expect to be working in an office environment again anytime soon, I can’t bring myself to let go of the suit completely. There’s always the possibility of a surprise conference or wedding and I’m not convinced that renting a well fitting suit at the last minute is the right solution. So instead I pared it back – just one pair of trousers (instead of two) and two shirts (instead of three) reducing the weight from 2144g to 1588g (including tie and belt). It’s still a lot to be carrying purely for those special occasions and I may yet give it up completely… one day.

Merrell Bare Access XTR

Shoes are always the most difficult purchase for onebagging and, after almost a decade, I have concluded that there just isn’t one pair to rule them all, and even if there were, two pairs are always required in case of mud / rain (a lesson learnt while travelling in a thunderstorm in Kuala Lumpur 3 years ago which ended with a very uncomfortable and soggy flight). Last year I ditched the Vessi Skyline shoes for a pair of Nike trainers. These were actually my old pair which were already on their last legs so time for something new.

The water resistance of the Vessi shoes was their killer feature, however it also meant they were not breathable which led to a miserable hiking experience – especially in hot weather. The relatively simple sole and the high heel to toe drop was clearly meant for city walking rather than trail hiking.

These Merrell Bare Access Trail Runners are the polar opposite. They breathe wonderfully which means that they let water in (and out). The Vibram sole is a beast on the trail (but a squeaky bitch on polished shop floors) and the zero drop ergonomic footbed makes long uneven distances very comfortable and far less prone to blisters.

I’m always on the hunt for shoes that offer something more (and I still dream of utopia of breathable water resistant comfortable footwear) but for now these are pretty great. They are surprisingly light at 480g the pair and they dry very quickly (even while being worn).

Western Rise Evolution Pant

I bought my Prana Brion pants over 6 years ago now and they’re still going strong, so it stood to reason that the Prana Bridger jeans would have a good few years in them. Perhaps it was the cotton content but after around 2 years each of my 4 pairs failed. I had one pair left when I wrote my last blog and the hunt was on for something new. After experimenting with Proof Nomad pants 469g (too heavy and synthetic/swishy) and Thunderbolt Jeans 443g (too thick, unbreathable and not very comfortable) I tried Western Rise Evolution.

Western Rise Evolution Pant: Newer (formal) style on the left, older (informal) on the right

My first pair arrived when the weather in Sydney was pretty chilly so at just 316g I was surprised by how much warmth they retained, and yet wearing them now in the middle of summer they breathe beautifully. The material feels thin and almost natural (even though it’s 96% Supplex Nylon and 4% Elastane) which means that, while they have a ‘rougher’ feel than jeans, they are far less ‘swishy’ than other tech jeans. They offer 2-way stretch which makes them comfortable for hiking and while the water resistance is not up there with a new pair of Outlier Slim Dungarees it’s pretty awesome. Overall I was so happy I ordered a second pair… just as they changed the design.

The new design replaces the rivets (often seen on the seams of jeans) with a less visible bar tack (apparently that’s what it’s called don ‘cha know), and the seams are now sewn rolled and stitched internally reducing puckering and giving a ‘cleaner’ look. The end result is a significantly dressier pant – far more suited to the office or a nice dinner. I actually really love the changes although I find the original pair marginally more comfortable (perhaps because they’ve been worn more). In any case I now find myself with the best of both worlds; a formal and an informal pair of the same pants :). Only 8 and 4 months in respectively but the reviews seem to suggest these pants are fairly durable so I guess we’ll see.

The rest

The Icebreaker Elemental hoodies I bought in the bitter cold of June 2020 are just too thick and too heavy for my needs, especially as I intend to spend more time in warmer climes in 2022. I will definitely be swapping out at least one of these for something lighter next year, but with the exception of my Icebreaker boxers which required a refresh (as they do every 18 months or so), everything else is doing pretty well:

6Outlier Ultrafine Merino Tee (195 gsm)1801080
2Icebreaker Elemental Zip Hoodie (330 gsm)5901180
1Arc’Teryx Atom LT Hoody358358
3 2Libertad Merino Travel Shirt (for work / formals) (130 gsm)2304601 Fewer
1Brook Taverner Cassino Suit Jacket (for work / formals)623623
2 1Brook Taverner Cassino Suit Trouser (for work / formals)3353351 Fewer
1prAna Bridger Jeans465465Replaced
1prAna Brion Pants328328
2Western Rise Evolution Pants316632New
1Icebreaker Merino Oasis Leggings (200 gsm)168168
2Outlier New Way Longs277554
7Icebreaker Merino Anatomica Boxers (150 gsm)68476Renewed
3Silverlight Crew Hiking Socks84252
3Silverlight Ankle Hiking Socks55165
1Icebreaker Merino Sierra Gloves (200 gsm)3030
1Icebreaker Merino Pocket Beanie (200 gsm)4040
1Buffwear Merino Buff (125 gsm)4747
1Vivobarefoot Ra II Shoes510510
1Nike Free Run Trainers500500Replaced
1Merrell Bare Access XTR Trail Runners480480New
1Calvin Klein Plain Black Belt (for work / formals)109109
1Ciro Citterio Silver Tie (for work / formals)6161
1Sunday Afternoons Aerial Cap4848

Non Clothing

The changes since last year were actually pretty minimal:

TechbagWH Pencil Case (2004!)56Eagle Creek Isolate Quick Trip XS47
Cables3x 10cm cables
2x 100cm cables
6x 10cm cables
2x 100cm cables
SpeakerAnker Soundcore Mini Icon210Anker Soundcore Ace A062
HeadsetEruw K10 Bluetooth Headset19
CarabinerNite Ize S-Biner #27
MaskStylemask 3 layer cotton mask14Masque Co (Polyester / Spandex)10
DocumentsImmunisation History Booklet15Electronic Immunisation Record 🙂0
ToothbrushColgate Omron Pro Clinical 15055Xiaomi Mijia T10048
TrimmerWahl Micro Groomsman34Xiaomi Portable Trimmer64
FlossersCare Dent Eezi Flossers x510Wisdom Naturals Flossers x56

The search for the perfect techbag has been ongoing since 2012 and I finally feel like I’ve found it.

Eagle Creek’s superb Pack-It Isolate Quick Trip washbag is part of a new range of ripstop polyester packing cubes (as opposed to their previous ripstop silnylon) which is infused with anti-bacterial agents. Of course this doesn’t make a big difference when used for tech but the layout (of one main compartment and zipped pockets either side) combined with the shape retaining poly ‘frame’, super light material and damn near perfect dimensions makes this ideal for me. I use one side zipper for USB drives and adapters (of which I have a few) and the other for short cables – which I also doubled up on this year. Switching my toothbrush means that I am finally battery free and since most of my devices still use micro-USB to charge I figured a couple of cheap 6g USB-C to USB-micro cables from Amazon couldn’t hurt. The 6th cable was a 7g USB-A to USB-Micro which came with my headset and seems to be the only cable that charges it.

I previously used my Anker SoundCore Icon Mini for tunes while working and as a speaker/microphone during Zoom calls ever since the speaker on my laptop packed up. Given the huge increase in such calls over the last couple of years it made sense to look for a solution more geared to cleaner voice audio with occasional tuneage. Enter the Anker SoundCore Ace A0 and the Eruw K10 headset. The A0 speaker isn’t quite as powerful as its predecessor but it’s not far off and the interference is only really noticeable at high (antisocial) volumes, this is perhaps understandable given that it’s less than 30% of the weight of the Icon Mini at just 62g (compared to the Icon Mini’s 210g heft).

Anker SoundCore Icon Mini (left) vs Anker SoudCore Ace A0 (right)

The Eruw headset is incredible. It feels a bit plasticky and cheap but the audio quality is superb, the bluetooth connection is solid and the microphone made a *huge* difference to my Zoom calls. At just 19g it’s barely noticeable on my ear or in my bag and I find myself reaching for it for all YouTube videos these days. The battery is also pretty solid at around 8hrs of solid use which gets me through the work day. I recharge my headset and mouse daily now.

The mask swap was primarily down to comfort and the fact that the cotton masks shrunk in the wash (I should have seen that coming tbh). The 15g weight saving in my documents pack was as a result of Medicare’s awesome online immunisation history (and the general use of digital certificates for proof of vaccination). I was gifted a Nite-Ize S-Biner from a friend who assured me it would ‘come in handy’. At 7g I’m OK with waiting to see. It hasn’t come in yet.

My Colgate toothbrush was the only device I was carrying that still used batteries, while the 2x AAA batteries only weighed 14g and usually lasted around 4 months I was still generating avoidable waste so I did some research on USB charging portable toothbrushes and decided to give the Xiaomi Mijia T100 a shot.

Ah new years… the only time of year I can feel OK about putting my toothbrush on the floor for a photo…

I have been impressed with Xiaomi as a brand and my Xiaomi shaver has been going strong since June 2019, Kogan here in Australia seem to stock a lot of Xiaomi so it’s not tricky getting replacement heads. the brush itself is longer and the Colgate and stretches the Sea To Summit washbag a little but it weighs less than the Colgate with batteries at 45g (Unit 40g, head 5g) vs 52g for the Colgate (Unit 34g, head 4g, 2x AAA 14g). The clean is excellent although the brushes feel softer than the Colgate brushes. The battery lasts a good couple of weeks before requiring a recharge which is via the micro-USB port (one day everything will be USB-C… one day). I’ve been using it since August and I’m very happy – particularly with the lack of waste.

On that topic I switched up my brand of flossers from Care Dent to Wisdom Naturals Floss Picks because they’re a) biodgradable, b) cheaper (at almost 1/3 of the price) and c) smaller and lighter (although when you’re debating between 2g and 1g you’re probably not the most exciting person at the party <looks at self>. Either way it’s another small step towards generating less waste.

I swapped my Wahl Micro Groomsman pretty quickly when the damn thing fell apart leaving an exposed razor blade. Even prior to that it cut me during use (although it may have already been failing then). Either way 34g for a flimsy plastic trimmer is not the way to go. Sticking with my favoured Xiaomi I was able to pick up a Xiaomi H3 2-in-1 Personal Trimmer for a good price and at just 63g (60g unit and 3g trimmer head) it does an excellent job and retains charge for ages although I don’t really need to use it that often. Yet.

