We all know what it looks like. Carefully packing everything into our carry-on luggage just to have to dump it all out again at the security checkpoint. Hustling up and down escalators and trains to get to our gate. Dodging people through busy terminals. Add an international flight connection to all of this, and it can make for a stressful journey. By the end of the day, it can feel like you’ve completed a thru-hike of the world’s airports. That’s why at Gossamer Gear, we think the best lightweight luggage for international travel is the same as it is for the trail.
Gossamer Gear’s Best Lightweight Luggage for International Travel
Whether you’re going from plane to trail, or plane to coffee shop hopping, there’s a Gossamer Gear bag that will fit your lightweight travel adventures ahead. Each comes with a unique design to organize all of your needed items. Each also comes with the added bonus of letting you feel like you’re out backpacking the wilderness even if you’re just killing time during a long layover in Dulles.
Best Business Travel Backpack
If you’re on a work trip, we recommend bringing along the Drifter daypack. Constructed with custom N100D Robic Camo Jacquard Fabric, this carry-on luggage will stand-up well to being stuffed under a plane seat or into an overhead bin. The fabric has has a stylish, professional sheen to it that will also blend well with the conference room surroundings during your business meetings ahead. And, finally, this pack has two padded sleeves on the interior that can hold both your laptop and your tablet.
Best Travel Backpack Carry-on
Another great carry-on option for lightweight international travel is the Vagabond. With a large exterior pocket and plenty of space in the body of the pack, the Vagabond can hold a few extra layers and provides easy access for storing the items you’ll need to take out for screening during the TSA security check-in. With two carry handles, the Vagabond allows for easy maneuvering on the London Tube or when racing to hop on your ferry ride to Santorini.
Best Backpack for Checked Luggage
If you have to check a bag for your trip, the best lightweight luggage for international travel is the Silverback 55. This pack is made to be tough, even as it’s thrown around under the plane and onto the baggage claim belt. It is also designed to be able to carry a bit heavier of a load while maintaining its lightweight and comfort. If you’re packing for a rugged backpacking trip abroad, the Silverback will be your best travel companion.
An Example of Gossamer Gear’s Lightweight Travel Backpacks in Action
The above packs are just three of Gossamer Gear’s many options for lightweight luggage for international travel. Depending on your needs, any of the packs will make a great travel buddy.
Here’s one story of how Scotland “So Far” Forbes used the Murmur and the Summit for his lightweight international travel. (Note: While the Summit is no longer available, the Quiksak or Riksak would make perfect alternatives for this scenario!)
I’ve trusted Gossamer Gear’s packs for my adventures in the outdoors in the past few years, but this past summer, I got the opportunity to test out the Murmur and my Summit in more urban areas, and in a more traditional travel environment. In this case, I had an encounter with a novel obstacle—not rugged granite peaks or dangerous stream crossings, but rising airline baggage costs. I decided that rather than pay the additional fees to check a bag, I would push the limits of what my airlines considered a “personal item.” My Summit/Murmur method was able to come in small enough, despite packing a whole month of Europe into a bag used by most people for maybe a few snacks and water.
The system involved going big into the murmur for most uses, but in the morning, going into the airport, I would go small. The Murmur would fit inside of the Summit, with plenty of space for other things on top of it. I would wear almost all of my clothing, make use of all of my pockets, and game-face it onto each plane. I repeated this process over ten times during my journey. Nobody ever challenged the size of my pack because it was so compact. I loved both packs’ durability and flexibility, and having no frame in either pack meant that I could always fit everything I needed well under the seat in front of me, as well as into any other place I needed to. It was a real treat to know that I had dependable packs throughout my month in Russia, Turkey, Denmark, Switzerland, and Scotland.
Happy travels—wherever your lightweight luggage may take you!
All photos courtesy of Scotland “So Far” Forbes.