I am going to be honest. I panicked a bit when the bag arrived. It seemed so small, really cool but small. However, after a few deep breaths, I started to pack. As with other reviewers, I noticed the “upside down, pack on the lid” lay out but I use the bundle wrap method of packing so all I had to do was put the bundle on the lid, pull the top over and… voila. The bag looks great and is unique, contrary to using a true hiking pack as an alternative, the Minaal is sleek and understated. No excess straps, loops and giant logos distracting from the aesthetic of the bag. This also means no snagging as you work your way through the taxi, airport, security and boarding.
So here is what I managed to pack. This was for a trip where I did not need a suit and only business casual.
Pair of Under Armour tapered leg performance chinos
Pair of Brooks Brothers khakis
4 white t shirts
4 pair socks
4 pair underwear
I pair running shorts
2 running t shirts
4 dress shirts
Toiletries ziplock freezer bag (disposable razor, bar of soap (I shave with it), small toothbrush and toothpaste, brush, face lotion (75 ml))
Shoe polish tin and rag in a ziplock sandwich bag
A word on some of the decisions that made using bag made easy. It was great to show up at the airport, and having pre checked in, head right to security, where as a nexus holder, I bypassed the line. On arrival, it was great not waiting on the luggage at the baggage carousel and wondering. I did not miss the wheels and found that the bag was comfortable to carry as a normal suitcase. The bag fit easily in the Air Canada Gauge. As I was in a small regional jet, had to gate check but it was right there on the jet way when I arrived.
My carry on, an Osprey Cyberport, had my running shoes, a grid-it with assorted charging cables, an Anker portable batter pack, iPad mini in an otter box, travel docs, a padlock for the gym, Bose quiet comfort noise cancelling headphones and a Zojijshi travel mug (best travel mug anywhere).
As you can see, I had all the essentials for a week long trip in carry on. I wore jeans, dress shoes and a classic blue blazer (incredibly versatile piece Everyman should have) on the flight.
A few links and tips
I use mini locking s-biners to secure my zippers, while not locks, the extra step of unlocking the biner is enough to deter an opportunist thief, not that you ever leave your bag unattended …right?!
The bag http://www.minaal.com
The smaller bag http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/tech/cyber_port
The travel mug http://www.amazon.ca/Zojirushi-Stainless-Travel-16-Ounce-0-48-Liter/dp/B00B1KVCEQ
Hope the information was useful.