Everything else is pretty much as was. It hasn’t been significantly road tested (short of a couple of jollies up to Cairns and the Sunshine Coast) but here’s the full list of gear for 2021:

1Minaal 3.0 Carry On 35L Backpack 55x35x201555
1Sea To Summit Silnylon Traveling Light Washbag (Small)44
1The Crystal Deodorant Ammonium Alum 40g64
1CHANGED Xiaomi H3 2-in-1 Personal Trimmer (60g, head 3g)63
1Xiaomi Home Mi USB-C Shaver (88g, band 2g, brush 2g)92
1CHANGED Xiaomi Mijia T100 USB-Micro Electronic toothbrush (40g, head 5g)45
1CHANGED Xiaomi Mijia Toothbrush Heads (x2)10
1Seki Edge Stainless Steel Nail Clippers32
1Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel Tweezers10
1Hearos Earplugs (x5 pairs)4
1CHANGED Biodegradable Interdental Flossers (x3)3
1Earthsider Reusable Swab Q-Tip2
1Toothpaste 20g24
1Shampoo 50ml (in Muji 12g poly tube)70
1Sunscreen 30ml (in Muji 8g poly tube)42
1Hand Moisturiser 12ml (in Muji 3g poly tube)14
1Hydrocortisone 12ml (in Muji 3g poly tube)14
1Hair Muk 10ml (in Muji 20g plastic tub)37
1Hearos earplugs in Case6
1Pocket Tissues24
1Saccharin Sweetener20
1Relight My Fire Little Spork8
1Bic Pen Mutifunction 4 Colour Ballpoint Pen12
1Uniball Micro Blue Rollerball Pen11
1Sharpie Permanent Marker8
1Maui Jim Sunglasses Case and Cloth53
1Maui Jim Sugar Beach Sunglasses14
1Montbell Travel Umbrella87
1Montbell Tachyon Parka Raincoat72
1Muji Double Zip Pouch (Small)15
1CHANGED Masque Co Poly/Spandex Mask10
1Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Drybag30
1NEW Nite-Ize S-Biner Carabiner #27
1Sea to Summit TPU Guide IPX8 Water Resistant Accessory Case (Small)18
1Passport AU38
1Passport UK34
1Vaccination Certification15
1REDUCED Documents, Mugshots & Spare Credit Cards in Poly Pocket43
1Eagle Creek Zip Stash Pouch16
1CHANGED Ibuprofen12
1Lemsip x28
1Misc Plasters & Medistrips5
1Titanium Pocket Bit Screwdriver Keyring4
1Sewing Kit (Needles & Thread, Buttons, Safety Pins)8
1Antiseptic Cream (in Muji 12ml 3g poly tube)18
1Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel Nail Clippers Ultra Slim15
1Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel Tweezers10
1HP Spectre x360 – 13-ae003na (i7-8550U, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) Laptop1238
1HP Tilt Stylus Pen14
1Anker Soundbuds Slim+ Bluetooth Headphones15
1CHANGED Anker Soundcore Ace A0 Bluetooth Speaker62
1NEW Eruw K10 Bluetooth Headset19
1Anker Powercore+ Mini 3350mAh Battery84
1Swiftpoint ProPoint 600 Bluetooth Mouse24
3Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite 1TB USB-A 3.0 Flashdrive30
1Mopoint 66W GaN charger (2xUSB-C & 1xUSB-A) w AU, UK & EU adapters & 3g band163
1Apple Charger USB-A 5W AU28
1Griffin Power Jolt Car Charger 2x USB-A 5W12
1Anker Powerline II USB-C 2.0 to USB-C 200cm Cable54
1Mbeat USB-C 2.0 to USB-C 100cm Cable27
1Amzer USB-A 1.0 to USB-Micro 100cm Retractable Cable20
1TRVL USB-C 3.1 to Lightning 10cm Cable7
1TRVL USB-C 3.1 to USB-C 10cm Cable9
1TRVL USB-C 3.1 to USB-A 10cm Cable11
1NEW Amazon Basics USB-C 3.1 to USB-Micro 10cm Cable6
1NEW Amazon Basics USB-C 3.1 to USB-Micro 10cm Cable6
1NEW Eruw USB-A 2.0 to USB-Micro 10cm Cable7
1Apple USB-A 2.0 to Lightning 100cm Cable19
1HDMI 4K female to USB-C male Adapter10
1USB-A 3.0 female to USB-C male Adapter7
1USB-C female to USB-Micro male Adapter3
1USB-C female to USB-A 3.0 male Adapter4
1USB-C female to Lightning male Adapter2
1USB-Micro female to USB-C male Adapter1
1USB-Micro female to Lightning male Adapter2
1USB-A Charger for SwiftPoint ProPoint 600 Adapter3
1Sony Anti-static Cloth14
1Ultimate Ears 600VI Wired Headphones (with Apple Lightning Adapter)20
1CHANGED Eagle Creek Isolate Quick Trip XS47
1Sea to Summit Airlite Towel Large47
1Sea To Summit Ultra Sil Nano Daypack30
1PVC Massage Ball37
1Apple iPhone 8 256GB (150g & case 15g)165
1Ice Watch46
1Slimfold Micro Soft Shell RFID Wallet78
1NEW Masque Co Poly/Spandex Mask10
2Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Medium Cube (18g ea) for boxers & socks, tees36
2Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Small Cube (14g ea) for cold weather gear, sundries28
1Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tube Cube (19g) for shoes19

My gear weight has reduced from 5357g to 5234g (saving 123g) and my clothes weight has reduced from 8354g to 7936g (saving 418g). I am now carrying 40 items of clothing and 96 items of gear so 136 total which is up from the 132 (41/91) last year. No huge changes but small refinements which make life easier and I’m down to 13.17kg or 11.68kg carried which is certainly comfortable – if a little heavy for some airlines. Perhaps one day I’ll feel brave enough to ditch the 1kg suit and fixing up my hoodies should save some weight next year. I’m also on the lookout for a lighter laptop as my HP Spectre is on it’s last legs and buying a new phone may allow me to ditch the 83g Anker battery too as it seldom gets used these days.

Right, that about wraps it up for another year. Wishing you all a superb 2022, stay safe and healthy – and thank you again for reading my ramblings. I hope you found something useful!


Everything I Own 2020

This is almost a tradition now – my annual gear blog post, with just a few hours of 2020 left. Genuine thanks to all of those who reminded me, it’s really lovely to receive such messages. For those that don’t know I’m a minimalist rover/wanderer/nomad/vagabond (call me what you will). In 2012 I packed my (two) bags and set off on a journey, since then I’ve reduced my base carry to one bag and I’ve (perhaps inevitably given the lockdowns of 2020) become a bit less of a vagabond. However I do still live out of a bag and I still like to pretend I can pack up and jet off at any time.


The only changes to the wardrobe this year are hoodies, socks, shoes and a new cap. I also lost a pair of prAna jeans and haven’t yet replaced them. Frankly I’ve been a little disappointed with the durability of the prAna Bridger jeans which tore fairly spectacularly after just 2 years of wear. I’m not holding out much hope for my last remaining pair (bought last year) and I’m on the hunt for something better. Watch this space.

I’ve had my two Icebreaker Sierra hoodies since June 2015 and they were pretty threadbare in the elbows so an upgrade was required, unfortunately the Sierra was discontinued many years ago so I had to go for something new; the Icebreaker Elemental. It’s much thicker wool at 330gsm (compared to the Sierra’s 200gsm) and the weight is unsurprisingly more at 590g per hoodie (compared to the Sierra’s 445g).

The proper cuffs make it more snug too – which is great for winter but I may have to look at replacing at least one of the hoodies with something a little thinner for more everyday use. One walk on a cool Spring day in Sydney proved that 330gsm was a tad too much. I suspect it will be a godsend in Europe in Winter mind.

Last year’s shoes were not a success; the Vessi’s seemed perfect initially, very comfortable and both waterproof and breathable. But those two things are mutually exclusive and while they did seem to keep the water out on the rare occasions I needed this, they ran incredibly hot in the sun. The comfort of the knit upper was also an issue when it came to difficult terrain as the shoes were not ‘secure’ and my feet tended to ‘slip’ inside the shoe. I ended up with some of the worst blisters I’ve ever had after a fairly lengthy hike in the Blue Mountains of Sydney. For the time being I’ve gone back to Nike runners, until something better comes along.

My new Sunday Afternoons Aerial Cap has been a glorious success, incredibly light at just 48g but certified SPF 50 and wonderfully comfortable. The strap is adjustable and the mesh vents are genius. I really should have bought a cap many years ago as I have a tendency to burn at the sight of sun but my family can rest easy now 🙂

My new socks are also something pretty special; Silverlight are a new company and their hiking socks bring a combination of merino wool (with its moisture wicking properties), spandex (for a slip free form fit) and silver thread (which actively kills bacteria) to minimise the risk of blisters and significantly extend the wear time between washes. These socks are supremely comfortable, durable and genuinely stink free. I can literally wear the same pair for a week now (judge ye not). This has been independently verified by my better half.

Suffice to say I’ve replaced my 7x pairs of Outliers socks (315g) with 3x pairs of Silverlight crew socks (252g) and my 3x pairs of Icebreaker ankle socks (90g) with 3x pairs of Silverlight ankle socks (165g). My only gripe is that the ankle socks have a lip at the top which is something of a grit trap – I generally have to empty my socks out after a hike these days, small price to pay for such comfortable, durable, stink free socks though.

So here’s the full list of clothing – it would appear it has been quite a frugal year (probably helped by not going anywhere or doing anything):

6Outlier Ultrafine Merino Tee (195 gsm)1801080
2Icebreaker Merino Sierra Zip Hoodie (200 gsm)445890Replaced
2Icebreaker Elemental Zip Hoodie (330 gsm)5901180New
1Arc’Teryx Atom LT Hoody358358
3Libertad Merino Travel Shirt (for work / formals) (130 gsm)230690
1Brook Taverner Cassino Suit Jacket (for work / formals)623623
2Brook Taverner Cassino Suit Trouser (for work / formals)335670
2 1prAna Bridger Jeans4654651 Fewer
1prAna Brion Pants328328
1Icebreaker Merino Oasis Leggings (200 gsm)168168
2Outlier New Way Longs277554
7Icebreaker Merino Anatomica Boxers (150 gsm)68476
7Outlier Megafine Merino Socks45315Replaced
3Silverlight Crew Hiking Socks84252New
3Icebreaker Merino Run+ Ultralight Micro Socks3090Replaced
3Silverlight Ankle Hiking Socks55165New
1Icebreaker Merino Sierra Gloves (200 gsm)3030
1Icebreaker Merino Pocket Beanie (200 gsm)4040
1Buffwear Merino Buff (125 gsm)4747
1Vivobarefoot Ra II Shoes510510
1Vessi Everyday Slip On440440Replaced
1Nike Free Run Trainers500500New
1Calvin Klein Plain Black Belt (for work / formals)109109
1Ciro Citterio Silver Tie (for work / formals)6161
1Sunday Afternoons Aerial Cap4848

Like most of the planet I went in to lockdown in March this year, since then I haven’t worn my suit jacket, trousers, shirt, tie or belt once. These items have previously been useful for formals such as weddings (although, again, not this year) but do I really need to keep all 8 items (weighing 2513g)? This is literally 25% of my clothes weight and while this year has been exceptional it feels like the tide is turning for remote working. One to watch for next year’s update.

Non Clothing

Here’s the list of changes since last year:

BagTortuga Air 27L / 35L backpack1030Minaal 3.0 35L backpack1555
ChargermBeat Gorilla 45W charger202Mopoint 65W GaN charger160
Data BackupSamsung T5 SSD 2TB drive513x Patriot Rage Elite 1TB drives30
Cables7x 10cm cables423x 10cm cables
2x 100cm cables
TechbagMuji Double Fastener Case (Small)15WH Pencil Case (2004!)56
TowelMSR Packtowl XL100Sea to Summit Airlite Large47
PassportsUK only34UK and AU 🙂72
Passport CaseSea to Summit Waterproof Case18
MaskStylemask 3 layer cotton mask14
SporkHumangear GoBites Duo24Relight My Fire Little Spork8
TrimmerWahl Micro Groomsman34
Swab Q TipReusable Swab / Q-Tip2
DrybagSea to Summit 7L Drybag30
Exercise BandFortress Red Exercise Band42PVC Spiky Massage Ball37
MarkerSharpie Permanent Marker8
Packing Cubes8x cubes 1535x cubes 83

The largest change to my gear in the last year has been my onebag itself. After six wonderful years it was time to replace the Tortuga with a Minaal 3.0 as I covered in a Minaal 3.0 blog post. Of course the additional support came at a price in terms of weight – almost 50% more, however I was able to reduce the number of packing cubes from 8 (153g) to 5 (83g) thanks to the pockets and superb organisation inside the bag.

