I only take one small pack when traveling to other places for work (or for fun). Traveling light is safer, but one of the issues I run into when I go light is the ability to bring an extra backpack that is small and lightweight enough to fit into my main pack. This additional pack would be the one I take with me when I’m out and about, carrying the bare essentials: if it’s work then a laptop and a few other items; if it’s fun, then a small camera, a water bottle, and a small trauma kit.
I’ve tried a few things, but so far I've found nothing that fits all the needs. I have one of the original GORUCK Bullet 10s, the one that is fully unstructured, and that sort of works, but it still doesn’t pack well, especially when I’m traveling with a 21 liter backpack as my main pack, and also doesn’t handle 13+ inches laptops well. I’ve also tried the packable Patagonia packs, but again, they don’t handle a laptop well, and in an urban environment the bright colors make you a target.
In short, most of the time I end up unpacking at the hotel and using my main pack for everything. It’s not bad, but I wonder if there is anything out there I can use. A small, packable backpack (but I can also settle for a small, thin messenger bag like this one built by Spartan9). Something simple with a few features:
I’m on a search now. But if you know of one (with the right balance of simplicity, weight and utility), or you are willing to work with me on a design and build one, please contact me.