6 Compact Alternatives To Common Travel Gear

May 11, 2018

Traveling should be about getting away from the daily grind, leaving the weight and pressure of life at home and freeing yourself up to new experiences. That can be incredibly hard to do when you’re dragging around a massive suitcase full of belongings. Rather than view travelling as just a way of shifting your home life over to another location, we think it should be viewed as an opportunity for self-liberation, and refining what matters most to you. To help you do just that, these are six compact alternatives to common travel gear.


Over at Reddit’s r/onebag, this is a source of much debate: which backpack should you choose, and why? Bags like the Tom Bihn Synapse 5, or the less expensive Thule Subterra are both durable, breathable bags optimized for travel – that is, they’re constructed in such a way that foregoes the typical bag bells and whistles in favour of extra space. Another wildly popular option is Tortuga backpacks, which range from Ultra-light all the way up to maximum sized carry-on, made with lightweight, durable and weather-resistant material – a perfect partner for quality merino clothing on your travels.

Toiletry Kit

You don’t need to spend any serious money on this. You’re looking for something compact and functional, rather than the bulky toiletry bags that you normally find. Honestly, a pencil case will do in most cases to carry travel-sized amenities, or, for an even more cost-effective option, throw everything in a Ziploc bag and suck the air out – that way, the bag is no bigger than the size of its contents.

Socks And Underwear

Well, this one’s fairly easy, isn’t it: if you want the most comfortable socks and underwear you can own, ones that will stay fresh way longer than their cotton or polyester counterparts, you’ve got to go with Unbound Merino wool. You can cut your packing size down significantly by consolidating these necessities into just a few, long-lasting pairs.


You want good sound quality in your headphones, obviously, but you can’t really justify bringing a bulky, over-the-head set. We suggest you check out this helpful TechRadar article, which lists the best earbud headphones on the market, at various price points. Of course, if it’s noise-cancelling you’re after, then it’s a different story: try something like the Philips Fidelio NC1, which is surprisingly compact.


This isn’t so much a compact alternative, as it is a multi-purpose replacement. The Lem’s Boulder Boots are extremely popular with travellers in the know, and are versatile enough to be worn in a number of different climates and contexts. Essentially, just go with a single shoe or boot that can withstand what the weather conditions and that also looks good enough to take out.



Again, Merino wool reins supreme in this category. If you haven’t traveled with an Unbound Merino shirt yet, we think we know what your favorite new t shirt is going to be – it’s lightweight, virtually un-wrinklable, and it both insulates and breathes for superior climate control. And just like the underwear mentioned above, these shirts stay fresh for a very long time, meaning you really only need a few of them.

Don’t waste valuable packing space on multiple pairs of underwear, dirty shirts, various footwear and cumbersome accessories. With these six onebag solutions, you’re ready to travel light and free.


              Col Forbin
Col Forbin