On the tech front I sold my Samsung 2TB external SSD drive for 3x 1TB USB drives (saving me 21g).

I switched out my mBeat Gorilla 45W charger for the svelte but powerful Mopoint GaN 65W saving me 42g and giving me an extra 20W to play with, as I covered in my Maximum Power blog post.

I also tweaked my cable setup, replacing the 6x Momax adaptercables with 2 more TRVL cables and a longer USB-C cable (longer cables come in handy when the single power socket is in the corner of the hotel room), and I reverted to carrying all of my tech in my old 56g WH Smith pencil case from 2004 as it all fits now.

After over 5 years of carrying my 100g MSR Packtowl I finally found a lighter weight but suitable replacement in the Sea to Summit Airlite Towel. This thing is like some kind of magic, it absorbs 3x it’s weight in water and the large size (108cm x 45cm) is just enough to get me dry after a dip and to tie around my waist (just). At just 47g it’s a significant saving on the already light MSR Packtowl.

I was granted Australian citizenship this year (cue whooping and cheering) which also means I now have a second passport to cart around (oh the hardship).

I invested in a small 18g waterproof Sea to Summit TPU Accessory Case to keep both passports and all my key documents safe and secure in the hidden stash pocket in the back of the Minaal 3.0.

The must-have fashion accessory of the year has, of course, been the mask. Nothing special here, just a 3-layer 14g cotton mask purchased when WHO decided that such things were in fact useful after all.

I ‘upgraded’ my 24g Humangear GoBites with a lovely 8g Relight My Fire Little Spork, in truth I used these so rarely I was on the verge of getting rid altogether but the flashback to that indian takeaway I picked up sans cutlery made me play it safe. Useful for stirring tea on planes too.

I’ve hit the age where a ‘personal’ trimmer is required. I did some investigation and lightest, by a long way, was the 34g Wahl Micro Groomsman which comes with and ear/nose hair trimmer and a detail trimmer with a 2-position guide for… other hair.

It runs on a single AAA battery and it’s a noisy beast (although if you’re putting it in your ear, you’re gonna hear it no matter what right?). Anyway, it does the trick and I feel marginally less old as a result.

One of my favourite teeny tiny purchases of the year is this 2g reusable swab / q-tip.

Primarily aimed at reducing waste it’s also superb for travelers and while it doesn’t look like it will last long I’ve been using it for 9 months now with no complaints. Simply run under hot water after use. No waste!

This Sea to Summit 8L drybag was something of an impulse purchase, rare for me, but it occurred to me that handwashing my clothes in a drybag may be easier (and more hygienic) than using hotel sinks when traveling. Of course I haven’t put this to the test as yet…

Finally I ditched my red Fortress exercise band around the time I found a new physiotherapist who explained that all the work I had been doing to fix my mashed up shoulder was all wrong. He recommended a spiky massage ball (which seems to be helping a lot) and a new bag with better straps, support and load lifters. Done and done. One of these things saved me 5g, the other added 525g… swings and roundabouts right?

Full Gear List

Rather than separate out in to categories I’ve opted to blast through the whole list this year so here goes:

1CHANGED Minaal 3.0 Carry On 35L Backpack 55x35x201555
1Sea To Summit Silnylon Traveling Light Washbag (Small)44
1The Crystal Deodorant Ammonium Alum 40g64
1NEW Wahl Micro Groomsman Personal Trimmer (22g, head 4g, guard 1g, AAA 7g)34
1Xiaomi Home Mi USB-C Shaver (88g, band 2g, brush 2g)92
1Colgate Omron Pro Clinical 150 Toothbrush (33g, head 4g, guard 3g,  2xAAA 14g)54
1Colgate Omron Toothbrush Heads (x2)8
1Seki Edge Stainless Steel Nail Clippers32
1Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel Tweezers10
1Hearos Earplugs (x5 pairs)4
1Interdental Flossers (x3)3
1NEW Earthsider Reusable Swab Q-Tip2
1Toothpaste 20g24
1Shampoo 50ml (in Muji 12g poly tube)70
1Sunscreen 30ml (in Muji 8g poly tube)42
1REDUCED Hand Moisturiser 12ml (in Muji 3g poly tube)14
1REDUCED Hydrocortisone 12ml (in Muji 3g poly tube)14
1Hair Muk 10ml (in Muji 20g plastic tub)37
1Hearos earplugs in Case6
1Pocket Tissues24
1Saccharin Sweetener20
1CHANGED Relight My Fire Little Spork8
1Bic Pen Mutifunction 4 Colour Ballpoint Pen12
1Uniball Micro Blue Rollerball Pen11
1NEW Sharpie Permanent Marker8
1Maui Jim Sunglasses Case and Cloth53
1Maui Jim Sugar Beach Sunglasses14
1Montbell Travel Umbrella87
1Montbell Tachyon Parka Raincoat72
1Muji Double Zip Pouch (Small)15
1NEW Stylemask 3 Layer Cotton Mask14
1NEW Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Drybag30
1NEW Sea to Summit TPU Guide IPX8 Water Resistant Accessory Case (Small)18
1NEW Passport AU38
1Passport UK34
1Vaccination Certification15
1Documents, Mugshots & Spare Credit Cards in Poly Pocket50
1Eagle Creek Zip Stash Pouch16
1Lemsip x28
1Misc Plasters & Medistrips5
1Titanium Pocket Bit Screwdriver Keyring4
1Sewing Kit (Needles & Thread, Buttons, Safety Pins)8
1CHANGED Antiseptic Cream (in Muji 12ml 3g poly tube)18
1Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel Nail Clippers Ultra Slim15
1Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel Tweezers10
1HP Spectre x360 – 13-ae003na (i7-8550U, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) Laptop1238
1HP Tilt Stylus Pen14
1Anker Soundbuds Slim+ Bluetooth Headphones15
1Anker Soundcore Mini Icon Bluetooth Speaker211
1Anker Powercore+ Mini 3350mAh Battery84
1Swiftpoint ProPoint 600 Bluetooth Mouse24
3CHANGED Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite 1TB USB-A 3.0 Flashdrive30
1CHANGED Mopoint 66W GaN charger (2xUSB-C & 1xUSB-A) w AU, UK & EU adapters & 3g band163
1Apple Charger USB-A 5W AU28
1Griffin Power Jolt Car Charger 2x USB-A 5W12
1Anker Powerline II USB-C 2.0 to USB-C 200cm Cable54
1CHANGED Mbeat USB-C 2.0 to USB-C 100cm Cable27
1CHANGED Amzer USB-A 1.0 to USB-Micro 100cm Retractable Cable20
1TRVL USB-C 3.1 to Lightning 10cm Cable7
1CHANGED TRVL USB-C 3.1 to USB-C 10cm Cable9
1CHANGED TRVL USB-C 3.1 to USB-A 10cm Cable11
1Apple USB-A 2.0 to Lightning 100cm Cable19
1HDMI 4K female to USB-C male Adapter10
1USB-A 3.0 female to USB-C male Adapter7
1USB-C female to USB-Micro male Adapter3
1USB-C female to USB-A 3.0 male Adapter4
1USB-C female to Lightning male Adapter2
1USB-Micro female to USB-C male Adapter1
1USB-Micro female to Lightning male Adapter2
1USB-A Charger for SwiftPoint ProPoint 600 Adapter3
1Sony Anti-static Cloth14
1Ultimate Ears 600VI Wired Headphones (with Apple Lightning Adapter)20
1CHANGED WH Smith Pencil Case 200456
1CHANGED Sea to Summit Airlite Towel Large47
1Sea To Summit Ultra Sil Nano Daypack30
1CHANGED PVC Massage Ball37
1Apple iPhone 8 256GB (150g & case 15g)165
1Ice Watch46
1Slimfold Micro Soft Shell RFID Wallet78
2Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Medium Cube (18g ea) for boxers & socks, tees36
2CHANGED Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Small Cube (14g ea) for cold weather gear, sundries28
1Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tube Cube (19g) for shoes19

My non-clothing weight this time last year was 4844g so I’m up 513g, mostly due to the bag itself. This is a necessary evil if the support provided by the Minaal allows me to continue living this way.

So in total, 41 items of clothing at 8354g and 91 items of non-clothing at 5357g, that’s 132 items weighing a total of 13711g. Since I’m generally wearing around 1.6kg of clothing that brings it down to a carried weight of around 12kg, and if I can ditch the 2.5kg of formal wear that brings me under the 10kg mark. Something to aspire to in 2021.

Happy New Year all!

Maximum (USB) Power

Every so often I empty my tech bag out and stare at the multitude of chargers, cables and adapters with a view to reducing weight. Having had tech fail on me mid-journey I’m all for redundancy where it can be justified, in fact I would argue that multiple use items are a foundation of minimalism in onebag travel, but keeping track of that redundancy with something as ubiquitous as a universal serial bus (USB) can be a challenge.

This year I decided to draw a picture I have been meaning to draw in a long time; essentially a tech justification highlighting the multiple applications, connections and charging mechanisms of my current tech kit. It’s a bit spaghetti but it’s also quite enlightening, and it looks like this:

Blue boxes indicate ports (USB-A, USB-C, USB-Micro B and Apple Lightning). Perhaps one day these will all be universal as the name suggests but for now my devices require all 4. Blue lines indicate power, green line indicates TV out (HDMI adapter) and red lines indicate data (between my laptop and phone / USB drives). Devices are displayed around the edge of the image (I’ll describe these in my 2020 Gear post) with the cables and adapters inevitably towards the centre and chargers grouped top right. The Apple 1m iPhone lightning to USB-A charge and data cable is displayed in 3 locations but I have only 1.

It’s reassuring to see a significant amount of redundancy in the image which suggests there is scope for further trimming. Most of that comes from the 8 tiny adapters I carry enabling almost all cables to serve almost all devices. It’s also worth noting that redundancy is necessary when charging multiple devices simultaneously.

Mopoint 65W GaN charger (2xUSB-C & 1xUSB-A) w AU, UK & EU adapters160
Charger Apple charger USB-A 5W (AU)28
Griffin Power Jolt Car charger 2x USB-A 5W12
Anker Powerline II USB-C 2.0 to USB-C 200cm cable54
Mbeat USB-C 2.0 to USB-C 100cm cable27
Amzer USB-A 1.0 to USB-Micro 100cm retractable cable20
TRVL USB-C 3.1 to Lightning 10cm cable7
TRVL USB-C 3.1 to USB-C 10cm cable9
TRVL USB-C 3.1 to USB-A 10cm cable11
HDMI 4K female to USB-C male adapter10
USB-A 3.0 female to USB-C male adapter7
USB-C female to USB-Micro male adapter3
USB-C female to USB-A 3.0 male adapter4
USB-C female to Lightning male adapter2
USB-Micro female to USB-C male adapter1
USB-Micro female to Lightning male adapter2
USB-A Charger for ProPoint SwiftPoint 6003

So that’s 200g of chargers, 128g of cables, and 32g of adapters, 360g all up.


I have only made two significant changes to my tech over the past year; the first was swapping my 51g Samsung SSD portable T5 2TB drive for 3x Patriot Rage Elite 1TB USB 3.0 flashdrives at 10g each (1TB extra storage for a 21g weight loss). Also no need for a cable and the USB drives plug straight in to hotel / AirBnB TVs (although it can be quite expensive to retrieve them when you forget… ahem).

The second was the universal charger. I’m now carrying a Mopoint 65w GAN charger which I supported as a Kickstarter. After a few months of use I have to say I’m impressed.

