Filson Travel Bag [ LARGE ]
Anyone who has been to an
airport since 9/11 knows the
rules of security have changed.
Baggage restrictions are no longer
a joking matter and that bottle of
water you forgot to throw out is
enough to get you a pat down.
| SOFT & SIMPLE |
There is a golden rule of travel that millions of people do not know. If you bags are soft and dont have wheels they are not taken as seriously. Anything you can swing over your shoulder will hardly ever raise an eye brow at security or the gate. If you have not seen the small “test cages” near the gates, which determine whether a carry on is too big keep an eye out next time. Even if your bag is a little larger than the restrictions a softer bag will ease its way into the cage and get you onto the plane together.
As a rule, I never check luggage unless its a surfboard. Why? Because airline baggage handlers either send it to the wrong country or they turn loading the fuselage into a Mixed Martial Arts match with my bag. So far the bag is 0-20.
I prefer to travel light and take everything on board. Its a recipe for a quick departure, faster arrival and headache free stay. After a 10 hours in a petri dish for runny noses, vomit and bathrooms straight out of a football stadium, all I want is a hot shower and a change of clothes.
| FILSON |
For the holidays my angelic girlfriend surprised me with a new piece of hand luggage from Filson. The Filson Travel Bag [ Large ] is made from rugged, waxed twill and supported with bridal leather straps and buckles. If the straps can restrain a horse its good enough to shuffle between terminals. The design is simple but a few ideal features that make it my perfect bag.
Durability & Flexibility: I want something strong enough that it will not rip but not a rigid hard case that catches the eye of security. It looks like a tricked out gym bag, but can handle any cargo.
No Wheels: Let me go on record and say that I dislike wheely bags. What I like even less about wheely bags is that they let people drive them without a license. If you have ever had you knee clipped or toes run over by a widget who cant remember how big their bag is, you will understand me. Wheely bags are the ignoramouses solution to travel. Their best function is wheeling inside of an airport. Why on earth would I want to optimize a bag for the ten minutes spent on artificial granite floors or moving walkways from security to the gate.
For “wheeling” they are great. But for the other 10 hours I spend traveling they are a hinderance on anyone who comes into contact with them. The collapsable handles stump people all the time. It seems that “Push the button and Pull” is one too many steps for some travelers. And I dont mind if someone cannot lift their bag into overhead storage. As a thirty something male, I come with a sign that says “Sure I can help you.” But I do have issues with the overzealous deboarder who swings a piece of wheeled luggage from the overhead as if it was a flying guiottine. At least if I am going to get hit in the head with a bag, I would prefer that it did not have a skateboard wheel on the corner. Ouch!
Strong Zippers: The Filson bag has massive, leather backed zippers that could keep a hyenea from escaping. This comes in handy when you pick up a few extra things on the road and need to jam the bag full of treasures. The brass teeth are stiff at first, but as the break in over time, it reminds you of all the travels and times you have earned a smooth zipper action.
Outside Pockets: The bag has two full length outside pockets. What do I use them for? A copy of Monocle’s Bi-Annual Newspaper Meditteraneao and Alpino. This is the only uplifting newspaper in the world which highlights brilliant travel locations, interesting cultural stories (this season a small Italian town that actually lands on Swiss soil) and a rich selection of essays from actual writers, not slaves forced to regurgitate AP headlines. The open pocket keeps the newspaper flat and allows for easy access. The line of passengers waiting to board behind you will hardly appreciate “Oh excuse me on second I just need to grab a few things out of my bag.” Good luck not getting stabbed with an air sickness bag.
Inside the other pocket I carry a small Leica Tripod, which I use for nighttime long exposures. The head of the tripod is solid aluminum. When it passes through security’s x ray machine it looks like a pipe bomb. I have learned to put it in a separate tray like it was a lap top and it always gets through faster. Since the pocket is deep it stays locked in there the rest of the time.
Inside Pockets: All of my small items are organized with Klein Tool Bags. These fit the matching inside pockets so if I need a charger or a pair of headphones, I can find them with my eyes closed.
Twill Fabric: There are two things I really appreciate about Filson’s “Rugged Twill Fabric.” The first is that the bag is not black. Another golden rule of travel is do not buy black luggage unless there is something specific about it. If you ever wanted a porter, loading a bus to forget your bag on a curb in Khajuro, just buy a black bag. Anonomity, is not a strenght when it comes to luggage. You want it to stand out in a crowd. It does not need to be “Rob ME Pink” but a tan bag is easy to pick out.
The other thing I like about the fabric is that it will look better with age. This is mostly true with Filson products. When the bags are fresh out of the packing they look stiff. But after some use, a little abuse and a bunch of passport stamps later, they develop a character very similar to Billingham Bags. If you use a Billingham and like that type of leather/canvas aesthetic the Filson bags are delightful.
All in all the bag was a pleasant experience and I look forward to exploring a few new countries this year with it in tow.
| YOUR NEXT TRIP |
Now that everyone has made their New Years Resolutions, where is everyone traveling this year? Let me hear you plans, adventures, or dreams for 2012!