Here's all the gear that's currently in my bag, with some notes about items I've retired.
Refurbished 13” macbook air with 8 gb ram and 128 gb of storage, which I’ve supplemented with a 128 gb sd card and a 64 gb micro usb stick. It's in a slim hard case. I cut down my old PackTowl to match the shape of my laptop and I leave it in to keep keyboard dirt off the screen.
The Roost and a USB Apple keyboard I "borrowed" from a family member.
iPhone 5c I bought on eBay. I have a T-Mobile sim and their $20/month "Simple Choice" international data roaming plan.
$30 bluetooth over-ear headset that’s great when it actually works. I'd love to find something better and more packable, but I'm not sure I use it enough to justify an expensive alternative. I also have the headphones that came with the iPhone for when I can't be bothered.
Assorted cords and batteries
Laptop power cord (the two-pronged half, not the heavy three-prong extension cord), phone power cord, travel adapter, a mini display port to HDMI / VGA converter. Also an external Anker battery for recharging my phone on the road with cord.
Icebreaker Villa Leggings. They're comfortable and quick-drying, but don't have pockets. For pajama pants I'm wearing a pair of $10 "yoga" pants I picked up at Big W (Australia's version of Walmart).
Retired: Athleta Metro High Waisted Leggings that I wore out, Anatomie Skinny Skyler Pants that I also wore out, REI travel pants that looked awful to begin with, and Icebreaker Villa pants that developed holes. I also left my Toad & Co ribbed leap leggings behind because they took up too much room and didn't hold their shape very well.
Lululemon Power Y Tank, which is overkill for travel but convenient because of the built-in bra, and my Icebreaker Everyday cami. The cami has a small hole. I also bought a couple of viscose shirts from Portman's that probably won't last long.
Retired: Nau and Icebreaker shirts that never got holes, but were either accidentally shrunk in the dryer or wore out.
I was getting by with a thin merino cardigan from Portman's until I got to New Zealand's South Island in the middle of winter. I lasted about two days before I ran to a Lululemon and bought one of their terry Scuba Hoodies, which I'm now living in.
Retired: Lululemon Restless Pullover, which I wore out. Ibex Shak Lite Hoodie, which was AWESOME because of the pockets and hood but developed holes before I'd even worn it a year. Also the Icebreaker Bliss Wrap, which just wasn't useful enough and took up too much room. Before those I traveled with a Patagonia cashmere cardigan that was nice but got holey fast.
3 pairs of Patagonia barely hipster underwear plus 2 pairs of Modibodi merino underwear, which double as reusable pads. Also an Ibex bralette that I desperately need to replace.
Retired: Icebreaker siren bra and Patagonia barely bra, both of which stretched out really fast and didn't offer much coverage.
One pair thin Icebreaker socks and two pairs of thick Kathmandu wool blend socks.
Retired: One pair Vermont Darn Tough socks that I actually managed to wear through after wearing them every day for over 6 months. Also Icebreaker socks that turned gross from the inside of my shoes and Smartwool walking socks that developed holes at the backs of my ankles.
One pair of Teva De La Vina ankle boots that are slightly too big for me and have had a strap replaced because the old one was eaten by a dog. They really are waterproof, though, and it's amazing.
Retired: Vivobarefoot Gwens and Vivobarefoot Jing Jings, which wore out pretty quickly. My feet kept getting soaked through in the Gwens. My DIY Xero shoes, which were just too much of a pain to get right and take on and off. Also my Soft Star Runamocs and Ramblers, which were great shoes but just not for me.
Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket, which offers the best rain protection I have ever owned. It's overkill for most places though, so next time I'd go with something lighter.
I traveled for six months with just my wool hoodie and my rain jacket, but I decided I should probably get something heavier for New York and the UK in winter. Nau was having a sale and I couldn't resist their wool Transporter jacket, which has 0 packability but excellent pockets and oh so much high-collar class.
Retired: My REI revelcloud synthetic down jacket, which I wore to bits.
Just my Toad & Co infinity scarf. It wasn't super warm in the cold but it was enough with the two jackets.
- $6 electric toothbrush with a removable head and replacement heads
- 2oz bottle of unscented Dr. Bronner's
- 100ml bottle of Lush Rehab shampoo
- Black Chicken Axilla Deodorant Paste
- Black Chicken Balm of Ages
- Black Chicken Perfume Oil
- Lunette menstrual cup
- 2 reusable pads (one is an ingenious two-use foldable pad from MonoMio Etsy Shop)
- Travel-sized tube of toothpaste
- 2 oz Nalgene bottle I refill with mouthwash when in transit
- Regular razor with disposable head
- Travel hairbrush with hair things
Tom Bihn Side Effect, mesh bags, keyboard bag that's too big for the keyboard, loksak passport-sized bag, field notes, business cards, pen with ink refills, plastic fork and spoon, spare pair of glasses, Vapur bottle, wallet, change purse, passport
Retired: Tom Bihn Travel Tray (I miss it but it was overkill for my packing style), head lamp, Grayl water bottle with tap filter (kept leaking on plane trips, even after they sent me new lids)
I carry Tom Bihn's Synapse 19.
How I Pack Everything
I pack my laptop in the inner sleeve pocket of the Synapse. I pack my clothing in a mesh bag, my rain jacket by itself, and anything I'll need in-flight / in-train in the Side Effect. I also pack my bag of docs (with keyboard) and the Roost in the largest pocket of the Synapse. My cosmetics go in the bottom pocket and everything else fits in the sides. The Vapur bottle (if filled with water) and any other toiletries or snacks go in the water bottle pocket.
Additional Packing Lists
- If you're planning a RTW trip, check out Jema's packing list on Half The Clothes