On the left my mBeat Gorilla 45w charger with its 4 adapters (AU fitted), and on the right the tiny Mopoint 65w charger with its 3 adapters (AU fitted). The Mopoint US charger is integrated which means no need for a separate carry.

  • The mBeat Gorilla weighs 131g for the charger and 71g for the 4 adapters so 202g in total
  • The Mopoint weighs 113g for the charger and 47g for the 3 adapters so 160g in total

That’s a 20% saving in weight (and a significant saving in space) for an additional 20W of power.

Each of the Mopoint USB-C ports support 65w, and the USB-A port supports fast charging for phones of 18w (although obviously not all simultaneously). The Mopoint allows me to charge my laptop (pulling around 45w) and my iPhone (pulling 18w) simultaneously – something the mBeat understandably struggled with.

The only downside to the Mopoint to date is the lack of earth pin on the AU adapter which was useful on the mBeat for simply securing the charger in place, however the smaller form factor (and reduced weight) of the Mopoint make this less of an issue.

All dressed up but nowhere to go

It would be remiss of me not to begin this post with a line such as ‘2020 huh? What a year’. Like everyone else I have spent most of the year hunkered down in one location. The whole ‘living out of a bag so I can jet off somewhere exotic at any moment’ has been somewhat undermined, and the benefits of my minimalist lifestyle seem far less significant this year.

That said, it has been reassuring to discover that, even with a significant lifestyle change, my onebag of 137 things is enough to sustain me for another year, and being static has not meant a static onebag, I’ve made a few changes to my belongings, including perhaps the biggest change of all; my onebag itself.

After almost 6 years I have decided to replace my superb Tortuga Air. As the container for my worldly belongings this was a big decision, and one that, thanks to Covid, hasn’t really been validated yet. My Tortuga didn’t fail, in fact it still looks remarkably good, but there was a fairly urgent need that drove this change.

Last year, thanks to a very delayed Flybe flight I found myself running from Manchester airport terminal 1 to 3 with my fully laden Tortuga, for a connecting flight to Oman. I made the flight (literally as the gate was closing) and after I’d finished congratulating myself for not needing to check a bag (which wouldn’t have been an option) I noticed that I couldn’t move my neck.

It turned out I had pulled a muscle in my shoulder and this one injury almost wiped me out for my Oman trip.

I have been living out of a bag for over 8 years now, and I turned 43 this year, an age that somehow seemed pretty ancient even when I started this adventure.

I now have a pension, a personal hair trimmer and a physiotherapist. His name is Jim and after this particularly painful shoulder episode, he suggested my Tortuga may not be providing the necessary support for my back and neck when fully laden.

This was a fair assumption, the bag’s primary feature is its feather weight (requiring minimal structure). It’s a superb bag and it’s served me well but the time had come for something with better structure and support, and perversely I would have to consider heavier bags for the sake of my health. Enter the Minaal 3.0.

Minaal 3.0

The Minaal Carry-On has been cooking (their term) for almost as long as I’ve been carrying my Tortuga, it always struck me as sleeker and sexier than the Tortuga Air but the weight difference (1.5kg to 1.0g – both 35l capacity) was a turn off.

With the recent release of the 3.0 the Minaal team introduced a new lightweight ‘unified harness’ featuring a dense EVA foam back panel, thicker EVA foam handles, and remarkably strong magnetic load lifters which make a big difference.

The first time I lifted this bag on to my shoulders and adjusted the straps, it just felt right, good balance and excellent weight distribution, even when full.

The sternum strap is strong, comfortable and makes a hell of a difference to the ease of carry. It is also easily stowed in its own clip when not in use, which is neat.

There are other killer features too – including the material itself (1200D and 600D Picton) which is significantly more water proof and abrasion resistant than the Tortuga’s Denier material (which was getting a little ‘fluffy’ after so much use).

There’s a clever system of pockets (particularly towards the top of the bag) that are larger than the Tortuga’s – which I really appreciate, particular when under pressure at airport security.

The solid grab handles are a delight and having one on the side of the bag makes all the difference when retrieving from awkward positions such as overhead bins.

The internal pockets also reduce the need for packing cubes although the Tortuga’s internal mesh pocket created two large packing cubes which is a feature I shall miss.

I did try the Minaal packing cubes but I am so used to how my gear packs in the Eagle Creek Specter cubes (which still fit inside the Minaal remarkably well) there seemed little point in making the switch. The Eagle Creek cubes are lighter too – although it is marginal (19g vs 30g for a Medium).

The hidden passport pocket is a nice addition and the lie flat laptop compartment is neat if a little gimmicky although the ‘Devicenest’ system itself is very cool; protecting the laptop from impact on all sides – particularly from drops on the base of the bag.

The ability to hide the straps, and in super quick time, for that professional look, is impressive, and the way the rolldown cover stashes is very clever.

Everything about the bag feels premium; from the lightweight alloy buckles to the hypalon zipper tabs which make closing the bag so much easier.

I really appreciate the inclusion of an integrated raincover (and raincover pocket in the base of the bag) and the water bottle pocket is very well thought out, secure and much deeper than on the Tortuga.

The dimensions of the Minaal (55 x 35 x 20) are also better for a onebag than the Tortuga (48 x 32 x 18) – maximising most airline carry on limits (56 x 35 x 22) while minimising the external trappings for what can only be described as a minimalist sleek ‘flow’ look.

The Minaal feels roomier than the Tortuga Air (even when the latter is expanded), and yet the extra weight isn’t very noticeable when being carried, thanks to the harness system.

Time will tell whether the Minaal 3.0 will reduce the drag on my shoulder and neck, but for now I am hopeful.

Also I will be updating my ‘Everything I Own’ for 2020 in the next couple of weeks, there have been some other changes to reduce weight I hope you will find useful.

Everything I Own 2019

With just a few days of 2019 remaining I’m just in time for my annual gear post. Big thanks to John and Rob for prompting me to do this!

If you’re new to my blog I have chosen to live out of a bag; everything I own fits in to hand luggage and I carry it on my back. I keep things as simple as possible (thus the black palette) and I weigh everything I own to ensure it is worth carrying. I maintain this blog to help others who want to do the same, I hope this helps you too.


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Key changes to the clothes; I ditched my Outlier Slim Dungarees for an extra pair of prAna Bridger jeans. I found the SDs tugged at my leg hair slightly (not as much as the Outlier Futureworks did but enough to make me want to switch). The Bridger jeans are tried and tested and supremely comfortable. Sadly they don’t seem to be as durable as the Brion pants and my older pair (now 26 months old) are failing.

I’ve also changed my shoes entirely; the Arc’Teryx Acrux failed remarkably quickly (less than 1 month) with holes developing on both sides of both shoes around the mesh panels. In hindsight I should have seen this coming and it certainly looks like a major design flaw. I am now rocking a pair of Vivobarefoot Ra II shoes for work and a pair of Vessi Skyline ‘trainers’ for fun.

Vivobarefoot Ra II


The Vivobarefoot Ra II shoes are zero drop meaning they can be quite hard on the shins, I’ve mitigated this by using gel insoles which improve the comfort hugely and still keep the weight down. They’re very light and very flexible, they feel fairly breathable too – and look good for workwear (being leather). I swapped the laces for Hickies to minimise lacing time.

Vessi Skyline (‘Everyday Slip On’)


The Vessi Skylines are an interesting mix; waterproof soft wrap shoes that feel more like a sock with a sole. I’m still making my mind up on these and may write a full review in due course. They’re not as breathable as I had hoped (perhaps due to the waterproof membrane) but they are very comfortable and the grip is better than I imagined. They are excellent for beach walks because the sands just brushes off and streams are no problem; however the material is less suited to bush walking where vines sometimes get caught on the outer and dust requires a good hosing. However I am concerned about their durability as they are showing signs of wear after just 5 months. I may be putting their warranty to the test very soon.

Everything else remains exactly the same as last year (with a few refreshes)

6 Outlier Ultrafine Merino Tee 180 1080 Refreshed
2 Icebreaker Merino Sierra Zip Hoodie 445 890
1 Arc’Teryx Atom LT Hoody 358 358
3 Libertad Merino Travel Shirt (for work) 230 690 Refreshed
1 Brook Taverner Cassino Jacket (for work) 623 623 Refreshed
2 Brook Taverner Cassino Trouser (for work) 335 670 Refreshed
1 Outlier Slim Dungarees 415 Replaced
1 2 prAna Bridger Jeans 465 930 1 Extra
1 prAna Brion Pants 328 328
1 Icebreaker Merino Oasis Leggings 168 168
2 Outlier New Way Longs 277 554
7 Icebreaker Merino Anatomica Boxers 68 476 Refreshed
7 Outlier Megafine Merino Socks 45 315
3 Icebreaker Merino Run+ Ultralight Micro Socks 30 90 Refreshed
1 Icebreaker Merino Sierra Gloves 30 30
1 Icebreaker Merino Pocket Beanie 40 40
1 Buffwear Merino Buff 47 47
1 Arc’Teryx Acrux SL Approach Shoes
726 Replaced
1 Amuri Cloud Xero Sandals
316 Replaced
1 Vivobarefoot Ra II Shoes 510 510 New
1 Vessi Skyline (Now called ‘Everyday Slip On)’ 440 440 New
1 CK Plain Black Belt 109 109
1 Silver Tie 61 61

So that’s 45 items of clothing weighing in at 8409g (and a carried weight of 7206g since they like you to wear clothing when you travel in public).

Non Clothing

Some minor changes to the gear too… but not that many.

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Rather than force you to read through everything I’ve listed the big changes below:

2018 2019
Mouse Logitech M337 Bluetooth 74 SwiftPoint ProPoint Bluetooth 24
Speaker UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker 314 Anker Soundcore Mini Icon 211
Sunnies Ray Ban Aviator w case 82 Maui Jim Sugar Beach w case 67
Umbrella Lewis+Clark Light Compact 282 Montbell Travel Umbrella & Montbell Tachyon Parka 87
Washbag Eagle Creek Specter 42 Sea To Summit Silnylon 44
Daypack Matador Freerain 24 154 Sea To Summit Ultrasil Nano 30
Shaver Philips Norelco PQ208 130 Xiaomi Home Mi (with band) 92
Deodorant Body Crystal 100g 138 The Crystal Deodorant 40g 65
TOTAL 1216 TOTAL 692



The Swiftpoint ProPoint has been a game changer. It’s so tiny and took a little bit of getting used to but now I couldn’t do without it. It’s ergonomically designed to mimic holding a pen and it’s remarkably powerful for scrolling and presenting. It comes with a tiny magnetic charger that plugs in to a standard USB port and a magnetic ‘parking spot’ that sticks to a laptop allowing the mouse to be carried easily. I absolutely love this little mouse. It wasn’t cheap but it’s more than paid for itself over the last year.



The UE Roll was a wonderful little speaker but just that little bit too big for daily carry. Initially I tried the Anker Nano which weighs in at a miniscule 80g but perhaps unsurprisingly the compromise on audio quality and particularly battery life was too much. The new Anker Souncore Mini Icon seems to be the sweet spot – sounding superb and lasting a commendable 8hrs.



The swap to Maui Jim Sugar Beach sunnies was on the back of a recommendation from my cousin who is an optician. She said the Maui Jim lenses were an order of magnitude better than Ray Ban and were much lighter too. It’s early days but I am impressed by the coverage and the weight (down from 32g to 14g). Since the Maui Jims are somewhat ‘wraparound’ I have kept their clever case too which packs flat when not in use but weighs a little more than the Ray Pan case, and is a little more difficult to squeeze in to the top pocket of my Tortuga.



