With all of the traveling I have done, I have packing down to an art. I really know how to pack my backpack well with room to spare. On this last trip to Iceland, I flew with WOW Airlines. They are a newer airline and I had never flown with them before. All I knew is that it was cheap. What I quickly figured out while buying the ticket is that it is cheap for a reason. If you want to pick a seat you have to pay, if you have a checked bag, you have to pay, if you have a carry on... you guessed it! You have to pay! I wasn't having it. So I didn't pick a seat and I decided to pack everything I needed in a personal bag that fits under the seat... which was free. How was I going to do it? I wasn't sure at the time, but I was going to take the challenge.
So 5 days in Iceland in a personal bag that fits under the seat. I did it! How did I do it you ask? First of all I decided it was going to be cold enough in Iceland that I was just going to wear my snow boots everyday. I decided I wasn't going to pack any other shoes. So I wore those shoes the entire trip. I also did this with my duck down parka. I knew that I would be wearing that everyday as well. My layover in LA got pretty hot.... but it was worth it not having to pay $50-$70 for a carry on bag.
What about everything else? It is not like I was going to wear the same clothes everyday. And I had other things I needed to bring as well. It just so happens that I purchased a travel bag from Cotopaxi late last year. It is small enough that it fits in any size overheard on a plane. It has handles that you can carry the bag or there are straps that come out so you can wear it like a backpack or a long strap that you can throw over your shoulder... which is how I carry it most of the time. Sounding pretty cool so far? I think it is pretty awesome (which is why I bought it).
It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it has so many different pouches and compartments. They seemed to think of everything. I'm going to show you each compartment and what I was able to pack in it. First, they have a separate zipper for a slim compartment that you can carry your computer in. I have used that for another trip, but I wasn't taking my computer on this trip... so I used it for leggings and my swim suit.
There is a small compartment on the front that I used for chargers and adapter and stuff for the plane like earplugs and headphones etc...
Now let's open this bad boy up! On one side you have one mesh compartment. Zip that open... and here is everything I was able to fit inside. In eluding a scarf, two beanies, snow pants, gloves, socks, and some t-shirts!
On the other side, you have a little compartment on top of the bigger mesh compartment. Here is what I packed in that little pocket.
And the last compartment... well... even I was surprised how much I fit in there. I mean, I got a try-pod and SLR camera in there. That a lone is amazing. Let alone a water bottle (which I don't typically pack on trips but is a great idea to bring to Iceland) some crampons... which I didn't end up using. Nor did I use the headlamp (but that is something I always bring just in case), but I did use my GoPro, towel, brush and backpack.
Did you look at that picture and think... wait... where was the backpack? Another total space saver that I bought for Havasupai but is TOTALLY going to continue to come in handy is this Osprey collapsible backpack. Check out how sweet this is!
Close those zippers up and I still squeezed a few things in before zipping the backpack shut. A book, wallet and passport.
ALL of that... in this. It was a challenge, but I did it. I wouldn't say that I would pack like this for every trip... but I know that if I need to, I totally can. :)