Having been lugging around the 282g Lewis N Clark ‘Light Compact’ umbrella for nearly 2 years the 87g Mont Bell Travel Umbrella feels like absolutely nothing. It fares wonderfully in light rain and is relatively easy to use (if a little more fiddly than the automatic mechanism of the Lewis & Clark).


Of course when the storm hits this thing will be utterly useless… but then I have lost plenty of umbrellas in the Sydney storms and I generally find myself reaching for a rainjacket rather than a brolly when the winds are kicking in. For that reason I also bought myself a 72g Mont Bell Tachyon Parka for the worst weather days. Even combined they still weigh less than the L&C.



It turns our my new smaller Sea To Summit washbag actually weighs 2g more than the Eagle Creek Specter washbag it replaces. However it’s black and it occupes less space in my Tortuga which also menas the washbag contents don’t slosh around as much.



I have raved about the Matador Freerain 24 perviously – in many ways it is more functional than my new Sea To Summit Nano Daypack that replaces it with the two side pockets and watertight main compartment. However, the S2S daypack weighs in at an incredible 30g as opposed to Matador’s weight 154g so, in terms or daily carry, there is no competition. The S2S offering is understandably basic but for lugging a water bottle, hoodie and snacks it is perfectly serviceable and packing this in to it’s own pocket for an attentive audience is an absolute joy.



The new Xiaomi Home Mi shaver is a marvel, the blades are super sharp, the magnetic foils seem very durable (although I do protect mine with an Outlier band) and the runtime on a single charge is excellent (around 5-6 uses). My primary reason for buying was the USB-C charging but this is a bit of a lie as the device does not support PD (power Delivery) which means it’s really just a standard USB charge with a USB-C port. However at 92g it shaves 30% off my total weight. See what I did there? I know…



OK this is a bit of a copout as I replaced a 100g rock with a 40g rock and claimed a weight saving. It’s fair to assume this new crystal will only last 40% of the time of the previous but then, these things last for years anyway. I’m totally fine replacing it every few months at less than $5 a pop. Sadly it’s fallen out of its plastic base already but still perfectly usable, I may even be able to further reduce weight by finding an alternative means of protection (bearing in mind that if the rock gets smashed it is essentially useless).


On to the full list for anyone that hasn’t read my blog before.

imagesIn to it’s sixth year of daily use my 2014 Tortuga Air has been my constant companion on trips through Denmark, Singapore, Italy, Thailand, Cambodia, France, China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Austria, Sri Lanka, Oman, UK, Morocco, Spain, and Australia. While it no longer looks new it is showing no signs of failing. I have lost count of the number of times I have yanked the full bag by the handles and still no damage or wear. Basically I love this bag and I will be devastated when it finally has to go… which may be sooner than I want and not because of the bag. A recent shoulder injury has prompted me to re-assess my current load and bag. I will write properly on this later but at this stage I am reviewing my options purely for health reasons.

Tortuga Air Backpack (27L / 35L) 1030



The only big changes here were the washbag and shaver previously discussed. I swapped out my hand moisturiser for a smaller bottle since I use so little (44g -> 24g) and I’ve ditched the interdental brushes as I can rely entirely on the floss sticks for flossing these days (and they’re easily obtainable in most countries). Stingose has gone as it transpired the active ingredient was simply Aluminium Sulfate which can be more easily obtained in a (dry) Styptic pencil (see my OSK below). I’ve swapped my Red Muk hair fiber for Grey Muk as it is even stronger and requires even less for excellent hold. I also lost my little tiger balm to a good man in Sri Lanka who was struggling with a cold.

Sea To Summit Travel Washbag 44
The Crystal Deodorant Ammonium Alum 40g 65
Xiaomi Home Mi USB-C Shaver (88g + 2g band + 2g brush) 92
Colgate Omron 150 Toothbrush (33g, Head 4g, Guard 3g,  2xAAA 14g) 54
Colgate Omron Toothbrush Heads (x3) 12
Toothpaste 50
Shampoo in 50ml 11g poly tube 71
Hand Moisturiser in 18ml 7g Poly Tube 24
Sunscreen in 30ml 8g Poly Tube 42
Stingose Gel (to be replaced with Hydrotortisone 1%) 30
Antiseptic Cream 15ml 18
Hair Fiber (Grey Muk) 10ml in 20g plastic tub 37
Seki Edge Stainless Steel Nail Clippers 32
Stainless Steel Tweezers 7
Hearos Earplugs 4
Interdental Brushes 3



In addition to the changes to the umbrella and sunnies I also invested in a couple of Muji Double Fastener Cases to hold the smaller items; one for my cables and adapters and another for my plane gear (headphones, earplugs, sweeteners and tissues). They’re lightweight, functional, cheap and readily available.

Hearos earplugs in Case (new case care of Oman Air) 6
Pocket Tissues 24
Saccharin Sweetener 20
Passport 34
Vaccination Certification 15
Humangear GoBites Duo Grey (Spoon and Fork) 11
Bic Pen Mutifunction 4 Colour Ball Pen 12
Uniball Micro Blue Pen 11
Travel and Spare Credit Cards 35
Maui Jim Sunglasses Case and Cloth 53
Maui Jim Sugar Beach Sunglasses 14
Keys 44
Montbell Travel Umbrella 87
Montbell Tachyon Parka 72
Muji Double Fastener Case (Small) 15


I ditched the butterfly plasters as I hadn’t used them in over 5 years, regular plasters are all people need most of the time. The chapstick too – through lack of use, to be replaced by the Styptic pencil, and I added some Pro Plus after struggling to find good coffee in India and deciding that the withdrawal headaches weren’t worth it.


Eagle Creek Zip Stash Case (OSK) 16
Ibuprofen 6
Antihistamine 2
Loperamide 3
Lemsip x2 8
Paracetemol x2 12
Pro Plus (Caffeine) 6
Misc Plasters & Medistrips 5
Titanium Pocket Bit Keyring 4
Sewing Kit (6x Thread, 4x Needles, 8x Buttons, 6x Safety Pins) 8
Styptic Pencil (Aluminium Sulfate) replacing Chapstick 7
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel Nail Clippers Ultra Slim 15
Stainless Steel Tweezers 8



The only changes to my laptop setup have been the ProPoint mouse described above and the Stylus Pen – I swapped the battery powered HP Tilt Stylus for a rechargeable version to save having to carry a spare battery (and to save the planet a bit too).

Laptop HP Spectre x360 – 13-ae003na i7-8550U, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD 1238
Laptop Charger 45W 131g w AU plug 17g and 2m Anker cable 52g 200
Swiftpoint ProPoint Bluetooth Mouse 24
HP Tilt Stylus Pen (rechargeable) 14



In addition to the previously mentioned Anker Soudcore speaker, Muji case (which finally replaces my 56g WH Smith pencil case from 2001!) and the little USB adapter that charges my new ProPoint mouse I also acquired a few more mini Mimax cables, these are superb for charging or data transfer and weigh next to nothing. I also ditched (or lost) one of my apple iPhone charges (and haven’t replaced it) and swapped the short data cable from a USB-A / lighting to USB-C / lightining as it’s faster. I lost the VGA adapter as I didn’t need it at all this last year (clients are finally embracing HDMI !).

Muji Double Fastener Case (Small) 15
Samsung SSD Portable T5 2TB USB 3.1 51
Anker Battery AstroMini 3200mAh out 1A 84
TRVL Short Cable USB-C Lightning 10cm 6
Logitech Ultimate Ears 600vi Wired Headphones (w Apple adapter) 18
Sony Antistatic Cloth (6.5 years old!) 14
Adapter USB-C male to HDMI 4K female 10
2x Momax Adaptercable USB-A to USB Micro 6g ea 12
2x Momax Adaptercable USB-A to USB-C 6g ea 12
2x Momax Adaptercable USB-C to USB-C 6g ea 12
Adapter USB-A to USB-C 6
Baggie Comply Tx-500 w Wax Guard Medium 2 pairs 2
Lexar Flashdrive USB 3.0 128Gb Jumpdrive S45 2
Transcend Flashdrive USB 3.0 32Gb Jet Flash 710S 3
Transcend Flashdrive USB 3.0 *and USB 3.1* 64Gb Jet Flash 890S 4
Laptop Charger Adapters (UK 26g, EU 17g, US 11g) in bag 13g 67
Apple USB 2.0 Lightning Cable 100cm (for iPhone) 18
Apple USB Charger OZ (for iPhone) 28
Griffin Power Jolt 2x USB Car Charger 12
Anker Soundcore Mini Icon Bluetooth Speaker 211

Other Stuff


The only change here was the aforementioned daypack swap. Packtowl still serving me well after almost 5 years now!

Ultralite Grey Packtowl XL 100
Sea To Summit Ultra Sil Nano Daypack 30
Fortress Exercise Band 42

Packing Cubes

Once again I forgot to photograph the 8 Eagle Creek Specter packing cubes I use to organise all of my gear (153g)

2x Large Eagle Creek Specter Cubes (28g ea) for suits & shirts, jeans & shorts 56
2x Medium Eagle Creek Specter Cubes (18g ea) for undies & boxers, tees 36
3x Small Eagle Creek Specter Cubes (14g ea) for winter gear, tie & belt 42
1x Tube Eagle Creek Specter Cube (19g) for shoes 19


No changes at all to my everyday carry.

Apple iPhone 8 256GB w case (Phone 148, Case 15) 163
Bluetooth Headphones Anker Soundbuds Slim+ (Micro USB) 15
Ice Unisex Watch 46
Wallet Slimfold Micro Soft Shell RFID 64

So that’s 87 items of non-clothing weighing just 4844g, a grand total of 132 items weighing in at 13253g (approx 11.5kg carried). Down 686g on last year for gear alone.

Thank you for reading – hope you found something useful, please feel free to share any suggestions for weight improvement in the comments, I have discovered a few awesome products through your recommendations and it is appreciated!

Everything I Own 2018 (Pt 2)

Clothing aside, I have 92 items of gear (including tech) all displayed below.


Like last time, I’ll talk through the differences rather than covering everything again.

Dopp Kit


The only changes to my Dopp were:

  • The washbag itself; I swapped my well worn white Eagle Creek Specter ‘Quick Trip’ washbag for a black one (or Ebony as they like to call it).
  • I found some awesome small polyethelene travel bottles at Muji for my shampoo (50g), sunscreen (30g) and hand moisturiser (30g) which were very cheap at $2.50 and $1.75 respectively.
  • I now carry a teeny tiny 10g pot of Tiger Balm which was a giveaway at a hotel in KL.

I have tried a different deodorant this year in Arm & Hammer ‘Natural’ Baking Soda but it didn’t agree with me and despite claiming to be ‘scent free’ was noticeably citrusy. Everything else is the same although I’m lower on supplies than last year.

Eagle Creek Specter Washbag 42
Body Crystal Deodorant Ammonium Alum 138
Philips Norelco Shaver PQ208/40 (92g, Brush 2g ,Guard 6g, 2xAA 30g) 130
Colgate Omron 150 Toothbrush (33g, Head 4g, Guard 3g,  2xAAA 14g) 54
Toothpaste 50
Shampoo in 50ml 11g poly tube 71
Hand Moisturiser in 30ml 8g Poly Tube 44
Sunscreen in 30ml 8g Poly Tube 42
Stingose Gel 30
Antisepctic Cream 18
Hair Fiber 10ml plastic tub 37
Seki Edge Stainless Steel Nail Clippers 32
Electric Toothbrush Colgate Omron Heads (x2) 8
Stainless Steel Tweezers 7
Tooth Floss Sticks 5
Hearos Earplugs 4
Interdental Brushes 3



Ah my trusty Tortuga Air (2014)… my daily companion for almost four years now and still going strong. The straps are beginning to show signs of wear and the material is a bit fluffier than last year but it’s still a workhorse and my favourite bag ever. I’ve made some minor modifications; including removing the internal straps and applying velcro loops to the loose shoulder straps – reducing the weight to a nice 1030g. Frankly I think I’ll be hard pressed to replace it when it finally gives up. There are very few 35l bags in that weigh range these days.

The rest of my gear is the same except:


  • I invested in a HumanGear Go Bites Duo after ordering curry from a posh restaurant (where they clearly expected customers to bring the food home to a fully functional kitchen) and I had to eat it with two hotel tea spoons.
  • I ditched the Sharpie after not using it for a year. I also found a black version of the Bic 4-colour pen, which I just had to have.
  • I swapped my beloved (but hellish expensive) Logitech Ultimate Ears (18g / £75) for a pair of Bluetooth Anker Soudbuds Slim (15g / £15). I was astonished by the sound quality (once I’d fitted Comply Foam plugs) and the battery life is pretty great too. I bought a second pair for my EDC.
  • I also found some passport sized grip seal baggies to provide some water protection for my only paper belongings (Passport and Vaccinations certs).
Hearos earplugs in Case 6
Pocket Tissues 24
Saccharin Sweetner 20
Passport 34
Vaccination Certification 15
Humangear GoBites Duo Grey (Spoon and Fork) 11
Bic Pen Mutifunction 4 Colour Ball Pen 12
Uniball Micro Blue Pen 11
Travel and Spare Credit Cards 35
Ray-Ban Sunglasses Case and Cloth 50
Ray-Ban Sunglasses Unisex Adult Aviator Black 32
Keys 44
Lewis N Clark Light Compact Travel Umbrella 282

OSK (Oh Shit Kit)

oskThe meds in my OSK may have swapped around a bit but the contents are essentially the same and it still weighs in at just 100g.

Eagle Creek Zip Stash Case (OSK) 16
Ibuprofen 6
Antihistamine 2
Loperamide 3
Lemsip x2 8
Paracetemol x2 12
Butterfly Plasters 4
Misc Plasters & Medistrips 5
Titanium Pocket Bit Keyring 4
Sewing Kit (6x Thread, 4x Needles, 8x Buttons, 6x Safety Pins) 8
Chapstick 9
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel Nail Clippers Ultra Slim 15
Stainless Steel Tweezers 8

EDC (Every Day Carry)

This year I opted to upgrade my flagging iPhone 6 for the new iPhone 8 (rather than the X as I still appreciate an actual hardware button). The uplift to 256GB SSD is a game changer for me as it means I can carry all of my music without continually having to delete old to make way for new. I’m not willing to shift to streaming as I fly too much. The camera is also noticeably better. As mentioned previously I upgraded my UE headphones for Anker bluetooth but the wallet and watch are the same as last year.

Apple iPhone 8 256GB w case (Phone 148, Case 15) 163
Bluetooth Headphones Anker Soundbuds Slim+ (Micro USB) 15
Ice Watch Unisex 46
Wallet Slimfold Micro Soft Shell RFID 64



I’ve described my new laptop setup in a previous post although, since then, I’ve ditched the swanky HP mouse that came with the laptop as the bluetooth kept crapping out. Back to my old trusty Logitech M337.

Laptop HP Spectre x360 – 13-ae003na i7-8550U, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD 1238
Laptop Charger 45W 131g w AU plug 17g and 2m Anker cable 52g 200
Mouse Logitech Bluetooth M337 (59g + 15g AA) 74
HP Tilt Stylus Pen 10g w AAAA battery 6g 16
TOTAL 1528



My techgear now weighs in at just 825g and everything fits in the ten year old WH Smith pencil case bar the awesome UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker. Here’s the full list:

WH Smith Pencil Case 57
Samsung SSD Portable T5 2TB USB 3.1 51
Anker Battery AstroMini 3200mAh out 1A 84
Amazon Short Cable USB 2.0 Lightning 10cm 6
Anker Bluetooth Headphones Soundbuds Slim (Micro USB) 15
Sony Antistatic Cloth 14
Adapter HDMI male to VGA female 10
Adapter USB-C male to HDMI 4K female 10
2x Momax Adaptercable USB-A to USB Micro 6g ea 12
Adapter USB-A to USB-C 6
Baggie Comply Tx-500 w Wax Guard Medium 2 pairs 2
Spare Batteries AA 15g (Mouse) and AAAA 6g (HP Pen) 21
Lexar Flashdrive USB 3.0 128Gb Jumpdrive S45 2
Transcend Flashdrive USB 3.0 32Gb Jet Flash 710S 3
Transcend Flashdrive USB 3.0 *and USB 3.1* 64Gb Jet Flash 890S 4
Laptop Charger Adapters (UK 26g, EU 17g, US 11g) in bag 13g 67
2x Cable Apple USB 2.0 Lightning 100cm (for iPhone) 18g ea 36
2x Charger Apple USB OZ (for iPhone) 28g ea 56
Cable USB 2.0 Micro USB 100cm (for UE Roll) 18
Charger USB OZ (for UE Roll) 37
UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker 314

Other Stuff

miscgearWhich just leaves my MSR Ultralite Packtowl, my Matador FreeRain 24 Waterproof Daypack and my Fortress Exercise band given to me by my physio after a recent shoulder injury.

Ultralite Grey Packtowl XL 100
Freerain 24 Waterproof Ultra-Sil Nylon 24L Daypack 154
Fortress Exercise Band 42

I also neglected to photograph the 9 Eagle Creek Specter packing cubes I use to organise my clothes weighing in at 172g.

So that’s it 92 items, weighing in at 4500g (excluding the 1030g Tortuga bag). Everything gets used and everything is worth the weight.

Everything I Own 2018 (Pt 1)

It’s that time of year again folks! Actually I’m a little late this year but who’s counting eh? This year has seen a few changes to my gear – not a lot but a few. The biggest change was buying a new laptop which led to a few changes in peripherals (to make use of the wonders of USB-C). I blogged about this a couple of weeks ago… so let’s start this years list with;



I did have fun making this image. Apparently it’s called knolling. It’s a thing now. Also since I do this with everything I own I guess that makes me a knoll it all.

I’ll get my (one) coat…

If you’ve read this blog before you’ll know that I basically have a uniform of black merino, and an asset maintenance regime that’s almost military in its geekyness. The end result is that my clothing setup doesn’t change much and it has been essentially the same for about 4 years now. However I did have to refresh a few things (worth noting for maintenance costs) and I also found a rather interesting pair of shoes (changes marked up in red):

I now own 45 items of clothing weighing in at 8.4kg (down from 48 items and 9.8kg last year). For my full review of all of these items see my 2017 Gear Post.

The downside to having only a few items and using them a lot is that they do need replacing regularly, notably my Brook Taverner suit (always good to look sharp in the office). I generally find socks and boxers only last around 2 years on continuous rotation but that does equate to over 100 wears and washes each. I was slightly disappointed that my prAna Bridger Jeans only lasted a year but I love them enough to give them another shot and I did wear them a lot.


I have been wearing Dr Martens for many many years. They’re heavy (1250g) but they look good and they’re very comfortable for daily wear. I generally buy a new pair each year as I do a lot of walking and kill them quickly. Normally I buy the AirWair brand from the UK, because the ‘proper’ Dr Martens made in China are of lower quality. This time I picked up a pair whilst in the UK in November for my brother’s wedding but it seems that all DMs (including AirWair) are now made in China. Sufficed to say the heel came off after just four months which was pretty disappointing.

Around the same time my beloved Nike Free 5.0s (480g) also started to fail after 3 years of thrashing, the tread was gone and the colour had shifted from the pitch black of shiny newness to a light charcoal grey (likely as a result of significant sun exposure).

I set myself a challenge of finding one pair of shoes to serve both purposes; office and trekking / hiking at the weekend. They needed to be smart, simple, black (duh), comfortable, water resistant and offer good grip without too much bulk or height.

arcteryx-acrux-sl-2Arc’Teryx is a brand I have a lot of respect for but, honestly, I’d not seen their shoes before. The Acrux is designed for comfort and uses an integrated tongue making it more like a slipper with laces than a shoe. There are three variants; The SL, the GTX (GoreTex) and the GTX Leather. I opted for the first because it was the only one that looked like it could pass for an office shoe, the other two are clearly designed for trekking and look the part. I’ve only been wearing them (daily) for one month but thus far I am loving them. They have coped incredibly well hiking over rocks, beaches, and trail paths and look equally at home in the office and on the wet streets of Sydney. If the durability is good I may have found the perfect shoe for me.

I’ll list my 92 non clothing items next time.

Faster, Better, Lighter…

RIP Vaio

This year has seen some big updates to my tech gear. After four and a half years of fantastic service, my beloved Sony Vaio Pro 13 finally gave up the ghost last November. How I loved this machine; purchased in June 2013 it was one of the last Vaio machines produced by Sony and, for the briefest of windows, it was their flagship; a 4th gen core i7-4500U processor with 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD and a  1920×1080 13.3″ touchscreen.

sony-vaio-pro-svp13213-spec2sThe killer feature, for me, was the weight; just 1050g (primarily as a result of the beautiful, if alarmingly flexible, carbon fibre frame). I think it’s fair to say I thrashed the hell out of this machine with daily use and some serious processing (for work) not to mention multiple international trips. The battery started off at around 6hrs but progressively dropped until I was squeezing less than 2, the touchscreen developed an annoying shadow screen left just 2 years in but it was a failed fan that ultimately lead to an overcooked CPU (and some worried fellow employees after a noisy demise in my open plan office).

Time to hit the savings account

So off I went on the hunt for a replacement for the best laptop there ever was… starting with some requirements 😉

  • Lightweight. Just in case that wasn’t obvious? I’m kinda interested in the weight
  • I’m a Windows kid; mostly because of the database I need to use for work
  • I need a lot of disk space for all my photos and all the database crunching for work
  • During my work day I tend to move from meeting to meeting with my laptop so a decent enough battery life would be good
  • I’d also like to upgrade to a form factor that supported tablet mode which is useful on planes when space it as a premium.

After five years I naively assumed I would easily be able to improve on the Vaio specs without taking a hit on weight. I was wrong. While the processors are faster, the storage is bigger and the screens are better there are literally no machines on the market that are lighter than the Vaio with even an equivalent spec.

HP Spectre x360

After discounting most of the leading lighter weight ultrabooks for lack of ports (Surface Pro) or mediocre specs (Dell) I finally settled on the HP Spectre x360. Weighing in at 1238g it offers an 8th gen core i7-8550U processor with 16GB RAM, a whopping 1TB SSD, a gorgeous 3840×2160 13.3″ touchscreen and a form factor that works remarkably well for me (I find myself using the ‘tent’ mode in presentations a lot). It also ships with a ‘Tilt’ stylus that has proven surprisingly useful (16g with a 6g AAAA battery) which replaces my old 25g Kensington PresentAir Pen (same battery).


The battery life is a significant improvement (a claimed 12 hrs) and I love the dual IR camera for Windows hello. I made a small compromise on the ports (no HDMI so a 17g adapter is required) but the single USB-A 3.0 and dual USB-C (one for charging) means I can cut down my other peripherals and compensate for the weight gain in the machine.


miceI had to travel to the UK to buy the ‘dark ash grey’ version over the garish Aussie native ‘silver’ version. I needn’t have bothered as the trim is still showy in ‘rose gold’, but in addition to a UK jolly, this enabled me to buy the matching HP Z5000 Bluetooth mouse (right) which is just beautiful, and weighs just 60g with a 15g AA battery, as opposed to my old Logitech M337 (left) 74g with the same battery.


In 2013 the Sony Vaio shipped with a charger that weighed 270g and featured an extra USB 3.0 charging port which I used a lot. Despite charging via USB-C the HP Spectre ships with a single purpose 60W charger that weighs an entirely unnecessary 315g. Unsurprisingly this was replaced very quickly with a much lighter alternative: the awesome Mbeat Gorilla 45W charger. mb-chgr-pd45_web_1This well constructed little device weighs a paltry 131g and offers two USB-A charging ports in addition to a 45W supply via USB-C (it’s 45W total output across all ports – so a little slower to charge than the HP, particularly while charging other devices, but perfectly adequate). It comes with interchangeable mains plugs (AU 17g, UK 26g, EU 17g and US 11g) and a little black 11g polyester bag for stashing the mains adapters not in use. You will also need a decent USB-C cable to connect to the laptop (I went for a 2m Anker cable at 52g). Unlike other adapters this doesn’t run hot, doesn’t spark when inserted in to sockets and offers an earth pin on the AU and UK plugs (ensuring a secure connection each time). I discounted the otherwise rather interesting Card adapter for this reason. All up that’s 265g for a charger that works the world over and can power all your USB devices. At just 5g less than the Sony Vaio charger this wasn’t a huge saving but the universal adapter function of the Mbeat (with two USB ports) allowed me to ditch my 132g Skross Pro Light USB World adapter.


Finally the HP Spectre’s on-board samsung t5storage bump from 512GB to 1TB allowed me to downscale my backup drive, in quite a big way. My trusty Samsung 4TB portable HD had served me well for over 3 years but at 242g (plus a 22g cable) it was a bit on the heavy side. I had been eying up the hellishly expensive portable SSD drives for a while now and when Samsung finally released their flagship T5 USB-C 3.1 2TB device I knew it was time. This thing is so small and light I actually thought I’d been shipped a fake on unboxing. It’s about half the size and half the depth of the HD and it weighs just 51g. Remarkable. It’s also incredibly fast, supports USB-C data transfer, and being SSD is (presumably) incredibly robust. Certainly I’ve not had any issues in the first 6 months of ownership. I also managed to find a crazy small Momax USB-C cable weighing just 6g (so 57g instead of 264g)

Weight Loss

So what was the overall weight impact?

Sony Vaio HP Spectre
Laptop 1050 1238
USB-C to HDMI Adapter 17
Presenter Pen / Stylus 25 16
Mouse 74 60
Charger 270 200
Universal Adapter / Plugs 132 65
Backup Drive 264 57
TOTAL 1815 1653

A whopping 162g saving. Yeah… could have just ditched a tee shirt.

Asset Management with 137 Things

I live with very few things, 137 in fact. They all fit in hand luggage and I carry them with me. I have done this now for over six years and in that time I have become very aware of the total weight of my stuff because, well… sometimes my shoulders hurt.

In addition to being a minimalist I’m also a bit of a geek and one of the tools I developed about five years ago was a spreadsheet of my things with some interesting metadata:


Once I had the list, I could do some cool analysis on the data in true geek-out fashion. Frankly I do this mostly for fun but it is also kinda useful.


I categorise my 137 things according to 21 categories which broadly fall in to four groupings:

  1. Luggage (Category 1)
  2. Clothing (Categories 2 – 12; Shoes, Boxers, Socks, Tees, Tops, Pants etc)
  3. Gear (Categories 13-17; Misc Gear, Packing, Carry, OSK and Dopp)
  4. Tech (Categories 18-21; Laptop, Techbag, MiscTech and EDC; Every Day Carry)

This allows me to do some cool analysis:

Weight Management

This was the start of my journey in to data analysis; where can I drop the excess weight? Certainly some interesting metrics here, the heaviest thing I own, it transpires, is not my laptop, or my Dr Martens… but the wheeled case I use to lug it all, in fact my luggage accounts for nearly a quarter of my carried weight (in red).


I feel this is currently justified as I am not simply backpacking my way around the world – I still have to work so need to carry a suit and an umbrella and the trappings of the office environment. I also need to look semi professional, so the roller does it for me. Nice to know that if I was able to quit my job and disappear off around the world I could pack everything in a backpack and travel even lighter.

The blues in the above pie charts represent the various categories of clothing – interesting to note that clothing represents less than half of my carried weight, just 7.08Kg. Of course carried weight does not include the clothing I travel in.


How much have you spent on your stuff? If you lost it, do you know how much it would cost to replace? If you only have 137 things it turns out it’s pretty easy to calculate, and pretty reassuring to know how much I’d need to claim on my insurance should the worst happen.


By recording the amount I paid for each item, the vendor and the date I purchased it I stand a good chance of replacing like for like in the event of disaster or, more likely, re-ordering when something fails (I am not a keen shopper). It’s also reassuring to note that my most expensive items are also my most oft-used belongings; laptop and phone. Spending done right.

By recording an estimated ‘lifespan’ of each item I can also calculate each item’s current worth – given my recent tech spending it’s not a huge surprise to see so much green. Taking this one step further I can actually calculate the daily depreciation of my belongings. Apparently each sleep costs me £6.60… which is cheaper than an AirBnB.

Asset Management

Yeah OK… with 137 things how important is asset management? Moreover who the hell does asset management on their belongings?

Turns out I do.

Recording the date of purchase and the estimated lifespan enables me to monitor the ‘life remaining’ of the items I own. This enables me to predict failure (basic FMECA right here) and plan financially since many of the items I own, notably the merino clothing, is not so cheap to replace.


My most recent purchases include my newly replaced Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers and my new laptop (more on that in my 2018 Gear post), associated tech (it’s a USB-C powered machine which, of course, necessitated some new USB-C gadgets). It would appear that my tees are nearing end of life (which is true – two of them have holes now) and my Extras (tie and belt) are on their way too.

I refine the ‘lifespan’ fairly regularly – boxers only last a year but tees last three, the lifespan for my belt is an estimated twenty years which is probably OK since I bought it in Hawaii in 2000. Moreover I probably don’t need to worry about replacing much else just yet… which is nice.

Also; my motto of monochrome simplicity does not apply to my Excel spreadsheets (or my Powerpoint presentations for that matter).

Everything I Own (2017 Update)

Everything I Own (2017 Update)

A year ago I wrote a few blog posts about my belongings; the 18kg of clothing, gear and tech that I consider sufficiently valuable to my life that I carry it wherever I go.

Before I dive in, three things;

I recognise this lifestyle would not suit most people and I’m not ‘selling’ it.
None of my links are affiliate, these are simply products I use myself.


On to the gear – starting with my wardrobe (which fits neatly in to a cabin baggage sized case):

That’s 48 items weighing 9.8kg (down from 51 items and 11.4kg last year).



I have tried many merino tees over the years; Wool & Prince, Smartwool, Icebreaker, Formal Friday but my favourite (by a margin) is the Ultrafine Merino from Outlier. These things aren’t cheap (and they’ve just increased in price from $98 to $110!) but they are durable, beautifully cut and incredibly soft (in addition to being pure, high performance, ultra fine merino – as opposed to some other merino tees which are a poly mix). Most of my tees are now over two years old and holding up well. I did have to perform a minor fix on one when I dried it after handwashing, rolled it in a towel, stood on it to extract the moisture and unrolled it to find a tear in the bottom seam. Those Home-Ec lessons come good after all. I lost one when it got caught on a door latch and tore irreperably. I haven’t replaced it and probably won’t as I’ve been coping jst fine with the 7.



I’m still wearing the two Icebreaker Merino Sierra Zip Hoodies I purchased in June 2015. I have yet to find a better hoodie (although admittedly I haven’t really looked). These things are ‘real fleece’ lined which means the wool on the inside is a fleece-y texture. They’re incredibly comfy and very warm despite being so thin that the light shows through them when held up to a window. They roll up beautifully in to the hood and weigh just 445g. The two main pockets are zipped and the internal sewing of the pockets turn them in to usable inside pockets too. The chest zip pocket is remarkably useful in cramped areoplane conditions. I always carry one when flying as they are perfect for the long haul when the temperatures drop. I dislike the branding particularly the grey strip around the inside neck but performance wise they can’t be beat and they’re clearly durable too. Sad to say that Icebreaker have discontinued production – as is often the case with the good stuff.



I have written separately about the wonderful Libertad Merino Travel shirts. They are by far my favourite merino button down shirts. They are lightweight, breathable, quick drying, non iron and best of all, they looks fantastic. Unlike the Wool & Prince Button Downs they don’t get ‘fluffy’ and unlike the Icebreaker Departure shirts they replaced, they look like proper office wear (no frilly shoulders or silly pockets here). Since I do still have an office job and need to convey an air of professionalism these shirts are just perfect for me. I have 3 which have been going strong for 6 months and I love them.



For as long as I can remember I’ve worn Brook Taverner suits. I was first attracted to them for their high wool content, crease resistance and the fact that they are machine washable but the truth is I love the cut too. I tend to keep an extra pair of trousers since I wear a suit every work day. I wash the trousers far more than the jacket. If I wasn’t working in an office environment I’d ditch this but right now it’s a necessity. Sadly they only ship to the UK so I have to time any purchases with a trip there.




Never travel with jeans, they say… too heavy, they say… rubbish in the rain and take ages to dry, they say… and they’re right. Unless you’re wearing prAna Bridger Jeans. I swear these things are magic or something. They are 76% cotton, 23% polyester and 2% spandex and they weigh just 465g (a far cry from the ~700g of full cotton jeans). I generally avoid cotton and these are the only cotton items I own but they are hands down the most comfortable jeans I’ve ever worn, even more comfy than the Outlier Slim Dungarees which is really saying something. I sold a pair of my SDs to pay for them and I am very happy with the trade. That said I do still carry a pair of Outlier Slim Dungarees which I still love – perfect for dinner out on humid evenings, and a pair of prAna Brion Pants which are great for hiking. These pants are so much better cut than the prAna Zion Pants that travellers seem to adore so much.



I had no issues ditching my Outlier New Way Shorts as my Outlier New Way Longs are just fine to swim in and look better on me than the shorts anyway. When the rare opportunity to buy a pair of Outlier Ultralight Crops came along I jumped at the chance and could not be happier. These things are superb for very hot weather, they performed superbly while climbing and hiking in Thailand and Cambodia despite the humidity, they’re great for hikes in the mid summer sun in Sydney and super easy to sink wash and dry overnigt for the next day. Sadly now discontinued.

Boxer Shorts


Icebreaker Merino Anatomica Boxers (2016)

Icebreaker discontinued my beloved Anatomica Boxers and I was not happy. I complained and they sent me a free pair of the new Icebreaker Merino Anatomica Boxers (2016) (which was pretty good of them really). These were heavier and sturdier (clearly a nod to the fragility of the previous boxers) but having worn boxers that felt like air for so long, the new style felt too restrictive. I shopped around – trying Wool & Prince, Smartwool, Ibex and Macpac merino boxers but none of them came anywhere near even the new Anatomicas. So I pulled the trigger on another 6 pairs to replace my (fast fading) older style. I’ve been wearing the 2016’s for five months now and I quite like them now, I suspect I’ve just forgotten what the originals were like. I dropped a pair (down from 8 to 7 total) mostly so I can fit all my underwear in to an Eagle Creek half cube.


I’m still wearing the same Outlier Megafine Merino Socks on rotation as I was this time last year, although when two socks developed holes I dropped a pair to bring the numbers in line with the boxers and so I could fit everything in to a single half cube. I have repaired holes in one other sock but on the whole I’m very happy with the durability here after nearly two years. They are actually pretty impressive socks, very comfy, always dry, never stink, breathe well in summer and keep my feet cosy in winter, what more could I ask for? Of course being Outlier they’re pricey at $25 a pair but you do get what you pay for. I also still have my Icebreaker no show socks. I hate the branding but functionally theyr’e great and just 30g per pair.



Arc’Teryx Atom LT Hoody

What was I thinking? A leather jacket weighing 890g and a non insulated raincoat weighing 297. This was not practical, particularly for cold rainy weather. What I needed was that one coat to rule them all. Something weatherproof, insulated, stylish and light… with a hood! Enter the Arc’Teryx Atom LT Hoody. It ticked all the boxes and I got it on sale too. It also packs down almost as small as my previous Marmot Super Mica (which is pretty incredible considering the thermal protection therein). I wore it in temperatures below freezing atop the Minshan and Emeishan mountains in China and it kept me toasty warm. I hate the overt branding (logo to the chest) but on the whole this is a very impressive piece of gear and its purchase shaved 829g off my base weight.



Buffwear Buff

With a January trip to Paris planned I needed to take the thermals seriously, with my new Arc’Teryx Atom LT Hoody it was the rest of me I needed to get covered. First of all I needed a pair of leggings to go under my Prana Bridger Jeans or Outlier SDs. Icebreaker merino would always be my first port of call and these Icebreaker Merino Oasis Leggings delivered the goods. Super comfy, wonderfully breathable and toasty warm. Next up was my Icebreaker ‘chute’ (buff) which was pretty heavy and not very flexible, I swapped that out for a Buffwear Merino Buff at almost half the weight and combined with my Icebreaker gloves, beanie and hoodie I was all set. Hot chocolate at the top of the Eiffel Tower never tasted so good.



Dr Martens 8053 Shoes

No change from last year; my trusty Dr Martens 8053 Shoes are my go-to for almost everything from formals, to daily work, to city trekking. I always wear these when flying (rather than packing) as they are heavy. I tend to wear out the soles quickly but for comfort and flexibility


Amuri Cloud Xero Sandals

they can’t be beat. For running and hiking I’m still getting a lot of use out of my Nike Free 5.0 Trainers and for beach walking and feeding dolphins on Tangalooma island I’m still happy with my Amuri Cloud Xero Sandals which are a little more practical than standard flip-flops.

The rest

I still carry a single silver tie – my only non black item of clothing, for those actual formal dinners (only one in the last year), and my trusty 16 year old CK belt which I bought in Hawaii because the sales girl flirted with me. Yeah I’m that shallow.

I’m still getting a lot of use out of my Ultralite Packtowl XL and I swapped my Sea to Summit Daypack for a Matador FreeRain 24 which I wrote about in a previous blog.

That little lot (save for my coat and what I wear on the plane) packs down in to 8 Eagle Creek Specter packing cubes:

  • Full Cube = Suit and Shirts
  • Full Cube = Pants, Shorts and Hoodie
  • Half Cube = T-Shirts
  • Half Cube = Boxers and Socks
  • Quarter Cube = Thermals
  • Quarter Cube = The rest
  • Tube Cube = Xero Sandals
  • Tube Cube = Nike Trainers


Clothes packed in to 8x Eagle Creek Packing Cubes


48L Samsonite Spark Cabin Bag

My case is a 48l Samsonite Spark Cabin Bag weighing in at 2.5kg, so fully loaded with 7.9Kg of clothes (That’s 9.8kg less what I’m wearing) it’s around 10.4kg.

Interesting to note that 40 of my 48 items of clothing are the same as last year.

Gear and Tech


Top left = Techbag, Top right = Dopp kit, Bottom = Tortuga Air and contents

Dopp Kit


Dopp Kit

  • Eagle Creek Specter Washbag (42g)
  • Body Crystal Ammonium Alum Deodorant (138g)
  • Sunscreen SPF 50+ (47g)
  • Antisepctic Cream (16g)
  • Nutrogena Shampoo in 60ml plastic bottle (82g)
  • Toothpaste (47g)
  • Stingose (30g)
  • Hard Muk Hair Fiber in plastic tub (26g)
  • Alfred Lane Solid Cologne Bravado 0.5oz (22g)
  • Colgate Omron Electric Toothbrush Pro Clinical 150 (54g inc batteries)
  • Boots Stainless Steel Tweezers (7g)
  • Seki Edge Stainless Steel Nail Clippers (32g)
  • Philips Norelco Electric Shaver PQ208/40 (128g inc batteries)
  • Hearos Baggie – Hearos (14 pairs) (14g)
  • Spare Boots Saccharin Sweetner (20g)
  • Colgate Omron Heads (x3) (12g)
  • Care Dent Tooth Floss Sticks (x5) (5g)
  • Care Dent Interdental Brushes (x18) (3g)
  • Shaver brush (2g)
  • Spare baggies for liquids at airports (4g)

731g in total. Key differences since last year; I swapped my insanely heavy 130g Oral B toothbrush and 125g charger for the quite brilliant 54g Colgate Omron battery powered toothbrush, I also swapped my razor at the same time and wrote about that here, I ditched the lint roller when it ran out, I reverted back to Colgate toothpaste when my dentist advised that non fluoride toothpaste was a bad idea and I ditched the cotton buds when I was advised they were a bad idea.




  • Simple black Pencil Case (53g)
  • Spare Logitech Ultimate Ears Headphones 600VI (18g)
  • Spare Energizer Lithium Ultimate Batteries (56g)
  • USB 2.0 to Micro USB 2.0 30cm Cable (for UE Roll) (12g)
  • Neet HDMI v1.4 to HDMI 100cm Cable (28g)
  • Anazon USB 2.0 to Lightning 10cm Cable (6g)
  • Anker USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (20g)
  • SATA to USB mini board Adapter (6g)
  • Micro USB (Female) to Mini USB (Male) Adapter (6g)
  • Apple Charger Apple USB OZ (for UE Roll) (28g)
  • Transcend USB 3.1 32Gb Jet Flash 710S + 2x iPhone SIM Extractors (4g)
  • 2x Transcend USB 3.1 64Gb Jet Flash 710S (2x3g)
  • Sandisk SD Card Adapter (Micro to Standard) (1g)
  • Logitech Bluetooth Mouse M337 (74g inc battery)
  • Spare Comply Tx-500 2 pairs and spare UE Clip (2g)
  • Gel Mouse Wrist Rest (65g)
  • Sony Antistatic Cloth (14g)
  • Samsung USB 3.0 A-Male to Micro-B Cable (for Samsung disk) (22g)
  • Sodial Retractable RJ45 100cm Cable (24g)
  • Amzer Retractable USB Micro 100cm Cable (20g)
  • Micro USB (Female) to Apple Lightning (Male) Adapter (1g)
  • Rubber Bands (1g)
  • SD and Micro SD to USB 3.0 Adapter (7g)
  • Kensington PresentAir Bluetooth 4.0 Presenter (25g inc battery)
  • Anker AstroMini 3200mAh 1A output Battery (83g)
  • Griffin Power Jolt Dual USB Car Charger (12g)
  • HDMI to VGA Adapter (10g)

561g in total. Some nice weight loss changes since last year. Firstly the 52g Zevek luggage scale – no longer needed once I’d written this blog and recorded the weight of everything! I ditched the 81g Cyclone Micro Media player as almost all TVs can play video files now anyway (and I play from my laptop via the HDMI cable for those that can’t), I gave away my retractable phono lead as I stream music via bluetooth these days, and I binned the phono splitter as I never used it (sniff). I got rid of the 126g UK Vaio cable and the 46g UK Apple charger. My awesome 21g Stanley 4-way multi screwdriver was confiscated by Sydney security (pointless replacing it) and I ditched the notepad / paper clips as I’m basically paperless now.



Gear (stored in the various pockets of the Tortuga most of the time)

  • Sony Laptop Sony Vaio Pro SVP1321C5E i7-4500U, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD (1050g) 9g less than last year due to new fan and heatsink!
  • Kingston SD Card Kingston 512GB SDXC (3g) for backup
  • Samsung Portable HD 4TB 2.5″ USB 3.0 (240g)
  • Sony Laptop Charger Sony VGP-AC10V10 (270g)
  • OSK (Oh Shit Kit) (100g)
  • Business Cards x30 (60g)
  • Slimfold Wallet (With cards and cash etc) (68g)
  • Passport (34g)
  • Baggies (17g)
  • Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses and Cloth in Ray-Ban Case (82g)
  • Mitsubishi Uniball Micro Blue Pen (11g)
  • Sharpie (9g)
  • Bic Mutifunction 4 Colour Ball Pen (12g)
  • Keys (45g)
  • Amazon USB 2.0 to Lightning 100cm Cable (18g)
  • Ultimate Ears Headphones 600VI (18g)
  • Eagle Creek Specter Quarter Cube (for in flight stuff) (14g)
  • Kleenex Pocket Tissues x9 (23g)
  • Hearos Hearos earplugs in Case (6g)
  • Boots Saccharin Sweetner (20g)
  • EuroSchirm Light Trek Automatic Umbrella 2014 (353g)
  • Ultimate Ears UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker (314g)
  • Apple USB 2.0 Lightning 100cm Cable (18g)
  • Skross Pro Light World Dual USB Travel Adapter (178g)

2963g in total. Big change here is the weighty 178g Skross charger in place of the lightweght 49g Kikkerland. I loved the Kikkerland but the truth is, it didn’t work very well. The design meant it didn’t fit all sockets, and when it did it would hang precariously – particularly with something plugged in, but worst of all was finding that it just plain didn’t work (Italy, UK and even Australia). The Skross, on the other hand, is triple pronged and therefore maintains its ‘socket grip’ well, it also has two USB charging ports which is very useful.

My four year old Sony Vaio Pro laptop is still going strong. I’ve had to replace the fan and heatsink (which failed very noisily), the battery is down to around half original capacity and the processor is slow compared with modern equivalent (it’s a 4th gen i7) but it still gets the job done and it still hasn’t been beaten on weight (except for the Microsoft Surface range which is tempting but would mean a compomise on ports and form factor).

I still use the UE Roll daily (love this little speaker) and my backup drive is the same 4TB Samsung as I carried last year (minus the case which I figured I didn’t need thanks to the pocket system of the Tortuga.



My trusty Tortuga Air has seen me on umpteen global trips in the past two and half years and carried my gear to work and back every day to boot. The capacity is 27l but this extends to 35l in a pinch due to a idden zip. The clever laptop compartment at the top keeps my Sony Vaio well protected and easily accessibe for security, and the drop pocket at the top is just a genius idea that I find myself using daily. Considering all it’s been through it’s still standing up remarkably well. It weghts just 1077g so with the 4255g of gear I’m carrying about 5.3kg on my back.

So that’s it – 10.4kg case and 5.4kg backpack when I move. Plenty of opportunity to Onebag light by transferring some clothes to the Tortuga. Not hugely different from last year which makes me think that what I have works pretty well 🙂


Thanks for reading – hope you found this useful.